Based off this question "Does the Master know the Doctor's real name?" but in reverse:

The Doctor calls him/her the Master/Missy but does the Doctor know the Master's real name?

Does the Doctor know what The Master's name is?

  • tardis.fandom.com/wiki/…
    – Valorum
    Commented Sep 23, 2019 at 6:25
  • 1
    @Valorum all that page really explains is the name the Master went by during their Academy days ("the Master went by the name "Koschei" at the Academy"), but not the name he was born with ("The name he was born with was unknown and apparently consisted of thirty-two letters"). So the Doctor would have only known his chosen name at best, not his given name. Commented Sep 23, 2019 at 6:43
  • @RemyLebeau - indeed. And had it been a full answer, I would have posted it as such.
    – Valorum
    Commented Sep 23, 2019 at 7:16
  • 1
    @Valorum Why then post a comment which (a) links to an unreliable source and (b) doesn't help to resolve the question?
    – Rand al'Thor
    Commented Sep 23, 2019 at 10:54
  • 4
    @Randal'Thor It's a partial answer which hints at the start of an answer, the perfect use for a comment...
    – TheLethalCarrot
    Commented Sep 23, 2019 at 11:04

2 Answers 2


It seems that, for all intents and purposes, Doctor and Master are their real actual names.

They're the names they chose when they went through what is essentially an initiation rite to become Time Lords, gazing into the Time Vortex itself and choosing their new names as fully fledged Time Lords. A name that represents them and what they are, what they became when they became Time Lords.

And that is the name they use everyday, in their interactions with everyone and everything throughout space and time. And even between themselves as shown several times during the Toclafane Arc for example:

At the end of Utopia (S03E11):


MASTER: Use my name.

[Yana's laboratory]

DOCTOR: Master. I'm sorry.

Then in the following episode: The Sound of Drums (S03E12)


MARTHA: Let them go, Saxon. Do you hear me! Let them go!

(The Doctor takes her phone.)

DOCTOR: I'm here.

[Cabinet room]

(The Master transfers the call to his mobile.)

MASTER: Doctor.


DOCTOR: Master.

[Cabinet room]

MASTER: I like it when you use my name.

Now, if you're referring to their birth names, the name they had before being initiated as Time Lords, that seems to be a quite closely guarded secret by them. And perhaps a name that they do not use because it doesn't represent them anymore, in similar way than transgender people pick a new name when they transition and refer to their birth name as a 'deadname', i.e. something that isn't them anymore.

Since the Doctor and the Master have been friends since their youth on Gallifrey, at the Time Lords' Academy, and that their friendship is 'older than [Human] civilization and infinitely more complex', as Missy states to Clara in The Magician's Apprentice (S09E01), it's highly likely that The Doctor knows the Master's birth name. But he doesn't use it because that's not his real name anymore.

  • Is it actually stated anywhere they chose their names as children at the Untempered Schism?
    – OrangeDog
    Commented Sep 23, 2019 at 12:13
  • I think it was, but I cannot find the reference right now. It is definitely said that they chose their own names though.
    – Sava
    Commented Sep 23, 2019 at 14:57

To add to Sava's answer, here's part of the script from the episode The End of Time:

The Master: It began on Gallifrey. As children. Not that you’d call it childhood. More a life of duty. Eight years old. I was taken for initiation. To stare into the Untempered Schism.
Wilfred: What does that mean?
The Doctor: It’s a gap in the fabric of reality. You can see into the Time Vortex itself. And it hurts.
The Master: Took me there. In the dark. I looked into time, old man. And I heard it. Calling to me. Drums. The never-ending drums.
Lord President: The Untempered Schism. That’s when it began.
The Chancellor: History says the Master heard a rhythm. A torment that stayed with him for the rest of his life.
Lord President: A drumbeat. A warrior’s march.
The Chancellor: A symptom of insanity, my Lord.
Lord President: A rhythm of four. The heartbeat of a Time Lord.

The Master appears to only be called The Master.

  • I don't see how this quote addresses the question asked, whether the Doctor knows the Master's original name.
    – Valorum
    Commented Nov 27, 2019 at 7:49
  • @Valorum I believe his suggestion is that, since the Chancellor refers to the Master as "the Master", that must be his actual name.
    – F1Krazy
    Commented Nov 27, 2019 at 10:05
  • 1
    @F1Krazy - That doesn't seem like anything approaching evidence of anything. We already know that his chosen name is "The Master".
    – Valorum
    Commented Nov 27, 2019 at 10:26
  • @Valorum I agree, but that seems to be his suggestion nonetheless.
    – F1Krazy
    Commented Nov 27, 2019 at 10:32

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