I, for one, am terribly excited for Missy's return, with Michelle Gomez's scenery-crunching performance being one of the highlights of last year. We had been starved of the Master for years before Missy so who can complain if we get more of her so soon?
As cryptic as ever, Steven Moffat has said that what brings Missy back into the Doctor and Clara's lives 'is the last thing they'd expect.'
Other details about the series opener have also been revealed, including the announcement that Jemma Redgrave will be returning as UNIT head, Kate Stewart. What with her also appearing in the Series Eight finale just as Missy did, it looks like this will be something of a sequel to the 'Dark Water/Death in Heaven' story. Also announced to be in the episode is Claire Higgins, the actress who previously played Ohila in 'The Night of the Doctor.' Could the Sisterhood of Karn be returning too? They were always linked to the Time Lords so will we finally learn more about what really happened to Gallifrey?
Also now known is that the opener will be a two-parter - the second episode being called 'The Witch's Familiar.' Firstly, has there ever been a two-parter with such well-matching episode titles as these? The eponymous Magician and Witch surely refer to the Doctor and Missy - but who is their Apprentice/Familiar? Clara is certainly the Doctor's apprentice and could be said to be Missy's familiar (the term for a Witch's pet, such as their black cat), as Missy was revealed to be behind Clara meeting the Doctor in the first place.
In the wider context of Series Nine, it seems like this year will see a return to the multi two-parter series of yesteryear as Toby Whithouse (writer of several previous Whos and creator of Being Human) is said to be writing a 'spooky' two-parter while Moffat has previously spoken about the 'fantastic' cliffhanger he's written to lead into this year's finale, suggesting that will be a two-parter as well.
Is it August yet?