This article is the first in a new series of blog posts we are calling "Words from our Staff". Each of our staff members will be writing a brief post throughout the month outlining a point of interest they are passionate about in the sci-fi world.
Please note that the post below contains many spoilers for the newest Doctor Who episode"The Pilot".
Browsing around on my social media this morning, I've seen an overwhelming amount of love for new companion, Bill Potts. Sitting behind my keyboard, scrolling through posts that have screamed the repeated sentiment something along the lines of "I LOVE BILL!!!" brought me to a point of reflection on what exactly it was about the new member of the TARDIS crew that has so many people engaged in Doctor Who once again.
"You're safe in here, and you always will be..."
Bill is first and foremost a normal person. That's not to downplay her as an important part of representation in the fandom. It is to say that she is no "Impossible Girl". Where many fans have had issues with the "special" or "Mary Sue" flavor of recent companions, Bill does not seem to be like this. We are returning to the days of the flawed companion - one who sees growth as they travel with the Doctor. This is the most relatable type of companion for the viewer.
As much as the Doctor utters the above phrase to Bill, he is also uttering it to the viewer. We are - once again - one and the same with the companion. We are growing, learning, and changing with the Doctor. It is incredibly refreshing to realize this as the episode progresses.
The nature of the relationship between the Doctor and Bill (mentor/student) outlines the Twelfth Doctor's growth throughout the seasons. Gone are the days where he needs cards to properly respond to humanoids in traumatic situations. We are shown a storied (albeit short) history between the Doctor and his new companion. It's Christmas and she brings him a rug as a gift and they break Christmas crackers together. He does his best to ask "How can I help?" when Bill walks into his office, uncharacteristically disturbed. Their dynamic just works.
It is a shame to see Peter Capaldi shining so brightly as the Doctor when we know it to be his last hurrah.
"Time is the space made by our lives, where we stand together forever."
The combination of Bill and the Doctor (okay, even Nardole) is certain to be an interesting one as we move forward with season 10. As we wrap up "The Pilot", there are still many unanswered questions.
What is the significance of the vault? Did you catch the callback to the Classic Who episode "The Chase"? What exactly is Nardole's role among the TARDIS crew? What was the extent of the Doctor's relationship will Bill's mother? Was his involvement a gesture of great kindness to Bill, or is it something more?
Season 10 is sure to answer these questions - and many more - in the coming weeks...and I couldn't be more excited.