In the episode Deep Breath, after

Half Face Man, the leader of the Clockwork Droids, dies

He wakes up to find a strange woman and she tells him that

He has in fact reached the "promised land"

Except of course, she appears to be lying.

Who is she and why does she want him to think that he has arrived there?

  • Mark Gatiss (writer for episode 3 this season) called her Mary Poppins in the After Who special, IIRC. A jest. Most likely...
    – Brian S
    Commented Aug 26, 2014 at 5:58
  • Is it just me or does Doctor Who like having mysterious/confusing women?
    – Samiko
    Commented Aug 26, 2014 at 13:14
  • 5
    Watch Coupling (written by Steven Moffat), and Steven Moffat's issues with women will become clear. Commented Aug 26, 2014 at 15:38
  • It seems for Moffat that it's easier to write a mystery than a character. Commented Aug 28, 2014 at 4:13
  • I think that she's the Rani or possible Clara from the future? Though now the doctor is older looking she was atracted to11 (and 10 in the day of the doctor) it would make sense for her when shes older to be attracted to him in this incarnation Commented Sep 8, 2014 at 19:42

4 Answers 4


At the moment it's not clear who she is, other than that her name is Missy. This was her first introduction to the show, as far as anyone knows for sure. It's all speculation at this point, but I've seen it suggested that she's the woman who gave Clara the number for the TARDIS, which would make sense as the question is raised earlier in the episode. It's also been suggested that she may be Riversong in the Library, as she makes reference to a romantic connection with the doctor, and the "heaven" she is in may be the simulated reality that The Doctor left her behind in in the library.

More concretely, her character was originally to be named The Gatekeeper of the Nethersphere, but that was either changed or has yet to be introduced. It may be that the Nethersphere, whatever that is, will play an important part in this season.


That was Missy. She is a new character (perhaps, villain?) in season 8. As to why she lied to/interacted with him is up for speculation at this point.


  • 2
    Is her name Missy? That's funny, because she looks like an older version of Miss Evangelista from Silence In The Library.
    – Mr Lister
    Commented Aug 26, 2014 at 12:12
  • @MrLister, She introduces herself as "Missy" in the scene she appears in.
    – Brian S
    Commented Aug 26, 2014 at 14:24
  • 14
    Missy, short for Mistress, female for Master. That's my crazy theory that is probably -definitely- wrong.
    – tilley31
    Commented Aug 26, 2014 at 18:26
  • @tilley31 I've seen others think that too. Then again, I've also seen speculation that she's Mary Poppins or Rosalind Lutece.
    – calccrypto
    Commented Aug 26, 2014 at 18:27
  • 1
    Oh how crazy and definitely not wrong that theory was, @tilley31
    – FreeMan
    Commented Jul 26, 2021 at 14:00

In "Dark Water", we learn the following:

Missy is the short for Mistress, which is the female form of Master.. and that the Doctor should not have left him for dead ! Congratulations to tilley31 ! You guessed right !

  • 1
    All well and good but now I'm trying to remember an episode in which the Doctor is the Master's boyfriend o.O
    – Mac Cooper
    Commented Nov 4, 2014 at 13:23
  • 1
    What happened on Gallifrey.. stays on Gallifrey :-)
    – Yotus
    Commented Nov 4, 2014 at 15:32

Tl;dr: we don't know yet.

Long version: She introduced herself as "Missy" and other than that, the only thing we know about her is that she hints at a romantic relationship with The Doctor.

Given the line earlier in the episode where The Doctor says that "Somewhere out there, there's a woman interested in keeping us together", it's implied that not only did she give Clara the phone number to the TARDIS, she also placed the ad in the newspaper about The Impossible Girl.

As for her identity, to me it makes sense that she's some incarnation of River Song in whatever virtual reality Ten uploaded her into; after all, the half faced man is a robot (albeit a very mechanical one) and a virtual reality is a little like robot heaven.

I've also seen theories that she's the TARDIS incarnate again, a la "The Doctor's Wife".

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