Who Is Missy, and What Is the Promised Land?
Throughout the Doctor’s confrontation with the organ-swiping robots, the ‘bot’s ostensible leader kept explaining that it had to repair the ship so it could reach “the promised land.” That’s a pretty damn weird thing for a robot to say, and the Doctor assumes it’s just a bit of human superstition that’s worked its way into the robot’s faulty programming over the millennia it’s been stranded on Earth. Then, as the episode wraps up, things get really weird. The robot leader falls or is thrown out of his airborne vessel, winding up skewered atop a London tower and very clearly dead. But then it wakes up. In Robot Heaven.
More specifically, the ‘bot sits up — seemingly whole and fully functional — in a lovely garden courtyard, where he’s greeted by a mysterious woman who seems to be channeling Mary Poppins, and who welcomes the robot to the Promised Land. Even more peculiarly, she seems to refer to the Doctor as her boyfriend, which was particularly resonant given the Doctor’s earlier statement to Clara that he’s not her boyfriend. It’s also strongly hinted that “Missy” has been pulling the strings in the Doctor and Clara’s lives, including planting the classified ad that led the duo to discovering the organlegging robots’ stranded vessel, and even giving Clara the Doctor’s phone number way back in “The Bells of St. John.” This whole notion of the Promised Land will recur again in one of the next few episodes, and no doubt play a huge role in the season’s larger arc. All I know is, Missy better hope River doesn’t find out about this whole Doctor stalker relationship.