Later this year sees the release of ‘The Man Behind the Master’, a biography of Anthony Ainley, who played the Doctor’s rival renegade Time Lord, the Master, from 1981 to 1989. He reprised the role briefly in a bizarre computer game, The Destiny of the Doctors, but let’s not go there.
Ainley took over the role of the Master from Geoffrey Beevers in ‘The Keeper of Traken’. It is said that it was Ainley’s performance as Rev. Emilius in ‘The Pallisers’ that got him the role as the then producer of Doctor Who, John Nathan-Turner, also worked on The Pallisers.
He embraced the role with gusto and there are countless stories of how invested in it he was, even to the point of often answering the telephone by saying “This is the Master!” and laughing manically.
Karen Louise Hollis is the author of the new biography and has said of her experience collecting the information:
“This is the first time all aspects of his life have been drawn together. I have had the pleasure of interviewing a number of friends and colleagues from every aspect of Anthony’s life, and examined the archives to bring together the most complete and fascinating story.”
The biography is set for general release some time later this year, but is already available to order directly from Fantom Publishing, signed by the author. So, nab a copy while you can!
Although known to an audience of millions the world over for his portrayal of The Doctor’s arch nemesis The Master in Doctor Who during the 1980’s, Anthony Ainley had a prolific career which encompassed starring roles in Spyders Web and It’s Dark Outside, as well as appearances in renowned dramas such as The Pallisers, Elizabeth R, Nicholas Nickleby, Upstairs, Downstairs, and cult films including Blood On Satan’s Claw and The Land That Time Forgot.
But the dramas in Anthony’s real life were far more fascinating than any of the many parts he played on screen. Born the illegitimate son of actor Henry Ainley, and taken into care at the Actors’ Orphanage at the age of four, Fantom presents the hidden story behind one of Doctor Who’s most enigmatic characters.