Here’s Why Eric Roberts’ Version Of The Master Never Returned To Doctor Who


Doctor Who has been such a time-honored pillar of the TV landscape that Geoffrey Sax’s feature film, one that was initially released in ’96, is often overlooked.

Headed up by Paul McGann, who played the eighth incarnation of the beloved Time Lord, Sax’s TV movie was admittedly a bit of a flop, and failed to carve out much of an audience 20 years ago. Turns out it also heralded Eric Roberts’ first and last appearance in the Doctor Who franchise, as outgoing showrunner Steven Moffat revealed to Digital Spy that he never once considered bringing Roberts back as the Master for season 10’s show-stopping finale.

I like that TV movie and I liked him as the Master, I thought he was funny. But he’s not part… and sometimes this just happens… he’s not part, somehow, of anyone’s pantheon of Doctor Who. Not because he didn’t do well – he did do it well – and not because that film isn’t good – it is quite good – it’s just not really there.

The Master has been a fixture of the Doctor Who universe since its inception, and was recently brought to life by John Simm, as Peter Capaldi’s Time Lord confronted the Cybermen. And while those who supported the TV movie will be a little disappointed to hear that Eric Roberts, star of The Dark Knight and The Expendables, has bid adieu to the franchise, Moffat was no doubt more concerned with laying the groundwork for the future, rather than being caught up in the past.

And it all begins with Jodie Whittaker’s Time Lord. In anticipation of “Twice Upon a Time,” not to mention the unveiling of next week’s first-look teaser, the BBC has offered a sneak peek at the actress in the title role, before she takes point for Doctor Who season 11 sometime next year.