At last in 2016, Doctor Who fans were treated to some content, and what a brilliant clip it was. Half time in the FA Cup semi final came and Gary Lineker and co. analysed an entertaining first half. However, as a football fan too, I found in myself in the strange situation where I wished they’d just shut up and put football to one side. It was a strange place to make the announcement in the first place. You wouldn’t reveal the new England manager halfway through a Doctor Who episode. Anyway, the snippet of action we got was much more than I was expecting. The Doctor and “Bill” looked great together. I wonder if that’s from the Christmas special or an episode from the series. If it is from the Christmas special, it looks like it’ll be one of the most action packed and thrilling specials we’ve had, especially one that won’t feature a regeneration. In the clip, the two don’t look like they’ve known each other for a long time, but they don’t look like they’ve just bumped into each other either. So I would be surprised if it was the series opener. My guess is that it’s just a throwaway clip to introduce us to the companion and it’s not actually canon to the show. That would be a bit strange but I could understand why they’d do it. The fans are getting a bit restless in a year of no Doctor Who and I didn’t think filming for series ten or the Christmas special had begun yet, so it could just be a one off clip to give fans something to enjoy. Also as the Doctor said “2017 needs us” suggests it’s not from the 2016 Christmas special.
Pearl Mackie continues the trend in the modern era of the companions being relatively unknown actresses. Only Catherine Tate was really well known before her role in Doctor Who. I like this as they go into the show and they won’t be compared to characters in previous roles. Their characters in Doctor Who will be judged fairly and entirely on what they do within the show. Also they’ll be trying as hard as they can to impress as the show is the biggest role of their careers and it’s fair to say Mackie is no different. Her costume was interesting. It wasn’t as glamorous as Clara’s usual attire. She was almost a bit like a hybrid of Rigsy and Donna Noble if you excuse the series nine pun. She had the street smarts and appearance of Rigsy and the backchat of Donna. I can’t lie and say I’ve seen her in anything before so this is all based on that excellent two minute clip. There was definite chemistry between her and the Doctor early on and I think someone to answer back to Capaldi’s Doctor all the time will make him flourish even more. All the signs were there that this Doctor/companion relationship will be one full of humour and excitement.
From some of the dialogue, my guess would be Bill is from Earth. She didn’t seem like she was completely at home and didn’t recognise the Dalek, although that could mean a planet far away from Daleks and humans. I hope she is from a different time zone at least, if she is human. The 21st century Earth girl format is getting a tad repetitive so someone from the future, even just a few decades perhaps would add a new and intriguing element. There would be a lot of lines from her about what’s happened in her recent past which would be fascinating to hear. It would let us find out a lot of things that we might not be able to see on screen. Say she was from twenty years in the future, she could mention if the Zygons found peace eventually. Those sort of lines would make a futuristic companion brilliant. Her costume suggested she probably is from a time period around thirty years either side of the present I would guess she’s from the current day or near future. The Doctor’s “2017 needs us” line suggests she could be from current day, but I hope I’m wrong and that’s just a nod to series ten.
Finally I hope her role in the show is a bit more simple than Clara’s. At times the mystery of Clara took away from the story itself. Clara was definitely at her best when we knew everything about her that we needed to, towards the end of her tenure. I’m not saying that Moffat should reveal everything about Bill in episode one but I hope it’s just a straightforward Doctor/companion relationship and we focus on having fun, travelling through time and space. I can’t wait.