The latest Doctor Who tie-in novel reveals that the Master inspired Bram Stoker to create the fictional vampire Dracula.
A new Doctor Who tie-in book reveals the Master inspired the story of Dracula. The Doctor has always loved name-dropping; every incarnation has been happy to boast about learning escapology from Harry Houdini, the help they gave to Leonardo with his artwork or the time they chatted to Albert Einstein. The 2005 relaunch set up a new genre of Doctor Who story, which fans have dubbed the “Celebrity Historical,” in which the enigmatic time traveler crosses paths with a famed historical figure such as Charles Dickens, Madame du Pompadour, or William Shakespeare.
But the Doctor isn’t the only one to have left Gallifrey with a TARDIS, and it stands to reason some renegade Time Lords have crossed paths with historical figures as well. No doubt human history has actually been influenced in countless subtle ways by villains like the Rani, the Meddling Monk, and of course the Master. One recently published Doctor Who book, I Am The Master, reveals the Master is actually the inspiration for the tale of Dracula. This book is an anthology collecting short stories featuring different incarnations of the Master. One, “The Dead Travel Fast” by Mark Wright, features a version of the Master who only fans of the classic series will recognize.
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The Master was first introduced in 1971, played by Roger Delgado. Unfortunately, he tragically died in a car accident in 1973, and out of respect for the late Delgado Doctor Who shelved the Master for several years. They finally brought him back in the 1976 story “The Deadly Assassin,” and they revealed the Master had suffered a terrible fate. One of the Master’s regenerations had failed, and consequently, he was trapped in a body that was hideously deformed.
I Am The Master reveals this incarnation of the Master crashed in Whitby in 1890, his TARDIS presumably damaged by the flare of regeneration energy. He was recovered by none other than Bram Stoker, who he swiftly hypnotized into becoming his slave. Over the next week, Bram Stoker found himself compelled to bring creatures to the Master for him to draw the life energy from, but he rebelled when the Master commanded him to bring a human being to him. Stoker broke free of the Master’s influence and actually managed to intervene and save a friend from the wrathful Time Lord. The final confrontation happened in the graveyard of St. Mary’s Church, where the entrance to the Master’s TARDIS had been disguised as a grave.
Mark Wright’s story is a smart one, taking advantage of the real history behind the story of Dracula. In reality, Stoker actually was inspired to write Dracula after a trip to Whitby in 1890, although granted it was rather less dramatic; he talked to sailors about local legends, read a key section from a book in the library, and went on to visit St. Mary’s Church. It seems that, in the world of Doctor Who, events were far more dramatic – and the Master inspired the creation of one of history’s greatest fictional monsters.
More: Doctor Who Theory: The Master Is A Timeless Child Too
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