[[quoteright:350:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/TheMaster_TVad_small.jpg]]

->''"Hi, I'm Max Keller."''
-->-- Start of each episode's OpeningNarration

->''"[[GoodCopBadCop I can get mean and nasty, but my friend behind you]]... You know, the one dressed in black with the samurai sword? You know how these ninjas are, always going around beheading each other. Barbaric, I know. To them it's some kind of ritual."''
-->-- '''Max Keller''', perp-sweating a corrupt sheriff.

''The Master'' was a short-lived action-adventure series that aired on NBC in 1984, starring Creator/LeeVanCleef, Timothy Van Patten, and martial artist/actor Sho Kosugi, taking advantage of the {{Ninja}} fad of TheEighties. The series was repackaged as the ''Master Ninja'' movies for release on VHS by Film Ventures International (who created their own opening and closing credits on the cheap.)

Max Keller (Van Patten) is a drifter with a [[CoolCar Cool Van]] and a hamster, who [[WalkingTheEarth drives from town to town, taking odd jobs and getting in trouble when]] his ChronicHeroSyndrome kicks in. One day he tries to assist an old man at ground zero of an impending bar fight; Max is soon defeated, but he's amazed when he sees [[BadassGrandpa the old man systematically demolishing the bar and everyone in it]]. As Max helps the old man escape, he learns his story.

John Peter [=McAllister=] ([[Creator/LeeVanCleef Van Cleef]]) was a WorldWarII veteran who stayed in Japan after the end of the war - you know, to enjoy the peace of postwar Japan (!) - and managed to join a ninja clan, learning their secrets and becoming "[[MightyWhitey the first occidental ninja]]". He returned to the United States because he learned about a daughter he never knew he had; the airport at the town where he met Max was where the only photo of his daughter was taken. Unfortunately for him, his clan didn't approve of him deciding to retire, and his former apprentice, Okasa (Kosugi) is trying to find and assasinate [=McAllister=].

Max asks [=McAllister=] to accept him as a student; the old man is skeptical, but eventually agrees to at least teach the youngster enough to keep from getting himself killed. They team up to stop a CorruptCorporateExecutive and a DirtyCop from destroying Creator/DemiMoore's airport, and begin journeying together following the trail of [=McAllister's=] daughter, fending off Okasa and righting wrongs in each Adventure Town they find on the way.

''Series/MysteryScienceTheater3000'' aired the first [[strike:four episodes]] two films in the series in 1992, which became some of the most-loved episodes of the series. For information on those episodes and associated tropes, please see the following [[Recap/MysteryScienceTheater3000 recap]] pages:

* ''[[Recap/MysteryScienceTheater3000S03E22MasterNinja Master Ninja]]''
* ''[[Recap/MysteryScienceTheater3000S03E24MasterNinjaII Master Ninja II]]''
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!!''The Master'' contained the following tropes:

* EightiesHair: The women in the series have this in spades.
* AdventureTowns: One per week, with the premise that they were trying to find [=MacAllister=]'s missing daughter. Why she never stayed put in one place when she went through the trouble to contact him and tell him where he was is never explained.
* ArtisticLicenseHistory: Yeah. Post-war Japan was so calm and tranquil.
* BodyDouble: ''Very'' obviously so with [[Creator/LeeVanCleef Van Cleef]], who is clearly slower, feebler, and ''[[CostumesChangeYourSize quite a bit fatter]]'' than his stunt double.
* CastingGag: George Lazenby playing [[CaptainErsatz a British secret agent]].
* ChekhovsSkill: OnceAnEpisode -- tightrope walking or FakingTheDead, if you see either of our heroes practicing something in the first act, it will be done for real in act three. Also: ChekhovsHobby.
* CompilationMovie: The ''Master Ninja'' films.
* CorruptCorporateExecutive: Half of the villains in the ''Master Ninja'' movies.
* CuteButCacophonic: Carrie the union organizer in the second film, played by Crystal Bernard, is ''very'' cute. And has a voice that could break glass.
* DisproportionateRetribution: ''Killing'' the CorruptCorporateExecutive (and so violently and remorselessly) seemed overly excessive given all he did was try to torch the airfield.
** Then there's the corrupt cannery owner who threatens or straight-up ''murders'' any employee who supports the union.
* GirlOfTheWeek: Max inevitably ends up trying to woo whatever young woman the duo encounters before they leave town again.
* GoodOldFisticuffs: Max's fighting style.
* LeeroyJenkins: Max when he decides to bum rush Okasa in the first episode and gets thoroughly trounced.
* MasterOfDisguise: Okasa, as shown in the pilot episode.
* NinjaLog: "Realistic" version, done with an electrical transformer. [[HilarityEnsues Electrocution ensues]].
* [[CoversAlwaysLie Posters Always Lie]]: Check the Trope image. Timothy van Patten was ''never'' a supreme heartthrob, even in 1984. And [=McCallister=] didn't even intimidate anyone with his eyes, let alone ''kill'' them.
* ReleasedToElsewhere: The corrupt cannery owner's favorite trick in ''Master Ninja II''; any troublesome employees (or ninja, or Van Pattens) suddenly "give up" and leave town one day. For a shallow grave right outside of town.
* RunningGag: Max getting tossed through windows, according to Max. It doesn't happen that much.
* UsefulNotes/SanFrancisco: The second half of the first movie is set there, specifically Chinatown.
* ShoutOut:
** The episode about the hostages is basically an hour-long ShoutOut to various spy movies and series.
** There's the above-mentioned George Lazenby as a Film/JamesBond with the serial numbers filed off.
** [[Series/{{NCIS}} David [=McCallum=]]] plays a villainous twist on his character from ''Series/TheManFromUNCLE''.
** Monty Markham is the head of an intelligence organization and named [[JohnLeCarre Control]].
* StuntDouble: A very obvious one for Creator/LeeVanCleef.
* TeamPet: The hamster.
* TheTriadsAndTheTongs: The villains of the second episode/part of ''Master Ninja I''. For some reason they employ a random ninja as a contractor, possibly because the writers wanted to avert the AllChinesePeopleKnowKungFu trope.
* WalkingTheEarth: What Max does before he meets MacAllister.
* WhatTheFuAreYouDoing: Max's attempt at a {{kiai}} during his first lesson with [=McAllister=].
* WhatTheHellHero: [=McCallister=] rightfully chews out Max for using his ''shuriken'' to intimidate someone in a meaningless barfight; he finishes by warning him that if he ever uses his ''shuriken'' again, he'd better be prepared to fight someone with it -- even if it's ''[=McAllister=]'' himself.
** It's actually the same warning you give to ''anyone'' who ''aims'' a weapon, especially a gun, at another person.
* YourPrincessIsInAnotherCastle: [=McCallister's=] daughter, because StatusQuoIsGod.
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