How is it that

The Master

Came to be in the Nethersphere? The last time we saw him

He died and refused to regenerate. The Doctor even cremated his body.

So, given what previously happened to him, how was he now able to

Regenerate as Missy and take over the Nethersphere?

  • 5
    That was NOT the last time we saw him before this series.
    – tilley31
    Commented Nov 18, 2014 at 16:18

4 Answers 4


I think you're forgetting (or didn't see) The End of Time, the last story featuring David Tennant's Doctor--in that one the Master was brought back to life using his ring, and last we saw him he was going back to Gallifrey in the last days of the Time War, with the Time Lords who had temporarily managed to escape. Then we saw that in The Day of the Doctor, the Doctor managed to save Gallifrey from destruction by putting it into a "pocket universe". It's not clear how the Master managed to escape, apparently he (or she, depending on when the regeneration happened) did, but Missy didn't explain the details of where Gallifrey was or how she got away from it, see this section from the transcript of Death in Heaven:

DOCTOR: Why are you still alive?

MISSY: You saved me.

DOCTOR: I saved Gallifrey.

MISSY: Yes, Gallifrey too, I suppose. There's always collateral damage with you and me. It's our Paris.

DOCTOR: Gallifrey's lost in another dimension.

MISSY: Yes and no.

DOCTOR: Meaning?

MISSY: Yes, it's in another dimension. No, it's not lost.

DOCTOR: You know where it is?

MISSY: Yep! You know the best part about knowing? (sotto) Not telling you.

  • 1
    As I recall, we don't see the Master going back to Gallifrey. He just kind of fell through a plot hole while the Doctor dealt with the Time Lords trying to pop out onto Earth.
    – Brian S
    Commented Nov 18, 2014 at 16:03
  • 2
    @Brian S - We see him fade away into the same white light that Rassilon and the other Time Lords fade into as the gateway shuts down, see the end of the clip here.
    – Hypnosifl
    Commented Nov 18, 2014 at 16:16
  • The biggest question to be asked is how the hell The Master regenerated. His new body was unstable and failing so much so that he required to steal life and eat other people. I don't think he should have been capable of regenerating to begin with, unless The Timelords were able to give him a new set of regeneration as well. Commented Nov 21, 2014 at 14:38
  • This answer needs a bit updating, we do now when the regeneration of The Master happened
    – Edelk
    Commented Jul 3, 2017 at 16:44

We've seen him since the refusal to regenerate in the Last of the Time Lords.

He was brought back by a cult of followers, using the Ring we saw on the Pyre and using his Wife to get Biometric data for him, although there was a problem in how he was resurrected, relating to her failed attempt to destroy him for good.

In the end, we see him come to realize

the constant drumming in his head that has influenced much of his life has been a side effect of Rassilon setting him up to use as a way to return from the Time Lock.

The last we see of the Master is him choosing to intervene in Rassilon's parting stab at the Doctor, resulting in him (apparently) being sucked back into the Time Lock with the rest of Gallifrey.

That being said, we're only ASSUMING that's what happens; we now know that

the doctor has rescued Gallifrey, but that it's lost in some dimension

That being said, either A.) The master (now Mistress) may have escaped it, or B.) What we saw might not have resulted in him being pulled back into the Time Lock at all, but might relate to why he had to regenerate.

As to how he could be within the Nethersphere, the Doctor himself mentions that since the Master is assumed to have a Tardis, AND the Nethersphere is actually Time Lord technology, he may have set it up in the distant past -- he's able to enter it, because he's the one who set it up to begin with.

  • Just a minor detail, but it wasn't actually his wife who picked up the ring and tried to bring him back, rather it was some sort of secret society of "disciples" The Master had created before his death (a character called "Miss Trefusis" was the one who actually picked up the ring), they just brought Lucy Saxon to the ceremony to get a "biometrical signature" from her lip-print. Also, it was the Doctor who caused Rassilon & co. to be sucked back into the time lock by shooting the diamond creating the link, the Master then attacked Rassilon, preventing him firing a parting shot at the Doctor.
    – Hypnosifl
    Commented Nov 18, 2014 at 15:27
  • Thanks; it's been a while since I've seen the episode.. Updating now.
    – K-H-W
    Commented Nov 18, 2014 at 15:34

As more information are available we can now have a detailed answer.

The master was presumed dead after

He attacked Rassilon and went back to Gallifrey is a semi resurected state in the episode "The End of Time"

We learn in "The Doctor Falls"

That the master was cured of his semi resurected state on Gallifrey, then kicked out of the planet (with a TARDIS), in the same state of regeneration.

Corresponding script :

Doctor : The last time I saw you, you were on your way to Gallifrey.
Master : Well, I didn’t stay why would I stay?
Doctor : So they cured your little condition and kicked you out.
Master : It was a mutual kicking me out

We also learn that

Missy is a future regeneration of the Master (even though it is unclear if she follows this incarnation directly or not)

Later in the episode

The master is severely wounded and goes back to his TARDIS to regenerate (regeneration out of screen)

When exactly does this character put in place the Nethersphere plan is still unknown. But we do know that he had all the means to do it.

Access to a TARDIS, knowledge of the location of Gallifrey (and therefore access to TimeLord technology), and experience with CyberTechnology

  • 1
    Missy is a future regeneration of the Master.
    – Adamant
    Commented Jul 19, 2017 at 8:12
  • How yes ! That was quite a typo there !
    – Edelk
    Commented Jul 19, 2017 at 8:52
  • Re your last spoilertag: don't forget access to an army of Cybermen. I rather liked this link between "The Doctor Falls" and "Dark Water"/"Death in Heaven".
    – Rand al'Thor
    Commented Jul 19, 2017 at 14:03
  • @Rand al'Thor True for the access and experience with the CyberTechnology. But since the army was trying to kill him, he did not really had access to an army of Cybermen, I updated my answer to add the CyberTechnology element
    – Edelk
    Commented Jul 19, 2017 at 15:29

That wasn't the last time we saw him. The events you're talking about happened in Last of the Time Lords. After that, he was brought back in The End of Time, at the end of which he is returned to Gallifrey in the midst of the Last Great Time War.

Since the Doctor saved Gallifrey, the Master also survived. How he escaped from Gallifrey's time-lock remains a mystery, but the Daleks have done it numerous times...

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