This week’s Doctor Who Christmas special saw the exciting introduction of Jodie Whittaker’s Thirteenth Doctor, whose first full series will begin this autumn following her explosive regeneration in the closing moments of Twice Upon a Time.


And of course, this new Doctor won’t be alone, with a whole “Tardis team” (pictured) keeping her company on her adventures including Bradley Walsh’s Graham, Mandip Gill’s Yasmin and Tosin Cole’s Ryan. So far, we don’t know much about these characters except their names – but we recently got the chance to catch up with some Doctor Who companions past who had some sage advice for their successors.

“I'd say to them what Karen [Gillan] said to Jenna [Coleman], and what Jenna then passed on to me, which may be misinterpreted by any American readers,” outgoing companion Pearl Mackie, who made her last appearance as Bill Potts in the Christmas special alongside Twelfth Doctor Peter Capaldi, told

“But it's meant in the truest sense of the Welsh sense of food description words, which was: 'Don't eat the [meat] faggots in the canteen'. Which are Welsh faggots, but apparently aren't very nice.

Pearl Mackie as Bill Potts (BBC, HF)

“I don't know, I didn't try them, I was warned off them by two previous companions, so I thought best to steer clear.”

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Wise counsel indeed – though when we asked Gillan about the dietary advice she’d originally passed on to her successor Jenna Coleman, she remembered things slightly differently…

“I don't even remember the food!” Gillan laughed. “I love that it's being passed down - I feel like it's getting slightly altered though, each time.

“You know I wasn't there in the days of the canteen. The canteen came in right as I was finishing. I remember that."

Still, Gillan did pass on SOME eating advice for Coleman, as she went on to explain.

“I was giving [Jenna] all sorts of advice,” Gillan told us. “I think I mentioned Nandos!

Karen Gillan as Amy Pond for Doctor Who
Karen Gillan in Doctor Who (BBC,HF) BBC

“I would say that the Wagamamas in Cardiff Bay is good. Or maybe they could do what I did every night and go to the Tescos in Cardiff Bay, and get a deep-filled sandwich and McCoys crisps. That's a good way to end the day.”

“In terms of acting-wise, I'm sure they don't need any tips from me,” Mackie continued. “I'm sure they're gonna be fantastic.

“It seems like a really exciting new direction they've got with having this big team together. So I think it'll be great.

“I think just enjoy it - enjoy the ride and don't stay up too late. Go to bed early, and learn your lines and just have as much fun as you possibly can because it's just such an amazing adventure.”

“Those were just some of the best years of my life, truly,” Gillan agreed.

So there you have it, new Tardis team – laugh hard, run fast, eat well. Words to live by as you start your big Doctor Who adventure.


Doctor Who returns to BBC1 in autumn 2018