When Pearl Mackie, who will be playing the Doctor’s newest companion, Bill, first arrived on the set of Doctor Who, Peter Capaldi gave her a tour of the TARDIS. Of course, Capaldi couldn’t just point to the set. “Pete is running around pressing imaginary buttons, and I’m standing there, like, ‘This is the maddest thing that’s happened to me.’ Luckily my character is thinking that too.”
At the Doctor Who panel at New York Comic Con, Capaldi spoke about how Mackie improves the long-running series. “The great thing about Pearl is that … she doesn’t come from the world of Doctor Who. She has to be introduced to that world, and that refreshes and reinvigorates the whole thing. … We’ve only done four episodes together, but Pearl is a real talent, and she brings a great energy and vigor to the set.”
As producer Steven Moffat said, “If we had one tone word for this season, it’s ‘new.’ You’re going to see the Doctor with a new pair of eyes. This Episode 1 is a real Episode 1. It explains the entire mythos, and you can start there.”
That, and the fact that Mackie says she and Capaldi spend part of Episode 3 in “amazingly heavy costumes in a room that’s entirely green with a completely imaginary monster” is all we learn about Bill. Moffat wants to keep her first appearance a mystery until we actually meet her …
… which won’t happen until Spring 2017.
Meanwhile, we’ll have the Christmas special to warm us like eggnog while we wait. NYCC attendees were treated to the trailer earlier; we have it for you, below. The name of the special will be “The Return of Doctor Mysterio,” starring Justin Chatwin as the title character. And with a title like that, it’s clear that it’s about a superhero.
Moffat said this episode draws upon the passion he had for Superman when he was a boy—specifically, for Clark Kent, a man who pretends “to not be a god.” He also enjoyed the dynamic between Clark, Lois and Superman. “I love a triangle with two people with it.”
In addition, Matt Lucas will appear in "Doctor Mysterio" to reprise his role as Nardole from the episode “The Husbands of River Song.” He will also become a more regular presence in the upcoming season 10. Lucas is best known as a comedian, but he leapt at an opportunity to work on the long-running BBC series: “I’m a big fan of Peter’s work and was excited at the prospect of tainting his career by sticking myself into it,” he said.
Check out the trailer for the upcoming Christmas special below: