Craig here. It gives me great pleasure to introduce a new guest blogger – @thommck !

Missy Who?

Missy is this series’ big enigma. Who is she, where does she come from, is she a new or returning character?

This blog is me putting forward my bit of bonkers on answering some of those questions. I’ll try to support it with only facts from within the episodes we have seen. It definitely does not contain any spoilers and is purely my speculation. I’ll be really interested on your thoughts and urge you to put forward your own theories on Missy.


The Facts

We actually don’t know a lot about Missy. All we’ve seen so far is as follows – a female dressed like she is from Victorian England despite a more modern spiky bracelet.

  • Deep Breath – The clockwork cyborg, Half-Face Man, was impaled and died in London in the Victorian times. Missy welcomed Half-Face Man into the Promised Land/Heaven, looking out on a lush garden. She claimed the Doctor is her boyfriend and that she’d “keep his accent”
  • Into The Dalek – Gretchen Carlisle was killed while miniaturised inside a Dalek. She then appeared at a table in what looks like an early 20th Century tea room, where Missy offered her some tea.
  • Robots of Sherwood – Alien robots in the Middle Ages were trying to reach a planet called the Promised Land, although this may be different place to where Missy is.
  • The Caretaker – In a white room, we met Missy’s assistant (companion?) Seb, who took care of the recently deceased PCSO, Matthew. Missy appeared but was “too busy” to see him.
  • Flatline – Missy was watching Clara remotely, with what looked like a 21st Century iPad

Top 10 Theories

I tried to make a list of all the current popular theories but I’ve heard so many it became almost infinite! Here is a rough top 10 amalgamation (in no particular order)

  1. The Master
  2. Another Timelord/Timelady (in or out of Gallifrey, Romana, Rani, Scintilla)
  3. A computer/data bank/imagination (CAL, e-Space)
  4. Wife/girlfriend/descendant/ancestor to the Doctor (Susan, River Song, Jenny)
  5. A previous companion (Clara, Adric)
  6. A future Doctor/Valeyard
  7. Robot/clone/doppelganger/replicant/shapeshifter/zygon
  8. An old “villain” (e.g. Miss Mercy Hartigan, Tasha Lem, Madame Kovarian)
  9. A dinosaur 😉
  10. Something new!

“The Woman In The Shop”, who gave Clara the TARDIS telephone number (Bells of St John), is also a popular theory but that could be any of the people above (well except maybe number 9!)

My Speculation

I am putting my money on number 2, a Timelady trapped in another universe.

We have seen/visited other universes and dimensions before in Doctor Who and they have just recently been highlighted in the episode, Flatline, which contained creatures beyond human perception. I think this is enough evidence to point to Missy being in a parallel/pocket/bubble universe/etc. rather than a digital memory bank (i.e CAL).

I had a quick look in to the history of parallel universes in the show as it gets a bit confusing trying to just remember it!

The Tenth Doctor said that there were “billions of parallel universes all stacked up against each other.The Void is the space in between, containing absolutely nothing.” (TV:Army of Ghosts) … At one point, travel between parallels was made relatively simple by the Time Lords, but, according to the Tenth Doctor, travel to parallel universes became almost completely impossible after the Last Great Time War, and could only happen under extraordinary circumstances. (TV: Rise of the Cybermen) … tardis.wikia.com/wiki/Parallel_universe

The iPad Missy was seen using felt really odd to me. It is such an object of this time, right down to the protective cover it had. This makes me think Missy is now on 21st Century Earth but perhaps has the ability to time travel/dimension hop/phase. This can explain how she got Half-Faced Man from the Victorian era in Deep Breath as well as Gretchen from our future. Miniaturisation may well play a part as that has also been heavily referenced this year. Perhaps the ability to travel between universes is easier if you’re small!

This leads me to believe that Missy has to be a Timelady, one we haven’t seen on screen before. She has a “companion”, Seb, and “Heaven” could possibly be her TARDIS. She was made Guardian of the Nethersphere (a.k.a. Heaven, The Promised Land) by the Time Council as a punishment for a crime. She is on her last regeneration and would interrogate the dead to try and discover the secrets of immortality.

Since The Day of The Doctor we know that Gallifrey is still out there, vanished from our universe but still reachable through a crack. I’m not sure if Missy is on Gallifrey. I’m more inclined to believe she is in Void space or a parallel universe.

Her motive for pushing Clara and the Doctor together isn’t very clear to me at the moment. The easy option is that it was the Doctor who condemned her to her position as Guardian and so she is looking for revenge. The more bonkers version is that the Doctor is her boyfriend so she wants to kill him to bring him to Heaven. She is nudging Clara into a Doctor-type role so someone can relieve the Doctor of his duty, permanently!


  1. @thommck

    Great stuff. The Mystery of Missy!

    Agree entirely about the iPad. It was very disconcerting, as Mrs Blenkinsop noted when we watched the episode. I am not sure how to interpret it–is she on 21st century Earth, or was it used simply because they assumed the youthful audience would respond to its familiarity? Not sure, but it does niggle.

    OK, now here is my take on, well…your take.

    I think the starting point should be with Moffat. My reading of Moffat is that he does not tend to pick up and run with ideas/tropes that were introduced by previous show runners. He does re-use ideas/tropes, but they tend to be his own. For this reason, I would, in general, rule out any explanation of Missy that required one to accept that it was based on a previous writer’s ideas. However, there is one important exception, which I will get to.

    So, I would rule out a Timelord who has already been seen before (like Romana, the Rani, etc), and I might even rule out a parallel universe if it is dependent on something RTD thought up. But I am open to your suggestion that she might be a Timelady not previously seen. Or…

    I said that Moffat tends not to use ideas/tropes introduced by previous writers, but there may be one exception to that, because the character is so much a part of the DNA of the show–the Master. But I believe Moffat is on record somewhere saying that the Master shouldn’t be female. Of course, Moffat lies. But Moffat also deceives. So, on the admittedly scant clues we have to go on, I am opting for the idea that “Missy” is Moffat teasing the Master, and that at the end of the two-parter in a couple of weeks Missy will drop her disguise as “Missy”, and be revealed to be the (very male) Master (played by a different actor, of course!)

    Or not…



  2. Excellent!  I had proposed in another part of the forum that Missy could be (a) inside the Doctor’s head/an alternate personality of the current Doctor (basically debunked for a number of reasons) or (b) a later regeneration of the Time Lord Claricle we see in Name of the Doctor suggesting to Hartnell and Susan that they take the right TARDIS.

    My rational brain tells me that it’s probably 10 because, while Moff likes to sprinkle his episodes with stuff from earlier Who, he tends to make his Big Bads something new (the exception being the Great Intelligence).

    The iPad in “Flatline” stood out for me as well, because it seemed rather incongruous.  Was that on purpose?  It seems like the production team is too careful to allow a prop guy to put in something that is “good enough”.

    I am calling it now, however.  My prediction is that none of the people “saved” by Missy is dead, and that Clara is going to “die” in an upcoming episode, be “saved” by Missy, and then the Doctor will have to go to wherever she is and rescue her.  This is just conjecture, of course.

  3. Don’t forget Madame de Pompedour who was a mistress and the clockwork robots- and that boyfriend reference- she lived with in a strange heaven that was created – although that is REALLY A HUGE longshot— not believing that theory but just saying …….

  4. @thommck   Very nice! Great synopsis of all the various theories. I hadn’t thought about it before, that Missy’s “guests” are being taken from different points in history: the past, the present, the future. That seems strongly suggestive of Time Lord technology or at least the technology of someone who can function pretty freely through time.

    I’m still hesitant about the Master, mainly because almost immediately, we all started shouting “Missy is the Master!” It almost seems too obvious, especially for Moffat.

    But if I were to guess (and I feel far too uncertain for it to really be a guess), I would say that she is a Time Lord. I think she must be outside of time, because of the different time zones from which she has taken people. So therefore, possibly a Time Lord in a TARDIS? I would guess that Seb is not a Time Lord, but a companion, possibly the first person she “saved”?

    What she’s up to, though, I cannot imagine.

  5. @DrBen

    Can we please not post any kind of spoiler on threads other than the designated Spoilers one?

    (Thanks for the warning, I’ve managed not to read it (the advantage of being short-sighted 😉 ), so don’t know how spoilery it is! But could @Craig (or @JimtheFish, @Fatmaninabox,@Phaseshift)  please delete that bit or move it to Spoilers? Sorry for being picky.

  6. I second @ScaryB with the removal of even semi-spoilers. @DrBen was really good enough to add good warnings in, but please, should not be in here at all IMO!  I also managed to not read what it said, but  only just! (therefore I obviously don’t know how spoilery the spoilers are and so maybe over reacting!).

  7. @Thommck

    Great blog, well done for pulling it together.

    I agree with @Blenkinsopthebrave that it’s not a Moffaty thing to pick up characters/stories from RTD era (except his own – so I wouldn’t rule out Mme de Pompadour just yet!)) but he does go back to BG Who – the GI for example, the Day of the Doctor (playing with timelines like Day of the Daleks). And he does riff on his own past ideas, and sometimes picks up threads we had long since given up on getting answers to – the Woman in the Shop for example, which we thought only bonkers forumers remembered, was foregrounded in Deep Breath.

    On that basis I’m theorising that Missy IS the WitS.  That would tie in with her comment about having chosen well (even if she’s not actually “using” Clara just yet. The WitS gave her the Doctor’s phone no – I seem to remember that Clara was actually looking for a phone/wifi repair helpline so I’m guessing that it was a phone shop and that’s when Clara’s phone got bugged. The view on the ipad could just about be the view from Clara’s phone. Ish!

    Ah…. no idea about why though! *hangs head in shame!*  But I don’t think it’s for any good purpose. I predict Clara’s lies will get Danny “saved” (possibly by trying to rescue Clara from danger) and she and the Doctor will have to rescue him. Why Danny? He’s a former soldier, and Missy would appear to be collecting soldiery types (from different timestreams).  I also think we might revisit the voice/phone call  at the end of the Big Bang (GUS) but maybe he’s had his mention for now! Some people have mentioned a few callouts to that episode).  I mentioned on the Flatline thread that for some reason this series is reminding me of The War Games (Troughton’s last story which introduced the Timelords) where armies were being put together of the best soldiers from history then played off against each other.  Which would tie in with the WW1 anniversary themes highlighted by @Phaseshift.

    I agree her methods suggest Timelord tech, but there have been other possibilities suggested in series – teleporting, phaseshifting, parallel universing… I rather liked that the Nethersphere could be a TARDIS, it would certainly be capable of doing transporting people and having infinite amounts of space. I also liked that it might be the nether side of Gallifrey and the Doctor, in defeating Missy, would have to lose Gallifrey again. But we know that the TARDIS can travel there now (even if the Doctor doesn’t). But that round shape (window?) behind Missy’s head at the end of Flatline looked very much like a cyberman eye-shape. Armies again? Spare parts?

    Good research on the void space @Thommck – that does suggest that it was only inaccessible because of the Time War lock. Now that that no longer exists, then theoretically it would be easier to go there. So I’m with you on it being somewhere real rather than virtual.

    I think we’ve covered most bases about Missy – except that she could be Clara’s rather mysterious mother! (Just throwing it in there – she’s probably the only female character who hasn’t been mentioned, LOL. Tho “I have chosen well” doesn’t really suggest a mother of her daughter – unless the chosen isn’t Clara).

    Ah heck! It’s probably @Barnable ‘s dinosaur!!

  8. @ScaryB & @spider – Sorry gang – the semi-spoiler in my post is from the official BBC synopsis for the season finale.  So it’s not technically a spoiler, because it’s a publicly available thing released by the BBC, but it does reveal stuff (sort of) that you may not want to know.  Hence the warning.

    Mods, feel free to remove if I’ve done a bad thing.

  9. @DrBen

    I know it was unintentional (and the warning helped a lot) but it’s always best to be on the safe side re possible spoilers. Even if it’s on the BBC site it’s about a future episode. There are some members here who don’t even watch the “Coming next trailers…” at the end of the episodes. (I don’t mind the trailers, but I’m not keen on the synopses even for the episode I’m about to watch!)

    We won’t have you exterminated though 🙂

    I liked your idea about Missy being a creation/manifestation from the Doctor’s mind. That  could fit in with a Valeyard/Dreamlord-type  theory.

  10. Thanks for setting up this forum @thommck.

    My favourite theory is that the Doctor established (or will establish) the ‘nethersphere’, and Missy is managing it on his behalf.

    The evidence, such as it is:

    a) We first saw the nethersphere at the end of Deep Breath, where it was introduced as ‘The Promised Land’. This was the very place the half-faced man told the Doctor he was looking for. It makes sense that the Doctor, looking for an everybody-wins solution, would create a promised land for the HFM to retire to.

    b) In Deep Breath, the Doctor says, ‘I’ve made many mistakes, and it’s about time that I did something about that.’ Perhaps trying harder to save everyone he fails to save is what he plans to do about it. Has he set it up by the end of the episode, or is he just planning it and will set it up later? The Doctor’s paranoia about being watched and listened to suggests he hasn’t set it up yet, because if he had he’d know why he’s being watched and wouldn’t have to go searching for the Listen monster.

    c) Doctor 12 has shown he is willing to employ people (in Time Heist). So he might have employed Missy, too.

    d) Missy seems kind of… well, evil. The teeth-snapping in Deep Breath, her facial expression in The Caretaker, the snort and evil laugh in Flatline, seem intended to indicate she’s bad. In my view, these signs are laid on so thick they might be misdirection. Missy may be a ‘former villain’, I would guess one we haven’t seen before, who the Doctor has employed to run his heaven as a penance for her crimes, or as an alternative to killing or imprisoning her. I’m thinking of Strax in A Good Man Goes to War, who the Doctor condemned to work as a battlefield nurse.

    e) In the course of the season, the Doctor seems to have obtained or seen all the technology he would need to rescue a lot of people from apparent death without messing with time: teleporters, invisibility, miniaturisation, optic nerve hacking. Maybe the last ‘item’ he needs to establish the nethersphere is someone to run it, and he’ll meet Missy in a later episode. (It’s hard to reconcile her ‘new accent’ comment with this idea. But the upcoming meeting might not be their first meeting, just the occasion when he arranged for her to run the nethersphere.)

    f) In Deep Breath, Missy says, ‘He can be very mean sometimes. Except to me, of course, because he loves me so much.’ This could be consistent with her being a defeated villain who he’s spared. She may have misinterpreted this. Or she could be being ironic.

    g) We see ‘heaven’ admitting people who’ve died during the Doctor’s adventures, regardless of where and when those adventures took place. One possible explanation is that Missy and heaven are in the TARDIS — so they’re always in the right place and time. The round thing on the wall behind Missy in Flatline could be a TARDIS roundel.

    (Of course, they might be collecting everyone who ever died anywhere, and we only see a small subset of the admissions: there’s too little evidence to draw conclusions.)

    h) Is she the woman in the shop and the person who placed the newspaper ad in Deep Breath? ‘Clara, my Clara, I have chosen well’ suggests so. If I stretch hard enough, I can make this fit in with my theory…

    i) Missy has a cunning plan involving Clara that was set in motion ages ago, and it’s still on the go after the apparent defeat that led to her running the nethersphere.


    ii) Missy really is trying to help the Doctor, by providing him with a good companion.

  11. @thommck a wonderful and creative summary of the events and ideas so far. I had theories and then I dumped many of them but in the end I think that the Master is a huge possibility or, as said already, a new villain (which the Dr may know) who will collect Clara or even the Doctor and then Clara will need to find the Dr. Clara may take Danny who has enough soldier-experience that he’ll be calm – all the while saying “stay calm Clara, and breathe,” to which she’ll respond: “it was breathing which got me into trouble the first time!”

    I wonder whether (as I said somewhere before) she’s in an old TARDIS control room – I see a railing behind her -or if (as said above)  she’s in her own TARDIS but ‘blocked’ from going any place else.

    She can ‘save’ people but not herself. If the Doctor and Clara are also ‘saved’  then Missy herself can be ‘released’ -causing utter havoc with the army she’s been creating. Great blog -massive work thommck!

    Kindest, puro

  12. Thanks @Thormmck

    Ok whilst stomping through the mud checking the leachate pumps mmmmm leachate or death juice as we lovingly call it and having been inspired by a large mug of coffee the mix of fumes fired a synapse and a new(ish) bonkers theory formed…..

    The Timeladylord that Wilf could see but hid herself from the Doctor,  which some of us thought could be his mother or member of the family could actually have been an old flame and would therefore have access to timeywimey stuff and bobbins (bobbins being a trademarked saying for this site etc etc etc)

    So basically my theory is someone we know very little about is now someone we know very little about, it sounded better in my head but hey ho 😉

  13. TY for the blog @Thommck. I definitely didn’t want to repeat #9 again! It still makes me laugh everytime, especially in the Top 10 list. 😆
    I felt like the pressure was on this time. This blog makes Missy Theories seem more official or something. 🙂
    I didn’t want to waste my chance, so I really thought hard about which Bonkers I was going to stick with.
    I really like @Craig‘s Bonkers and the way he explained it, and @DrBen‘s and @BlenkinsoptheBrave‘s Theories were contenders.

    But this time, I think my extra thought has really paid off.

    New and Improved Bonkers Missy Theory

    Missy is the DinosaurPlus!

    It’s all @ScaryB‘s fault!!! 😆

    Ah heck! It’s probablyBarnable ‘s dinosaur!!

    She was right.  This time I’m almost positive the Moff is really gonna do it.
    I don’t want to be too spoiler-y, so just a few more clues.

    I loved your Time Hiest post @Chickenelly

    6) Missy and Seb watching Clara


    •  Idk if Missy is evil, but she is definitely a naughty lady! 😉
    • Everyone gets to go to Missy’s paradise, but only some get to talk to Missy.
    • She has her favorites, just like Rupert’s Toy Box. 

    Missy is probably the Executive and WitS.

    If you want more clues see @PhileusF’s post.



  14. Thanks everyone. I can hardly wait for us all to be proved wrong!

    @PhileasF Nice picking up on Missy’s characteristics and actual words. I agree that there’s too little evidence to draw conclusions on what the Promised Land is or why and how people are appearing there. Missy is ready to great some as they appear whereas she couldn’t have cared less about the poor PCSO in The Caretaker.

    @lisa, I guess I lumped Madame de Pompadour in my “Previous Companion” entry but it is worth highlighting her relationship. That reminds me that the Doctor, in Deep Breath, didn’t remember Pompadour, he only had a vague recollection when he saw the Marie Antoinette engine parts. That memory loss theme has slightly gone as the series has progressed but I wonder if he’ll have a moment of full clarity/recollection come the finale?

    @ScaryB Good point that she doesn’t necessarily have to be using Timelord tech as we’ve seen so many other examples this series, even non Timelord time-travel by us pudding brains!

    At first my theory included Missy witnessing the Doctor getting his new regenerations at Christmas, Trenzalore. That was her main motive to start hunting him as a source for immortality. However, that doesn’t jive with her being the Woman in the Shop/Timelord as she would have presumed that Doctor 11 did die in Trenzalore. The only workaround for that, I think, is if she is “outside time”, meaning, she can observe all of time but can’t time travel where she is (Heaven). I think that is similar to the bubble universe in The Doctor’s Wife?



    @PhileasF – Sorry for sp mistake, I couldn’t edit.

     @Thommck – Just so people know, my new theory is not a spoiler. I only visit the DWForum for my info and don’t ever go into Spoilers Thread (except once a long time ago to post a theory).

     I really don’t know who Missy actually is or why she is doing it or where she is. But I think I’m right about how she is collecting people and following the Doctor everywhere. It makes perfect sense, so that’s why I am reluctant to say anymore. But I have never been right before so there is a good chance I’m wrong again. So I will explain more.

     I think Doctor/Clara are living in a pocket universe right now. The pocket universe is located inside a computer mainframe (similar to the way 10/Donna visited the library).

    Missy (watching iPad) is like the “little girl CAL” watching TV with Dr. Moon, and seeing inside the library (pocket universe).

     I called the theory DinoPlus mainly because I thought that would be hilarious ( 😆 ) and because I think Missy is controlling some of the Monsters (like the dinosaur and the giant hand in the tunnel). She might be using her imagination to make all the “fantasy world” things happen too. It is like Missy is playing with her box of toys, and when one of the dies she takes them out of the pocket universe. Her favorite ones get to meet her (like Rupert’s soldier man was special), but the ones she doesn’t like very much just get to talk to Seb (like the PCSO).

    It makes a lot of sense to me. Sorry if this turns out to be a spoiler. I don’t like spoilers either, but I think the story is still cool even if this is true, because I still don’t know everything about Missy’s story arc.

  16. @Barnable, I’m glad you went into a bit more detail as I couldn’t make any sense out of your previous post!

    A few things on your theory

     I think Doctor/Clara are living in a pocket universe right now. The pocket universe is located inside a computer mainframe

    It wouldn’t need to be a separate universe if it was in a computer, just a virtual reality.

    She might be using her imagination to make all the “fantasy world” things happen too. It is like Missy is playing with her box of toys, and when one of the dies she takes them out of the pocket universe.

    That is the plot of a story I read once, in fact I think I read it because someone on the forum mentioned it. The name escapes me but it is the story of a soldier that ends up being just a toy in the child’s imagination.

    It would be a bit of a cliché twist on Missy, kinda like “it was all a dream”.

  17. @ScaryB    good point about soldiers and soldier types being taken by Missy. Have we seen any exceptions to that? I’m not convinced about the Cyberman-eye, but there is still the fact of two different groups of cyborgs/robots looking for a place called the Promised Land.

    And good point as well about the tech, it’s true that we have been rather pointedly shown throughout this series that Gallifrey isn’t the only source of advanced technology in the universe! And Missy’s ability to remove people from different time zones could only be that she can remove them from places where the Doctor is, and that she is tracking the TARDIS in some way. Or tracking Clara? Perhaps “I chose you well” meant that she chose Clara as a way to follow the Doctor. Maybe she was even tracking the Claricles, and there are people in her heaven from points all through the Doctor’s lives?

    But the fundamental question is, what is she actually doing all this for? I’m inclined to agree with those that think an army is being collected (and I like the November 11 connection).

  18. @Thommck

    It wouldn’t need to be a separate universe if it was in a computer, just a virtual reality.

    You are right about that, inside a computer isn’t what I should have said. Because I think the pocket universe is real in this case (not virtual), like the library was real. The library was just controlled by the computer and had terminals to interface with CAL. So I’m thinking the pocket universe is real too, with terminals (like GUS) to interface with Missy (Executive in another real universe/dimension) who is watching and influencing the pocket universe. But unlike CAL’s virtual world which the interface makes it like a video game, Missy’s world is real so the interface is more like skype.

     I haven’t figured out all the details of how that is even possible, like following Doctor/Clara through different times, which CAL didn’t have to do. But one possible explanation could be similar to the way the SS. Madam de Pompadour followed Madam de Pompadour’s life. Missy could be looking in on Clara’s or the Doctor’s life with windows that make years like the pages of a book.

     The windows could explain how Missy might control some monsters too. Because she can put monsters into the pocket universe through the windows, and then maybe the monsters just do their own thing once they are inside. Missy could have sent in an invisible boyfriend to push HFM and follow the Doctor/Clara. That could also explain Clara’s blowing in on a leaf, since Missy might have placed Clara into the pocket universe too. The HFM and Robots of Sherwood might have learned about the Promised Land through the GUS interface or they came from Missy dimension.


    It would be a bit of a cliché twist on Missy, kinda like “it was all a dream”.

    SM would never do that to us, so I agree virtual reality is out. That would be horrible. But I don’t think that is what is happening here. I think Missy’s world is real and so is the pocket universe. Just like the Doctor’s world is real with respect to Gallifrey frozen inside the paintings (which is real too). Idk for sure if Gallifrey is frozen or if life is continuing there, because:

    Stasis cube? Means frozen or maybe just moving very, very slowly relative to another dimension looking at it (like watching grass grow but maybe even slower). Life on Gallifrey could move slowly like growing grass, but to the Doctor’s universe it looks frozen. But to Gallifreyans inside the stasis cube universe it looks like everything is moving at normal speed. Missy’s universe could be the fast one now and the Doctor’s dimension is in a slow one. But this time there might not be a difference in speed between them, at all?

    Instead, I think SM is using the stasis cube idea in a new different way instead of speed. This time he could be using it as Big and Small. Missy’s world is Big and the Doctor’s is Small. So when Missy puts a dinosaur, or bacteria, or whatever the hand belonged too into the Doctor’s dimension, it looks huge to people in the Doctor’s dimension. But to Missy people it looks normal size.

    So imo, this DinoPlus Missy theory has a lot of potential for mind blowing ideas, which would definitely fit SM style. And that’s without even knowing who Missy is which means most of the other theories are still on the table, because this only maybe explains how. 😎

  19. Oh! stasis cube and big and small worlds I really like that one! @Barnable  😀 right, that’s now the latest bonkers theory bandwagon I’m jumping on (but preparing to fling myself at others as they come speeding along).

    This does fit a lot of what we’ve seen. There has definitely been a size/miniaturisation theme going on this series plus the very blatant sister ship of the Madam de Pompadour which fits with the windows potentially being a thing … OR its all massive red herrings and it’s something completely different.

    I’ve been slightly worried that this was heading to a ‘it was all a dream / virtual reality’ type thing, and really really hope it won’t be that – I’m 99% sure SM would not do that to us (ok, maybe 75 – hmm just lost 24% … oops, right stopping random quoting now!).


  20. @thommck – thanks for this. It’s really good to read your thoughts and see peoples musings focused in one place. I was in danger of loosing track what various people thought.

    A huge part of me hopes that Steven has gone verifiably insane and is about to upset a fair few serious minded sci-fi people by making her the actual anthropomorphic personification of Death for the Whoniverse. That Missy is actually, more or less, what she appears.

    Before you run away to order the twelve roles of rubber wallpaper for my study, let me explain.

    We have antecedents for this type of thing with the forces of Order and Chaos being personified by the Guardians, who have a casual relationship with time. They exist at all points so seemingly step from one portion of space-time to another.

    In addition we’ve had abstract menaces like the Celestial Toymaker. Immortal and capturing/trapping unwary mortals in his realm outside space-time to play his games.

    The comparisons between the Toymaker and the Guardians were so strong that spin-off media made them comparable in power. They were half of the “Six-fold God” – a set of primal anthropomorphes born with the universe to keep balance. The other half were never really explored except in name. The Gold Guardian was the Guardian of Life and Death.

    Perhaps, with a vacancy to fill, we have a suitable candidate with Missy, and like the Toymaker, a realm of her own. He has his Toyroom, she has the nethersphere. Such a being could be the source of many myths and legends – because death is something we all deal with. Hey – @juniperfish – we could tie her into every pantheon going! 😀

    In a series that has dwelled on death, am I a good man and old soldiers, the Doctor lives a life where Death is his constant companion. A popular saying in both World Wars. Missy does seem to see herself as having a relationship with the Doctor. In fact, in the first episode Rose, doesn’t ubernerd Clive say “He brings a storm in his wake, and he has one constant companion. Death.” I think both RTD and SM would naturally be attracted to the allusion of “the companion”.

    “Death is our constant companion, and it is death that gives each person’s life its true meaning.”

    Paulo Coelho “The Pilgrimage”

    So is the Doctor a good man? Perhaps that’s the point, that question can only be fully realised after the event. His “Judgement”. But the Doctor has missed that end-point and I’m drawn to the scene in the future in Listen, with the Doctor looking as if he’s about to accept Death.

    Ok – missy isn’t exactly the hooded skeleton with a scythe as in this Tarot card.

    But you could cut yourself shaving with Michelle Gomez’s cheekbones – who needs a scythe? As a writer you could have a lot of fun with Death. There is speculation that Missy may observe events through the eyes of others (and if Clara is a telepath – wouldn’t that be useful), and perhaps that’s where the belief that pennies should be placed in the Dead’s eyes? Myths and Legends, with a grain of truth in them.

    Going back to the Tarot card for Death, that card has always supposedly signified Change. And isn’t that what everyone is dealing with at the moment? It’s possibly worth mentioning you could develop a whole range of Series 8 Major Arcana Tarot Cards (The Lovers – Clara and Danny) The Moon (Moon-egg!) The Chariot (The Tardis). The Tower with the Hanged half faced man. But is the Doctor The Magician, The Fool or the Hierophant? Or all three?

    One final thought. If Neil Gaiman can get away with turning Death into a cute Goth girl, I see no problem with a nuts, Scottish, wickedly cheekboned Mary Poppins cosplayer.

    It may actually shock some of the “no fantasy in Doctor Who please” brigade that many of these concepts were so alive in the old series, which did dare to dance with fantasy and whimsy whenever the mood took it. It sometimes strikes me that maybe fandoms have become somewhat conservative over the years. A bit rigid. So yes – I’d like Death please. A big dollop of her.

  21. @thommck – a nice collection of the theories.

    Okay, to go into the mythology. There are a number of versions of ‘afterlife’. One thing that is pretty certain is that ‘nether’ usually means ‘below’. It doesn’t mean ‘heaven’, even if Missy is calling it that.

    This doesn’t necessarily means Missy’s afterlife is a version of Hell, but we are talking Doctor Who here. Also, Gretchen, bless her, is possibly named after Clever Gretchen. Clever Gretchen defeated the Devil – so both the name ‘Nethersphere’ and the naming of the characters suggest either a ‘Heaven neutral’ underworld with fates for all as required, or it’s a hell. 🙂

    The ‘sphere’ part certainly implies a ‘bubble’ universe. We’ve just been reminded this week that dimensional engineering is a Time Lord thing.

    Sebastos is the Greek translation of Augustus (thanks, Wikipedia) so ‘Gus’ is almost certainly something to do with Missy.

    Personally, if we’re going for hardish SF rather than fantasy (though I do like @Phaseshift‘s Whoniverse personification of Death idea), I’d point out that teleportation implies the possibility of resurrection from death. If you can copy a person well enough to teleport them, then doing a Silence in the Library full scale physical resurrection (without an initiation of the teleport to give you the information) becomes simply an engineering problem. Since this is fiction, we don’t even have an engineering problem – but again, the Time Lords are highly qualified temporal engineers and were seen in the Twentieth Anniversary Special using a ‘time scoop’ to take people out of their time.

    I have no idea what the iPad means, except that it was so bloomin’ incongruous, it must mean something. Last time the Master was on Earth he managed to tap the entire mobile phone network; the GI had control of the wi-fi. The Doctor has been routinely sonicing phones – and was careful to give Angie a TARDIS designed phone.

    But the only way you can tap a blackboard is by taking a photo of it before it gets wiped. The Doctor is carefully avoiding electronics for these mysterious calculations…

  22. @PhaseShift – Your post was a master piece in writing to me. It was so perfectly stitched together with poetic sounding phrases and historic reference from DW canon and real life, that I was really hoping for death by the end (  😕  what a terrible compliment?!? 😆 ). Btw, note to self, “make DW Tarot Cards to get rich”.

     The best thing of your Death Missy theory to me – besides it being awesome in its own right – is that it could fill a new void in the dynamics of DW stories after DotD, which other theories can’t do.

    After DotD happened, the Doctor is now running toward something, instead of away from something like he has been for 50 years. That is a pretty big change to the character and the motives that drive the show forward. I think that changes one of my favorite parts of the Doctor (in every regeneration BG and AG). I always loved the small glimpses and reminders that would pop up here and there, which reminded me that the Heroic, Brave Doctor is really running away and afraid of something (for that brief moment is when he doesn’t seem like an alien, but just one of us – then he quickly goes back to being the Hero Doctor and makes me forget about that terrible thought again  🙂  ).

    So changing that part is scary to me, because I want DW to last forever.

    But your Death Missy theory could restore that part of the story again.

    While the Doctor runs toward home. He can be running a way from Death Missy all the way home. The Doctor would be looking forward and looking over his shoulder at the same time. Just like he did when he ran away from home, I would love that.  😎


    But the only way you can tap a blackboard is by taking a photo of it before it gets wiped. The Doctor is carefully avoiding electronics for these mysterious calculations…

    Ah, now it makes sense. I agree! Now that you mention it, that is very interesting with all the Missy tech this season and the Doctor suddenly goes back to chalkboards and abandons his sonic?

  23. @Thommck – Apologies if the “My Speculation” at the beginning was your theories and not Craig’s.  It is your blog so it would make more sense that it is your TL Missy theory.  I do like that theory too.  :coo:

  24. @Bluesqueakpip and @PhaseShift indeed: The Underworld or Hades with its River Styx watched over by the ferryman. I remember having a ‘moment’ about the Greek epigram referring to the Underworld being cheap and @Juniperfish was very helpful. One translation implies travelling is cheap in Hades as an ox costs a penny. Another exegesis was that travelling was also quick and whether in Hades or above on Earth, “it is always best to go to your own people when seeking help”. Many times your family or ‘people’ was the religious order or the army into which you were conscripted or were bought into. I find it interesting that we have an Underworld,  religious symbology which may well be corporeal as well as the possibility that Missy can ‘track’ people like pages in a book (@Barnable) whereupon she travels to consume or attract them. And she’s attracting those from the army; a family of sorts.

    I mentioned on the other thread that Augustus was always worried about his children and step-children; he may have been noble compared with the ‘mad and the sad’ in ‘I Claudius’!  Is Gus, together with Missy, worrying about step-children? In any pantheon, the Gods in Olympus looked down upon the earth and fidgeted about these wayward beings. I imagine the view from the Underworld is skewed.

  25. regarding the ‘bubble  universe’ : when I had a still of Missy on the iPad I thought I saw two red ‘bubbles’ or circles? One large and the other, much smaller and attached to the larger? I may be dreaming this or else it was part of some graffiti in Flatline. Oops. Have to check again.

  26. @Thommck Thank you so much for starting such an interesting and useful thread!

    I have nothing half as good to add to the fabulous theories on here, I just enjoy reading them and I cannot wait to discover if any of them come to be. Thanks everyone 😀
    (At this current moment in time I’m leaning towards the theory she’s some sort of Time Lord- I liked the idea that she’s on her last regeneration and wanting to find out about immortality.)

  27. @purofilion

      I thought I saw two red ‘bubbles’ or circles? One large and the other, much smaller and attached to the larger?

    That is the shape which I suggested resembled the eyehole of a cyberman.  Most if not all designs have an aperture attached to the lower outer edge of the main eyehole, sometimes sub-circular, sometimes roughly tear drop shaped, sometimes more of a slot.  Maybe I was being fanciful, but I have a sneaking feeling that the resemblance may not be entirely coincidental 😕 .

  28. Sorry @PhaseShift, What I said about your writing stands, but I’ve got to change my last post about wanting Death Missy (that name and thinking about the Doctor getting chased by death for the next 50 years was starting to really creep me out, even if the name is really Gold Guardian I still know it’s still really death) Gold Guardian could also give life too, so maybe if Missy brings back some former character it will be good.

    At the “Tardis Data Core website” I read some of the BG televised stories for the Toymaker, Black, and White Guardians and it is almost a spoiler. The Mawdryn Undead episodes are nearly identical to what’s going on right now. 😯

    It definitely seems like Missy is probably the Black Guardian? OTOH, Moffat wouldn’t just re-play a story that’s already been done before exactly the same way? So it has to be a trick or misdirection Moffat is doing.  That eliminates Missy as Black Guardian, imo.  However, your Eternals theory does fit perfectly.

    So if Missy is an Eternal it is going to be the scariest story arc ever.  In that case, I’m hoping for the Toymaker (but still creepy especially as Missy). XD

    So I’m going back to the chalkboard, but I’m really starting to think Time Lady (@Thommck) or Cyber-Controler (@Mudlark hinted?).

     Sorry @Purofilion for not following the mythology theories, but I just don’t understand them at all, they are like time loops to me.  But I can agree Missy might be collecting people for a possible Cyberman army, but she doesn’t only collect soldiers though (unless PCSO was a soldier?) and probably not family (but maybe?).

  29. @Phaseshift Well I do like Missy as a pan-pantheon Guardian of Death – lovely post!

    @Purofilion mentions the Greek and I’ve always been enchanted by the Styx – death as a river one must cross over. But I’m still sold on the Egyptian, given the previous scattered references in relation to Clara, Eleven and now Twelve. I think of Missy as a self-appointed judge intent on weighing the Doctor’s hearts on the scales, as happens in that underworld. Obviously, if she’s a villain, she will have tipped the scales deliberately against him.

    @Bluesqueakpip I like your observation that the Doc is staying off the grid with his chalk equations. I’ve been enjoying the anachronism of the chalk-board in a time machine, as well as its nod to the venerable profession of teaching, which of course was the Moff’s before he became a writer, and also nicely harks back to Who’s first companions Iain and Barbara.

    Looking forward to tonight’s offering.



  30. @PhaseShift

    Brilliant deathly post, sir! While I remain in awe of Moffat as a writer, I sometimes think the ideas of some of the Enthusiasts on this site (and @PhaseShift does come to mind) can outdo Moffat on occasion.


    Now I must get hold of the Black Guardian trilogy. Thank god for credit cards!

    Apropo of nothing (about Missy) but while it is still in my head, soldiers have always been an issue with Moffat’s Doctors, it is just that 12 is rather less forgiving. With Rory it was a binary of nurse and soldier (Roman centurion) whereas with Danny is it a binary of teacher and soldier. In fact Capaldi’s Doctor is also a binary of teacher and soldier. Why am I rambling? There was a point, I’m sure there was.

    Enjoy the episode you lucky inhabitants of the British Isles. We colonials will wait for the morrow.

  31. After hours of reading, watching, and re-reading, I’m (almost) ready to bet money that Missy is Rani.

    Just for the sake of the argument, let’s say it’s feasibly possible for her to come back. After all, practically anything is plausible in this world.

    1) Let’s start with the obvious; her bracelet is arguably identical.

    2) In Dimensions in Time, Rani opened a hole in time which ‘gave her access to the Doctor’s timeline’. Rani was causing time to jump and at one point, landed in 2013 where she released her minions to cause chaos and distraction; a distraction where she could have easily slipped away for a moment to give a phone number to a potentially random girl in a shop. Which would explain why she’s so proud that she ‘chose well.’

    3) Random T-Rex in the first episode?  Oh yeah, she had a collection of their embryos in her TARDIS.  Coincidence?  Possibly… But it would be an odd coincidence.

    4) The actress that played Rani in the original recently passed away 🙁 and the entertainment industry does have a tradition of ‘giving nods’ to pay their respects to their creative counterparts.

    5) Back to note number 2… So, we’ve seen both Rani and Clara change the Doctor’s timeline.  There are countless times they could have come in contact and just as many possibilities for what could have happened.  We do know that Clara should have died when she jumped in… But she didn’t. Or did she?

    6) stattenham remote control.  The screwdriver changes, so it would be plausible for her remote to change too. In the photos that were taken on set during the filming of the finale, there’s a shot of The Doctor and Missy holding up a silver, rectangular object that’s about the same size as her previous remote.

    I’m not claiming that this is all accurate… But it would fit. And it would definitely be ‘a return of an old foe.’  Just sayin…

  32. @PhaseShift – If your theory turns out not to be true, I would very much like to travel to the alternate universe where it is true, and watch the hell out of that episode.  Masterfully done.

    As for the Tarot allusions, the Major Arcana is often referred to as the “Fool’s Journey” — we all begin as the Fool (card 0) and make our way through the symbolism and metaphor of the various cards until we fully integrate all of our experiences and become The World (card 21).  This Doctor clearly began this season as the Fool, not knowing who we was or what he was supposed to be doing.  As you say, he has encountered various other cards in his travels – Clara & Danny as the Lovers, Missy as (maybe) Death, the Hanged (half-faced) Man, the Moon (Egg).  In this past week’s episode, he was almost crushed by the falling of the Tower (Nelson’s Column).

    The Doctor himself has moved from Fool to Magician to Hierophant, and has even been the Hermit at times.  He has experienced or manifested Justice, Temperance, and Judgment at one time or another.

    Judgment (and really, the Doctor has been judging himself and others rather harshly all season) is the second-to-last card in the Fool’s Journey, and the site learntarot.com says this about the Judgment card:

    The Fool has been reborn. His false, ego-self has been shed, allowing his radiant, true self to manifest. He has discovered that joy, not fear, is at life’s center.
    The Fool feels absolved. He forgives himself and others, knowing that his real self is pure and good. He may regret past mistakes, but he knows they were due to his ignorance of his true nature. He feels cleansed and refreshed, ready to start anew.
    It is time for the Fool to make a deeper Judgement (20) about his life. His own personal day of reckoning has arrived. Since he now sees himself truly, he can make the necessary decisions about the future. He can choose wisely which values to cherish, and which to discard.

    The angel on Card 20 is the Fool’s Higher Self calling him to rise up and fulfill his promise. He discovers his true vocation – his reason for entering this life. Doubts and hesitations vanish, and he is ready to follow his dream.

    In this sense, Missy’s place as Death makes perfect sense – the agent of transformation that allows the Fool to reach his Higher Self.

  33. I think she’s river song, cause she did say she was his boyfriend, and who knows? she might have another regeneration in her. Another miracle! I would LOVE it to be susan (the doctor’s granddaughter) or Jenny, because we never really found out what happened to them. idk. just a though

  34. Missy is Clara!


    It’s obvious.


    When the doctor first meets Clara in person, in “The Snowmen” she is dressed in Victorian Clothing and she seems to be at her best there. As she progresses on,  she is given tasks to become more and more like the Doctor, and she is evolving to become more and more like him. Missy is partial to Victorian clothing and eccentric like how Clara was when she was in “The Snowmen”. Hence the outfit.


    Now, near the end of series 7 and beginning of series 8, it’s been mentioned that the Doctor isn’t Clara’s “boyfriend”.

  35. missy is the doctor’s daughter, from “the doctor’s daughter”

    ok,it may be complete rubbish, but at least its my original rubbish, and it fits in with the family themes

    just that boyfriend comment to work around…

  36. try again, fail again, fail better…

    missy is sexy, gone to the bad – explains the boyfriend comment, and the special relationship with clara, and why the tardis is going so wonky, even by tardis standards

  37. Watching, yet again, I noticed something I hadn’t before… In the beginning of Deep Breath, the Doctor still hasn’t returned to his full self (he’s confused, his memories are distorted, etc).  When he meets Clara in the restaurant, she asks where he got his coat from.  First, he lies and says he bought it in a shop.  She calls his bluff (which is obvious because he’s smelly from said second-hand coat).  She finally gets him to admit that he traded his watch for it.  She responds, ‘oh you loved that watch.’ Then they move on with the story…

    Could this be THE watch?!  The pocket watch that can hold a time lord’s memories??

    Question: do we know if each time lord has their own watch that will work on ONLY them?

    If not, could someone… like a random other time lord, let’s say the Master for example… take the watch, borrow the technology to take the form of a companion (like Rani has done in the past), and in doing so, conceal his own identity to from the Doctor AND himself, then leave the watch in the hands of a partner (Rani, for this argument’s sake).  Then at the perfect time, Rani opens the watch, restores the Master’s identity, and the real battle begins.  The Clara we’ve watched all season didn’t exist AND every argument I made for Rani in my first post is still valid.

    What ya think, @blenkinsopthebrave ? 😀 this show is practically unpredictable, but I would totally cream my panties if I got this one right lol

  38. i’m still leaving the door ajar on a theory i had, back when missy showed up at the end of ‘deep breath,’ that she is an older tasha lem, made (more?) insane by the dalek tech that was put in her. i have no more actual evidence for this idea now, than i had back then, but… she is someone the doctor knows/knew, and it was intimated that they had quite a history before her appearance in ‘the time of the doctor.’

  39. Loving everyone’s input, especially the ones I missed or brushed past in my top 10.

    For some reason I have longed to see the Rani return since David Tennant first series. I don’t really know why as I’m not even sure if she was in any if the  7th doctor stories switches as a child!? So well done to @courtK0027 for highlighting all the parallels.

    @phaseshift & @drben very interesting insight into Death & Tarot. Missy being Death personified would be quite delicious but wouldn’t it make her undefeatable (unless they played twister)?

  40. In the full and certain knowledge that Missy’ll probably turn out to be someone else entirely:

    Missy is the Master because:

    1) Clara is acting weird. The character who described the Doctor as ‘the man who makes things better’ (and would love to attack him by having him make someone worse) is the Master.

    2) Did I mention that Clara is acting weird? The character who has previously attacked the Doctor through his Companions is the Master.

    3) Danny is acting as if the Doctor’s a manipulative drug dealer who eats small children after kidnapping them in his TARDIS. (Obviously the Doctor can’t eat small children before kidnapping them in his TARDIS, as that’s a bit tricky even for a time traveller). The character who has previously attacked the Master by convincing a Companion’s loved ones that the Doctor is a manipulative etc, etc, is the Master.

    4) Missy appears to have an insanely complex plan. The Master.

    5) Missy seems to be stalking the Doctor. Definitely the Master.

    6) Missy calls the Doctor her ‘boyfriend’.

    Oh, just face it, she’s the Master.


  41. *

    The character who has previously attacked the Master

    I meant attacked the Doctor, of course. Curse this sudden and inevitable lack of edit function on the blogs. 😉

  42. @CourtK0027  ick..the panties line. Not good. Some terrific theories  about The Rani – a very good ‘statement of evidence’.

    As to the watch, Smithy wore one with his suit. I don’t think it was a TL’s watch a la The Master (in the programme starring Derek Jacobi as The Master before he regenerated) stuck at the end of the universe.

    @drben the tarot info is astounding. I know so little about this mythology…what else do people call it? I know what some Christians call it: “The work of the devil”. I’m pretty sure it’s lots of things but not that, somehow. 🙂

    I wonder when we will see Iain and Barbara? At one point the husband, being difficult and a ‘stirrer’ said ‘Missy is Barbara’. Okaaaay. “How much of this have you slept through?” I complained, stuffily.

    @Vanillabarcode I think it’s obvious too. Generally Moff doesn’t ‘do’ obvious but then a double bluff is possible.

    @geoffers I also initially thought Missy =Tasha. The dalek stalk then endless torture, the accent even and the fact her right eye is odd -if you have a dalek stalk hanging about that could affect you permanently. But then, where is The Mainframe? Destroyed? The Silence?  Has she chosen to go ‘solo’ only using Seb as her St Peter?

    Kindest, puro.

  43. Just spotted the BBC have put up a Missy page. Nothing new there but interesting theta they list her under both villain &character sections.

    Also, just had a thought that many have mentioned that we may get an 11/11 remembrance day link but have we missed that this Saturday is the post-Halloween All Saints day? IIRC that is when the saints come to rid us of all the evils in the world. Missy is a saint?

  44. @thommck.

    Also, just had a thought that many have mentioned that we may get an 11/11 remembrance day link but have we missed that this Saturday is the post-Halloween All Saints day? IIRC that is when the saints come to rid us of all the evils in the world. Missy is a saint?

    It is also the Mexican Day of the Dead, when, according to my scant understanding of it, the dead return to visit the living. Neil Gaiman drew upon it for the inspiration for his “Day of the Dead” episode of B.5. (The only decent episode in the fifth season.) So there could possibly be a link “cause even though he is not writting for DR Who this series I am certain he and Moffat occasionally chat about it.



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