Moffat Confirms Missy Will Return, But Who Would You Resurrect?

You can’t keep a good, deranged Time Lord down. Steven Moffat has confirmed that Michelle Gomez will return to the show as Missy.

Maybe it was the deliberate move to another tombstone, the genre itself or that fact that nothing, not even the end of his regenerations can keep the Master from returning, but ever since she was vaporised, it was only a matter of time before she was confirmed to return.

Speaking to the Radio Times about the non-secret, secret Steven Moffat said: “I can’t imagine anyone who’s ever watched this genre being convinced that she’s dead. The Master is never dead, no matter what happens to him or her. She’s entirely unzappable!”

It’s great news; Death in Heaven was possible the best new Doctor Who Master story, albeit with not much competition (if only there was a way to distil the magic of Utopia into a whole episode) – a more successful Journey’s End and, at the heart of it, a new interpretation of an old character.

If you had to draw one consistency out of the mess of inconstancies – some intentional, some the product of incongruent writing – then probably the most pertinent would be that the Master e wants to conquer the universe by bringing order to it; even though he embodies the same kind of chaos he seeks to eradicate.

Whatever your thoughts are of Death in Heaven, it had a point. Stripped of the meretricious embellishments of John Simms incarnation, the story benefited from a clarity of thought. Despite the grand scale of Missy’s evil schemes, there’s something strikingly small and simple at the heart of her diabolical endgame.

To quote the old clichéd line, she wanted to prove that ‘we’re not so different, you and I’ and she has a point although admittedly, and rather wonderfully to this Master fan, perhaps her choice to make the impossible decisions that the Doctor will not consider ultimately answered the query for her and the question that has been vexing the Doctor from the start of this series: Am I a good man?

It’s this contradiction that makes the Master such an enduring character and what makes him such a delightful foe for the Doctor.

In the aftermath of Dark Water when the reveal was made and Michelle Gomez confirmed what we already knew, there were some quibbling about why Steven Moffat had made the choice to make the Master the first Time Lord to switch gender when the Rani, a female Time Lord, was already available (there is Romana but never for a moment did I think that she was a possibility. I mean it is possible – but think of the continuity that would have to be scrapped! You’d be able to see a u-turn like that from E-Space).

Lalla Ward as Romana

Lalla Ward: she doesn’t do Tom’s washing these days.

Firstly, you have to assume that the decision to swap gender and to bring the Master back were made simultaneously with the development of Series 8. Once that decision was made then you would have to assume character was the overriding factor.

You couldn’t simply swap out a character based solely on them now sharing the same gender. It would be like swapping Bobby Zamora for Lionel Messi because they both happen to be strikers. It could only be the Master because his character is markedly different to the Rani and is necessary for the point the episode was trying to make. That the Master just wanted her old friend back albeit on her terms.

It still doesn’t answer the question: Why make the change at all? It’s not a question I find myself particularly worried by. Sure it’s a big change with greater implications for a future Doctor but by making what has been politely hinted at into a living, breathing lady Time Lord, I can only see it as a good thing.

Quite what that means for the Doctor and for the traditions of the show are perhaps still open to debate: the Doctor is written in a certain way with a certain perspective wired into his character from its inception and, even though the Master has demonstrated that gender is no barrier for consistency, gender does inform perspective; how could it not? Is that a barrier to ultimately changing the Doctor? Should tradition stand in the way of development?

Character is everything and so finding the best person to inhabit that character and build upon what has come before, with the groundwork laid out, it’s simple a matter of finding the best performer for the part and, for the Master, Michelle Gomez was perfect.

Voyage of the Damned

So what does this mean for other characters? Who else could come back? Should we even indulge this kind of thinking? If character is key then should we be so caviller with the cannon? Isn’t this the kind of thinking that rubs traditionalists the wrong way?

As for death in fiction; rules have to be obeyed.

As Steven Moffat said, genre informs those decisions. Creators are dealing with so many levels of perspective – from the macro universe, to the micro, individual’s interpretations of that worldwide perspective – meaning travels in all directions. Sometimes shifting one of those pieces back into play, can overthrow the whole thing.

Should Osgood be resurrected? The Missy/Master change goes some way to prove that Moffat is listening but how do you rate importance in this regard? The show should always come first even if fans are clamouring for a character’s return as sometimes characters have to stay dead

As the Ninth Doctor (less memorably) said: “Everything dies.”

So for the sake of indulging our inner creators; who would you choose to resurrect? Osgood? Astrid Peth? I’d probably plump for Kamelion…. but maybe that’s just me…

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  1. Namnoot says:

    The Doctor believes his whole family is dead, so Susan would be great to revive.

    • Semi-Evil Semi-Genius says:

      Yeah, it seems so overdue. The problem is “why now?” Why return for Susan now, when so many other incarnations didn’t? But with the callbacks to the First Doctor during the 50th anniversary, the start of a new regeneration cycle, and Capaldi’s similarities to Hartnell, I’d feel it would be the right time. Maybe with the dashed hope of recovering Gallifrey, and Clara’s acceptance of a lost loved one, the 12th could hope to reunite with Susan once again.

  2. timegod says:

    Jenny(the Doctor’s daughter) or Osgood would be great for a return/resurrection. Still holding out hope that Missy killed the Zygon clone of Osgood, not real Osgood. I would also love to see Jenny in a new regeneration.

    • bar says:

      Or, please; as I have said before, let the human Osgood be dead – or we’ll never care about Moff’s murders – but bring in the Zygon Osgood, companion with some wonderful alien possibilities.

      Andrew please tell me you were joking about Kamelion – Peter Davison wasn’t alone in his delight at its departure.

    • Semi-Evil Semi-Genius says:

      Why must Zygon Osgood die? I’ve said it before, it’s alienist. She acted just as human Osgood would – they are identical personalities. Remember The Rebel Flesh / The Almost People? The Doctor wanted Amy to treated his ganger counterpart equally. Different origins, but identical personalities.
      Osgood was cool, but that made her death important, emotional. My only issue is her stupidity in dying. It was clichéd, and out of character. And resurrection doesn’t retcon her stupidity.

  3. Johnathan Wright says:

    Screw Missy…#SaveOsgood !!!

    • kwijino says:

      Hear Hear!

    • Semi-Evil Semi-Genius says:

      Vaporized. Glasses crushed. People die.
      Undoing everyone’s deaths drains all of the drama and danger out of a story, and harms the series. Liking the character, missing her is fine, wishing she had lived and not liking the decision to kill her is all well and good, but writing episodes just to undo the work of past episodes is not progressing the show in any meaningful way.

  4. Rick714 says:

    Somehow, I don’t think Jenny’s ever coming back. Seems like she’s been totally scrapped. Since she came about during RTD’s reign, Moff may just not ever be considering her return anyway.

  5. James O'Neill says:

    I should like to see a trip to E-space and a return from Romana! It would be epic if Lalla would reprise the role, but not necessary!

  6. SimonDanes says:

    Adric?!

    • Semi-Evil Semi-Genius says:

      How about a spinoff featuring all the most unliked companions? Adric, Kamelion, Teagan, Adam, those kids from Nightmare in Silver. They have a friendly Dalek associate named Dale K. They all work at a museum, and have solely tree-based adventures on modern day Earth.

  7. SimonDanes says:

    Seriously… I’d like the Master to come back, but a) please can the character still be called ‘The Master’, even though she’s now female?; b) make her less comedic. If you look carefully at Delgado’s Master, he’s charming and witty – but at the core, he’s just a very nasty piece of work: ruthless, occasionally sadistic (well, Michelle Gomez was that) and vicious. Peter Pratt and Geoffrey Beevers got that, too. (Ainley: too pantomime — a big shame, as he’s a very good actor.) It’s too easy to write smart-alec lines and make people chuckle; while people should find the Master attractive, he is also a baddie: a vicious criminal, not a loveable rogue.

    They’ll have comedy Daleks next. (‘The Chase’, anyone?)

    • Semi-Evil Semi-Genius says:

      Missy should definitely refer to herself as the Master. She can call herself Missy, when she’s talking to the Doctor, and in a more playful mood. When she wants to demonstrate some authority and be intimidating, Master is a better title to use.

  8. FrancoPabloDiablo says:

    Bring back the Master please. Can’t believe we haven’t seem him since The End Of Time!

  9. Ruud Th says:

    Oh please, I find Missy already awful, you don’t have to do more episodes to prove it !!!.
    I Like the return of Kylie Minoque and Clive Swift and of course Wilf and Donna !.
    Ok, also the war Doctor and the 8th Doctor, both a whole season !.

    • Semi-Evil Semi-Genius says:

      I would love to see some more 8th Doctor, but not the War Doctor. I think the Time War is better as an idea in your head, and the show can not do it justice. The Time War, at its core, is really an excuse for the cancellation period for the show, and the War Doctor is all about the Time War.
      I liked Wilf a lot, but to dredge him up now seems odd. Like, why now? Donna was great, but Davies wrote her story’s conclusion. Moffat has already done enough of redoing other writers’ eras. She’s happily married, and well off. It’s sad she doesn’t remember the Doctor.

  10. Ranger says:

    Osgood, don’t care if it is the human or the Zygon version, just bring her back and make her a companion! And if we really had the power to resurrect someone, the Brig. Good rest Nick.
    She’s not dead (well, depending on when you are!) but another one I’d like to see again would be the girl from the Empty Child/the Doctor Dances – I’ve forgotten her name! Florence Hoath??? Where did that name come from? Still, great actress, would love to see more of her in either that role or a new role – perhaps companion?

    • TheLazyWomble says:

      Her name was Nancy. And I agree, it would be good to see her again.

      • bar says:

        the actress was called Florence, which seemed an old fashioned name, but right for part. She gave the same capable vibe as Journey Blue, but I’d prefer the latter for being different from the usual earth girls from the last century or so. Another future person at least gives a different slant.

  11. Calli Arcale says:

    I really want to see Ian Chesterson back, before we lose William Russell!

    • Ranger says:

      Yes, bring him back for a story, he and Capaldi in his more Hartnellish persona – great combination.

      • Semi-Evil Semi-Genius says:

        I totally agree. Just started Classic Who a few months ago, and just watched Ian and Barbara exit the TARDIS. They were great companions!

  12. kwijino says:

    Considering Moffat has said the next Doctor should be female, I really think he’s bored with the whole thing and he honestly should be looking to concentrate on Sherlock and pass the torch.

    I’d be happy enough with a moratorium on old characters. As some writer said, “Space is big. You have no idea just how mind-bogglingly big it is! You may think it’s a long way down the street to the chemist, but that’s just peanuts compared to space.” Couldn’t the Doctor just meet new people and new enemies for a season? That would be a better thing in my opinion.

    • Castellan Spandrel says:

      Not sure he’s actually said the next Doctor should be female, per se, but I wholeheartedly agree with you about the need for freshness in terms of a new showrunner (new ideas are needed and the programme thrives on such changes) and new people/enemies.

      • kwijino says:

        http://www.zap2it.com/blogs/doctor_who_steven_moffat_woman_doctor-2014-12

        That’s where I got my quote. I’ll refrain from commenting, because this page is about resurrecting characters. If one was to return, I’d hope for Danny or Osgood. I think the way the Danny story should have played out would have been for Clara and Danny to have grown up and moved on from monster chasing. That’s where the story was headed before the whole season ender.

        • Castellan Spandrel says:

          ‘Could’ and ‘why not?’ are not exactly the same as ‘should’, i.e. he’s saying in that story that he thinks it’s possible but not that there’s an obligation to do it.

          On the general point of the thread, I think he’s mostly been better as Moffat *the writer* when introducing his own monsters than with returning monsters created by other writers. I’d like to see him overseeing and occasionally writing a ‘S13’-style season consisting of fresh adversaries, before he hands over to someone else.

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