One of the great mysteries of the Whoniverse is "What is the true name of The Doctor?".

Are there any hints or clues through Nu Who or Classic Who (or even books or audio) as to the true name of The Master? Is it as great a secret as The Doctor's true name?


2 Answers 2


It is generally understood that Time Lords have regular, Gallifreyan names such as Romanadvoratrelundar, Rassillon etc. Others (mainly 'rogue' or 'renegade' Time Lords) apparently take a name for themselves, based on their chosen path, so we have The Doctor, The Master, The Hermit, The Corsair etc.

Given that The Doctor and The Master knew each other as children, at the Time Lord academy, and before they took their respective paths, it makes sense that they know each other's 'real' names. In the novel The Dark Path, the Second Doctor meets an early incarnation of The Master going by the name Koschei and recognises him from the past, but it is suggested that the name has been assumed and may not be his 'original' name.

At this present time, neither The Doctor, nor the Master's real names have been revealed in the TV show. However, the show and extended media have established that Time Lords have 'house' names - for example, Romana's full name is said to be Romanadvoratrelundar, and she is of the House Dvora. The Doctor Who novel Lungbarrow is named after the Doctor's family house, so this could form part of his real name. However, the Timeless Child story arc which began in season 12, contradicts this novel, and so this may no longer be considered canon, depending on how the arc ends.

Spoiler for season 12:

The Timeless Child story arc, which at this time is still not concluded, has suggested that The Doctor was a foundling and might be of non-Gallifreyan origin. However, as this was told to them by The Master, and with the proof redacted from The Great Matrix, there is some doubt about this. Some fan theories currently suggest that the Timeless Child may actually be The Master. This story may continue and possibly conclude in season 13 (due Autumn/Winter 2021), and could possibly add detail to the house, or family name or whoever is finally confirmed to be the child. For the same reason that I gave for 'Lungbarrow' possibly falling from canon, if the TV show reveals a new origin for The Master this may make the aforementioned Dark Path novel similarly redundant.

  • Non-renegade Time Lords also use titles and have no known name - e.g. The Castellan, The General.
    – OrangeDog
    Commented Jul 23, 2021 at 13:14
  • The "Doctor Who" reference is to the early seasons, where the credits say "Doctor Who" rather than "The Doctor".
    – OrangeDog
    Commented Jul 23, 2021 at 13:16
  • @OrangeDog Although he doesn't actually speak the name himself, he is also audibly called 'Doctor Who' by other people in at least one of Hartnell's TV adventures. And yes, early seasons - before the Master ever appeared in the Third Doctor's run. So that is evidence that The Master was aware of The Doctor's chosen name.
    – Astralbee
    Commented Jul 23, 2021 at 13:23
  • @OrangeDog - Castellan and General are the names of their positions, not their names. In Deadly Assassin, the Castellan's ("governor of the castle") name was Spandrell. In both cases, it's traditional to refer to said people by the position - same for positions like Chef. Commented Jul 13, 2022 at 14:58
  • @VBartilucci yes, but that doesn't change the fact that they have no known name
    – OrangeDog
    Commented Jul 13, 2022 at 15:35

Although The Master used several aliases, the original use seems to be


The Master's past with the Doctor is explored somewhat in The Dark Path (Novel), which reveals that his name before taking the alias of the Master is Koschei, when he encounters the Second Doctor during their travels.

Source - Wikipedia

Also see

Tardis Fandom - The Master's Alises

  • 2
    Two suggestions: (1) You have copy-pasted the everything from Wikipedia, try to avoid that. And (2) Sources like Wikipedia, Reddit and fandom pages cannot be reliable sources (would be better if you take the sources on those pages and use what you find there)
    – Shreedhar
    Commented Jul 23, 2021 at 12:47
  • Koschei (“the Deathless” of Slavic folklore) sounds a lot more like yet another alias.
    – Buzz
    Commented Jul 23, 2021 at 18:42

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