As revealed by Doctor Who earlier this year, Michelle Gomez’s gender-swapped incarnation of the Master – AKA, Missy – will return in series 9’s opening two episodes, The Magician’s Apprentice and the The Witch’s Familiar. A surprise, considering that she was last seen not that long ago being zapped by a Cyberman in series 8 finale Death in Heaven.
So what does her swift return mean? And what role will she play in the Doctor’s opening adventures? While he doesn’t reveal too much, Doctor Who producer Brian Minchin does tease that Missy will be a tad different to how we last saw her.
“Missy is brilliant,” he tells SFX magazine, “and having seen her in the finale we just couldn’t wait to work with Michelle again. Steven had the perfect story. It’s not going to be Missy as you expect her to be. Steven likes to surprise everyone and he’s going to do that with this opening. Missy has an awful lot of sides to her and we’re going to see some new ones in this series. We also learn a bit more about her relationship with the Doctor…”
That relationship has been hinted at by Steven Moffat himself, who has suggested to Digital Spy that the Doctor and the Master’s dynamic this series will play more on their friendship.
“That character, if you get it right, does put a different light on the Doctor…. I was looking back at the old Jon Pertwee/Roger Delgado ones and what’s fascinating about that is that they only ever play it as friends. They never, ever play it as enemies at all. They’re just two gentlemen having fun with each other. The Doctor’s best friend is a murdering psychopath, that’s actually quite fun.”
Doctor Who series 9 will air on BBC One later this year