This year’s ‘Doctor Who’ Christmas special, ‘Twice Upon A Time’, is going to be dominated by farewells. That’s part and parcel of regeneration stories, of course, but it seems somehow more pertinent given the First Doctor’s involvement. Sure, we saw that incarnation regenerate fifty years ago, but his was a rather abrupt exit, especially by modern standards, so the prospect of getting into the First Doctor’s head just prior to his “death” is an exciting albeit bittersweet one. But even amid these farewells, there’s at least one return as Pearl Mackie‘s Bill Potts reunites with her Doctor for one last time following her apparent exit in ‘The Doctor Falls’.
The expectation going into ‘Twice Upon A Time’ is that it may well be the last we see of Bill, at least for the foreseeable future. But is that really the case? During a recent appearance on BBC Radio 2, Pearl Mackie was asked point blank whether or not Bill would be returning for the show’s eleventh season, and, well, the answer was unexpectedly cryptic:
“I don’t know. You’ll have to wait and see!”
And what of fellow companion Nardole? Like Mackie, Matt Lucas seemed to have left the TARDIS behind at the end of the tenth season. Despite that, there have been persistent rumors of Nardole appearing in some capacity at Christmas. When asked on the same Radio 2 program whether or not he’ll miss working on ‘Doctor Who’, Lucas gave a similarly ambiguous answer:
“There’s always a chance of coming back. But as much as anything, I’ll really miss the people that work on the show. We’ve become a family.”
Of course, if we’re being realistic, it’s unlikely that either will return (at least in a full-time capacity) in the near future, as we already know that Jodie Whittaker is going to find herself at the helm of a fairly crowded TARDIS. Nonetheless, the lack of an outright denial from Mackie is interesting in its own right. Though in both cases it’s likely that the actors are simply trying not to shut this particular door behind them. To Lucas’s point, though, “there is always a chance.” And that really is the crux of it. Until a character is killed off (and even then, as is so often the case with the Master) there’s no reason they couldn’t eventually come back. Just look at Elisabeth Sladen and Paul McGann, each of whom made their returns to ‘Doctor Who’ well over a decade after having seemingly put the show behind them.
Mackie will next appear on ‘Doctor Who’ for this year’s Christmas special, ‘Twice Upon A Time’. The special, which will culminate in the regeneration of Peter Capaldi’s Twelfth Doctor, will also feature Mark Gatiss, and David Bradley. The special will also see longtime showrunner Steven Moffat will also bid farewell to the program. The outgoing star and producer will be succeeded by Jodie Whittaker and Chris Chibnall, respectively.
Be sure to check back with ScienceFiction.com for more news on both ‘Twice Upon A Time’ and the upcoming eleventh season of ‘Doctor Who’ as it becomes available!