Doctor Who ‘The Pilot’ welcomes Bill with open arms (review)
Doctor Who returned tonight with a brand, new companion – Bill Potts (Pearl Mackie) – and I love her.
The introduction to Bill was an interesting one because it seems like the Doctor has met Bill before, but possibly through her mother. This kind of tells us that he choose to educate Bill for a reason. Of course, when he wants to wipe her brain from these memories, she is able to convince him to not do it. I loved that they brought up so much of the Doctor’s past – his own mind wipe from remembering Clara. I also enjoyed the images of River and his daughter Susan on his desk, as if they are what guides him to make decisions and ultimately changes his mind about having Bill as a companion.
So, Bill isn’t a student. She’s a cafeteria worker, which many people have been calling a problem because it reflects someone with a troubling background unable to attend university. Sadly, we see this often in the states. I’m not quite sure if it’s the same in the UK, but a university is quite expensive and many bright students cannot afford to attend. Sure, Moffat could have written Bill as a struggling student, but it wouldn’t reflect reality. Even the brightest of students just can’t afford to get in. This reflects life.
The storyline with Heather trying to find a way out was quite confusing. She had a star in her eye and wanted to just get away from it all, but why? This was rather confusing because we barely know the woman, but she was transfixed on Bill and, yet, wanted to get away. The storyline is shaky, but it did give us an idea of what kind of person Bill was. She cares about people and actually liked her, which is so awesome.
Mackie plays Bill with so much charisma and energy. It’s no wonder she’s a fan favorite before the series even premiered. Bill is so aware of everything and asks the questions that not many people would typically answer in a science fiction series. She is also very funny because she just says what’s on her mind and it’s quite refreshing. Her nods to sci-fi and the past also give the series an opportunity to joke on the Doctor’s history.
The theme for this episode seemed to be about promises, which the Doctor and Bill have made. Heather made a promise to Bill to not leave, which causes her to follow Bill through the end of time until Bill releases her promise. The Doctor promises that Bill will be safe and always will be with him. Also, he made a promise to someone else to keep, which is why he must stay hidden. Could this promise be to Bill’s mother? I love it when Moffat creates a mystery for us and I can’t wait to unravel it.
Doctor Who airs on Saturdays at 9 pm on BBC America.