personal integrity

"I must say," the Doctor remarked, "I was surprised by one point."

"Which?" the Master enquired. The prison cell was remarkably plain, the guards all came in pairs and under camera watch at that, and he had reluctantly postponed plans of escape until he could better assess the situation.

"A Church of England vicar," the Doctor said. He swirled his tea in his cup meditatively. "Granted, the 'Mr Magister' was no more than I'd expect, but why not Roman Catholic? You would at least have been able to wear silk."

"There wasn't a Catholic church in the vicinity," the Master said, a little stung. "And I assure you that if there had been, then I would have been a bishop at the very least." He smoothed his cassock. "Still, I suppose there is something to be said for austerity."

"I suppose there is," the Doctor agreed. "Personally, I take great care to avoid saying it."

"Well, I suppose those of us who are salaried minions can appreciate their pay," the Master jibed.

"I am hardly anything of the sort," the Doctor said coldly. "I have an arrangement with the Brigadier. An arrangement between gentlemen."

"That would explain why Miss Grant always looks so underpaid," the Master noted.

"Leave Jo out of it," the Doctor said.

"Oh, very well." The Master drank some of his tea, magnificently ignoring his handcuffs. "But your problem, Doctor - one of many, I might add - is that you go through the motions, but you fail to get into the spirit of the part. Now were I the Scientific Advisor to this petty organisation of yours, I assure you that the situation would be quite different."

"I shudder to think," the Doctor said, looking down his nose.

The Master shook his head benignly. "How little you contribute. Now, in your place, I would already have provided useful technology, repurposed a number of the items left behind by alien visitors, strengthened Unit's position on the world stage, and be preparing to assist in a one world government that would make significantly more efficient use of this planet's resources. Within a couple of years, hunger would be a thing of the past. Within a generation, racial discrimination would be seen for what it is worth. Within fifty years -"

"They're not going to hire you, you know," the Doctor said, glancing up at the camera. "Not unless you consider some serious reformation."

The Master sighed. "You waste your time raging at the heavens and playing the noble exile, Doctor. You really should put more effort into your current situation. I would have done so much more than you have in your current part."

"You're talking about my post as if it was just a role I'm playing."

"Isn't it?" the Master asked.

"Rubbish," the Doctor said, a little too quickly. "And if we're talking about posts and roles and effort, might I ask how you spent your time for the last few weeks, Reverend Magister?"

"Doing my job," the Master said, with an air of sincere serenity. "Isn't it written by one of this planet's great authors that examples of every vileness and evil can be found in a simple country village?"

"Good heavens, I hope not," the Doctor said. "Remind me to ask Jo about that. And what did you do, with all these examples of vileness and evil?"

The Master sighed forgivingly. "Why, I attempted to teach them better, Doctor, and I rebuked sin where I found it. After all . . ." He put down his mug. "I was their vicar."