Season 8

Series -18
"Oh, me? But I am naught but a humble and innocent illegal arms dealer!"  You totally read that in his voice, didn't you?
"Oh, me? But I am naught but a humble and innocent illegal arms dealer!" You totally read that in his voice, didn't you?
About Time
Began 2 January 1971
Ended 19 June 1971
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Season 8 was notable for being the start of the Master in general, launched with probably the best actor to play him until Alex MacQueen came along. It also introduces us to Katy Manning as Jo Grant. Both the Master and Jo Grant ultimately make this series more like Sherlock Holmes meets The Avengers meets James Bond. And it was almost as awesome as the prior season as a result of this.

Serials of Season 8

Episode Title Written By Description
Terror of the Autons Robert Holmes The Autons return with the new villain, the Mattress, as their Supreme Commander of their armed forces. The Master tries to eliminate their greatest threat by hypnotizing Jo Grant into blowing up the UNIT headquarters, but given what a dithery klutz she is, he probably didn't need to go through all of that trouble.
The Mind of Evil Don Houghton The plot all adds up in the end, but it's far too complicated for this particular description. After feeding a Mind Parasite on the addled brains of prisoners a la A Clockwork Orange, the Master prepares to use it to sabotage a peace conferance and thus toast the planet in a nuclear holocaust. Frankly, the Master went through a lot of trouble to do something that could have been achieved by means of simply telling China that Japan was secretly making fun of them.
The Claws of Axos Bob Baker & Dave Martin The Axos gestalt tries to befriend the Earth while the Doctor learns from the Master that Axos is really trying to force the Earthlings to learn the wonders of hentai...or else...
Colony in Space Malcolm Hulke The Master and the Doctor meet each other on the planet Tatooine for the Doctor to discover that the Master wants a weapon that can make planets go boomie. A tiny baby-man mutant doesn't like this idea, and the Doctor agrees with him.
The Dæmons Guy Leopold & Barry Letts During Beltane, the Master summons an evil Mr. Tumnus in order to hand him the authority to rule over the planet entirely. The Doctor is not amused, and when Evil Mr. Tumnus tries to hand him this power over the Earth, the Doctor goes "do not want!"


Oh gosh, this season is markedly underrated, which to be fair, is probably a result of the prior season being so good, and replacing a based companion with a less-based-but-still-based-in-the-grand-scheme-of-things-companion. However, it's also underrated by Tennant fangirls who want every Master to be like John Simm and don't understand why a season can be dedicated to using the character.

Terror of the Autons is often terribly underrated and overlooked for reasons that sometimes boggle my mind. It is padded out a bit more than necessary though, given that there is this unending game of cat-and-mouse between the Doctor and the Master, and the Master keeps getting the upper hand whether or not it makes sense for him to do so because HE IS DA MASTRE! This serial is simply dedicated to showcasing his character and Jo Grant, while using a lot of Autons to play it safe. All of this being said, it's a remarkably creative story that goes slightly more into the details of how Autons are made, and conveys excellent acting on the part of most of the cast. I might add that the Autons are far more varied, and there are some decent special effects in order to realize them. 8/10

The Mind of Evil is almost certainly the best story of this season, likely the best Master story in general, and likely the third or fourth best Third Doctor story in general. It is a long one, but its length can be justified by its plot and by just not watching the whole damn thing in one sitting. It is creepy, has the Master largely acting alone outside of humans whose minds he warped, which is probably how he's best used, it is a political story, the plot is a weird balance of being complicated but also logical enough to be easy-to-follow, and the special effects are decent. And the Master's worst fear is explored here, so the Master largely has the upper hand over the Doctor while the story reminds us that the Master is not invincible. And his worst fear? The same as anybody's: Jon Pertwee laughing at him! 9/10

The Claws of Axos is a mite underwhelming compared to the last two, but it's also clever as it has the Master in distress (maybe Ian Levine should make that into a song) and has weird and alien sets to justify the alien concepts it deals with. 7/10.

Colony in Space is the weakest of this run, but it's still horribly underrated. The fact it was the first Master story to get a Target novelization should be an indicator that it isn't pure poison. It has a plot, but the conflict is a bit forced and the Doctor hardly has a chance to have the upper hand at all until almost nearly the end and almost as an act of deus ex machina, but not quite. That's the one problem with this season, they made the Master a mite OP, they made the Master like this kid who isn't fun to play cops and robbers with because he always has super-armor, super-bombs, and a super-authority card, and this story is probably the worst case of this for this season. RTD didn't do any better though. In fact he made this worse. Anyway this story is a 6/10

The Dæmons is the second best story of this season, with the Master actually biting off more than he can chew, while still being dangerous anyway. It is a truly spooky and exciting story filled with a lot of inventive ideas, and it can easily be watched in one sitting. 9/10.

Overall, this season is GOAT. Not as GOAT as the last one, but still GOAT. I'd rate it an 8/10

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