In "Death in Heaven", Missy claims that she knows where Gallifrey is and gives the Doctor coordinates for Gallifrey. However, the Doctor later finds that Missy lied about the location of Gallifrey.

I began to wonder about the following question: if Missy would lie to the Doctor about Gallifrey, would she lie about her being the Master when she might actually be the Rani or some other renegade Time Lady?

  • The Doctor lies too. But I expect that she's the Master. For a second I though Romana and we'd get to see the wonderful Mrs Dawkins (nee Ward) regenerate ala The Night of the Doctor but it was not to be. Nov 22, 2014 at 19:52
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    Is there anything to suggest that she might not be the Master? It's possible to speculate and think of reasons why she could be anybody, from the Rani to River Song, but unless there's a hint in the show itself, it's baseless speculation. Nov 22, 2014 at 20:02
  • @AvnerShahar-Kashtan Apart from K9 always calling Romana Mistress, and that the Doctor didn't immediately recognize Missy on sight (which he claimed they always did in Last of the Time Lords). The cast, and show runners, all say she's the Master. Also, Moffat talked about how Ainley would always pop back up saying I got away after each no escape defeat. So, I think we'll see Missy again. Nov 22, 2014 at 20:05
  • @ElliottFrisch How would K9 calling Romana Mistress (a common enough term, especially from a dog to a human) imply that someone else calling herself Missy, short for Mistress, means she's the Rani (and not Romana)? Nov 22, 2014 at 20:07
  • And as for recognizing Missy, this answer gives a great run-down on the matter. Nov 22, 2014 at 20:08

2 Answers 2


The coordinates Missy gives for the location of Gallifrey are only half a lie. That location (10-0-11-0-0x02, as established by The Doctor in Pyramids of Mars) is where Gallifrey used to be, before the Time War and more to the point before the Doctor's trick to "hide" it. Missy's lie is that it's emerged from its pocket and returned to its original place, but the coordinates were plausible.

As for Missy not really being The Master, it can't really be ruled out, given that not only are Time Lords notoriously fickle with the truth, but so Is the showrunner! But there's little evidence for it. Everything about her plot in "Dark Water/Death in Heaven" fits with their longstanding relationship with the Doctor, and with the characterization of the Master as truly unhinged. The Rani, for example, was always a fairly calm and rational adversary, more amoral than immoral. No other Time Lord the Doctor's crossed paths with has ever been quite the same kind of murderously bananas, and none of them know the Doctor so intimately as to know exactly how to hit him for maximum impact!

  • What's your source for the claim that the location is where Gallifrey used to be? Wouldn't the Doctor have known Gallifrey's old coordinates already?
    – Hypnosifl
    Oct 7, 2015 at 16:23
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    @Hypnosifl - the claim was Missy's actually, if I remember the episode correctly. She said that explicitly.
    – Radhil
    Oct 7, 2015 at 18:04
  • @Radhil - You're right, I missed that. From the transcript: "MISSY: Ten zero eleven, zero zero by zero two DOCTOR: What did you say?? MISSY: The current coordinates of Gallifrey. It's returned to its original location. Didn't you ever think to look?"
    – Hypnosifl
    Oct 7, 2015 at 18:08
  • My source is Pyramids of Mars, the first serial in which the coordinates are established, quoted there as "10-0-11-0-0 by 02 from Galactic Zero Centre" Oct 8, 2015 at 2:51

Ten said something about Time Lords knowing each other even when regenerated. I think that Twelve recognized her as The Master but did not want to believe in it, so to be sure, he asked to her! She's the Master and the Doctor would notice if she was lying about it!

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    There are multiple occasions when this doesn't hold true.
    – Valorum
    Nov 28, 2014 at 2:40
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    Apparently, Ten was wrong: scifi.stackexchange.com/questions/72349/…
    – tilley31
    Nov 28, 2014 at 4:38
  • @tilley31 - All the counterexamples there are ones where a Time Lord briefly failed to recognize another on first meeting, I don't think it really disproves the idea of a sort of "Time Lord recognition sense" since it could just be temporary confusion due to a conflict between what they're seeing with their eyes and what they're sensing with this other sense (we experience confusion due to combinations of similarities and differences too, like having trouble recognizing an acquaintance after many years because of change to weight/hair), or maybe one needs to really focus for the sense to work.
    – Hypnosifl
    Oct 7, 2015 at 17:53

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