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Steven Moffat has said that the story is “sort of done” for the Master, ruling out a return of the arch-nemesis.

Responding at the London premiere Q&A, he replied: “No! I accidentally just said the truth! No, not really. I think the story’s sort of done. I thought what Russell [T. Davies] did with that was so brilliant, because I did think it was over.

“Once you’d lost Roger Delgado, who was so brilliant, it was tough to keep it… it’s like Moriarty in Sherlock – yes, I know – you think, ‘you’re a great master villain, you know what you do a lot, you lose! You’re always tremendously confident and then you’re humiliatingly defeated and you don’t remember that the next time you pop up with your ridiculous plan’.

“So no, the Doctor doesn’t really need an arch-enemy, so we’ll go for new ones. So, sorry John Simm.”

Paul McGann has admitted that he’d like to see veteran actor Charles Dance take on the role of the Master.

Speaking to Flicks and the City, McGann, who played the Eighth Doctor, said: “He’d be great, he’s a fantastic actor. He’s still got a twinkle in his eye. I don’t know where he gets it from, but he’s always had it.”

He added: “The Master is never going to go away, is he. Rather like the Doctor himself he can take any guise, so I suppose he could look like an ageing roué from the depths of space.”

“He’d bring great gravitas and old fashioned charm.”

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