Sci-Fi Bulletin investigates the mysterious ‘Missy’, the new big bad revealed in Peter Capaldi’s debut episode of Doctor Who Deep Breath. Here’s our 10 suggestions, from the wacky to the downright incredible!
1 The Master
The female equivalent of Master is Mistress, which leads us to the abbreviation ‘Missy’. So is Missy a female incarnation of the Master? The Master has already morphed from maniacal genius to tyrannical madman, via CGI snake. Has he now found another way to annoy the Doctor? But isn’t he trapped on Gallifrey in the pocket universe forever wrestling with Rassilon? Is the Master now mad enough to consider the Doctor his ‘boyfriend’? Surely this is too obvious for showrunner Steven Moffat’s devious plotting?
Could Missy be a personification of the TARDIS or its operating system? Missy’s garden is set out like a virtual world floral rendition of the console room. This would easily give her the ability to give Clara her own phone number (as ‘the woman in the shop’ from The Bells of St John). She might well be likely to describe the Doctor as her boyfriend, since he is heavily involved with ‘Sexy’. And Missy is clearly doolally. She does mime a spectacular bite when she is talking to the clockwork man! Missy is the bitey, mad lady!
Missy might be a version of Clara herself. She would certainly refer to the Doctor as her boyfriend. After all, she was fragmented across all of time and space. Plus one of her selves was (apparently) Gallifrayan, maybe even a Time Lord. Is Missy a regenerated Time Lord Clara? Could she be using the Matrix to create the promised land and to place newspaper ads or relay the TARDIS phone number to ‘herself’. Her Mary Poppins persona and the name Missy fits well with other Claras’ jobs as nanny and teacher too.
When last we saw Romana she was walking off into the Tharil’s looking glass world with Biroc and K9 (in Warrior’s Gate). And K9 did call Romana ‘Mistress’, so Missy is a perfectly suited nomenclature for Time Lords to refer to themselves. Missy’s garden is obviously part of the Tharil’s world from whence Romana could connect with all of time and space. Perhaps this is what the Nethersphere is? Who can say she has not been ‘seeing’ the Doctor on and off across the years! Yes, Missy is obviously a regenerated Romana.
5 River Song
Well, she is ostensibly his wife not his girlfriend, but anything goes with her propensity to tease. River does have Time Lord DNA and the ability to regenerate. Yes, she gave up her regeneration energy to save the Doctor, but after she is uploaded to the virtual world of the Library computer who knows what she could get up to? Is this the spoiler she was hinting at in The Name of the Doctor? She could still be there, expanding her ‘nethersphere’, finding ways to communicate with the outside world, and living out a long virtual life including future regenerations.
6 Tasha Lem
Who is Tasha Lem and what is she to the Doctor? Her introduction, with opaque clues to a more important role, is a Moffat trait. It would be just like him to engineer a scenario where she turned out to be Missy. And her religious connections as Mother Superious of the Papal Mainframe or the Church of the Silence or whatever, certainly chime with her new role as Gatekeeper of the Nethersphere and welcoming the Clockwork Man to ‘heaven’.
7 The Valeyard
Is Missy the Doctor himself? Or at least his darker self that split off from the Doctor between his twelfth and final incarnations. That, because of course we now know our counts are now off, would make him part of the whole tortuously drawn out regeneration the Tenth Doctor forced because of his ‘vanity issues’. The Valeyard might easily have got spit out somewhere in there. And we don’t know what happened or where he ended up after The Ultimate Foe. Could this be a female regeneration of the Valeyard who has got his knickers in a twist about his relationship to the Doctor?
8 The Rani
Another old Time Lord acquaintance of the Doctor, and she does have some sort of past history with both the Doctor and the Master. We also know she had been to the cretaceous era to collect tyrannosaurus eggs and that she had engineered giant creatures before, which might explain the fact the T Rex in Deep Breath was so much bigger than the fossil remains suggest. Yes, the Rani is much more involved in this episode than you might think and is now masquerading as Missy.
Madame de Pompadour can definitely be counted as another one of the Doctor’s ‘girlfriends’. But she is dead and only human, isn’t she? Then again, she saw inside the Doctor’s head and knows that all things are possible, including that doors once opened can be stepped through in either direction. Reinette did briefly step aboard the SS Madame de Pompadour. Maybe, just maybe, the Clockwork Droids engineered all this. And maybe the Clockwork Man from the sister ship the SS Marie Antoinette has more to do with this than we yet know.
10 The Woman
The mysterious Time Lord from The End of Time could just be Missy. There is still enough ambiguity about who she is to make her a girlfriend or intimate of the Doctor, rather than his mother or other relative as was speculated at the time. We have never known her name or how she refers to herself, and as a Time Lord specific appearances are not a factor. Maybe she has been keeping her eye on the Doctor all this time? With Wilf, she has previous form in relaying messages to the Doctor’s companions and helpers. So there you go, maybe now we will find out who this mysterious, yet portentous, Time Lady is.
So, who do you think Missy might be? Any other possibilities we’ve missed? Comment below!