The Doctor's Companions
Nardole Bill Potts Graham
The Pilot - Twice Upon a Time
Bill Potts
Bill Potts
 Although Bill only travelled with The Doctor for a comparatively brief time during an unconventional period of his life, she made a strong impression on him during that time, demonstrating the strength, courage and compassion that marked the best of The Doctor's companions.

 Bill's life was marred by difficulties even as a child, when she grew up without any memories of her biological parents. It is known for a fact that her mother was dead and she was raised by a foster parent, but Bill has never made any reference to her father, with the simplest explanation being that she was the product of a one-night stand. Living with her foster mother, Bill eventually ended up working at the canteen of St Luke's University, although she also alternated her time by attending some of the faculty's lectures. This resulted in her meeting the Twelfth Doctor while he was working at the university as a lecturer under the name 'Doctor John Smith', using this role to guard a mysterious Vault. Observing Bill's regular attendance of his lectures and her efforts to pay attention even if he was discussing topics she couldn't understand, The Doctor invited Bill to his office and offered to become her personal tutor, with the understanding that this arrangement would cease if she ever got less than an 'A' in her assignments.

The Pilot
The Pilot
 Although The Doctor was officially making an effort to remain in place to guard the vault, he was forced to reveal his true nature to Bill when Heather, a girl she had a crush on, was absorbed by a mysterious entity that resembled a sentient pool of oil. When this entity began chasing Bill to try and absorb her as a continuation of Heather's promise not to leave without Bill, The Doctor attempted to keep Bill safe by taking her on a series of rapid trips in the TARDIS, until Bill realised why the creature was chasing her and released Heather from the promise. Although The Doctor contemplated erasing Bill's memory of the TARDIS to protect his identity, he was soon convinced not to take such a decisive step, and accepted the responsibility of Bill's knowledge of his true identity.

 As with her predecessor, Clara Oswald, Bill made a clear effort to draw a line between her life in the TARDIS and her more regular life, joining The Doctor's travels to a human colony ("Smile") and the London Frost Fair held in 1814 ("Thin Ice") before attempting to find new student accommodation for herself with a group of friends ("The Caretaker"). When finding a student residence, she initially actively resisted The Doctor's offer to help as she wanted to establish a life outside of him, but was soon forced to accept his aid when it was revealed that her new house was controlled by a caretaker whose mother had fallen victim to an alien parasite ("The Caretaker").

 In the tradition of all strong Doctor/Companion relationships, The Doctor and Bill went to great lengths to protect each other as much as possible, as well as showing a great deal of faith in the other's ability to face challenges. During a trip to a space station where oxygen was provided to the residents as payment, at one point in the crisis the helmet of Bill's spacesuit was damaged just as they were about to take a spacewalk to escape attackers ("Oxygen"), prompting The Doctor to give Bill his own helmet. While the suits had a weak force field that could provide The Doctor with limited protection from the vacuum, the damage sustained from their subsequent walk across the station's exterior was still serious enough to damage The Doctor's eyes, leaving him blind for the rest of their time on the station. Although The Doctor lied to Bill that he had been able to restore his vision once they got back to Earth, he eventually admitted the truth during their first campaign against the mysterious Monks, who sought to take control of Earth but could only do so if they were given genuine consent motivated by love rather than fear or anger ("The Pyramid at the End of the World"). After various other officials had failed to secure a deal when acting out of fear that their nations would be destroyed if they didn't surrender, Bill surrendered Earth to the Monks when she made a deal to give the Monks Earth if they would restore The Doctor's eyesight - he was currently trapped in a lab that was about to explode and required his vision to operate the lock - her faith and love for The Doctor so strong that it met the Monks' requirements.

 After spending six months living in a world where the Monks had altered humanity's memories so that the majority believed that the Monks had always been there, Bill was reunited with The Doctor and Nardole, The Doctor actually pretending that he had chosen to side the Monks himself in order to test Bill's own loyalty ("The Lie of the Land"). When Missy - the current female incarnation of The Master, who The Doctor was attempting to reform by keeping her trapped in the Vault - revealed that the only sure way to stop the Monks was to kill their tether to humanity in the form of the person who had made the original deal to give them the planet, The Doctor refused to kill Bill, instead attempting a complex plan whether they would disrupt the source of the Monks' telepathic influence. Even though she never witnessed Missy commit any kind of evil act, even brief conversations with the former Master were enough to leave Bill uncomfortable at the idea of trusting her, Bill's faith in The Doctor balanced out by her own fear of what Missy was apparently capable of.

The Pyramid at the End of the World
The Pyramid at the End of the World
 While companions have always been a humanising influence on The Doctor, Bill was one of the most human companions The Doctor had ever had, constantly making it clear that she preferred to focus on the individual rather than the big names of history. When Bill witnessed The Doctor show relief that he had retrieved the sonic screwdriver when a Victorian street urchin had just drowned in the icy Thames, she asked him how many people he had seen die or how many he had killed, with The Doctor admitting that he had lost count of the first and declined to answer the second ("Thin Ice"). However, he redeemed himself in Bill's eyes when confronting the ruthless Lord Sutcliffe, who was using an imprisoned alien life form because its waste was useful fuel, The Doctor informing Sutcliffe that real value lay in putting an unimportant life above your own, concluding the crisis by creating a fake will for Sutcliffe that named one of the street urchins who had assisted The Doctor and Bill as his long-lost heir. In the final confrontation with the powerful Monks, who had not only taken control of Earth but rewritten humanity's minds and history so that the majority believed that they had always been there, Bill proved to be the decisive force in defeating their plans. While Missy had already revealed that the simplest way to drive off the Monks was to kill Bill, as her status as the one who surrendered Earth to the Monks meant that she was the means by which they accessed humanity's subconscious, The Doctor and Bill instead chose to confront the Monk who served as the main source of their telepathic influence, with Bill successfully overpowering the Monks' fake history with all the memories she had imagined of a life with her mother, this untainted view of human history restoring the real world. As though to thank Bill for her help at such a crucial time, The Doctor's next two trips in the TARDIS appeared to focus more on giving Bill a good time, taking a trip to contemporary NASA - although this led to the discovery of a Victorian expedition to Mars that they travelled back to investigate further - ("Empress of Mars") and then travelling back to second century Scotland to investigate the disappearance of the Ninth Legion after Bill became intrigued by the mystery during a school project ("The Eaters of Light").

 Bill's time with The Doctor came to an abrupt end when his efforts to reform Missy went horribly wrong. Selecting a simple crisis where Missy would have the chance to 'be The Doctor' and save the day, with Bill and Nardole acting as her 'companions' while The Doctor watched them through earpieces, The Doctor chose to take Missy to a spaceship that had become trapped in the gravity well of a black hole ("Worlds Enough and Time/The Doctor Falls"). However, shortly after they arrived on the ship, Bill was shot in the heart to stop the entities on the lower levels of the ship coming up, with these entities taking Bill to the lower level of the ship, on Floor 1056, to replace her heart with a cybernetic implant. As time dilation meant that Bill spent years in a hospital at the lowest part of the ship while The Doctor spent a few minutes in the top of the ship explaining the situation, she was eventually forced to concede to undergoing the 'upgrade' that would save the human residents of the lower levels, manipulated by her mysterious 'friend' Razor. This upgrade transformed Bill into a primitive Cyberman, leaving The Doctor facing a new threat when he discovered that Razor was actually Missy's immediate predecessor, The Master who had been Harold Saxon, forcing him to work with the two Masters as he, Nardole and the now-converted Bill retreated to upper floor 507. Although Bill was still fully converted into a Cyberman, her strength of personality allowed her to retain her full identity despite the conversion, to the point where she created a perceptual filter that meant she still saw herself as her human self.

Twice Upon a Time
Twice Upon a Time
 Forced to keep her emotions under control to prevent herself triggering her inbuilt weaponry, Bill nevertheless joined The Doctor, Nardole and The Masters in preparing their defence against the Cybermen, which culminated in Nardole retreating to the upper levels with the civilians while The Masters killed each other before The Doctor blew up the fuel lines underneath Floor 507, destroying the Cybermen but essentially sacrificing himself in the process. Finding the dying Doctor, Bill was contacted by Heather, who revealed that Bill's survival was also due to Heather having taken the first steps into converting Bill into an entity like herself, completing the transformation so that Bill could leave her Cyber-body and return to her own appearance. Taking the apparently dead Doctor back to the TARDIS, Bill told him that she would never completely believe he was gone as the universe would some day need him too much for him to stay dead, before moving to join Heather. Although Heather could return Bill to human form, Bill decided to take one last trip around the universe with her, offering to show her would-have-been girlfriend the wonders of the universe based on her experience with The Doctor.

 Although this was apparently the last that that would be seen of the true Bill Potts, after he regained consciousness, The Doctor met a variation of Bill Potts when a complex chain of events saw him meeting his first incarnation, also on the verge of regeneration ("The Tenth Planet"), and an army captain from the First World War who had been pulled out of time by the mysterious Testimony organisation ("Twice Upon a Time"). Testimony explained that their efforts to return the captain to his own time had been disrupted by the two Doctors meeting, attempting to convince the Twelfth Doctor to return the captain to his own time by offering to let him talk with Bill again. This recreation of Bill retained all of her memories at least up to the moment when she left with Heather (although it was later revealed that Testimony had collected Bill's memories from after she and Heather completed their journey around the universe and returned to Earth until Bill's death of old age, and just edited the double's memories to simplify this meeting), but this duplicate was enough to console the two Doctors as they contemplated their lives. Talking with the First Doctor, 'Bill' suggested that he himself was his answer to the question of what kept the balance between good and evil in the universe, and before Testimony left the Twelfth Doctor to die or live as he chose, Bill told him that the hardest part of knowing The Doctor was to let him go, but expressed faith that he would recognise that the universe would always need him and give him new opportunities for friendship beyond the burden of his recent losses.

Pearl Mackie - The Actor
The Crystal Maze
The Crystal Maze
 Pearl Mackie was born on the 24th May 1987 in Brixton, London. She is the granddaughter of screenwriter Philip Mackie (who wrote the screenplay for The Naked Civil Servant). She graduated from the Bristol Old Vic Theatre School in 2010.

 One of her first acting parts was as a front of house girl in the 2013 music comedy Svengali. In 2014 she then played young computer genius Mia in Crystal Springs at the Park Theatre in London. She could also be seen in the political satire Obama-ology at the Finborough Theatre in west London, playing Cece and Caits, two young women finding their voice. In 2015, she performed in the National Theatre's West End production of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time and in the same year she appeared in the short film Date Aid by Bond, a satirical public service announcement.

 Her first major television role came in 2014, when she played the part of Anne-Marie Frasier in the BBC One soap opera Doctors. It was then announced, on the 23rd April 2016, that she would be a travelling companion, to Peter Capaldi's Twelfth Doctor. The following year it was announced that she would also be the first openly gay companion to The Doctor (Captain Jack Harkness, played by John Barrowman, was pansexual/omnisexual).

 After Doctor Who Pearl Mackie joined a production of Harold Pinter's The Birthday Party as Lulu. The production co-starring Stephen Mangan, Toby Jones, and Zo Wanamaker - opened in January 2018 at London's Harold Pinter Theatre. She has also appeared in the 2018 celebrity Christmas special of The Crystal Maze playing the part of Sleeping Beauty. She has also appeared in the 2019 television series Forest 404.

 Pearl Mackie has also worked as an acting tutor for Troupers, a company that teaches theatre skills to children and young people.

Memorable Moment
The Lie of the Land
The Lie of the Land
 While Bill's ability to hold on to her humanity after her transformation into a Cyberman is impressive ("World Enough and Time/The Doctor Falls"), her most significant moment was in the final stand against the powerful Monks, who had manipulated humanity's memories to believe that the Monks had been guiding human history since the beginning ("The Lie of the Land"). When she was first reunited with The Doctor, Bill was willing to shoot her former mentor when The Doctor appeared to have abandoned his old beliefs in free will in favour of handing humanity over to the Monks (although The Doctor soon revealed that this had actually just been a test to ensure that Bill was still free herself). Later on, when The Doctor was attempting to take control of the Monks' psychic transmission to disrupt their influence on humanity's memories, Bill took over The Doctor's efforts despite The Doctor's fears that such an action would destroy Bill's mind, Bill basically ending the Monks' influence through nothing more than the imagined memories she had created of a life with her mother.

Television Stories
Format Story Doctor Fellow Companions Season Episodes
Television The Pilot The 12th Doctor Nardole Season 36 (New Series 10) 1
Television Smile The 12th Doctor Nardole Season 36 (New Series 10) 1
Television Thin Ice The 12th Doctor Nardole Season 36 (New Series 10) 1
Television Knock Knock The 12th Doctor Nardole Season 36 (New Series 10) 1
Television Oxygen The 12th Doctor Nardole Season 36 (New Series 10) 1
Television Extremis The 12th Doctor Nardole Season 36 (New Series 10) 1
Television The Pyramid at the End of the World The 12th Doctor Nardole Season 36 (New Series 10) 1
Television The Lie of the Land The 12th Doctor Nardole Season 36 (New Series 10) 1
Television Empress of Mars The 12th Doctor Nardole Season 36 (New Series 10) 1
Television The Eaters of Light The 12th Doctor Nardole Season 36 (New Series 10) 1
Television World Enough and Time/The Doctor Falls The 12th Doctor Nardole Season 36 (New Series 10) 2
Television Twice Upon a Time The 12th Doctor Nardole Season 36 (New Series 10) 1
Total Stories:   12 Total Episodes:   13
Who's Who The Twelfth Doctor Who Episodes
Who's Who The 12th Doctor Who Episodes

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