With Missy/ The Master returning we thought it would be good to take a look back at a few of the classic series stories that feature The Master.
The Keeper of Traken
By Johnny Byrne
“A new body at last.”
The Doctor and Adric are invited to Traken or diverted to Traken by the Keeper. The Keeper needs The Doctor to help him to prevent evil to take over the source when he dies. It appears that a calcified statue called Melkur that had appeared on Traken many years ago hasn’t desolved into the ground as most things that are evil do. The Keeper is worried that when he dies that somehow Melkur would find a way to get possession of the source and threaten all the tranquility of the Traken Union.
Now with the suspicion being planted on them and the council overreacing Tremus has decided to believe them and decides to have The Doctor and Adric in his care. What they do not know is the Melkur is using Tremus wife Kassia, who was once the one who took pity on Melkur and seems to have a bit of a relationship with it, is in league with Melkur and is in fact his agent. She has been manipulating things so Tremus wouldn’t become Keeper and stay with her. But what The Doctor has discovered is that she is the one being manipulated and it will cost Kassia her life and Traken it’s Keeper as a familiar foe makes his triumphant return.
I loved the fact that they brought The Master back to human form. By using the power of the Keeper to allow The Master to enter a body was a pretty good idea. In fact they hinted at it in episode 4 before he takes over Tremus by having The Master attempt to do it to The Doctor before the Source rejected him. When I first watched The Keeper of Traken you did not know that The Master was Melkur so it was a really good reveal in episode 3 when he turned in his chair and said I’m free. That was a really good moment and even the moment he takes over Tremus as there were not any spoilers over the internet in that day. So seeing what happens was pretty cool and a good surprise.
The Keeper of Traken is another great performance for Tom Baker. With the clock winding down on him he gives us another wonderful performance in his penultimate story. During the E- Space trilogy he did not look like he was having fun at all. The Keeper of Traken must have been a different scenario for him or he just was relieved that he was leaving or JNT wasn’t bothering him or something like that. But he does up his performance from the previous three stories especially Warriors’ Gate where he was ill during that.