So yeah, I’ve heard the theories that Whovains think/hope/believe Rory Williams is the Master. My knee-jerk reaction was something along the lines of ‘Oh gawds, just like how River Song, Donna Noble, That Lady from End of Time, Martha, etc, was The Rani.’
I’ve done a lot of thinking since reading these ideas, and the somewhat compelling evidence to the affirmative that people have picked up on. So, here’s a complete thought work through from my point of view. Logic, yay!
1.) Rory hears a ‘banging in his head’ after River regenerates in ‘Let’s Kill Hitler.’
AFFIRMATIVE: That line is dismissed after Amy suggests that it’s ‘Just Hitler in the closet.’ There is absolutely no sound of Hitler banging on the closet door, nor any hints that he even put up a fight so much as fell into the closet disoriented from Rory’s punch. Not to mention, before, The Master has been known to begin feeling that sound of drums in his head when something Time-Lord-ish happens around him, like mentions of regenerations and Gallifrey in the episode Utopia.
NEGATIVE: It could’ve just been the fact that some extremely intense moment that practically nukes all senses just to witness has occurred before Rory’s eyes, like how one sees weird things in their eyes after looking directly into a flash. Not to mention, Rory’s sensitive spirit could still be reeling a bit from the fact that he’s just knocked out history’s greatest villain. I know my head (not to mention my fist) would be throbbing a bit.
2.) River Song is half Time Lord.
AFFIRMATIVE: The explanation given that River was conceived aboard the TARDIS and was therefore made part-Time Lady was pretty rubbish, considering canon. Time Lord are nearly impossible to create, even partially. If this were a legitimate way to create a Time Lord, then why didn’t the population of Gallifrey just have tons of sex while in transit in their TARDIS-es? There wouldn’t exactly be an extinction issue if this was valid.
NEGATIVE: The explanation could just be legit, and Moffat is blowing holes into the DW canon…hey, it’s happened before.
3.) Rory didn’t have a room in ‘The God Complex.’
AFFIRMATIVE: That does seem a little fishy. Even The Doctor had a room, and a character who’s been written purposefully to lead us to believe he’s a candy-ass wuss would probably be the FIRST person we’d suspect to have a room in that place. PRAISE HIM!
NEGATIVE: The Master totally had his fears and things to lose faith in. He feared his permanent demise. He lost faith in Gallifrey and the Time Lord empire so badly he tried to make Earth ‘The Next Gallifrey.’ Plus, there are hints that Rory DID have a room in TGC, and it was filled with a nasty Phys. Ed teacher he had as a kid.
4.) Rory gets increasingly irritable, defensive, and physical as his travels progress.
AFFIRMATIVE: This tidbit goes under the heading of ‘the more exposed he is to The Doctor when in disguise for whatever reason, he’ll start becoming more like himself again.’ That explains itself.
NEGATIVE: Did you notice that even after the wedding at the end of Series 5, Amy is still a little flirt with little regard to her husbands’ feelings? Her bond with The Doctor is really strong, and Amy is a pretty good candidate for a divorce from all the flirting, touching, and goofy shit she does with The Doctor. Would YOU be able to watch YOUR spouse do that without getting increasingly ticked off? If so, you need couples’ therapy.
5.) Rory showed no surprise in the TARDIS being bigger on the inside, when absolutely every compainion has practically had that TARDIS-Walk-Around Initiation scene.
AFFIRMATIVE: Yeah, that scene really has become the companion-initiation scene, hasn’t it? Do they audition new actors with that scene? So to have a newbie walk onto the TARDIS and be like ‘mehh’ is weird.
NEGATIVE: Rory first stepped on to the TARDIS spitting mad and utterly confused. Remember those circumstances? The Doctor shows up at his Stag Party announcing that he’s kissed Amy? Yeah, he’s the type of guy to let the one thing that bothers him consume his entire thought processes. It probably caught on slowly once those stupid Twilight-knockoff vampires were defeated.
6.) Rory dies a lot, but ALWAYS comes back.
AFFIRMATIVE: That trait IS very Master-like, isn’t it? Always coming back, even if the ways of doing so are ridiculous.
NEGATIVE: Kenny dies and comes back a lot. Is he The Master?
WHAT I HAVE TO ADD:
We have one episode left until the fall finale (and until we get back to Oswin…yay!). If the big departure of The Ponds had to do with Rory being unveiled as The Master, don’t you think THIS season would’ve had a bit more Master-buildup? The ENTIRE third series had ‘Harold Saxon’ and fobwatches popping up all over. Granted, Moffat doesn’t seem to roll that way, but I still think there’d be a bit more hinting, especially with the Pond ending so close now. The buildup and spoiler alerts are pointing to a much more obvious ‘Rory and Amy get beaned by the Weeping Angels’ idea, and that includes the now-well-known evidence from The Eleventh Hour where his hospital ID has a wonky date on it that makes no sense.
With Moffat-style hangups, cliffhangers, and mysteries, what you see is basically what you get. He kind of sucks as the element-of-surprise thing that Davies did so well. The Fobwatch has been done twice on the show already. It will not be used again. So that in itself makes enough of an argument to throw the human-disguise idea away.
Plus, we’ve seen Rory as a child…a rather dimwitted one at that. The Master would probably not have disguised himself as a child and grown up as an Earth kid for whatever plan he had going. The Master has enough arrogance and pride to find a way around that.
But, honestly, I think the absolute most compelling piece of evidence that we have against this theory is Amy Pond. The Master has already taken a human wife. As you can recall, this did not end well. And that relationship was less about intimacy and love than Rory/Amy is (one-sided though it may be), and more about The Master creating his whole ‘I’ve been on Earth for longer than 18 months’ planted evidence. I cannot picture even a completely fobatched-Master developing an intimate love relationship with a human over the course of many years that’d he’s sit in front of a giant box to await her revival because he loves her so damn much. Rory was devastated so that he confronted his wife about how one-sided their marriage was.
The Master would’ve given up on Amy years ago. The Master married Lucy because she was a lost little sheep who was transfixed by him. And after she, you know, shot him, and then attempted to thwart his return in End of Time A, I think The Master would’ve gotten the message about ‘playing with Earth girls.’ Amy’s much more independent-oriented ways would’ve held too much of a threat to The Master’s plans for him to want to get in with her.
My conclusion: Rory is not The Master. The evidence is all falsely-planted or throw-away lines that can otherwise be explained. I think Rory and Amy are going to get ‘touched by Angels’ next week and sent back far enough for Rory to get his nursing license on November 30, 1990 (even though that’s not too ‘heartbreaking’ considering that’s only a one generation leap backwards for them anyway).
The Master’s time on the series, in my opinion, is done. Moffat seems to prefer inventing new series-long villains as opposed to bringing back Classic Who villains. In Series 5 we didn’t even HAVE a series-long villain (unless you count ‘The Crack’)! Series Six saw a brand-new Cult of The Silence and Madame Kovarian. We don’t even KNOW how Series 7 will end, as we aren’t even halfway through it.
If there’s any compelling evidence I overlooked, feel free to bring it to my attention. Until next week, keep speculating, my fellow Whovians!