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Introducing Missy the “Gatekeeper”: Who is She?

Guest contributor Sam Rahaman looks at some of the speculation so far and offers a theory.

Full Deep Breath spoilers from this point on again, naturally!

deep-breath-missy

It’s almost hard to believe that after eight months away, Doctor Who is well and truly back on our screens once more. Deep Breath was in my humble opinion not only a brilliant reintroduction to the show but also a fantastic introduction to Capaldi and his era. But as always with a new series a brand spanking new arc is formed – and in this episodes case the closing moments gave us an intriguing introduction to a strange, enigmatic, character by the name of Missy (Michelle Gomez), who we know, from a previous BBC announcement, is the mysterious Gatekeeper of the Nethersphere.

Having been reported to appear in the finale, it came as a genuine surprise to see her in the first episode of the series – and a brilliant one at that. It may have only been under five minutes long, but just from that one scene I was immediately intrigued and a little bit in love with the character (though I don’t know about anyone else – I gather she’ll be a bit divisive amongst the general fandom). Obviously with the introduction of her character, the question of who she is now a prominent one and one that will most likely be teased upon as the series progresses over the coming weeks (I definitely think we can expect more appearances from her in other episodes). It didn’t take long for the fandom to start guessing though! As soon as the episode had finished airing the theories were coming out in full force: some of them were very interesting, others genuinely bizarre; but I’m not going to judge them! I’m here to present them to you.

deep-breath-heaven-missyLet’s just take a step back and remind ourselves what we learned from this scene: The Half-Face man, who jumped or was pushed off the escape air-balloon-made-of-skin-thing, arrives in a strange, but rather beautiful garden, and comes across a woman who identifies herself as Missy. Here she proclaims that the man has found himself in “paradise” later going on to describe it as “heaven”. It’s clear that this is the “Promised land” that the Half-Face man mentioned earlier in the episode, the place he was trying to get to; and we can already surmise that those who die are now finding themselves in this “promised land” – but for exactly what purpose still remains to be seen – though I’ll hazard a guess in saying it’s nothing good!

Missy herself seems to be a bit of a psycho ‘Mary Poppins’ with her umbrella twirling and prancing round the garden; but what’s even more intriguing is the fact that she already appears to know the Doctor even referring to him as her “boyfriend” – although we have don’t even know if this new version of the Doctor even has any idea as to who she is. How she knows the Doctor is a very interesting question, and one that I am sure Moffat will answer soon enough. But as I mentioned earlier there have been so many theories from the fans already, trying to piece together who she is, and what her purpose is. Let’s take a look:

The Woman in the shop?

impossible-girl-paperThe most popular fan theory I’ve seen on the comments so far is that she is in fact the “woman in the shop” from The Bells of Saint John, and the person who placed the ad in the paper in this opener to ensure that the Doctor and Clara met in the restaurant. I definitely think that this is the case, and it opens up a lot of possibilities for the future of Series 8. It seems then, if this is indeed true, she’s been playing the Doctor and Clara for a while now, always trying to bring them together: but why?

the-master-the-end-of-time-hoodThe Master?

Many have speculated that she is in fact the Master in disguise – I’m not really a fan of this theory, it seems a bit…well, odd. People are basing this theory on the fact that “Missy” can be seen as a shortening of “Mistress” which in turn is the gender opposite of a “Master”, as well as the fact that Moffat has recently teased that a “major foe” is returning soon. To me though, this seems like a far too obvious choice, and it seems to be like a deliberate thing by Moffat to throw people off the scent. People have been speculating that the Master is returning for a while now, so what better way to get people riled up then to give a character a strikingly similar name! Of course I could very well be proven wrong – it does make an effective disguise for the Master to become a woman, it’s very duplicitous and opens up a whole new dynamic that can be explored – but as I said, it just seems too obvious to me (But after all, this is just my opinion, you may disagree; and please feel free to!)

The Rani?

Siobhan-Redmond-RaniOthers have instead speculated that she is in fact the Rani. I definitely like this idea a lot more, as I feel she is a villain that has so much more potential than what’s been realised so far. It would certainly be a lovely tribute to the recently late Kate O’Mara – and I do think having the Rani back on screen would be amazing to see. But Big Finish recently cast another actress for the part (pictured), and Moffat has already expressed in the past that he finds this character too obscure for the modern day TV audience. Although after making the Great Intelligence the central enemy for Series 7B, it seems he’s going back on those words, so it’s entirely possible.

peter-capaldi-river-songAn old flame?

Another theory I’ve read has suggested that she’s another form of River, or even Tasha Lem (who was introduced in last year’s Christmas special). I personally do not think that either of these is very likely at all. For one thing we’ve seen all of River’s incarnations already, and we know she gave away all of her regeneration energy to the Doctor – and she died in the Library, in the form that gave that regeneration energy to the Doctor. I’m also of the opinion that River’s story is well and truly done now, a sentiment that Moffat has echoed fairly recently. As for Tasha Lem, whilst they may appear to be a bit similar in personality, I don’t see how this could be possible. For one thing it was never expressed that Tasha has the ability to regenerate like the Time Lords, it was never expressed that she even belongs to that race. So it just seems a bit ridiculous to me – I do think we will see Tasha Lem back again, but not as Missy.

the name of the doctor promo batch b (3)Clara?

What’s my own theory? Well I have a couple, one of them is completely crazy and probably not even correct, but I’ll let you have a read and see what you make of it (you’ve probably already read it on my comment on the Rate page). Throughout Deep Breath there was a little running “gag”, how Clara views the Doctor as her boyfriend. As we know already at the end of the episode Missy even refers to the Doctor as her boyfriend and someone who can be a bit “mean”. Where am I going with this you ask? Well, what if Missy is in fact a Clara echo, but one that turned insane? She has all these recollections and thoughts of this man she’s never met – she has an urge to find and save him, and it’s driven her mad. She needs and wants to meet him desperately. So she devises a plan that could get her face to face with the man himself. It explains why (if she is the woman in the shop) she’d give Clara the number to the Doctor’s TARDIS, to make sure she calls him enabling her to travel with him and go through the time-stream so she was created. As I said this theory is probably ridiculous, nonsensical, and won’t come to fruition. But there’s no harm in theorising, it’s part of the fun of watching the show!

Someone new?

In all seriousness though, I do think that whoever Missy is, she won’t be someone we’ve come across before. Throughout Moffat’s era so far any new villain that has been teased by him have been theorised to be the Master, the Rani, Omega etc. etc. and they’ve never come true. Every time they’ve been a brand new character, with their own motivations, with their own identity. That’s what I believe is happening here again, that Missy is someone who knows of the Doctor (possibly a bit obsessive over him as we saw in the scene), but someone who we have never met before, and possibly someone the Doctor hasn’t either. But whoever or whatever she is, I cannot wait to find out in Series 8. Michelle Gomez is a fantastic actress, and I just know that she will make Missy one of the most unforgettable characters we’ve had in a very long time – I’m sure she’ll be amazing.

Though that doesn’t mean we can stop speculating! As I said before it’s all part of the fun of being a fan, so I want you to be as wacky and as creative as you can. Put aside all your pessimism and doubts (if you have them) and embrace the creativity, and tell me who you think she is. Do you agree with any of the theories I’ve outlined here? Do you disagree and have your own theory? Let me know in the comments below, I cannot wait to read them!

No spoilers from leaked episodes or filming please.

Step back in time...

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530 comments
jredf2003
jredf2003

Altho I dont think Missy is in the Tardis, remember that the rooms of the Tardis arent actually in the Tardis itself. The doorways are gates to other places and dimensions. Imagine your house with the individual rooms being scattered across the globe, but on the outside it looks like a garden shed. The doorways are connected inside, which makes it look like a single building.The artron shell and eye of harmony hold it all together

GiovanniFerrante
GiovanniFerrante

Maybe the spirit of the Tardis? She call the Doctor her "boyfriend".In the past when the spirit of the tardis was trapped in a woman, the Doctor and the TARDIS woman show a sort of love and something more deeper, maybe the "heaven" is a place somewhere in the TARDIS or in the temporal flux of the TARDIS. And missy is the personification of this spirit trying to do something to help, keeping the doctor and Clara togheter...all I want to sat is, maybe missy is hot the new evil, mah a new bigger evil is hiding in the shadows...

joe4
joe4

Maybe paradise is referring to...... (drum role)...... Paradise Towers!


Anyone?...... No?...... Just me?....... :/

missjennifer72
missjennifer72

"Don't it make my brown eyes bluuuue..."


That was actually written in because Louise Jameson was having a hard time with the brown contacts they gave her to wear for her early episodes. Since they'd named her after the Middle Eastern revolutionary Leila Khaled, they'd tried to make her eyes darker.

CharlesHinkle
CharlesHinkle

Missy saved the clockwork droid.  "Did you jump or were you pushed?"

Missy saved the soldier Laura dos Santos.  She clearly sacrificed herself for the Doctor and the others. Implicitly and for the sake of continuity, that shows the droid jumped.

Children of Time?

Clara joined with the Doctor's timeline.  She has known every Doctor (Hartnell through Smith).  All those moments when the Doctor paused with uncertainty, he heard her voice whispering and telling him what to do.

But Clara does not know the Doctor after he regenerates.  "Am I a good man?"  "I don't know."  Clara does not know this new Doctor.  She was not a part of his timeline, a part of these new regenerations granted by the Time Lords. 

How could she, who knew over 2000 years of the Doctor, not know the Doctor?

Clara will eventually leave the Doctor.  1) All companions leave.  2) She describes the Doctor flippantly "You're my hobby."

Then also ask:  How many Cybermen has the Doctor destroyed?  Keep in mind that the Cybermen are human brains in a metal, robotic exoskeleton. The brain is there, the very being, though the emotions are repressed.  Is the Doctor guilty of murdering humans?  Is he good? 

Three scenes: 

DAVROS: Already I have seen them sacrifice today, for their beloved Doctor. The Earth woman who fell opening the Subwave Network.
DOCTOR: Who was that?
ROSE: Harriet Jones. She gave her life to get you here.
DAVROS: How many more? Just think. How many have died in your name?

DAVROS: The final prophecy is in place. The Doctor and his children, all gathered as witnesses. Supreme Dalek, the time has come. Now, detonate the Reality bomb!

CAAN: This I have foreseen, in the wild and the wind. The Doctor will be here as witness, at the end of everything. The Doctor and his precious Children of Time. And one of them will die.


Someone will have to replace Clara.  Someone will have to know him so well, protect him and support him, and occasionally whisper advice into his sub-conscience.

Enter the Gatekeeper, Missy.  She has saved dos Santos, possibly the Droid, maybe the Cybermen(?).

Missy is the Gatekeeper, the Protector of the Doctor's new timeline.  She saves the Children of Time, the martyrs, the casualties, those who died accidentally. She is one who can replace Clara and let Clara move on.

As Gatekeeper, maybe she will also know how to free Gallifrey from its cup-a-soup dimension.

The MasterDoctor
The MasterDoctor

Leela's eye color changed from brown to blue.  Why couldn't Clara's?  She could even become the type (in her old age) where she decides to wear colored contact lenses because she believes they make her look better.  That sort of thing.  Just sayin'.

Tourettte
Tourettte

It's not Clara, Clara has dark brown eyes and Missy has blue eyes (and . I think it might be someone they met along the way. I think they will drop hints with each episode. maybe even a personification of something

jredf2003
jredf2003

The theory that she is in heaven holds water at bay like a screen door on a submarine. Only "good" people go to heaven and since the droid was a killing machine, it doesn't seem likely that it would go to "heaven". Also, whoever it is she actually controls, she could wake her "visitors" up whenever she chooses. Who's to say that a Tardis chameleons circuit is only for the outside of a Tardis? It is to prevent a Tardis from being discovered as a time machine. Plays my first impulse when I watch her and the crazy faces she makes before she speaks tells my subconscious not to trust her, that she is deceptive.

SavvyT
SavvyT

I do not have a theory, I have to say I am enjoying reading all of these.  Doctor Who fans minds are incredible. I am so glad I got into this show very late I might add but I am playing catch up watching them all from the very beginning. 

Biggsoir
Biggsoir

Right, here's my tuppence worth. Missy is in fact some form of the Missy character from the series 7 episode Nightmare in Silver where the Dr ends up playing chess against himself as a cyberman.... I am sure the rest of you can flesh this concept out for me a bit as I am far too lazy..... Combined Cyberplanner/Dr consciousness blah blah blah

SimonVickery
SimonVickery

I get the feeling there's a strong emphasis, in this series, on the doctor discovering what kind of person he is - "am I a good man?" to quote one line. I think gathering together a collection of individuals , in 'paradise', who the dr has played a part in the killing of may culminate in some kind of judgement day for the doctor - one where he must face his 'demons'. I think Missy may be an older Clara, who serves as a judge or mediator in the doctor's judgement day, to help him recognise what kind of person he is. I reckon there will be a major decision he will have to make in the finale.

DanielTregant
DanielTregant

We'd have seen Missy's TARDIS if it had appeared around them. We didn't so she's not.

Oncoming_Badger
Oncoming_Badger

Guys, have we all missed the most obvious and terrifying thing that Missy has already done? It's a no brainer that she was the woman in the shop and left the ad in the paper... What we don't realize is that perhaps we've compeltely misinterpreted the ad in the paper. Missy clearly lives or holds domain in some place she calls heaven... We keep seeing people die and going to heaven... the last episode is called 'Death in Heaven'... So why are we ignoring the fact that Missy left an ad for Clara (The Impossible Girl), saying "Lunch on the other side"? As in the other side of life... The ad in the newspaper was an invitation from Missy to Clara... to die and come to heaven... [Well that's what I believe anyway...]


bmalloymail
bmalloymail

1) She is saving lives before they die because of the doctor 2) episode 2 starts with the doctor saving the girl the same way. 3) she says that she will "keep" the scottish accent. I think we are watching the bad doctor and she is the splintered good side trapped away fixing his mistakes.









Merganman4
Merganman4

I've got my own theory for who Missy is, although we don't have much to go off of right now. I believe that she is a Time Lady, but one we've never met before. She seems as if she knows the Doctor well, and calls him her 'boyfriend'. What if Missy is in fact the Doctors wife before he left Gallifrey? Of course, Gallifrey was thought to be destroyed, but now we know it's safe in a pocket universe, leaving it open for Time Lords/Ladies to be in the show. Also, this quote from the finale could match with this if it is indeed the Doctor saying it: “You betrayed me. You betrayed my trust, our friendship, and everything I’ve ever stood for. You let me down.” Ofcourse, this is all speculation, but that's my theory :) 



charlottek23
charlottek23

Whoever she is, I think is part of a computer program/virtual reality that uploads the conscience of the dead to turn them into something else...something bad. Perhaps this virtual reality is within the Tardis. 

jredf2003
jredf2003

I think I know how she became involved but its murky. Ive always thought the Doctor had 12 regenerations but apparently this isn't the case because he kept saying "this is the face I end with" or some crap like that so when Amy begs the "timelords" to help him, somehow they unfroze themselves long enough to give him another regeneration OR the Gatekeeper of The Nethersphere showed up in their place long enough to make sure he doesnt visit the Nethersphere just yet and gave him enough power to blow up anything he wants to. Also keep in mind that the Tardis that was killing people while looking for a pilot had a console that kind of looked like caskets which would be a fitting machine for a Timelord involved in death. That Tardis is still on the loose.

Jambo4358
Jambo4358

after today's episode I'm convinced she's a time lord. The TARDIS effect where Blue was saved was extremely similar to the one later in the episode. Going by other clues, particularly Moffat's old foe comment, I'd guess Rano


ThomasOliver10
ThomasOliver10

could it be the tardis? the garden does look like the right shape and the fountain could be representing the console

jredf2003
jredf2003

Wherever she is she might have access to one of the rooms, wherever they are stored

johnI360
johnI360

@GiovanniFerrante I wouldn't think so ...how would the Tardis' "spirit" be in two places at the same time? That the Garden is somewhere inside the Tardis I suppose is not impossible but doesn't explain how people are getting there. How would Missy seize control of the Tardis without the Tardis or the Doctor noticing?

missjennifer72
missjennifer72

I think I botched it...this was supposed to be a reply to The MasterDoctor below.

pyroclasticflow
pyroclasticflow

@jredf2003 Agreed in regard to her being deceptive. I've seen some people talking about her character as if she's one of the good guys. I just don't buy it. Everything about her rubs me the wrong way. To me, she seems delusional and psychotic!

BoneyardBetty
BoneyardBetty

@DanielTregant We didn't see the Doctor's TARDIS appear around Journey Blue but it did.  

And what do you mean "...so she's not"?  Not what?  Do you just mean so she doesn't have a TARDIS?  Or "so she's not" a Time Lady?  I think she could have a TARDIS and not be a Time Lady but I could be mistaken.

bmalloymail
bmalloymail

4) in ep2, during the transfer of the girl to the garden, the light goes tardis gold for just a second at the end of the transfer. They could have just left the light blue the whole time. 5) The people that are killed in time need to be put somewhere...tardis?

missjennifer72
missjennifer72

@Merganman4  Mmm....it's a tempting thought, but not one I'm all that partial to, since I've always been rather stuck on the idea that Mrs. Doctor, Susan's grandmother, died before the Doctor left for the first time, along with his children (one of whom was Susan's parent). I like the idea of him having had a tragic romance in his past. Besides, he doesn't seem like the type to abandon a living wife, or to take Susan away from living parents.

Kathrin Lily Franke
Kathrin Lily Franke

@jredf2003 Now, count in the War Doctor and 10.2 (in Stolen Earth) and you get your 12 regenerations. So 11's was the last face and he would have died if CLARA hadn't asked the Time Lords via the crack in time and space. I don't think they're physically frozen, though I'm really not sure, just that time doesn't pass - they're stuck in that moment and can't out of it - but probably can still move. And besides they're probably all telepathic so they could have given the command that way without having actually to move. 













And what do you mean by "the TARDIS that was killing people while looking for a pilot"? I can't remember that... Unless you mean The Doctor's Wife, but I can't remember any caskets there...

















MedicusQui
MedicusQui

Maybe it's the remnants of House, somewhere within the TARDIS

johnI360
johnI360

@jredf2003 Although it could be possible that the Garden is a room in the Tardis - that means that she has also seized control of the Tardis from outside the primary control room. That's not impossible either - i just think it unlikely.

Kathrin Lily Franke
Kathrin Lily Franke

@johnI360 @GiovanniFerrante Well, it's been known to happen... that someone took over the TARDIS without the Doctor noticing for a while, for example in "No Place like Home", a free Big Finish audio, where a rovie takes over the TARDIS and the Doctor only notices, apparently after years, because suddenly she's reconfiguring on her own. And the TARDIS protected the rovie (a Gallifreyan mouse).

But I don't think Missy is the spirit of the (Doctor's) TARDIS. And I don't think a take-over, like the rovie's would be likely to happen again... surely the Doctor has learned from his mistake and runs regular security checks (like an anti-virus) on the TARDIS...

jredf2003
jredf2003

Plus she wears black, which is a sign of negativity. So does the Master and now... the Doctor too. Hmmm. Is he a good man? I wonder

johnI360
johnI360

@DanielTregant She doe shave a point re: Journey Blue.

Throughout the series it has been shown that people who are not Time Lords can pilot a Tardis. But Tardises (Tardi?) often have isomorphic controls and other security features so it seems unlikely to me that one could simply walk off with  one.

BoneyardBetty
BoneyardBetty

I mostly like this theory, especially the idea of her having Heaven/her TARDIS materialize around the people right before they die. The Doctor has used that technique many times. However, we did see the Half Face Man impaled on that building spire. Her being a "good" splintered version of Doctor is a little odd to me though, just because she's such a creep. If Clara and the Great Intelligence were splintered in his Timestream so could he. And TARDIS gold?? What's that?

charlottek23
charlottek23

@A Friend of the Ood @charlottek23 That's true. Her saying she wanted to keep the Doctor's accent made me think she could perhaps alter herself, and then there's the people/robots appearing there right after they die...as if they've been uploaded. Certainly less far fetched than it being actual heaven I thought :p Didn't Cybermen appear in the series 8 promo? Maybe Missy is "downloading" them all into Cybermen.

BoneyardBetty
BoneyardBetty

@Kathrin Lily Franke @jredf2003 They are "frozen in a moment in time" in a stasis cube so yes, they can physically move within that moment.  I don't see why they would be "probably all telepathic" though.  The Doctor can enter people's minds but he isn't actually a telepath.

GiovanniFerrante
GiovanniFerrante

@Kathrin Lily Franke @johnI360 wait wait, i don't say Missy is someone took over the TARDIS, I say Missy is THE TARDIS, in a old episode the TARDIS defend her/himself from a group of soldier and we see a lot, very lot room, and anti-intrusion system that is ok, noone took over the TARDIS. Of the real powers of the TARDIS we know realy a little, they seem enormous, and regenereted whit The Docotor, changing every time as the Doctor do, but no one cares of TARDIS, he/she seems every time the same, maybe whit more round object or maybe whit not but the same TARDIS...are you sure? and if the TARDIS change? if this time the TARDIS want come out? want to do something, collecting the people who died whit the doctor in the season because someone is trying to accuse The Doctor not to be a good man, and the TARDIS bring the people to say, The Doctor never killed, convinced me to jump for save his friend and for ending my mistake, and the girl in the dalek,I sacrificed myself to allow you to save the lives of my fellow, and future people the Doctor let die or sacrifice, because this TARDIS maybe Missy want protect and defend The Doctor...or probably not but is a nice story!



Kathrin Lily Franke
Kathrin Lily Franke

@BoneyardBetty @Kathrin Lily Franke @jredf2003 According to the wiki telepathy is a general Gallifreyan/ Time Lord ability. And the Doctor is a telepath, even if 10 and 11 (with Mme de Pompadour and Craig) needed physical contact. But apparently 4 didn't, and could even project his mind over long distances (I can't judge because I haven't got there yet). The use of it by the individual Time Lord/ Lady and the extent of it seems to be a personal preference though. So I guess in a circumstance like this where they have no other means of comms it might well be an option. 

Kathrin Lily Franke
Kathrin Lily Franke

@BoneyardBetty @johnI360 @DanielTregant Well, she was about to be decommissioned when they stole each other, which probably made it easier... but he might have known how to fly one anyway, at least in theory (I read somewhere that he didn't actually pass his 'driving test')...

johnI360
johnI360

@joe4 @johnI360 @DanielTregant I don't think its a lie - there are plenty of examples of the Doctor's enemy's trying - and failing to be able to operate the controls. 

BoneyardBetty
BoneyardBetty

@Kathrin Lily Franke @BoneyardBetty @jredf2003 Very cool!  Learn something new everyday :)  So was it actually a TARDIS in The Lodger that was on top of Craig's apartment?  I don't remember that being officially stated although I can see how it would interpreted as one.  It very well may have found a pilot in Missy.  



DanielTregant
DanielTregant

@johnI360 @BoneyardBetty @DanielTregant At the end of Patrick Troughton's tenure as the Doc he was snatched back to Gallifrey to face charges of meddling. He was found guilty, forced to regen had his memories blocked and the controls of his TARDIS locked so he couldn't go anywhere...though he couldn't remember what it was anyway. This was later reversed, so it can be done. And as the TARDIS has been around so much she's considered a sentient being...perhaps she can do it herself.

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  1. […] works, really. Missy danced around the garden fountain, swinging her umbrella joyously. There are a few theories floating around about who Missy might be. For now, all I know for sure is that she creeps me out a […]