John Simm made a huge impression with “Doctor Who” fans with his popular portrayal of The Master in the revived series, but he won’t be returning this season to revive the character.
“In reply to many, regardless of what is says on IMDb, no I’m not returning to ‘Doctor Who,'” Simm recently told fans in his Twitter feed. “Got absolutely no plans to do so.”
The rumors started swirling heavy when Simms name apparently appeared in the cast of upcoming episodes of “Doctor Who” on Internet Movie Database, the popular database of Hollywood cast and crew. The database can be updated by any readers, although submissions are typically reviewed by site administrators before being added to the database.
However, that doesn’t mean that rumored or even false casting news can appear on the site, and information found there first should be taken with a grain of salt until officially confirmed.
Fans have been clamoring for The Master to return to the series in some shape or form — with some even rumoring that “Sherlock” and “Star Trek 2” star Benedict Cumberbatch was in talks to take on the role. Those rumors have been dismissed by “Sherlock” and “Doctor Who” showrunner Steven Moffat.
Simm first took on The Master in 2007, after a quick handoff by famed theater actor Derek Jacobi. He last portrayed The Master in 2010 in David Tennant’s final episode as The Doctor. His character seemed to push himself into a time lock with the rest of the Time Lords on Gallifrey in that episode, and it’s not clear how the character would return — although it is science-fiction, so anything is possible.
One thing that might help The Master and his image is if he came back as The Doctor’s companion. With Jenna-Louise Coleman set to take that role from Karen Gillan and Arthur Darvill, Moffat admits that “Doctor Who” actually revolves more around the companion than the title character.
“The story of ‘Doctor Who’ is always the story of the companion, it’s always their story,” Moffat recently told Radio Times<, according to Metro.co.uk. “It was Rose Tyler’s story, it’s Amy Pond’s story — the story of the time they knew The Doctor and how that began, how it developed and how it ended.”
That was evident in the pilot for the revived “Doctor Who” in 2005 from Russell T. Davies, simply titled “Rose” after the character from Billie Piper.
Casting changes for companions in recent years have generated the same kind of publicity that Doctor changes have done. Since the revival of the series, primary companions have included Piper, Freema Agyeman, Catherine Tate, and Gillan and Darvill.
Coleman is set to become the new companion in the annual Christmas special, which will air (believe it or not) on Christmas Day.