Outgoing Doctor Who showrunner Steven Moffat says it's a possibility Pearl Mackie reprises Bill Potts in a future season of the show. Moffat has been a divisive figure in the fandom. Some praise his tenure in charge – which has covered Matt Smith and Peter Capaldi’s stints at the TARDIS control panel, as well as the 50th-anniversary special which brought back David Tennant – while others strongly take against it.
One trademark of Moffat’s reign is that he never properly kills off a companion. Karen Gillan’s Amy Pond and Arthur Darvill’s Rory were zapped back in time to live happily ever after outside of the Doctor’s jurisdiction, and, more recently, Jenna Coleman’s Clara flew off with Maisie Williams’ Me in a shiny new TARDIS.
This next bit should come as no surprise, then. Moffat isn’t planning to end the life of Pearl Mackie’s Bill Potts in his final episode as showrunner. Here’s what he told Doctor Who Magazine (hat tip CultBox) on the topic of killing off companions:
“It’s wrong! I’m not even that crazy about it when they did it with Adric [back in the classic era]. I don’t think that’s the story. I’m sorry, it’s a children’s programme. And explicitly, the companions are like Doctor Who’s children. Or his grandchildren. They’re in his care, and lovely old Doctor Who is opening the TARDIS doors and saying, ‘I will always look after you.’ Get it right – that’s the story.”
In keeping with that stance, Moffat isn’t intending to kill Bill in the 2017 Christmas special “Twice Upon A Time”. This may be the end of the road for Peter Capaldi’s Doctor, and the last episode of Moffat’s period in charge, but that doesn’t mean that Bill has to die. Moffat went on to add:
“I actually tried to find ways to give everybody closure, but simultaneously park them somewhere. You want something that feels like an end. That’s right and proper. Love triumphs over all. As it always must, whatever any fool says. But there’s enough in there that if anyone wanted to pick her up again and use her again, then it can be done.”
That last bit was specifically about Bill, it would seem. So, although she will be written out, Bill won’t be out of reach if any future showrunner wants to weave her back in afterward. Mackie will be fielding ‘when you coming back to Doctor Who?’ questions until the end of her days, then. (She could ask John Barrowman for advice about that.)
After Capaldi, Mackie and Moffat depart at Christmas, Jodie Whittaker will take over as the Doctor and Chris Chibnall as showrunner. It remains to be seen who will be the companion to Whittaker’s Doctor, but tradition states it will probably be someone new.
Doctor Who's “Twice Upon A Time” will air on Christmas Day.