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One Doctor Who Cameo From The Christmas Special Wasn't Originally In The Script

Bill Potts Pearl Mackie Doctor Who The BBC

Warning! The following contains spoilers regarding the Doctor Who Christmas special. Read at your own risk!

While her appearance had been teased for quite a while, it was great to see Bill Potts (her memories anyway) return and have one last romp with Peter Capaldi's Doctor. While she ended up being one of the central characters in the Christmas special "Twice Upon A Time," there was once a point where Pearl Mackie's character wasn't originally involved in the feature. Former Doctor Who showrunner Steven Moffat shared his original script wasn't flowing too well, and he soon realized it was because he needed a Bill cameo:

I was 20 pages into the script and I was slightly stuck. 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.

Bill ended up being the root of many laughs from the original Doctor, as his mind struggled to cope with a swearing woman who was attracted to the same sex and didn't enjoy cleaning. Of course, Bill's character ultimately became the central character of the plotline ,as it was revealed she was not actually Bill Potts, but a glass figure containing the memories of Bill Potts taken at the time of her death. While she wasn't wholly herself physically, the spirit and goofiness of Bill played out perfectly, and her presence ended up being the glue that held this whole story together. While she wasn't the most buzzed about cameo in the Christmas special, it's safe to say it wouldn't have been the same, had she not been involved in the episode.

This is actually quite hilarious, as originally Steven Moffat had told actress Pearl Mackie there wasn't a spot for her in the Christmas special. Upon realizing he had to get her back, Moffat stated on Doctor Who: The Fan Show that he had to text Mackie, who was in America at the time, and ask her if she would be willing to return. Lucky for everyone, Mackie was all too happy to return and Moffat was able to finish his script.

Doctor Who is primed to return to BBC America with Jodie Whittaker in tow sometime in the fall of 2018. Those wondering what other shows will be premiering or returning to television in 2018 can find out by heading over to our midseason premiere guide. Anyone curious as to what television is debuting in the final days of 2017 can find that out as well at our fall premiere guide. For a look at 2017 and all the shows that ended up getting canceled before the end of the year, head on over to our cancellation guide and get some background on why some of them happened.

Mick Joest

Mick likes good television, but also reality television. He grew up on Star Wars, DC, Marvel, and pro wrestling and loves to discuss and dissect most of it. He’s been writing online for over a decade and never dreamed he’d be in the position he is today.