Chinese Doctor Who fans have a nickname for Karen Gillan that only true Whovians will understand

The former Amy Pond actress discovered she has a surprising following in China

Karen Gillan in Doctor Who (BBC,HF)

Former Doctor Who star Karen Gillan has come on great strides since leaving the sci-fi series in 2013, starring in multiple big budget films including the Guardians of the Galaxy franchise and Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle.

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But of course, you never truly leave the Tardis behind, as Gillan has discovered on the Chinese leg of her press tour for the recently-released Jumanji sequel.

While there she met some fans who had a rather interesting nickname for her – one which only really makes sense if you followed her time on Doctor Who closely.

“The most magical thing of all was finding out from the Chinese fans that I am known as ‘The Great Mother-in-law’ in China,” Gillan posted on Instagram. If you’re a Doctor Who fan you should get that reference. If you don’t then get studying.”

Did you get it?

If not, we suggest a quick rewatch of Matt Smith’s Tardis tenure, but in short: the nickname comes from the fact that Gillan’s character Amy Pond is actually the Doctor’s mother-in-law, following the revelations in 2011 episode A Good Man Goes to War that the Time Lord’s mysterious wife River Song (Alex Kingston) was actually the time-displaced daughter of Amy and her husband Rory (Arthur Darvill).

Melody Pond = River Song – remember?

Anyway, as Amy herself realised to her horror, this makes her the Doctor’s mother-in-law. Given their early flirty relationship, this was definitely a pretty weird revelation – but it got even weirder when fans realised that Amy was technically his mother-in-law twice over, having accidentally (and briefly) married Henry VIII during the events of 2012 episode The Power of Three.

Given that the Doctor’s earlier self (David Tennant’s Tenth Doctor) had married Henry’s daughter Queen Elizabeth I (yes, time travel is confusing), this kind of makes Amy his mother-in-law again, or at least stepmother-in-law.

Overall, then, we’d say the Chinese fans’ nickname for Gillan is more than appropriate. Where else but in Doctor Who could you have a character who thought she fancied the Doctor, only to find she was his mother-in-law twice over?

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Doctor Who returns to BBC1 this Autumn