Rory is The Master!
I’m just in love with this theory right now!
The last centurion, the man who keeps dying…
Could it be that once again the Master, who has somehow escaped Rassilon and the great Time War, has been made human by a Chameleon Arc, therefore totally unaware of who he is and given a brand new existence and memories? Could he be the unassuming Rory Williams?
In “God Complex” he is the only one of all of them, even the Doctor, who doesn’t have a room that contains his greatest fear. The Doctor notices this and tells Rory that it’s because he has no faith or beliefs to fall back on therefore he’s useless to the Minotaur.
BUT. How could Rory possibly not believe in ANYTHING or ANYONE? Not even his beloved Amy? What sort of faithless, hopeless individual is he?
In the same episode, Rory says something very strange:
“Well, after all the time I spent with you in the TARDIS, what was left to be scared of?”
The Doctor is confused by this and points out that Rory said this in the past tense, which Rory then denies straight away, as if having confused himself. Why could this be? Did The Master once travel with The Doctor, in their days of youth? Could it have been an old memory momentarily resurfacing?
In “Let’s Kill Hitler”, after Melody regenerates into River Song, Rory complains of a “banging” in his head, which is glazed over with a comedic rebuff from Amy who says that the sound is probably Hitler banging against the cupboard door.
But there is no sound. None of the others seem to be able to hear this banging.
Could it be the drumming? The drumming that drove The Master mad?
Here is my slightly more long-winded contribution to the theory, which includes a bit of a history lesson, so sit tight:
The TARDIS cloister bell is an alarm system built into a Time And Relative Dimensions In Space vehicle that not only sends out a distress signal but also alerts its designated Time Lord occupants of extreme, grave danger to them and the TARDIS itself; danger coming from outside or in. In the case of The Doctor’s TARDIS (an old TT Type 40, Mark 3), which is designed to be piloted by 6 fully fledged, powerful Time Lords, one can imagine that the danger must be pretty great.
(Fun Fact: The cloister bell was first introduced in “Castrovalva”, the 5th Doctor’s first adventure, and exactly the same sound has been used for it ever since: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SuYbL0P5LAI). It truly is a haunting sound, I think.
Anyway, back to the theory, now that you know about the bell.
When The Master turned The Tardis into a Paradox Machine back at the end of the 4th Series, we hear the sound of the TARDIS cloister bell; a hollow, relentless clang that represents terrible danger for both the TARDIS and The Doctor.
When Donna later tells The Doctor of the warning that Rose Tyler gave her in the alternate reality: “Bad Wolf”, we hear the TARDIS cloister bell once again, as the Doctor explains the reference to the end of the universe.
And then finally in “God Complex”, when the Doctor opens the door to room number 11 to see what he fears the most, we don’t see what he sees. But the second he opens the door…
… we hear the TARDIS cloister bell.
Chime four times.
The heartbeat of a Time Lord.
Now while many people have theorized that what the Doctor fears most is himself or what he could become, it would make no sense for The Doctor’s TARDIS to make the cloister bell noise unless The Doctor and itself were under threat, as has been seen in the previous two examples. Therefore, the threat is not him, but something else.
What was it The Doctor saw? Daleks? Maybe. He certainly seemed terrified of the lone survivor in “Dalek”. But he has defeated them so many times before, even almost wiped them out.
But there is one enemy he could never bring himself to truly kill or successfully finish off. The one who seemingly cannot be destroyed. The one who represents the greatest threat. His biggest failure. The ‘other’ last Time Lord. The only other surviving member of a race of beings among the most powerful and potentially most dangerous in all of Time and Space…
Here’s the History Lesson!
The first time The Master ever appeared in Doctor Who was in “Terror of the Autons” (1971) against the 3rd Doctor. He was already in his 13th (and final, as allowed by Time Lord law) incarnation.
As this body’s life comes to an end in “The Keeper of Traken”, The Master manages to extend his natural lifespan by taking over the body of another person, therefore granting himself another 13 lives.
Eventually, The Master is brought to trial and executed fully and completely by the Daleks, with no chance of regeneration in “Doctor Who: The Movie” (1996) and The Doctor is tasked with escorting his ashes back to Gallifrey.
But incredibly, it seems that even as a pile of dust, the Master’s (somehow) still surviving consciousness regenerates his disintegrated remains into an amorphous serpent-type being (obviously there isn’t enough matter to regenerate a full body. He is likely able to do this out of sheer evil willpower and a total, incredible refusal to be killed.
The serpentine Master takes over yet another body, which this time cannot contain him for long and starts to die. Therefore he resolves to use The Eye of Harmony (a literal opening in the Time Vortex) to steal The Doctor’s remaining regenerations (which at this point number 5, remaining) to perpetuate his own life.
The Doctor defeats him though, and the Master is thrown into the Vortex, apparently dying.
Except that he didn’t die. Somehow he survived (or was rescued from the vortex by the Time Lords) and was recruited to fight in the great Time War by the Time Lords (who granted him yet another 13 regenerations, because apparently they have the power to do that). He fled, however, and so great was his fear and his need to escape this dreadful conflict, that he travelled to the end of the Universe, used a Chameleon Arc to change himself into a human, Professor Yana, and lose all memory of who and what he was.
It is unclear how many times the newly endowed Master had regenerated before he became the “Yana” incarnation, so we do not know how many he has remaining. He has regenerated at least once though, before becoming Yana, as he obviously is not the same Master who fell into the Eye of Harmony in the film.
Now, you all know what happens next, but I will recap anyway, for continuity’s sake.
When Yana is transformed by the Gallifreyan fobwatch into The Master once again, he is almost immediately killed by Chan ‘Tho. He regenerates.
However, when this incarnation of the Master dies, he refuses to regenerate, and allows his body to die completely rather than suffer the humiliation of losing to The Doctor and becoming his “pet” aboard the TARDIS.
We later discover that The Master tricked us. He once again preserved his (apparently indestructible) consciousness in a Gallifreyan signet ring (which has a similar functionality to the fobwatch), which is then recovered from his funeral pyre by member’s of a Coven still loyal to him and apparently aware of his Time Lord heritage.
The Members of the Master’s coven find the means to bring him back to life using the ring, and conduct the resurrection ritual at Broadfell prison, where Lucy Saxon (The Master’s Wife) was incarcerated. Lucy sabotages the ritual and the Master is returned to life with a failing, undead body and a ravenous hunger (he must consume vast amounts of food in order to maintain the energy levels that his body needs to stop it from dying).
So the point here is that we are unsure whether this body still has the ability to regenerate. We are assuming that it does not, however, because of his desperation to sustain it. Therefore once again, The Master is on his last body, his other regenerations robbed from him because of his botched resurrection.
The Master eventually discovers the truth of how he was manipulated for his entire 900 year existence by Rassilon, and turns on the President of the Time Lords, taking his revenge and forcing Rassilon and the other Lords of Time back into the time-locked (and therefore inaccessible by any means whatsoever) Time War, or “hell” as the Doctor calls it.
The Master is seemingly lost to us forever, but not necessarily killed. He is, rather, suspended in time, along with everything and everyone else involved in the Time War.
My overall theory is:
The Master is not necessarily dead.
True, he was battling Rassilon as he fell back into the war, and using up all the energy that was sustaining his fragile body in the process. Even if he survived the fight with Rassilon and the Time Lords on the other side, he would still have first had to replenish his body and then contend with the horrifying war raging around him that he could not escape from this time.
Nonetheless, he is, we assume, on a time-locked Gallifrey, the home planet of the Time Lords, with all their secrets and technology at his disposal.
Surely if the Lords of Time were previously able to grant him a new body and a new lifespan once, he could use the same means to do the same for himself again, perhaps even more so?
Perhaps on Gallifrey, amidst the chaos of the War, he found the means to make himself quite literally immortal, shedding the ‘Rule of 13’ that governed the physiology of the Time Lords, meaning that he could theoretically regenerate an infinite number of times!
And then would come the problem of finding his way out of the Time Lock and the War on endless replay, to reinsert himself into actual time.
My theory as to how he would do this is quite simple:
The War is Time-Locked, therefore particular places, events and people belong there and are trapped there. We know that The Master fled the Time War centuries beforehand. Therefore because he is not an actual part of the events and has ended up there by accident, could it be that he alone can escape because he was not part of the original Time Lock? Through this loophole, could he find a way to travel in time and space again?
Assuming he found a way to do this, would it be so far fetched, given all that we have seen The Master survive and achieve already, to presume that his latest body just so happens to look like Rory?
And by some eventuality (perhaps it was a necessity of breaking out of the Time Lock, maybe he had to be a species that was not involved in The War and that reality, in order for his escape to work according to the above theory), he becomes human once again thanks to a Chameleon Arc and ends up on Earth in the present day as a young boy, which his new body could well be?
He forgets who he was, meets a girl called Amelia Pond and lives his life as Rory Williams. We currently know nothing of Rory’s life prior to knowing Amy.
Somewhere, in a jacket or trouser pocket belonging to Rory Williams, could there be a little golden fobwatch with strange runes on it, that seems to almost whisper strangely… does Rory have strange dreams, glimpses and flashes of memories that he knows do not belong to him and yet seem hauntingly, inexplicably familiar…
The banging in his head when his daughter (The Time Lady, River Song) regenerates… the sound of drums?
A man with no faith, and no belief… A man who fears nothing and therefore cannot fall prey to the Minotaur… are those the traits of a normal human? Or even a normal Time Lord?
Could the Last Centurion…
…be The Master?
And (getting back to what the Doctor saw and heard in Room 11) if you were the Doctor, and you had a foe who could survive ALL THAT, and still come back, and still be just as evil, as powerful, as determined, and full of hatred, and yet SO important to you…
…would that not be your greatest fear?
Tell me what you think!