The Man Behind the Master

  • by Karen Louise Hollis
  • Narrated by John Banks
  • 9 hrs and 0 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

Although known to an audience of millions the world over for his portrayal of The Doctor's arch nemesis The Master in Doctor Who during the 1980s, Anthony Ainley had a prolific career which encompassed starring roles in Spyders Web and It's Dark Outside as well as appearances in renowned dramas such as The Pallisers, Elizabeth R, Nicholas Nickleby, Upstairs, Downstairs, and cult films including Blood on Satan's Claw and The Land That Time Forgot.
But the dramas in Anthony's real life were far more fascinating than any of the many parts he played onscreen. Born the illegitimate son of actor Henry Ainley and taken into care at the Actors' Orphanage at the age of four, the hidden story behind one of the most enigmatic characters in Doctor Who is brought to life by author Karen Louise Hollis.
Using exhaustive interviews with friends and colleagues from every aspect of Anthony's life, including his best friend from school, fellow children from the Actors' Orphanage, cricketing friends, colleagues, and those who remained close to him until his death in 2004, this book aims to uncover the real Anthony Ainley - The Man Behind The Master.


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful


What did you like most about The Man Behind the Master?

I love a good villain and The Master has always been a great foil for the Doctor. Anthony Ainley had a wonderful screen presence and portrayed the Master brilliantly, albeit in a considerably more over the top pantomime villain style than Roger Delgado

What was one of the most memorable moments of The Man Behind the Master?

I really felt bad for the poor guy being deserted by his parents and abandoned to a children's home, although in some ways it sounded like it came with certain benefits not dished out to regular kids with trips to America, visits from Laurence Olivier and Noel Coward etc etc

Have you listened to any of John Banks’s other performances? How does this one compare?

No this is the only one I've heard, It was a very good reading and it would be completely unfair to criticise John for his reading by saying that I would have liked to have known the reader as a colleague or family member of Anthony Ainley's, In the same way that I very much enjoyed knowing that Michael Troughton read his father's autobiography. That link makes it a more personal and genuine listening experience.

If you made a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?


Any additional comments?

A good read especially for Doctor Who Fans, for Actors with an interest in how other actor's careers came about, and as a social history lesson in how the good old days weren't all that good.

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- Patrick

So much to learn about this man

If you could sum up The Man Behind the Master in three words, what would they be?

Engrossing, Riveting and Detailed

Any additional comments?

This was an engrossing book to listen to. As a fan of Doctor Who I never knew there was so much to the story of the man who literally breathed new life into the character of the Master in the 1980s.

This book demonstrates that a good deal of research was undertaken and it has been converted into a riveting listen.

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- The Salopian

Book Details

  • Release Date: 16-12-2015
  • Publisher: Spokenworld Audio & Ladbroke Audio Ltd