The Drane Institute is home to the galaxy’s most criminally deranged. Patients are kept locked away for the protection of themselves and the rest of the universe... with their most dangerous kept in active isolation.
The Master is one such convalescent. He has no memory of how he came to be there. All he knows for certain is he should be: his presence is part of a greater design.
Confiding in the institute's staff, the Master shares stories of love and loss, madness and glory... but there’s still a final twist in the tale: one the Master’s waiting to share with his enemies.
9.1 The Walls of Absence by James Goss
The Code Purgers of Chift have made a fortune cleaning up the galaxy’s code: subroutines assessed, and errors repaired. So when the Master loses his mind, quite literally, there is only one place he can turn.
9.2 The Long Despair by Tim Foley
On the ocean world of Mehr Kee, the Master enlists the help of a captain to voyage across its seas. Their target: a beacon on a distant isle, shining across the waves. But what deadly trials await?
9.3 The Life and Loves of Mr Alexander Bennett by Alfie Shaw
Alexander Bennett lives a normal life. He has a job, a girlfriend, a plan for the future... and a new home assistant - Maisu - that offers all the advice he could ever need... whether he wants it or not.
9.4 The Kicker by Trevor Baxendale
When a member of the Temporal Inquisition arrives at the Crane Institute, they discover more to the Master’s madness than meets the eye - and his secrets now threaten them all.
Recorded on: 4 October 2021 and 28 January 2022
Recorded at: The Soundhouse
Sir Derek Jacobi said: “The Master is such a wonderful character. His view on life and death is so unique and so funny. That's what's so attractive about him, because he loves his work. He enjoys the mayhem and the murder and the power. The more he's around, the better.”
Writer Alfie Shaw said: “The War Master is such a joy to write for as he’s so thoroughly evil and ruthless while also being capable of great charm. You can go a lot darker with the stories than in the ranges that are led by heroes. I like taking things as close to the line as we can in terms of darkness.”
Producer Scott Handcock said: “Ever since I started working with Sir Derek, I’ve been looking for an opportunity to reunite him with his I, Claudius co-star Dame Siân Phillips. I’ve been lucky enough to work with them both separately before, but I knew it would be a treat to get them together again. I just had to wait for the right script… and The Walls of Absence is a stunning piece for them both.
“And it’s not the only reunion. Jason Flemyng, who’ll be no stranger to sci-fi and fantasy fans, also gets to play off against Sir Derek again in The Long Despair. Then Jacob Dudman and Silas Carson, who have both appeared alongside the War Master in previous box sets, return to play two very different parts. It’s a performance tour de force from everyone!”
Scott Handcock, Derek Jacobi, Nicholas Briggs
Sir Derek Jacobi © Tony Whitmore
Dame Sian Philips © Paul Midcalf
Amanda Shodeko (Elaine Redfield), Jacob Dudman (Alexander Bennett) and Mateo Oxley (Glen Jackson)
Eva Pope (Sendaya), Jack Forsyth-Noble (Shilling), Lois Chimimba (Barthlolom) and Silas Carson (Drane)