In Extremis we see an execution attempt against Missy. It uses a pretty high tech setup with stuff killing both hearts, and I believe the brain, simultaneously and they still are worried it might not keep a Time Lord permanently dead. It is also implied it took a whole to work out this killing method. This leads me to wonder about something Job Pertwee said in The Sea Devils to the Master who is currently imprisoned on a Earth prison.

Many were in favour of having you executed.

This suggests 1972 Earth could have killed the Master and both the Doctor and the Master seem to take the possibility seriously. This suggests the high tech method used in Extremis is a little unnecessary so could 1973 Earth have executed the Master?


1 Answer 1


Probably yes.

Back in season 9, The Magician's Apprentice strongly implied that "eight snipers" (of the ordinary human variety) would be sufficient to kill Missy:

MISSY [on monitor]: Okay, cutting to the chase. Not dead, back, big surprise, never mind. I'm in a lovely little square in one of your, oh, I don't know, hot countries. There's a light breeze coming from the east, this coffee is a buzz-monster in my brain, and I'm going to need eight snipers.
KATE: Eight what?
MISSY [on monitor]: Three for each heart, and two for my brain stem. You'll have to switch me off fast, before I can regenerate. How fast can you get here? Ooo, I'll need to arrange you a flight corridor.
(Missy licks her finger before pressing buttons on her controller.)
KATE: Why do you need snipers?
MISSY [monitor]: Because it's the only way she'll feel safe enough to talk to me. Shall we say four o'clock?

There's not a tremendous difference between Earth snipers in the 70's and Earth snipers today, so yes UNIT probably had more than enough to kill The Master/Missy in the 70's, at least in terms of technology.

  • The problem with this is that it's trusting Missy/The Master to tell you what is sufficient to kill her and them not preparing a contingency. I mean, it doesn't seem to take a WHOLE lot to permakill a Time Lord (everyone expected River had done it thanks to two shots in rapid succession), it's the Master (or for that matter, the Doctor)'s cleverness with contingencies and last minute plans that protects them. Commented Jun 11, 2017 at 16:04
  • @starpilotsix Agreed, which is why I added "probably". I doubt we'll ever get harder evidence than the Master's word until someone actually does kill a Time Lord with bullets.
    – Ixrec
    Commented Jun 11, 2017 at 16:13
  • Maybe not a lot of difference in skills for snipers today vs. the early 70s, but the equipment. Standard military snipers back then used bolt action rifles of about 30 caliber - 762x51 for the US, same for the UK or perhaps a Lee-Enfield in 303brit. Today snipers are using 338 Lapua and 50bmg bolt action or semi-auto rifles. Incredible increase in range. And then the optics available, etc.
    – ivanivan
    Commented Jun 11, 2017 at 16:53
  • @starpilotsix The difference is that snipers don't operate from 2 feet away, and that they don't have the special gun that Miss Kevorkian gave to River.
    – Mr Lister
    Commented Jun 11, 2017 at 18:16
  • (Yeah, I know, I could have looked that up.)
    – Mr Lister
    Commented Jun 11, 2017 at 18:17

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