Steven Moffat has brought new kinds of story-arcs to Doctor Who, story arcs which aren’t limited by a single interpretation. Many a times the same story could have been watched from different points of view, perspectives which are perfectly available and which have a great significance for our own present times.
Such is the case of Missy, a new character about which we don’t know too much – and, even if we know something, these facts raise even more questions. I only have to make a single reference in here: Missy is a gatekeeper and welcomes the recently deceased in the Nethersphere. Is this a substitute for Heaven? Well, it doesn’t sound like it, but rather exactly the opposite.
It isn’t necessarily a traditional afterlife where Missy plays her role, when she has the time. It isn’t Heaven (and that is an almost certain thing), just like it isn’t Hell. Is it a purgatory? Who knows? All I can say is that this Nethersphere seems to be a very post-modern afterlife (one theory even says that it was created in order to welcome all those that the Doctor didn’t save).
So who is Missy after all and why doesn’t she have the time to welcome everybody to the Nethersphere? One possible (and plausible) explanation could be that her name is actually wordplay. Missy is short for Mistress, which is just another name for Master. And it is a reasonable theory, because the Doctor’s relationship with the Master is a very intricate one (Missy even says that the Doctor is her boyfriend and that she loves his new accent).
One more important thing that could be said about her is her role in Clara’s life. In the end of Flatline, Missy says, Clara. My Clara, I chose well. In my opinion, this comes to say that she is the puppeteer that hasn’t been entirely revealed. She plays an important part in the Doctor’s life and she obviously has knowledge of things that didn’t happen yet.
Saying that it is her Clara raises even more questions as to who she is. If she is indeed from the Doctor’s future, it may be possible that Clara will play an even bigger role than we all thought – and this is obvious, since many of these season’s episodes have been centered on Clara.
As said, everything we know about Missy raises even more questions. If Missy is a new villain, does this mean that Clara will play an important role in the Doctor’s demise (and subsequent regeneration)? It is even harder to imagine what could happen if Missy is indeed a positive character (as hinted by the supposition that she takes care of those that the Doctor didn’t save).
In any way, yet again Steven Moffat proves that he can create compelling characters and stories that will keep the audiences glued to the TV screen.