Everything is changing for Doctor Who after this current season. New show runner, new Doctor, new everything, including a new companion. While I am sad to see Capaldi go, and I have mixed emotions about seeing Moffat go, the real tragedy is that Bill is also going.
We barely just met Bill. I think we all had an idea that she would not be sticking around long, since shortly after Pearl Mackie was announced as playing the next companion, Capaldi said he was stepping down as the Doctor. Moffat had already announced that he was going to be gone as the show runner. Because of all this, I was not sure what to expect with the new companion. Mostly, I was expecting her character to be strictly filler-just there to take up the space and time between real companions.
Then I watched The Pilot, the first episode of this latest season of Doctor Who. One thing Bill is not is filler. She is not here to just take up space between more permanent companions. At least, after one episode, it doesn’t feel like she is. What she is, though, is brilliant. She is the companion Capaldi has needed all along. The Bill character works so much better with his Doctor than Clara ever did.
To be clear, I am not a Clara hater. I think most of the issues for her character are a result of poor story telling, more than poor acting or poor character. Mostly, I feel like Clara was a victim. That being said, she always worked much better with Matt Smith’s Doctor than she ever did with Capaldi’s. Their chemistry never got right.
This is not the case with the Bill character. I feel like the chemistry between her and the Doctor is great from the start. Her character allows Capaldi’s Doctor to be himself, instead of constantly comparing his to Matt Smith. Her character doesn’t have any apparent past or connection to any past version of the Doctor, and all of that plays to their benefit as their relationship develops.
On top of all of that, Bill is clever. Maybe not in a book smart way, but in a natural, smart way. She challenges the Doctor’s expectations, and thinks outside the box. She jumps to conclusions right away that other companions wouldn’t get to on their own. Oner example of this is when she is talking to the Doctor about her friend Heather and the puddle, and asks him if he knows any Sci-Fi. Right away she is thinking some mind of weird alien stuff, even though she knows it sounds absurd, but it is the only thing that makes sense. Later, when she steps inside the TARDIS, she isn’t just blown away by how amazing it is, she is trying to make it make sense. She asks if it is a knock-through. The only thing that makes sense is that he tore down a wall and combined two spaces, and the TARDIS is the entrance to it. Don’t even get me started on the way she tore apart the TARDIS abbreviation, and why it doesn’t make any sense. That was brilliant writing, and brilliant delivery.
This is what we get from Bill, someone who is going to keep the Doctor on his toes, and help him to see things in new and different ways. She was great in the first episode, and I can’t wait to see her in the second episode and beyond. It is just too bad that we will only see her in this series.
So, sadly, Bill, we barely knew thee.
What about you? What did you think of The Pilot- the first episode of season ten? Let me know in the comments below or feel free to comment on our Facebook page.