Review by Jacob Licklider
With the acquisition of Eric Roberts returning to the role of the Master in The Diary of River Song, Ravenous 4, and Masterful, it became a matter of time before Big Finish Productions gave him his own spin-off box set. Announced in 2020, Master! is essentially a precursor to Big Finish’s new three disc box set model for releases going forward. Eric Roberts’ Master is also a character who does not actually have a fully fleshed out character. He is a character who was over the top and camp in his one television appearance, under the guidance of a director who simply did not understand who the Master was and didn’t allow Roberts to actually give any menace in his performance. Big Finish obviously worked to correct this in his first three appearances, but giving him a full length box set audiences finally get the chance to explore just what this version of the Master is and what he actually stands for. Master! contains three stories from three writers, all telling an overarching story of how Eric Roberts’ Master escaped the time vortex and was eventually tracked down by an assassin and the Daleks, and of course escaped. Interestingly unlike The War Master and Missy where the Master is a protagonist, Master! actually plays it with the Master directly the role of the antagonist, with each story essentially following other characters interacting with the Master and essentially trying to stop him from succeeding in each episode’s plan as things escalate towards the eventual conclusion.