Debuting in January 1984 and running for only 13 episodes, The Master cashed in on the Ninjamania that was sweeping film and TV at the time. Created by Michael Sloan, The Master follows American war veteran John Peter McAllister (Lee Van Cleef), who decides to stay and live in Japan following World War II. During that time he becomes a Ninja Master.
The series opens as an older McAllister is leaving Japan to return to the USA in search of a daughter he did not know existed. His leaving of the Ninja ways is seen as an insult to his fellow Ninjas, one former student Okasa (Sho Kosugi), attempts to assassinate him.
McAllister escapes with minor injuries and ends up in a small town called Ellerston, where he believes his daughter resides. Along the way, he meets a drifter named Max Keller (Timothy Van Patten), who aids the ninja master in a bar fight, but is subsequently thrown through a window. As a result of this Max asks McAllister to train him as a ninja but McAllister is reluctant to train him as he feels Max is too emotional. When Max gets involved in a dispute between Mr. Christensen (Clu Gulager), a ruthless developer, and the Trumbulls (Claude Akins, Demi Moore), a father and daughter who run an airport targeted by Christensen, McAllister decides to train him to survive.
Through the series McAllister and Max search across America (with Osaka in pursuit) looking for the mystery daughter and helping people out along the way. She was never found though as the series got cancelled.