The War Master
Big Finish Productions audio drama
SeriesThe Worlds of Doctor Who
FeaturingThe Master
Written byvarious
Directed byScott Handcock
Produced byScott Handcock (2017-2024) Robert Valentine (2024-present)
Executive producer(s)
StarringSir Derek Jacobi
  • Ioan Morris (S1, S3, S5, S7)
  • Rob Harvey (S2, S4, S6, S8)
Release dateDecember 2017 (2017-12)

The War Master, announced in June 2017, is a Big Finish Productions audio play series based on the TV show Doctor Who. It sees the return of Sir Derek Jacobi as the Master, a role he previously portrayed in the TV story "Utopia". The first volume consists of a four-CD box set; it was released in December 2017.[1] In July 2018, a further 3 series were confirmed for release between December 2018 – December 2019.[2][3]

In January 2019, Paul McGann was confirmed as an appearance within the third series, Rage of the Time Lords, as the Eighth Doctor alongside Jacobi.[4][5][6] Seán Carlsen reprised his role as Narvin from the Gallifrey series alongside Pippa Bennett-Warner and Nicholas Briggs as Livia and the Daleks.

The series was created by Scott Handcock, who is the producer of the range as well as director and script-editor for sets released between 2017 and 2024. It was announced that he will be succeeded by Robert Valentine, after Handcock became a script editor for future series of Doctor Who on screen.[7][8]


List indicator(s)

This section shows characters who will appear or have appeared in at least one season.

Actor Character Appearances
S1 S2 S3 S4 S5 S6 S7 S8 S9 S10 S11
Sir Derek Jacobi The Master
Mark Gatiss Does not appear Does not appear
Seán Carlsen Narvin Does not appear Does not appear Does not appear
Paul McGann The Doctor Does not appear Does not appear Does not appear
David Tennant Does not appear Does not appear
Jonny Green Cole Jarnish Does not appear Does not appear
Nicholas Briggs The Daleks Does not appear Does not appear Does not appear
Sherlock Holmes Does not appear Does not appear

Notable guests


Series 1: Only the Good (2017)

No.TitleDirected byWritten byFeaturingReleased
1"Beneath the Viscoid"Scott HandcockNicholas BriggsDaleksDecember 2017 (2017-12)
2"The Good Master"Scott HandcockJanine H JonesCole Jarnish, DaleksDecember 2017 (2017-12)
3"The Sky Man"Scott HandcockJames GossCole JarnishDecember 2017 (2017-12)
4"The Heavenly Paradigm"Scott HandcockGuy AdamsCole JarnishDecember 2017 (2017-12)

Series 2: The Master of Callous (2018)

No.TitleDirected byWritten byFeaturingReleased
1"Call for the Dead"Scott HandcockJames GossOod, Martine King, Cassandra KingDecember 2018 (2018-12)
2"The Glittering Prize"Scott HandcockJames GossOod, Martine King, Cassandra KingDecember 2018 (2018-12)
3"The Persistence of Dreams"Scott HandcockGuy AdamsOod, Martine King, Cassandra KingDecember 2018 (2018-12)
4"Sins of the Father"Scott HandcockGuy AdamsOod, Narvin, Cassandra KingDecember 2018 (2018-12)

Series 3: Rage of the Time Lords (2019)

No.TitleDirected byWritten byFeaturingReleased
1"The Survivor"Scott HandcockTim FoleyAlice PritchardJuly 2019 (2019-07)
2"The Coney Island Chameleon"Scott HandcockDavid LlewellynGiuseppe SabatiniJuly 2019 (2019-07)
3"The Missing Link"Scott HandcockTim FoleyEighth Doctor, Alice PritchardJuly 2019 (2019-07)
4"Darkness and Light"Scott HandcockDavid LlewellynEighth DoctorJuly 2019 (2019-07)

Series 4: Anti-Genesis (2019)

No.TitleDirected byWritten byFeaturingReleased
1"From the Flames"Scott HandcockNicholas BriggsNarvin, LiviaDecember 2019 (2019-12)
2"The Master's Dalek Plan"Scott HandcockAlan BarnesNarvin, Livia, DaleksDecember 2019 (2019-12)
3"Shockwave"Scott HandcockAlan BarnesNarvin, Livia, Daleks, The Master (Unbound)December 2019 (2019-12)
4"He Who Wins"Scott HandcockNicholas BriggsNarvin, Livia, Daleks, The Master (Unbound)December 2019 (2019-12)

Series 5: Hearts of Darkness (2020)

No.TitleDirected byWritten byFeaturingReleased
1"The Edge of Redemption"[9]Scott HandcockDavid LlewellynNarvinOctober 2020 (2020-10)
2"The Scaramancer"[9]Scott HandcockLisa McMullinOctober 2020 (2020-10)
3"The Castle of Kurnos 5"[9]Scott HandcockDavid LlewellynEighth DoctorOctober 2020 (2020-10)
4"The Cognition Shift"[9]Scott HandcockLisa McMullinEighth DoctorOctober 2020 (2020-10)

Series 6: Killing Time (2021)

No.TitleDirected byWritten byFeaturingReleased
1"The Sincerest Form of Flattery"Scott HandcockJames GossAugust 2021 (2021-08)
2"A Quiet Night In"Scott HandcockLou MorganJo JonesAugust 2021 (2021-08)
3"The Orphan"Scott HandcockLou MorganNyssaAugust 2021 (2021-08)
4"Unfinished Business"Scott HandcockJames GossAugust 2021 (2021-08)

Series 7: Self-Defence (2022)

No.TitleDirected byWritten byFeaturingReleased
1"The Forest of Penitence"[10]Scott HandcockLou MorganJune 2022 (2022-06)
2"The Players"[10]Scott HandcockUna McCormackJune 2022 (2022-06)
3"Boundaries"[10]Scott HandcockLizbeth MylesCole JarnishJune 2022 (2022-06)
4"The Last Line"[10]Scott HandcockLizzie HopleyTenth DoctorJune 2022 (2022-06)

Series 8: Escape from Reality (2022)

No.TitleDirected byWritten byFeaturingReleased
1"The Wrath of Medusa"[11]Scott HandcockRochana PatelDaleks, Medusa, Perseus, HecateDecember 2022 (2022-12)
2"The Shadow Master"[11]Scott HandcockLizzie HopleyThe ShadowDecember 2022 (2022-12)
3"The Adventure of the Deceased Doctor"[11]Scott HandcockAlfie ShawSherlock Holmes, Dr. WatsonDecember 2022 (2022-12)
4"The Master of Dorian Gray"[11]Scott HandcockDavid LlewellynDorian GrayDecember 2022 (2022-12)

Series 9: Solitary Confinement

No.TitleDirected byWritten byFeaturingReleased
1TBAScott HandcockTBDTBAJune 2023 (2023-06)
2TBAScott HandcockTBDTBAJune 2023 (2023-06)
3TBAScott HandcockTBDTBAJune 2023 (2023-06)
4TBAScott HandcockTBDTBAJune 2023 (2023-06)

Series 10: Rogue Encounters

No.TitleDirected byWritten byFeaturingReleased
1TBAScott HandcockTBDTBADecember 2023 (2023-12)
2TBAScott HandcockTBDTBADecember 2023 (2023-12)
3TBAScott HandcockTBDTBADecember 2023 (2023-12)
4TBAScott HandcockTBDTBADecember 2023 (2023-12)

Series 11: Future Phantoms

No.TitleDirected byWritten byFeaturingReleased
1TBAScott HandcockTBDTBAJune 2024 (2024-06)
2TBAScott HandcockTBDTBAJune 2024 (2024-06)
3TBAScott HandcockTBDTBAJune 2024 (2024-06)
4TBAScott HandcockTBDTBAJune 2024 (2024-06)

Awards and nominations

Name of the award ceremony, year presented, category, nominee(s) of the award, and the result of the nomination
Award ceremony Year Category Work(s) Result Ref.
BBC Audio Drama Awards 2019 Best Actor Derek Jacobi (Beneath the Viscoid) Shortlisted [12]
Scribe Awards 2019 Best Audio The Master of Callous Nominated [13]


  1. ^ "Doctor Who: The War Master". Big Finish Productions. 16 June 2017.
  2. ^ "War Master Returns". Big Finish Productions. 24 July 2018.
  3. ^ "Doctor Who bringing back Derek Jacobi as the Master for more audio adventures". Digital Spy. 25 July 2018.
  4. ^ "War Master vs Eighth Doctor - News - Big Finish".
  5. ^ "New Doctor Who drama sees Paul McGann's Eighth Doctor take on Derek Jacobi's War Master".
  6. ^ "Paul McGann's eighth Doctor will face Derek Jacobi's Master in Doctor Who spin-off". Digital Spy. 7 January 2019.
  7. ^ "The End of an Era for The War Master - News - Big Finish". Retrieved 22 November 2022.
  8. ^ "Scott Handcock joins Bad Wolf - News - Big Finish". Retrieved 22 November 2022.
  9. ^ a b c d "5. The War Master: Hearts of Darkness". Big Finish Productions. Retrieved 23 May 2020.
  10. ^ a b c d "Jacobi vs Tennant!". Big Finish Productions. Retrieved 4 August 2021.
  11. ^ a b c d "8. The War Master: Escape from Reality". Big Finish Productions. Retrieved 25 May 2022.
  12. ^ "The 2019 Shortlist". BBC.
  13. ^ "Previous Scribe Award Winners". 24 June 2013.