Bill is a Modern-Day, Donna Noble-Esque Companion
Steven Moffat has divulged some further information on Doctor Who’s new companion Bill, played by Pearl Mackie.
Speaking in the latest issue of Doctor Who Magazine, Moffat confirms Bill (short for Billie, “Unless I change my mind”) is once again from the present day: “She’s from now, yeah. I know there are rumours about her being from the 1980s, but she isn’t. She’s just wearing what young people are wearing now. I know that, because Pearl chose her outfit herself.”
Moffat promises that Bill will be “very different” to Clara: “I thought, ‘It’s about time for someone a bit more gobby and, you know, funnier.’ The note we’re giving the Series Ten writers is: Bill is someone who asks the questions that nobody has asked for 53 years. ‘If you have a TARDIS that’s bigger on the inside, why don’t you just -?’ … There probably is [a bit of a Donna Noble vibe.]”
He adds: “Another one of the notes we’re giving is: she’s the kind of person who’d never think that they’d end up travelling with a Time Lord. There’s something of ‘the forgotten princess’ about [some previous companions], but we’re moving away from that; Bill is someone who never expected to be travelling around with space royalty, fighting monsters, but has the irreverence and cheek to ask all the questions you’re not supposed to ask on Doctor Who. ‘How different is it having two hearts? Is one a back-up? Do you have very, very high blood pressure?’
Fans will have to wait to see Bill in action though: “We’ll introduce her in the first episode of 2017, and she’ll run throughout that series. She’ll not appear in the 2016 Christmas special, because that would blow the series launch … So there’ll be somebody else – a different, guest companion – this Christmas, like how River Song played the companion role in last year’s special.”
“How we first encounter her, and how we first encounter the Doctor next year, is very unusual for us…”