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1/02/2014 06:16:00 pm - Reported by Chuck Foster

Moments in TimeThe next in our ongoing features on special moments within Doctor Who sees the commencement of Season Eight, and the arrival of one of the Doctor's greatest nemeses ...

Up until 1971, viewers had only been introduced to a mere few of the Doctor's own race. Surprisingly this first occurred quite early in the show's history, when the Doctor with his companions Steven and Vicki became involved in the nefarious plans of a fellow time traveller from the Doctor's home planet, but it wasn't until 1969 when the machinations of another of his contemporaries ultimately resulted in the Doctor having to contact his own people, leading to his own 'capture', 'trial', and subsequent exile to Earth by the Time Lords.

With a new Doctor effectively earthbound, protagonists had to come to him rather than vice versa, and the production team envisaged a regular adversary, one to match his wisdom and skills, an intellectual challenger in a similar vein to that between Sherlock Holmes and Moriarty. It made sense to make such a person one of his own race, so Barry Letts and Terrance Dicks settled on an old acquaintance from the Doctor's youth, another Time Lord renegade who would be both very familiar with and considered himself to be superior to the Doctor.

There was only one person in mind to portray such a character, and today's Moment in Time focuses on the debut of the Doctor's new "old" adversary in Terror of The Autons, as played so memorably by Roger Delgado ...

Suddenly Rossini heard a strange noise, a sort of wheezing, groaning, mechanical sound. It seemed to come from the furthest corner of the field. There, under the shade of a few trees, was parked the horsebox which held Madame Mariella's Prancing Ponies, three worn out old nags who could hardly manage a gallop let alone a prance. To his astonishment, Rossini saw that another horsebox was parked beside it - but this was a horsebox of a very different sort. Glossy and gleaming, brand-spanking new, the sort of horsebox to carry Derby winners to the racecourse - but what was it doing in his field? Why hadn't he seen it drive in?

Angrily, Rossini strode towards it. He peered suspiciously into the driver's cab: it was empty. Rossini marched round to the back and hammered on the rear doors, but as soon as his fist touched the door, he snatched it back in dismay - the horsebox tingled! He felt a hum of suppressed power, almost like an electric shock.

The Master arrives on Earth ... (Credit: BBC)The rear door snapped open, and a man stood, looking at him. Rossini saw a man of medium height, dressed in neat, dark clothing. He had a rather sallow face, with a small pointed beard, heavy eyebrows and dark, burning eyes. With a sudden flash of superstitious fear, Rossini thought the stranger looked like the devil ...

Rossini took a grip of himself, no funny-looking foreigner was going to frighten him! He was Luigi Rossini, the boss. He scowled up at the man angrily: "Who the heck are you?" The stranger came down the horsebox steps. He spoke in a deep voice, full of authority:

"I am usually referred to as the Master..."

(extract from the novelisation of Doctor Who and The Terror of The Autons by Terrance Dicks)