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Michelle Gomez Recalls How She Got the Part of Missy in Doctor Who

Missy was one of the best things in the Peter Capaldi era for me. The pairing of Capaldi and Michelle Gomez was inspiring and the production team struck gold with the two. But Gomez has revealed that she was originally down for a different role altogether.

Attending a convention in Dublin, Gomez described how she was cast as someone else and sent a letter to showrunner, Steven Moffat, that would seal the deal when it came to portraying the iconic Missy.

“I was I was offered another role on Doctor Who, but I was doing something else at the time, and I was absolutely gutted. So, I wrote to Steven Moffat, and I was really apologetic that I wasn’t available physically because I don’t have a TARDIS. I was like ‘if you ever need a high cheek boned, blue eyed villain, I’m your man’.”

Moffat would reply asking Gomez if she had any interest in playing a new incarnation of the Master, to which she replied it was a man’s role. Moffat decided it wasn’t anymore and so Missy was born. While many people had correctly guessed Missy’s character from her appearance in Deep Breath, Missy revealing herself to be the Master was still a great moment in the modern era of the show, and still works as a top reveal all these years later. However, Gomez would also be sworn to secrecy.

“I had a year of the Mona Lisa smile because I had the secret, where I really wanted to tell everybody,” 

The only people in Gomez’s life who knew the secret were her agent and her husband, Jack Davenport. But she had to keep the secret from everybody else. She did explain though that as Doctor Who fan, she knew how disappointed she would have been as a viewer had someone spoiled the reveal to her.

When asked what part it was that she was originally going to play, Gomez said she couldn’t say. But she was happy about it because she wouldn’t have had the opportunity to play Missy instead. (And we’re pretty sure it was Madame Karabraxos in Time Heist, a role which actually went to Keeley Hawes.) She also expressed her gratitude that she got the chance to play such an iconic villain and she’s still fondly remembered in a show that is celebrating its 60th anniversary this year.

“I owe all of that comfortability to Steven Moffat because he knew my voice and he wrote to my strengths so I got to be as good as I could be and as relaxed as I could be. Because it was as close as the little minx that’s inside me, because we all have that little minx inside all of us. And so he really brought that out on the page so I could feel free. Really relaxed and free.”

Missy still has a life of her own thanks to Big Finish; in her own series as well as appearances in other ranges, pitting her against various other characters from the Doctor Who universe. Perhaps one day she’ll come back to the series either as a cameo or as a Missy proper in the same vein John Simm came back at the end of the Capaldi era. We can only hope!

Jordan Shortman

Michelle Gomez Recalls How She Got the Part of Missy in Doctor Who

by Jordan Shortman time to read: 2 min
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