“Hello. I’m Missy. Welcome to Heaven. Would you like some tea?”
Today’s a day for mischief and mayhem, as Michelle Gomez – The Mistress herself (couldn’t very well keep calling herself The Master now, could she?) – celebrates her 50th birthday!
Prior to taking up the role of Missy, Michelle had made numerous appearances in British film and television, best known for playing a staff liaison officer in Channel 4 comedy The Green Wing and more recently the deputy head in BBC sitcom Bad Education. In 2014, she was revealed to be playing the part of the Gatekeeper of the Nethersphere in Series 8 of Doctor Who, a enigmatic character with a big secret to hide… she was, in reality, the rebellious Time Lord (sorry, Time Lady – she could afford the upgrade!) that everyone loves to hate!
Interestingly, Gomez had originally been on the list of potential castings for the character of Ms Delphox in Series 8 episode Time Heist, a role that would later go to Keeley Hawes. Steven Moffat saw Michelle’s name on the list and knew she would be perfect for The Master and hand-picked her to play the part – an offer she simply couldn’t refuse! Missy made her debut at the very end of Deep Breath welcoming the Half-Face Man to “Heaven” – a greeting she would repeat throughout the series, popping up every now and again to introduce deceased characters to what they believed to be the afterlife. It would not be until the Series 8 finale, Dark Water/Death in Heaven, that her true identity was revealed, as well as her evil scheme to turn all of the dead into a huge Cyberman army… all just to prove a point to Peter Capaldi’s Doctor and get her friend back. After being thwarted, she was seemingly vaporised by the Cyber-Brigadier, only to reappear in the opening of Series 9, The Magician’s Apprentice/The Witch’s Familiar. In her triumphant return, she helped to hunt down a runaway Doctor before toying with Clara in the underbelly of Skaro, trapping her in a Dalek casing and almost tricking The Doctor into exterminating her. The last we saw, she was surrounded by Daleks in a collapsing city, with nothing but a very clever idea to get her out…
Michelle has received much acclaim for her portrayal of Missy as the bonkers, dastardly genius – and of course, she goes down in history as the first female incarnation of The Master, as well as representing the first on screen gender-swap regeneration. Despite only having appeared in four full episodes, she’s already made quite the impact – not only was she the “woman in the shop” who put The Doctor and Clara together in The Bells of Saint John, but she also killed Osgood (well, one of them) in cold blood on board the presidential plane. Bananas! It’s no wonder she’s been nominated for a Best Supporting Actress award at this year’s BAFTAs – good luck!
In addition to her appearances in the show, Michelle also met with fans at the 2015 San Diego Comic Con and the Doctor Who Festival, and she reprised her role for the LEGO Dimensions video game. We’re sure it won’t be long until we see even more from her on Doctor Who!
We’ll end this article by doing what Missy loves making everyone do: say something nice… hey Missy you so fine, you so fine you blow our minds! Happy Birthday!