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James Dreyfus (born 9 October 1968[1]) played John Harrison in The Sarah Jane Adventures television story The Man Who Never Was.

He later played the Master in an early incarnation in several Big Finish stories and the Most Exalted High Persian in The Cats of New Cairo.

Transphobic remarks[]

On October 4th 2018, The Times published a letter against trans-inclusive activism and legalisative reform, for which Dreyfus was one of the seventeen signatories.[2] Dreyfus then responded publicly on Twitter, denying that he was transphobic.[3]

Following this, through 2019, Dreyfus made transphobic remarks on Twitter, as well as promoting other individuals' transphobic remarks. Upon the negative response of onlookers, Dreyfus became highly insulting towards individuals. This in turn led to some LGBT Doctor Who fans and groups being verbally abused online by friends of Dreyfus.[4] Amidst this, Katy Manning indicated her support of trans rights[5] as did John Dorney[6] and Elliot Chapman indicated that he would donate to Mermaids, a trans-supportive charity, the equivalent of his fee for an audio he co-starred in with Dreyfus with.[7]

In the wake of this, Big Finish released a general Equality & Diversity statement, acknowledging the fan concerns about certain individuals and emphasising their commitment to "never want Big Finish to be a company that people felt uncomfortable working with, or to produce content that people would feel uncomfortable listening to".[8] Dreyfus then swiftly began deleting tweets from the previous few days, and responded publicly, claiming that the reports of the remarks were "misinformation, fiction and downright lies."[9]

In April 2020, Dreyfus garnered further criticism for reposting a misrepresented quote from trans writer Juno Dawson, that had already been clarified nearly three years prior by both Dawson and the original publication itself.[10][11] (The article in question has long since been removed from the publication's website, now directing to an error page.[12])

Following the announcement audio story Masterful (celebrating 50 years of the character) in May 2020, Dreyfus would make claims in August that he had been "erased from history".[13] Though Dreyfus would later claim to not have received any further proper contact or work from Big Finish following the middle of 2019[14], Dreyfus had previously stated at the end of 2019 that he was "Still working with Big Finish."[15] Despite both these accounts, his last recording had actually been for The Fourth Doctor Adventures - Solo during May, June & July of 2017.[16][17]

In early 2021, the Daily Mail reported on further transphobic comments that Dreyfus had made during a Zoom meeting, including the assertion that trans women were "misogynistic guys in skirts".[18] Dreyfus then followed this up with a further long Twitter statement, claiming that he had not been transphobic.[19] This received some public response noting his liking of tweets denoting trans women as "deluded men".[20] By July, he was openly clashing on Twitter with Doctor Who fans who were raising the "misogynistic guys in skirts" in discussions, and claiming that the quote was false & that Big Finish were helping fans lie.[21]

Dreyfus would then claim to the press in October 2021 that his name was being removed from releases[14] - something he had also done previously on Twitter.[22] (The physical boxset inserts do infact all feature his name on the back, and the front cover of The Fourth Doctor Adventures - Solo also features his name.)

Despite having admitted in May 2020 and March 2021, respectively, that Blood of the Time Lords had been recorded[23] and would be released[24], he would also claim in October 2021 that he was being "erased" from Doctor Who.[14][25] The Sun, however, approached Big Finish regarding this, and were given the clarification that Dreyfus' final appearance would release in early 2022.[26] In December 2021, the story was listed as for release in March 2022[27] and then it was more widely confirmed in January 2022 that the story would release in March.[28] (As of February 2022, all of the releases that Dreyfus performed in are still readily purchasable.)

Personal life[]

Dreyfus has stated that he is gay.[29]


Dreyfus has stated a lack of personal wish for pronoun usage.[30] However, this in itself is complicated as the tweet where he stated this denotes personal usage of the pronoun 'I'[30], and Dreyfus has readily accepted the usage of the pronoun 'he' in interviews.[14]


As The Master


Doctor Who Main Range[]

The Fourth Doctor Adventures[]

The First Doctor Adventures[]

The Early Adventures[]

Other Roles


The Sarah Jane Adventures[]


Tales from New Earth[]

External links[]


  1. People Pill
  2. https://www.pinknews.co.uk/2018/10/04/alison-moyet-anti-trans-letter-stonewall/
  3. https://twitter.com/DreyfusJames/status/1050131518612475904?s=20&t=ikj42XfT6pwaYiL4Pe9L9Q
  4. https://twitter.com/sisterhood_karn/status/1154370176323850240?s=20&t=i_W-Sw_PfTWQW_3gxj4PsQ
  5. https://twitter.com/ManningOfficial/status/1154379236540657664?s=20&t=i_W-Sw_PfTWQW_3gxj4PsQ
  6. https://twitter.com/MrJohnDorney/status/1154351926819115008?s=20&t=ikj42XfT6pwaYiL4Pe9L9Q
  7. https://twitter.com/E11iotChapman/status/1154161551886213120?s=20&t=i_W-Sw_PfTWQW_3gxj4PsQ
  8. https://www.bigfinish.com/news/v/equality-and-diversity-at-big-finish#:~:text=Our%20purpose%2C%20and%20aim%2C%20is,would%20feel%20uncomfortable%20listening%20to.
  9. https://twitter.com/DreyfusJames/status/1154343854545473536?s=20&t=i_W-Sw_PfTWQW_3gxj4PsQ
  10. https://attitude.co.uk/article/statements-in-response-to-juno-dawson-story-on-gay-and-trans-identification/14687/
  11. https://twitter.com/robholley/status/1252890118077251585?s=20&t=i_W-Sw_PfTWQW_3gxj4PsQ
  12. https://attitude.co.uk/a-lot-of-gay-men-are-gay-men-as-a-consolation-prize-because-they-couldnt-be-women-says-trans-author-juno-dawson/
  13. https://twitter.com/DreyfusJames/status/1298194166388789248?s=20&t=tCt6O_Oim0TYaLQYPSE1zA
  14. 14.0 14.1 14.2 14.3 GB News interview with James Dreyfus, October 2021
  15. https://web.archive.org/web/20191215054339/https://twitter.com/DreyfusJames/status/1205603426966671365
  16. https://www.bigfinish.com/releases/v/doctor-who-the-fourth-doctor-adventures-series-11-solo-2100
  17. https://twitter.com/DreyfusJames/status/933791717815455744?s=20&t=i_W-Sw_PfTWQW_3gxj4PsQ
  18. https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-9254979/Actor-James-Dreyfus-slam-trans-activists-misogynistic-guys-skirts.html
  19. https://twitter.com/DreyfusJames/status/1355219625768845321?s=20&t=ikj42XfT6pwaYiL4Pe9L9Q
  20. https://twitter.com/doublehelix/status/1355252618394796034?s=20&t=5iLrDtUUsgKFlCcqX2xMlw
  21. https://twitter.com/DreyfusJames/status/1416105950457569285?s=20&t=ikj42XfT6pwaYiL4Pe9L9Q
  22. https://twitter.com/DreyfusJames/status/1370818545903357952?s=20&t=tCt6O_Oim0TYaLQYPSE1zA
  23. https://twitter.com/DreyfusJames/status/1261266478847930368?s=20&t=ikj42XfT6pwaYiL4Pe9L9Q
  24. https://twitter.com/DreyfusJames/status/1371838289976647681?s=20&t=ikj42XfT6pwaYiL4Pe9L9Q
  25. https://web.archive.org/web/20210316130936/https://twitter.com/dreyfusjames/status/1371810604189679618
  26. https://www.thesun.co.uk/tv/16466827/james-dreyfus-doctor-who-bbc/
  27. VOR 154
  28. https://twitter.com/bigfinish/status/1486640423347105792?s=20&t=tCt6O_Oim0TYaLQYPSE1zA
  29. https://twitter.com/DreyfusJames/status/1488588646211100674?s=20&t=5iLrDtUUsgKFlCcqX2xMlw
  30. 30.0 30.1 https://twitter.com/DreyfusJames/status/1355219625768845321