As most ‘Doctor Who’ fans know, this Christmas is the end of the line for a good chunk of the show’s current crew, most prominently current Doctor portrayer Peter Capaldi, current showrunner Steven Moffatt, and current companion Pearl Mackie. While we know for sure that Moffat and Capaldi are gone for good, things have been slightly more vague for Mackie’s character, Bill Potts.
The popular assumption is that Bill will be gone from the show after the upcoming Christmas Special, as new showrunner Chris Chibnall would likely prefer a completely fresh start to his era. He’ll have a new Doctor to work with – the recently-announced Jodie Whittaker will be taking on the role – so a new companion is likely to be installed as well.
So, where does that leave Bill? As a character, she’s certainly had a rough go of it as the Doctor’s companion, spending many years on-screen waiting for his various returns into her life, and even recently being turned into a Cyberman to boot. Still, Moffat is quite adamant against completely killing off the character, as he outlines in a recent interview:
“It’s wrong! I’m not even that crazy about it when they did it with Adric [back in the classic era]. I don’t think that’s the story. I’m sorry, it’s a children’s programme. And explicitly, the companions are like Doctor Who’s children. Or his grandchildren. They’re in his care, and lovely old Doctor Who is opening the TARDIS doors and saying, ‘I will always look after you.’ Get it right – that’s the story.”
As for the characters in general, Moffat sounds like he’s working hard to make sure that they all have some semblance of a “happy ending:”
“I actually tried to find ways to give everybody closure, but simultaneously park them somewhere. You want something that feels like an end. That’s right and proper. Love triumphs over all. As it always must, whatever any fool says. But there’s enough in there that if anyone wanted to pick her up again and use her again, then it can be done.”
For the specifics of Bill’s “closure,” we will have to wait a few months to sort out the finer details!
The ‘Doctor Who’ Christmas Special episode will air on Christmas Day on BBC America.