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Digital Subscriptions > Doctor Who Magazine > 514 > The end of the line for Missy?

The end of the line for Missy?

Three years ago, she waltzed onto our screens – the first female Master – but now the end is nigh. “I’ll miss her,” says Missy actress Michelle Gomez.

Michelle Gomez is talking secrets: Doctor Who secrets, and how to keep them. “Oh, I’m just a hall of mirrors, reflecting back out there. In fact, I have many different ways,” she says, her dulcet Glaswegian tones suddenly growing more grandiose, “to protect the product I’ve come to love and live for over the years. Which is true as a fan and as a… staff member, I want to say.” A derisive snort. “I can’t. What am I?” She opts for “somebody that’s in it” instead, then adds, more seriously, “No, I actually feel quite passionately about keeping everything close to my chest, always.”

Answering questions, Michelle likes to go for the gag first, then offer something more sincere. When I ask, for instance, if she gets any surprises when she reads the scripts, or whether showrunner Steven Moffat has already sat her down, at the start of the series, and talked her through what’s coming up for Missy, she replies, “Yes, he straps me to a chair and gags me, and I remain like that until I’m wheeled onto set and I’ve got the lines beaten into me.”

A pause. A devilish chuckle. And then: “No, I decided to do an experiment this year with the readthrough” – this was for the two-part series finale, World Enough and Time/The Doctor Falls – “and not read the scripts. I read them for the first time when I sat down for the readthrough with the entire cast and, obviously, people around the table with the power to fire me. That’s when I realised that reading the scripts cold was probably not the best idea. I was enjoying everything far too much! There was lots of gasping – from me – and choking on crisps at my end of the table. It was quite a fun experiment. I’m not sure I’d do it again, but it was fun to have everything revealed as it was happening. It was exciting.”

Did she learn anything new about Missy at that readthrough, perhaps, that she wouldn’t have had she prepared diligently?

She feigns outrage. “There’s no preparation, and there’s no diligence! Those are filthy words, and I won’t have you use them again. I like to come at everything fresh, with no thought whatsoever. I know that sounds like I’m being trite, and I kind of am, but also it’s sort of the way I work, because I don’t really want to have thought about it too much. I want to see what happens on the day – and hope that something exciting happens. By the time we’re filming, I have at least learnt my lines, and I will know where to stand, but over and above that I haven’t really made many decisions, because in the past I’ve found that’s sort of got me into trouble.”

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About Doctor Who Magazine

Contents include: • exclusive interviews with JOHN SIMM (the Master) and MICHELLE GOMEZ (Missy) • an exclusive preview of the series finale, THE DOCTOR FALLS • showrunner STEVEN MOFFAT reveals what's going on behind the scenes in PRODUCTION NOTES • the adventure continues for the Doctor and Bill in part 3 of the latest comic strip story, THE SOUL GARDEN by Scott Gray, with art by Martin Geraghty • reviews of THE LIE OF THE LAND, EMPRESS OF MARS and THE EATERS OF LIGHT • The Fact of Fiction looks at 1981's THE KEEPER OF TRAKEN • the latest books and audios are reviewed • previews of forthcoming releases •prize-winning competitions, official news, the WOTCHA! column and much, much more!
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