This weekend’s episode of Doctor Who revealed a strange new twist in the Doctor and Missy’s tumultuous relationship. We recently had the chance to talk to Michelle Gomez about her time on the show, and now that “Extremis” is out in the wild, we had to get her spoilery thoughts on Missy’s latest appearance.
Missy played a small but important role in “Extremis”—which revealed her once and for all as the mysterious figure the Doctor and Nardole have been guarding inside the Vault. “I was excited,” Gomez told us when she found out about Missy’s arc in the new season. “I just thought that was, again, something you never saw coming. I think that’s Steven’s strength as a writer, and as a showrunner. It really sort of takes us on a journey, and at no point can you seem to know what’s going to happen.”
Surprise is something the actress has come to expect when she’s reading her latest Doctor Who scripts. “You know, whenever I read it for the first time, it’s always a noisy read. I’m always gasping or laughing at loud, or, you know, there’s surprise enough—you’re the one that’s in it! But yet, you really have no idea what’s coming. So it’s always very thrilling to read it for the first time around.”
“Extremis” revealed that Missy is in the Vault as part of punishment for her various crimes… and that part of that punishment was meant to be her own execution, at the Doctor’s hands. Although ultimately the Doctor reveals he has no plans on killing his longtime frenemy, Missy’s supposedly final words to him mark a surprisingly intimate moment of friendship between the two Time Lords. “I think any great manipulator has to believe they’re kosher. I think any great salesman believes what they’re saying, and I think, in the moment, you know, she’s genuine,” Gomez said of Missy’s final plea. “And I think because, you know, if she’s trying to save her life—or she’s trying to err on another life, she would say and do anything. She has to. And then fuck the consequences of that, later!”