Pearl Mackie’s recent interview with the BBC has got Doctor Who fans talking, not least because she revealed that her character Bill Potts will be the first full-time openly gay companion on the show.
But along with Mackie’s own thoughts on the positive message that decision sends, we were also shown some new footage from the upcoming Doctor Who series 10, and there are one or two interesting things to be spotted.
The clip in question almost certainly comes from the opening episode as it clearly features an early meeting between Bill and the Doctor while he is teaching at the university where she works (“My name’s Bill. I serve chips.”)
But if Bill isn’t a student herself, she clearly still has a thirst for knowledge and has been going along to some of the Doctor’s lectures.
“Why do you keep coming to my lectures?” he asks her. “Because I like them. Everybody likes them, they’re amazing,” she replies, before asking him a question of her own: “Why me?”
“Why you, what?” responds the Doctor, but as they face each other across his desk you can’t help but get the feeling that he is conducting an interview – and that the vacancy in question is in the Tardis.
It’s hard to make out the rest of the dialogue which is mostly obscured by the BBC News voiceover, but one part is clear.
“Well, not just you,” says the Doctor, at the precise moment that he takes a meaningful glance at an old photograph on his desk.
Fans of classic Who will recognise the person in that picture frame instantly – it’s the First Doctor’s original companion, his granddaughter Susan (played by Carol Ann Ford).
And if the Doctor really is comparing Bill to her, that’s high praise indeed…
Doctor Who returns to BBC1 on Saturday 15th April