The BBC announced some details about the coming Doctor Who Series 9 premiere: Michelle Gomez will be returning as Missy, the latest incarnation of the Doctor’s long-standing nemesis the Master.
The news popped up on a variety of online BBC outlets, primarily through exclusive video showing Michelle Gomez in costume (see below.)
Show producer and lead writer Steven Moffat also chimed in:
“Everybody hide – Michelle Gomez as Missy was an instant hit last year, so she’s straight back to plague the Doctor and Clara in the series opener. But what brings her back into their lives is the last thing they’d expect.”
The character of Missy was frequently seen at the ends of episodes in Series 8 leaving breadcrumbs that contributed to an overall series story arc. It was only in the penultimate episode “Dark Water” that her true identity as an incarnation of the Master was revealed. She appeared to die in the following episode, “Death In Heaven,” but the appearance of death has never been something that keeps the Master (or Missy) down for very long.
The regeneration of the Master into a woman is the first time that such a change occurred on Doctor Who. It’s been a subject of fan speculation since comments made by Tom Baker in 1980, but one that the production staff of the show ignored over 15 series and six incarnations of the Doctor. It also clears the way for the role of the Doctor to be played by a woman in the future.
The Doctor Who Series 9 premiere, coming this Fall, will come in two parts entitled “The Magician’s Apprentice” and “The Witch’s Familiar.” Both parts will also see the return of Hettie MacDonald, the director of the Hugo Award-winning episode “Blink.”