[SPOILERS ahead for Doctor Who series 8.]
Series eight of the modern Doctor Who not only introduced a new regeneration of The Doctor (Peter Capaldi), but also a fresh incarnation of The Doctor's archenemy: The Master, an insane Time Lord who, in their new regenerated form, is a woman who calls herself Missy - brought to delightfully maniacal life by Michelle Gomez. Missy wound up seemingly being incinerated in the series eight finale, 'Death in Heaven', but in the Doctor Who universe (where time can often be re-written... except when it can't) there's often more than one way a character can cheat death- again, in certain cases.
Gomez had previously let slip that Missy will be returning on Doctor Who one day, but now the news is official - with Gomez confirming as much while in character as Missy, in the video that's embedded above. The explanation for how The Master escaped their latest brush with death remains to be unveiled, but Whovians won't have to wait long for that answer - as it turns out Missy will be returning as soon as the first two episodes of the show's next season, due to arrive in the second half of 2015.
Doctor Who's current leader writer/show-runner, Steven Moffat, is penning the first two episodes - which we now know are titled 'The Magician's Apprentice' and 'The Witch's Familiar' - for the upcoming series nine, Moffat issued the following statement (via Radio Times), confirming Gomez' return for the two-episodes kickoff for series nine - and teasing the means by which Missy claws her way back into the lives of The Doctor and his current human companion, Clara Oswald (Jenna Coleman):
“Everybody hide - Michelle Gomez as Missy was an instant hit last year, so she’s straight back to plague the Doctor and Clara in the series opener. But what brings her back into their lives is the last thing they’d expect.”
The two opening episodes for Doctor Who series nine are being directed by Hettie Macdonald, who previously called the shots on the Who episode 'Blink': one of the most famous Doctor Who episodes from the David Tennant era of the show - and an episode that was penned by Moffat, no less. 'Blink' as it were, also introduced the infamous Weeping Angels, via a self-contained story that took the show deeper into horror genre territory than it generally ventures; which is to say, Macdonald's involvement with the series nine premiere episodes only raises expectations, for what madness will transpire (and/or scary creatures will emerge) when Missy crosses paths with The Doctor and Clara yet again.
The next season's opening episodes' cast will also include Clare Higgins, who previously appeared in the Doctor Who mini-episode 'The Night of the Doctor': an adventure involving the Sisterhood of Karn, a group that gave Paul McGann's Doctor a potion that transformed him into 'The War Doctor' (John Hurt, also seen in the Who 50th anniversary special). Could it be that the Sisterhood of Karn has something to do with Missy's return - or how The Master took on their new form in the first place? Such a development could serve as a nice in-show explanation for these unanswered questions (assuming our guesswork is on the right track, anyway).
In related news: Jemma Redgrave as Kate Stewart - a high-ranking member of the secret British military organization known as UNIT - is confirmed to return for Doctor Who series nine, after having survived the events in 'Death in Heaven'. The series is general isn't changing a whole lot, as far as onscreen talent is concerned; that's good news too, since the cast's performances (arguably) carried series eight through what, at times, came off as rather hollow storytelling. Here's hoping that everyone involved in the show brings their A-game for the episodes ahead, at that.
Doctor Who series nine will being airing later this year.
Source: Radio Times