Matt Lucas has spoken about working alongside Michelle Gomez on Doctor Who season 10 finale.
As we wend our way towards the conclusion of Doctor Who season 10, we are of course coming towards the end of several tenures on the show. Steven Moffat and Peter Capaldi are leaving, of course, but so to is – apparently – is the current incarnation of The Master, aka Missy, played by Michelle Gomez. It would appear she will go out with a trademark bravura performance.
Following ‘Empress of Mars’, Matt Lucas (Nardole) and Mark Gatiss (the episode’s writer) made an appearance of the Doctor Who Fan Show. After talk turned to how many of Nardole’s best moments in season 10 were improvised, Lucas was quick to cite just how similar he and Gomez were in that respect.
“She’s a maverick,” said Lucas. “You really don’t know what’s coming… You actually don’t know what’s she’s going to do on this take or that take…”
He then went on to speak of how he tempered his inclination to look for comedy in the final two episodes of the season, in order to allow Gomez’s performance the space he felt it needed.
“So actually in the last couple of episodes I improvised a lot less,” he explained. “I felt like this is her time. It’s a big deal having her there, and she’s come out and said that she feels her character is so uniquely identified with Peter that she won’t be returning. That’s what she’s said…”
He went on to say:
“So, working alongside that, is that this is the last we see as Missy, and I felt – and I don’t mean I’m grandly doing this – I felt that this was her turn to have a lot of fun mucking about so actually it’s important to go ‘well, I’ve had my moments’ and step back a bit and let her play.
“It was a great thing to watch, it was a great thing to witness. And, you know, we laughed all day. All day we bounced off each other and mucked about and bounced off each other. I’ve long been a fan of her work on Green Wing and to work with her was just a pleasure, it really was.”
After Missy’s relatively brief, but important, appearances in series 10 so far, it looks like we’re finally going to get to see her really cut loose before she bows out of the series for the foreseeable future.
You can see Matt talking about his improvisation and working with Michelle Gomez here. Conversation about the latter starts at about the 22 minute mark…