William Shatner As Doctor Who’s Next Master?

The worlds of Star Trek and Doctor Who are colliding this week with some buzz around the notion of William Shatner appearing in Doctor Who as a classic villain. Could Bill be the next evil Time Lord to face The Doctor. He seems open and so is the actor who plays The Doctor. However the show’s executive producer doesn’t seem so keen. Get all the details below.


Master Shatner?

This week the worlds of Star Trek and Doctor Who have come into contact (and not just in the new comic book crossovers). It all started a few days ago on Twitter when When William Shatner answered a fan’s question about possibly playing the classic Doctor Who villain "The Master."

The Master, like the Doctor, is a Time Lord, however he is an evil time lord. And like The Doctor, many actors have portrayed The Master over the decades of Doctor Who on TV. 

William Delgado as "The Master" (1971-1973) – Could William Shatner take on the role?

At a BBC press event this week (promoting the Doctor Who Christmas episode) the new Doctor Matt Smith was asked what he thought of the notion of William Shatner being the next Master and he seemed quite enthused, saying…

Smith: Really? We would love to have William Shatner on Doctor Who I’m sure. He is a sci-fi god.

Indeed Smith speaks the truth, however the show’s executive producer Steven Moffat seemed to pour water on the notion, saying there were no plans (if the Master returns) to replace the latest actor who had the part…and if there were their might even be a fight…

Moffat: William Shatner as the Master that would be confusing, he is Captain Kirk. It is confusing enough that there are two Captain Kirks now. I love William Shatner, I think he is wonderful…Are we thinking of William Shatner as the Master? If I were I wouldn’t tell you, but John Simm is the Master. John Simm would beat him up if he thought he would have his part nicked.

So it looks like Shatner is probably not going to be franchise jumping.

John Simm as "The Master" – would fight Shatner for the part

Who and Trek? – Ask Simon

Speaking of franchise jumpers. There is a notable Star Trek star who has appeared in Doctor Who. Simon Pegg (the new Scotty) played "The Editor" in the Doctor Who episode "The Long Game," which aired in 2005, two years before the actor was cast in JJ Abrams’ Star Trek. Watch Simon below in a BBC behind the scenes video from Doctor Who

Source: Getty (via Den of Geek)

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Now that would be interesting. The Shat was over here hosting ‘Have I got news for you’, and was brilliant.

Do they still do Who holiday one-offs? That’d be a perfect opportunity.

Its about time that Shatner did another serious acting job. He is seriously under-rated as an actor, and to anyone who disagrees, I urge them to check out Star Trek 3.

If you’d like to check out the trailer for the Doctor Who Xmas special, click the link…


After The Shat did his Big Giant Head character in Third Rock From the Sun, he started being well known for his comedic skills. Then of course Boston Legal came along; he was the “edy” part of “dramedy,” it seems. These days, to all the kids, he’s the Priceline Negotiator who, oh yeah, almost forgot, was some captain of some starship a long time ago…. ;-)

Anyway, I recently wrote an article on The Shat returning to Hamilton, Ontario, Canada (it’s posted on my blog) that in retrospect seems rather wistful. Heck, I practically wrote an eulogy for him, saying that his career was winding down, and I was wrong in that he still has so much vitality. He has more energy than some people younger than half his age.

Kirk would be proud!

“William Shatner as the Master that would be confusing, he is Captain Kirk. It is confusing enough that there are two Captain Kirks now.”

Errr, well…this coming from the producer of a show that has a new actor portraying the Doctor every other year…now THAT is confusing. As long as thy don’t plan on crossing over the two universes at some point, there would be nothing wrong with the Shat being the next Master…

Returning to Hamilton? He’s from Montreal, no?

IMO, Shatner was only good in serious roles when he underplayed and/or was constrained by a director. He tended to get jokey/hammy/muggy/smug/Shatnery There was a TV movie with Cybil Shepherd where he was just full Shatner instead of a character. Even a couple of jokey bits “in Shatner’s full — “this is funny, I’m joking, see” voice that were cut from TWOK really, really didn’t work.

And, yes, he was terrific in Trek III. Pure James T. Kirk, hardly any Shatner. Welll, “The answer is no. I am therefore going anyway” was a little Shatnery.

Wow, good answer from Shatner though. ‘I’lll defer to Neil Gaiman.’

I’m a jerk for thinking Shatner wouldn’t know who Neil Gaiman is.

@Jack (6), that’s why I put “Canada” in the description. ;-)

Canada is about 1/9th the size of the U.S. by population, even though it’s larger in geographical size, and most of its people live within a very small band of land, latitudinally, within maybe 60 miles of the United States border.

Montreal is alsosignificantly English-speaking within the Province of Quebec, which makes it kinda like an Ontario city, though not really. although, of course, these days, Montreal is probably becoming much more francophone, as people who post from Montreal might be able to confirm.

I believe that Mr. Shatner has always considered himself a Canadian; I’m not sure he’s ever been naturalized as an American. I believe that Alan Thicke, another Canuck, has. As has Martin Short, I believe.

There’ve been tons of Canadians that have made it big in show biz, and Trek.

Wasn’t Commander Riker mistakenly believed by a character to have been Canadian, and had to correct the misconception by saying that he was from Alaska?

It’s kind of a shame that the best-known Canadian character in Trek is probably a villain from DS9!

By the way, the original Scotty was Canadian!

As a Trek fan, I do think Shater is a great actor. But not for Doctor Who. First of all, this is a British show. Shatner is not British. It would just seem out of place to have him in that role.

It’s Roger Delgado.

Anyone mind if I post something off-topic from this article? I just wanted to find the newest thread so it doesn’t get buried.

Just a ST plot that popped into brain, don’t know why. It would be a good story for a (graphic?) novel, or maybe on a new JJverse ST TV series. Not so much for a movie.


Federations scientists have perfected a technique to peer into parallel dimensions. They discover one of these has the planet Vulcan, but it is uninhabited.

Can the crew of the Enterpise (or other ship/cast) figure out a way to “get” that alternate planet Vulcan into their own universe and restore Vulcan so that Vulcans can get their planet back, and re-settle there??

I’d watch it, thoug it appears to be nothing more thn fan chatter that’s taken on a life of its own.

Whyis Simon Pegg still being refered to as ‘the new Scotty’? Chris Pine isn’t being called ‘the new Kirk’, and Nimoy isn’t being called ‘the old Spock’…..

Yeah, slow day.

Wait a minute, Shatner is Canadian. Isn’t that just like being British?

Oh! And Carol Marcus and her teenage son David can be in it to help!! (some hot boy-actor for the tween girls (and some boys). Kirk discovers his son earlier than the previous story of TWOK in the original universe.

I’m not really enthused either to see Shatner as the Master. Not because It should be played by a Brit, but because I don’t see him in the role. (I can easily see Leonard Nimoy, however, inheriting the Master’s Nehru jacket…) However, If they can find a role for Shatner on Doctor Who, I’d love to see him there!

“William Shatner as the Master that would be confusing, he is Captain Kirk. It is confusing enough that there are two Captain Kirks now.”

Well Mr Moffat, how confusing is it having Benedict Cumberbatch playing Sherlock, he IS John Harrison!…….. Or is he?!!!

9–by your logic, were you against Cavill being cast as Superman? Superman is an American franchise. Cavill is British.

Cumberbatch was mentioned for the Master last year. The rumour was it depended on his schedule. Both his parents have appeared in Dr Who so I’d be surprised if he doesnt want to appear in it in some form.

The Master? No, I think not.

But another TimeLord more suited to his talents? The Meddling Monk! Shatner would be perfect…

;). That’s like telling an Albertan that Calgary and Edmonton are the same thing. I’ve lived in Montreal, and it’s a quite different city than Hamilton (although it’s probably more like Hamilton than it’s like Toronto — physically, at least). Shatner’s from NDG, I believe. Which is ostensibly still anglophone, but still pretty French. Apart from the West, Montreal is primarily francophone, I’d argue.

I’ve been a huge fan of Doctor Who since its’ return in 2005, and I must say that John Simm as the Master was one of the show’s best performances. His incredible mix of rage, playfulness, psychosis, and sympathy would be so hard to match, much less top. I love Shatner, but I can’t help feeling like his performance would pale in comparison.

At this point its more like “Dr. Why Bother”

Shatner as The Master (hugely overacting): “Doctor, I’m going to seek-out…brave…new…worlds… and BOLDLY… destroy them… and YOU. You MUST… understand that!!!!”

Or “STRANGE… new worlds”, whichever your taste.

Um… No.

@Jack (20), thanks for your response. I defer to your expertise on Montreal.

I lived for a very brief period in Montreal more than forty years ago, for a very brief period of time, and I’m afraid I don’t remember anything of it.

Montreal was, is, and will be a very cosmopolitan North American city and I’m sorry that language politics and the Tremblay thing is tarring it currently. For the longest time, it was THE place to be in Canada, until Toronto took its crown.

I wish this whole anglophone versus francophone thing, worsened by new Provincial election, would just go away.

Anyway, it’s good of you to keep track of things Canadian! Trek is much more Canadian than most people think.

Aw, pleeeeeeeease!
Just send the TARDIS careening into the MAKESNOSENSE dimension, and let er rip.

Also… “Nipples!” Love it. Brits are the best cussers.

If we’re talking about Trek captains doing Who, I’d rather see Patrick Stewart do it.

Sci-fi God, William Shatner. Nice.

Cool! Quite frankly, I have no problem at all on whether or not William Shatner (or at least Sir Patrick Stewart) would play the Master in a new season of “Doctor Who.”

All we need now is for that rumour about Patrick Stewart being cast as Meddling Monk a few years back to come true and we could have a Time Lord/Trek Captain face-off!

I don’t understand why the Moff would say it couldn’t work. He could be an incarnation of the Master without replacing Simms.

yes to the shat being in doctor who, no to him being the master john Simms is great as the master

the shat playing a bad guy i down with that

” It is confusing enough that there are two Captain Kirks now.”

And I suppose having 11 Doctor’s isn’t confusing to anyone at all?

Maybe think about your answer a bit more Moffat before just blurting something out.

Billie Piper should sing the “Into Darkness” theme song

Shatner could be in Dr Who as another villain.

Then again the way the comics are going there is no reason he could not appear as Captain Kirk.

As for the Doctors they all try to be like Tom Baker. Before Baker each doctor had his own personality, now they all try to be the same.

John Simm must come back as the Master. The Shat could have some random guest stint on an episode, but I don’t see him playing an established character like the Master.

Shatner’s awesome, but I would love to see John Simm come back for more Mastery goodness somehow. Break him out of that time lock!

Shatner wouldn’t be a very good Master, but he’d a FANTASTIC Meddling Monk (for those who don’t know, the Monk is another Time Lord who isn’t so much ‘evil’ as… ethically challenged. Probably the closest Who has to a Harry Mudd)

Here’s a good fanvid that sums the Monk up, actually… http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JdD6lEAnQOg

why doesn’t he just go away already !!!!!!!!!!!

This isn’t buzz, it’s just people talking about “what ifs”. Misleading headline.

The actor that originally played the Master on Doctor Who from 1971-1973 is Roger Delgado, not William Delgado.

I wonder why Doctor Who isn’t bigger than it is in the ‘States or Canada. (I do realize that it has a loyal following, but it’s invisible in the entertainment media.) Generally speaking, I used to watch DW on PBS stations, but it’s never been picked up on commercial stations, that I know of.

I understand the idea that it’s veddy veddy British, but still and all, it’s got some interesting SF conceits.

On a more general note, SF as a whole seems to come and go in waves on American television. The X Files was quite popular not too long ago.

Literally the only good thing about new Doctor Who is the occasional hot chick as a sidekick. Amy Pond, basically. Billie Piper and the black chick were alright too.

Otherwise, ditch this crap. Boring as hell, and the Doctor is always a goofy looking S.O.B. Annoying to sit through.

It’s on BBC America, BBC Canada, Space and was on the CBC for a few years (CBC co-produced it, sort of, for awhile… and also Torchwood).

A couple of years ago Tom Baker (The Doctor for most of the 70s and also the most popular and longest running of the ‘classic’ Doctors) also wanted to be the Master. The role of an aging Master who had forgotten who he was finally went to Derek Jacobi, and then Simm as the regenerated, pure evil master.

As for Stewart being the meddling monk or the Master, I think he could’ve worked as Timothy Dalton’s Time Lord bad guy in Tennant’s final story.

Also regarding visibility in the media, it’s interesting that while it’s UK popularity is slipping a bit, Doctor Who seems to be growing bigger in the US. Entertainment Weekly, TV guide and a few others have put it on the front cover.

Also perhaps Shatner could play the Celestial Toymaker, a cosmic Who bad guy who was played by the late Michael Gough (Also known as the original Alfred in the first four Batman movies) in one of the later Hartnell stories. The CT was going to return in one of Colin Baker’s stories (Gough had appeared in one of Davison’s, but as a different character-oddly the same story featured Colin Baker but not as the Doctor) but the messed up production of Colin’s run got that story canceled.

I’d be interested to see him in some role, maybe not the Master since he’s already been recently portrayed by Derek Jacobi and John Simm.

Capt Roykirk, it’s a British show but didn’t they film a whole series with Matt Smith in the US? It’s a bit late to object to one non-British guest star.

@44 I remember when Doctor Who first came here to the states. Commercial TV actually picked it up first, but it never caught on. Then public TV picked it up about a year later and it was extremely popular on PBS.