Making A Few Changes To A Familiar Sci-Fi Ship
♦The latest Doctor Who is on tonight as ever but Michelle Gomez reveals what the Doctor’s ship the TARDIS would look like with a little remodelling from her…
Missy is a Time Lady and like the Doctor, she’s from the planet Gallifrey in the constellation of Kasterborous. They were friends in their youth and both chose to ignore their people’s policy of non-intervention with other species, but unlike the Doctor, Missy chose to travel the universe causing chaos and revelling in wickedness on an epic scale.
Why did the Master choose to execute his schemes on a planet where he knew the Doctor was waiting for him? The answer was possibly revealed years later when he claimed that his former friend was his ‘greatest stimulation’.
When the Fourth Doctor encountered the Master on Gallifrey he had reached the end of his regeneration cycle and the once urbane and attractive figure had been involved in some kind of accident giving his form a monstrous appearance. His charm had been replaced by a seething malevolence and even the Doctor seemed less charitable to his old enemy, branding him the ‘quintessence of evil’, although he did admit that his mathematical skills were absolutely brilliant – almost up to his own standard, in fact!
The Master later stole another body (‘a new body, at last!’) and didn’t waste time making bad use of it. His plan to gain dominion over the universe led to the destruction of Logopolis and only the Doctor was able to prevent this disaster triggering the end of the cosmos – but at a great cost… The Fifth, Sixth and Seventh Doctors battled this ‘version’ of the Master across the galaxies – from England, 1215, to the far away world known as ‘the planet of the Cheetah People’.
The Master again stole a new body after escaping to San Francisco, 1999 (where he almost managed to use the TARDIS to destroy Earth) but the Doctor’s travels were apparently unhampered by his fellow Gallifreyan following the Time War between the Doctor’s people and the Daleks.
That changed on the planet Malcassairo where the resurrected Master had been masquerading as the kindly genius, Professor Yana. Even he didn’t know he was the Master until a device looking like a fob watch was opened and his true personality was unleashed. ‘I… am… the Master!’ he declared, making up for many lost years by quickly killing a faithful, old companion, stealing the TARDIS and leaving the Doctor to die at the hands (and fangs) of the Futurekind. Now it seemed that he and the Doctor were the only surviving Time Lords in the universe.
When the Doctor next came face-to-face with the Master he’d regenerated and this latest version had ‘become’ Harold Saxon, Prime Minister of Great Britain. Urged on by the ‘sound of drums’ in his head he attempted universal domination by working with a race he called the ‘Toclafane’, named after monsters that featured in the fairy tales of Gallifrey. After that scheme was foiled he decided not to enslave humanity and instead tried to replace every living person with a version of himself, creating, as he called it, a ‘Master race’. Again, the Doctor was able to derail his vile enterprise and the Master was thwarted.
Throughout all their encounters they usually showed a respect towards each other and on the occasions when they were forced to work as a team it was clear they made terrific allies. These two rogue Time Lords – so different but so very similar – facing the world on their terms with gusto and enormous talent, but forever ending up alone. It was perhaps summed up best in The Sound of Drums: ‘Don’t you see,’ the Doctor told the Master, ‘all we’ve got is each other.’
The Master’s respect for humanity bordered on zero and the list of aliens he collaborated with reads like a who’s who of galactic villainy – the Daleks, Daemons, the Rani and the evil Axos are just four entries in his rogues’ gallery of comrades. When Missy allied herself with the Cybermen she planned to convert the dead of planet Earth, ‘upgrading’ the fallen into a vast army of silver soldiers. But unusually, she planned to give the Doctor this terrifying force, keen to see what he would do with such power. The Doctor shunned the opportunity, however, and Danny was able to lead the ‘new born’ Cybermen meaning Missy’s scheme was defeated. But Clara wanted revenge on the Time Lady and seemed willing to kill her. The Doctor prevented this, although before we discovered what he himself would do, a solitary Cyberman– a figure later revealed to be the Brigadier – appeared to destroy Missy.
But the self confessed ‘Queen of Evil’ has a history of returning from the dead…
All good things must come to an end, and it seems that Missy’s last day has finally come. A prisoner on Carnathon, and faced with execution at the hands of the Doctor himself, she is at the mercy of a precisely calibrated technology, built to disable her regenerative ability, and fated to be placed inside a Quantum Fold Chamber for 1,000 years.
Solemn, perhaps even vulnerable, Missy seems a shadow of her former self as she begs the Doctor to change his mind: “I’ll be good, I promise. I’ll turn good, please. Teach me how to be good.” Are her pleas genuine, or is this another clever game of hers? “I know I’m going to die, but I have to say it. The truth. Without hope, without witness, without reward. I am your friend.” Even as she plays the ultimate card, the Doctor seems intent on putting an end to her evil, once and for all. Would he really kill his greatest foe and his oldest friend?
Of course he wouldn’t. There is still punishment and incarceration for Missy, as the Doctor places her in the vault for 1,000 years, but she is just as extraordinary, insane, and alive as always – “I’ve just been executed!” she barks at the guards, “show a little respect.” Now the Doctor must try to keep his secret and dangerous detainee imprisoned in the vault, and, harder still – try to make her reform.