Doctor Who’s Jodie Whittaker has confirmed fan speculation that the Time Lord made a deliberate reference to former companion Bill Potts in the show’s latest episode, The Haunting of Villa Diodati.
Set in a spooky villa and featuring real-life historical figures Mary Shelley and Lord Byron, the episode saw the Doctor and her friends attempt to fight off a Cyberman.
At one point in the episode, the Doctor determines to hunt down the Cyberman alone, instructing her friends to stay behind as she’s previously seen human victims “changed into empty, soulless shells – no feeling, no control, no way back,” before adding: “I will not lose anyone else to that!”
Tosin Cole, Mandip Gill, Jodie Whittaker and Bradley Walsh in Doctor Who (BBC)
The line appeared to be a callback to Pearl Mackie’s character Bill Potts, who was ‘upgraded’ by the Cybermen – and in a making-of video released by the BBC’s official Doctor Who YouTube channel, Whittaker confirms that the Doctor was referring to the loss of Bill.
“For the Doctor it’s very personal,” Whittaker says in the video, “because of the many encounters that he/she has had with the Cybermen, but most recently, losing… the loss of Bill [Potts].”
You can watch the full video here (skip to 3 minutes 15 seconds for Whittaker’s take on Bill’s loss).
As the upcoming episode, Ascension of the Cybermen, focuses on the Cyberman Ashad and his attempt at world domination, it looks like we haven’t seen the last of the Mondasian monsters…
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Doctor Who continues on BBC One at 7:10pm on Sundays