Last week’s reveal that longtime mystery foe Missy (Michelle Gomez) was classic enemy the Master left fans reeling, and excited about this new take on the iconic villain. What would she do next – and what did this mean for the future of the series?
However, that joy wasn’t to last too long – after a belter of an episode for the character, with some cracking lines, Missy was unceremoniously vaporised by what appeared to be a Cyber-converted version of the Doctor’s (Peter Capaldi) deceased ally the Brigadier (played by Nicholas Courtney until his death in 2011).
It was an abrupt end – but can we be sure she’s really dead? The Master has a habit of bringing himself back from beyond the grave, taking possession of a Trakenite scientist and extending his cycle of regenerations post-death in the classic series, and also finding a new body after his execution in the 1996 TV movie.
In the revived series, it was revealed that the Master was resurrected by the Time Lords to fight in the Time War, after which he fled and made himself temporarily human before becoming Time Lord again (as played by John Simm) – and then being shot in the gut and refusing to regenerate, with the Doctor (David Tennant) later burning his body.
It looked like the final end for the Master – that was until his followers performed a ritual in 2009/10's The End of Time that brought him back AGAIN, though in a damaged form due to outside interference.
So forgive us for taking Missy’s quick exit with a pinch of salt – her supposed vaporisation looked more like a teleport effect, and we’ve seen the Master come back from many more definitive deaths.
He’s been a rotten corpse, destroyed by the Daleks, shot in the gut and sent into a hellish war in another dimension – and the Master’s always come out smiling, like the maniac he is...