Doctor Who Betting Odds: Who Will Take Over Role Of The Master?
We love it when UK bookmakers take notice of pop culture events and offer odds on them.
This month marks the 60th anniversary since Doctor Who first appeared on screens in the UK.
With the hype in full swing, we’ve delved into the specials sections on UK betting sites to see what is on offer for Doctor Who.
In particular, we’ve looked at which classic villains will be making a return, with The Master providing a perfect candidate as the Doctor’s wily and ever-changing arch-nemesis.
Several actors have played the character since 1971, leading to constant fan speculation as to who will be the next Master on Doctor Who.
Will The Master Even Make An Appearance?
But first, we need to ask if the character will even make a return for the 60th-anniversary special episodes or during Ncuti Gatwa’s first season as the 15th Doctor.
Usually, each actor to play The Doctor is paired with his or her arch-nemesis.
However, there has been one huge exception in Matt Smith’s tenure as the 11th Doctor, whose storylines never intersected with any version of The Master.
This could lead to the possibility of a no-show from the villain during Ncuti Gatwa’s first season.
Who Will Play The Master Next On Doctor Who?
Specials betting sites had their number crunchers run the names of the top 13 fan-favourite actors that are probable castings in the role of The Master on Doctor Who. Here are the odds that would be offered:
Is Neil Patrick Harris Secretly Playing The Master?
Fans of the show are looking forward to the release of three special episodes featuring the return of David Tennant and Catherine Tate in the lead roles, facing a mysterious villain played by Neil Patrick Harris (2/1).
The character is currently listed as the Celestial Toymaker on IMDb, a villain from the classic Doctor Who era who has only appeared once on television in the 60s, making him a minor villain at best.
However, given Harris’ pedigree as an actor and the popularity of the Master character, many fans have been speculating that there will be a twist revealing that David Tennant’s 14th Doctor is once again battling his eternal adversary.
This would also be in line with previous examples of The Master’s appearance in the modern version of Doctor Who, with each one having a concealed identity at first before revealing their real one. We’d bet on those odds!
The Master Could Return With A Familiar Face
There’s also the possibility that the nostalgia-fest of the 60th-anniversary specials will spur the showrunners to bring back a popular actor to have played the Master in the past.
As David Tennant’s iconic foe from Series 3 and 4, it might be tempting to have John Simm (3/1 on betting apps) come back to face him.
The actor has also previously shown willingness to return to the show, having already made a re-appearance in series 10’s final few episodes back in 2017.
Could A Hollywood Actor Take Over Doctor Who Villain Role?
The current push into making Doctor Who a global phenomenon could result in a famous actor taking on the role for a short time.
Our favourite for this would be Tom Hiddleston, whose charisma and ability to play morally ambiguous characters could make for an intriguing interpretation of The Master.
The actor has just wrapped up his tenure as Loki on Marvel, so it’s more likely that the actor will become available for a guest spot.
Missy Instead Of Master?
New betting sites might also be offering odds on whether the Master will be played by a male or female actor.
Missy - the name the character chose for herself after Michelle Gomez was cast in the role - has already set a precedent for both time-lords to be played by either gender.
However, the role has been taken over most recently by Sacha Dawan (8/1) and a female Master hasn’t appeared since 2017.
Based on this fact, we reckon it’s more likely that the new/returning showrunner Russell T. Davies will lean towards casting a female actor as The Master (or Missy) to play off against Ncuti Gatwa’s electric on-screen presence.
This would offer fans a new interpretation of the redemptive relationship between the male Doctor and the female Master.
However, when considering the full historical context of the 60 years since Doctor Who started airing, there's a higher likelihood of the Master being portrayed by a male actor based on the historical distribution and a slightly lower likelihood of a female portrayal.
The actual casting decision may be influenced by various creative factors and the vision of the show's producers and writers.
* Reminder: These are hypothetical odds provided by industry experts.
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