To quickly recap: the episode starts off by introducing us to Bill Potts, who works in a uni cafeteria and listens to the Doctor’s lectures, despite not being a student. The Doctor takes notice and becomes her mentor, paying for her tuition and tutoring her. As we watch, the Doctor reluctantly accepts that he likes Bill, and they become more involved in each other’s lives. While the Doctor and Matt Lucas‘s Nardole try to fix a mysterious object in the basement, Bill develops a crush on another student named Heather, and together, the two women become fascinated with a weird puddle.
But, surprise! This is Doctor Who, and that puddle is actually an alien! An alien that kills Heather and uses her body to follow Bill, who runs to the Doctor for help. The Doctor takes Bill on a whirlwind trip through several instances in time and space to try to rid themselves of the creature. They work together to save the day, with a special appearance by the Daleks, and after initially wanting to wipe Bill’s memory, the Doctor changes his mind. The episode ends with her joining him in the TARDIS for future adventures.
Bill is looking like she’s going to be my favorite companion since Donna. It is a joy to watch Pearl Mackie, the actress who plays Bill, in this role. It’s important to note that she is also the first gay full-time companion. I thought that this episode handled the romance aspect just like it would have handled a hetero relationship, and I was happy to see that there wasn’t a big reveal about the fact that Bill’s a lesbian. To me, it seemed like Bill’s sexuality was just another aspect of what makes her herself. You know, like a normal person. That’s actually my favorite thing about Bill: she’s just a normal person. Amy and Clara were wonderful companions, but they were both built up to be larger than life. This season there is no “Impossible Girl”, no “Girl Who Waited”. There is simply a regular person who the Doctor likes and decides to help. This feels more like Rose or Donna.
And speaking of Donna, the Doctor really needs to stop trying to wipe other people’s memories. Although I doubted that he would actually go through with the memory wipe in this episode, given that I knew Bill was going to be the companion this season, the moment had me on the edge of my seat and mentally pleading with the Doctor to somehow remember Clara’s departure. Thankfully, the Doctor did not wipe Bill’s memory, and Bill seems to have forgiven him of his intent to do so. But, I wonder if that moment will come up again later in the season. Fun fact: during the moment where Bill asked the Doctor how he would feel if someone did that to him, Clara’s theme played!
Source: BBCAnother aspect that I love about this episode is the entire notion of the Doctor becoming a professor at a university. It seems like such a perfect fit, especially for Capaldi’s eccentric personification of the character. I also loved seeing all of the nods around his office, like the different sonic screwdrivers and the pictures of River and his daughter on his desk. I was also struck with the urge to purchase an ungodly amount of area rugs for myself, but that is another matter entirely.
In summary, this episode was so much fun, and I am very excited about the rest of this season.