Bill wasn't originally in the Doctor Who Christmas special, here's why that changed

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Dec 28, 2017

Despite leaving Doctor Who in a more or less official capacity (and as something a little less than human to boot) during the Season 10 finale, “The Doctor Falls,” Bill Potts (Pearl Mackie) made her return in the Christmas episode “Twice Upon a Time.”

But did you know that the character wasn’t originally meant to come back for the milestone episode?

Following the airing of the yearly special, departing showrunner Steven Moffat (Chris Chibnall will be taking over showrunning duties for Season 11) gave a video interview on Doctor Who: The Fan Show where he chatted about the Christmas special and revealed it wasn’t originally in the cards to bring Bill back for his final Doctor Who story that saw the 12th Doctor (Peter Capaldi) and his First incarnation (David Bradley) meet for the first time.

When asked if Bill’s return was always on his mind for “Twice Upon a Time” (along with some cool cameos from Jenna Coleman as Clara and Matt Lucas as Nardole; oh, and let’s not forget Rusty from “Into the Dalek”), Moffat admitted, “No, it wasn’t.”

“I was 20 pages into the script and I was slightly stuck,” he added. “And I thought: ‘I just want to hear what Bill’s got to say.’ I had been so used to writing Bill, and she’d been such an invigorating, exciting presence throughout series 10, I just thought I feel it is wasted, the Doctor meeting his older/younger self, and all his political incorrectness. It is wasted, if Bill does not witness this and comment on this. And if she doesn’t instantly work out who that is to the Doctor’s horror, if Bill doesn’t explain certain aspects of her modern life to the First Doctor, it is wasted.”

As you guys know, Bill turned out to be the perfect answer for the First Doctor’s shockingly antiquated views on women, and it worked out beautifully in the episode. Meaning Moffat’s late decision to bring back Bill was ultimately the right one. What do you think?