When she first encountered the Doctor, Bill was working as a canteen assistant at St Luke's University, seemingly destined for an unprivileged life. When free from work, she attended some of the Doctor's lectures at the university. The Doctor saw her unfulfilled potential and invited her for a series of personal tutoring sessions.
Following an encounter with a time-travelling puddle that was piloted by her new crush Heather, Bill discovered who the Doctor really was — an alien time-traveller, guarding a secret vault beneath the university campus. The Doctor invited her to join him on a journey through space and time.
On her adventures with the Doctor and Nardole, Bill travelled to a human colony planet and visited the last of the great frost fairs. She faced the vacuum of space and saved the Earth using the memory of her mother. She also learned that the Doctor was trying to rehabilitate his old Time Lady friend Missy. (TV: The Eaters of Light)
When accompanying the Doctor on his test to see if Missy could be good, she was fatally shot on a Mondasian ship by Jorj. She was then converted into a Cyberman against her will. (TV: World Enough and Time)
Before the Doctor Edit
Bill was born around 1991. (TV: The Pyramid at the End of the World) Her mother died when she was young, so she was brought up by a foster mother called Moira. (TV: The Pilot) Bill did not openly express her sexuality, preferring to only reveal it when required. Her adoptive mother was oblivious to her being a lesbian, assuming that Bill was interested in men. (TV: The Pilot, Extremis)
At St Luke's University Edit
During Christmas 2016, Bill mentioned to the Doctor that she was "supposed to look" like her mother, but, as her mum rarely had any pictures taken, Bill didn't really know if she looked like her. When she went to the flat where she lived with her mother, Moira told her she had found a box with pictures of Bill's mum. On one of the photos, Bill could see the Doctor's reflection.
Over the course of her tutoring in 2017, Bill developed a crush on another student, Heather, who showed her a puddle that cast a reversed reflection. Bill asked Heather not to leave without her. As a result, when Heather was taken over by the puddle, she followed Bill home, so as not to leave without her.
Bill went to the Doctor's office, and then he brought her into the TARDIS. He tried to outrun the water creature, and finally travelled to a war zone in the Dalek-Movellan War. Bill realised she was being pursued as Heather had promised not to leave without her. On the Doctor's advice, she released Heather from her promise.
The Doctor took her back to the university, where Bill expressed regret at having turned down Heather's offer, with the Doctor telling her it was unlikely they would ever see each other again. When Bill knowingly looked at the TARDIS, the Doctor realised what she was suggesting and made her stand close to him, intending to wipe her memory of these events, but she convinced him not to. He then agreed to take Bill with him on his travels, acknowledging that they might run into Heather one day. (TV: The Pilot)
Travels with the Doctor Edit
The Doctor took Bill to visit a human colony in the far future lying to Nardole that he was just transporting the TARDIS back to the office. When the Doctor discovered the Vardy robots had killed the set-up team on the colony, the pair escaped the colony, running from the Vardies and Emojibots, but the Doctor ran back in to attempt to destroy the base for the sake of the coming settlers. The Doctor wanted Bill to stay behind, but Bill followed him, believing that the reason the Doctor kept the TARDIS in the shape of a police box and why he didn't ask for help was because he was the helpline. The Doctor showed her that the Vardies were actually a part of the building and had constructed the colony using themselves. He had Bill give him directions to the main power centre using a map before Bill realised he had memorised the schematics and was keeping her at the map to keep her out of trouble. Bill was horrified to discover the colonists were the last humans in existence after Earth was evacuated.
As soon as the Doctor had wired the ship the city had been built around to blow, Bill emerged with a boy called Praiseworthy. The Doctor realised that the colonists had already arrived in hibernation waiting for the ship to wake them up, and entering the ship woke the colonists. The Doctor stopped the bomb, and the pair deduced that the Vardies had been built to sustain happiness and had come to view grief as a plague.
The Doctor rebooted the Vardies, erasing their memories of the humans, before beginning diplomatic negotiations between the humans and Vardies. He then tried to return to the university just after they left, but when he and Bill exited the TARDIS, they discovered they were outside in winter with an elephant in front of them. (TV: Smile)
On exploring London in 1814, The Doctor and Bill attended the last Frost Fair on the River Thames before noticing strange lights under the ice. Bill witnessed firsthand the death of a little boy when he was sucked under the ice and was horrified and disgusted when the Doctor seemed to care more about retrieving his sonic screwdriver that the boy had stolen. Bill challenged the Doctor demanding to know whether he had ever killed anyone to which he confirmed saying that he did not have the luxury of for outrage as he was 2000 years old. Bill befriended the urchins who had originally stolen from them and chose to cooperate with the Doctor. Their investigation led them to Lord Sutcliffe with the Doctor warning Bill to let him do the talking as it required a diplomatic approach. After Sutcliffe made racist remarks towards Bill, however, the Doctor punched him in the face. Later Bill agreed with the Doctor to set the Monster in the Thames free, surprised when it wasn't headline news in the present day. (TV: Thin Ice)
The Doctor took Bill to Titan to see a clear image of Saturn, her favourite planet. He then introduced her to the concept of "swimming" in the gravity-deprived atmosphere, although this was cut short when the area around them was heavily disturbed by a passing land ship. When the pair were rescued by the passing vehicle, Bill was introduced to Rudy Zoom, the financier of the voyage. The two soon met Lady Takashi, a psychic who felt an alien presence on Titan years ago in a sleep. The ship changed its buoyancy to float on the methane river. After several hours, they found a domed-off garden in a cavern, which they investigated on foot. The Doctor noticed that all of he vegetation inside was sentient, except for two trees in the centre. The group was scattered when a robot attacked them, believing them to be weeds. As Bill hid in the garden, she was attacked by one of the Haluu plants and passed out. Bill found herself in the Dreamspace where Sythorr — who was the giant Haluu below the two trees — chased Bill and Rudy in an attempt to wipe their minds as part of his plan to take over Earth. They escaped and projected themselves into the real world until they woke up. Sythorr's lover Oksanna ordered Bill and Rudy to be released. As they ran for the doors, Oksanna sacrificed her life to destroy Sythorr and the domed garden. After making it to the ship, Bill saw the last piece of Sythorr warn the Doctor before dying that "The unknown soldier...is stirring." (COMIC: The Soul Garden)
The Doctor and Bill landed in the Indian Territory in 1880, where the outlaw Seth Shelton tried to hold Bill hostage. She was saved by United States Deputy Marshal Bass Reeves and the scout Joey Two Trees, who had Shelton arrested and intended to take him back to Arkansas to stand trial. Joey showed the Doctor and Reeves that a stag had its heart ripped out of its body. While Reeves, Joey and the Doctor took off, Seth's brother Frank Shelton arrived at Reeves' wagon and freed Seth. Seth and Frank waited for the Doctor and his friends to return so they could kill them. (COMIC: The Parliament of Fear)
Bill and five other university students were looking for accommodation when the Landlord invited them to stay in 11 Cardinal Road. The Doctor also investigated and discovered the Landlord was feeding students to the Dryads, insects who were working with the Landlord to keep his mother Eliza alive. Bill led her own investigation and discovered the secret of the house. After the Landlord was defeated, the house disintergrated (TV: Knock Knock). She later moved back in with her foster mother (TV: Extremis)
Travels with the Doctor and Nardole Edit
Bill visited the mining station named Chasm Forge after the TARDIS received a distress call to visit it. As oxygen was regulated and the Tardis exterior air shell was being removed, Bill had to wear a smartsuit that provided her with a force field which held air in. When entering an airlock which required a solid physical helmet, Bill's malfunctioning suit automatically took her helmet off. This meant Bill was exposed to the vacuum of space. The Doctor later gave her his helmet, at the cost of his sight. (TV: Oxygen)
After viewing an email from his virtual counterpart, the Doctor called Bill asking if she knew a person called Penny. Bill did, but deemed her "out of [her] league". The Doctor assured her she wasn't and told her to call Penny that night as he had a "feeling [they were] going to be very busy". (TV: Extremis)
Bill went on a date with Penny and told her about the virtual world the Doctor had since told her about. Penny was disbelieving, but the date was going well until armed soldiers and the Secretary-General of the UN arrived to collect Bill and take her to see a pyramid that had appeared overnight. On board the Doctor's President plane, Bill tried to convince the Doctor in the TARDIS to come and help with the pyramid - but he denied until he realised he didn't have a choice as the TARDIS had already been loaded onto the plane.
At the pyramid, Bill was confused when Nardole was 'updating' the Doctor on what was happening in front of them as the latter approached. Her phone, like every other device with a clock, received a message saying 23:57pm as the Monks started a countdown to the end of the Earth, demanding surrender. The Doctor, Bill and Nardole then took the Heads of the American, Russian and Chinese armies and had them strike the pyramid in a coordinated attack.
The Monks stopped the attacks with ease and expressed they were ready to talk. Inside, the Monks revealed that Earth would be dead in a year's time if the planet did not consent to the Monks' help.
The Doctor was against consenting to something he didn't understand, though Bill and the others were more willing. However the Monks explained that Love was needed in consent, burning the Secretary-General when he consented out of Fear.
Back on board the President plane, the army heads agreed not to fight one another believing that they would be stopping World War III, but this failed to revert the clocks. Bill compared the need for consent as to inviting vampires into a person's home. She also theorised a bacterial possibility and the Doctor had them all Google possible problems. However, Bill and the army heads were considering surrendering Earth to ensure the planet survived, unwilling to put such risk especially when the clocks moved to 23:58pm.
As the Doctor and Nardole deduced the problem as a biological component released in a lab, Bill and the army leaders went to the Pyramid as the countdown reached 23:59pm. Inside, the army leaders were burned by the Monks for consenting out of Strategy. Bill went to leave when the Doctor managed to solve the biological problem and the countdown began to go backwards. However, when the Doctor could not leave due to being blind and unable to spin the combination lock, Bill returned and consented to The Monks have authority over the Doctor in return for his sight being restored. Before the Monks accepted her 'pure' consent out of Love, she told the Doctor to save her planet. (TV: The Pyramid at the End of the World)
Bill was reunited with Nardole during the Monks' reign over Earth. She had been away from Nardole and the Doctor for six months since their last adventure. The Monks had inserted themselves into history during this time, however Bill had refused to fall for the mental deception.
Nardole located Bill and helped her find the prison hulk where he believed the Doctor was making his broadcasts and was captive there. The Doctor told Bill he was cooperating willingly with the Monks, believing that humanity was doomed without their guidance. Bill became distraught and shot the Doctor with a gun she took from one of the SWAT troops, who appears to begin regenerating, but quickly stops. The entire scenario is revealed to have been a test by Nardole, the Doctor and the team, to make sure Bill was not under the influence of the Monks.
At the university where the Doctor and Bill worked, they entered the Vault to talk to Missy, who said she had encountered the Monks before. She confirmed the Monks maintain control by broadcasting a signal containing the false history to their subjugated victims via the numerous statues they have built across Earth, enabled by a psychic link established through the person who originally gave "consent"; Missy claimed to have defeated them during her own encounter by killing that individual. She implied that Bill must die as the one who gave consent on Earth.
Bill accepted her fate, but the Doctor was determined for another solution. Along with Nardole and the SWAT troops, they infiltrated the Monks' pyramid in London so that the Doctor could hijack their broadcast with his own mind to break the psychic transmission. In the central chamber, the Doctor attempted to link his mind to the controlling Monk, who after a struggle overpowered the Doctor. Bill intended to sacrifice herself, linking her own mind to the Monk's despite the Doctor's protests. The Monks' broadcast was replaced with images of Bill's mother, which the Doctor recognises is a strong and loving memory in Bill's mind. Humanity woke up from the Monks' lies and revolted against them. The Doctor, Bill, and Nardole watched as the Monks abandoned Earth. Sometime later, the Doctor and Bill find that most of humanity had no recollection of the Monks. (TV: The Lie of the Land)
Bill, along with the Doctor and Nardole, visited NASA and discovered the phrase "God Save the Queen" on the surface of Mars. The trio arrived on Mars in 1881 and Bill became separated from the Doctor when she fell down a hole, causing Nardole to return to the TARDIS and get stuck there when the TARDIS returned to Earth. The Doctor and Bill reunited and discovered an Ice Warrior called Friday working with a group of Victorian soldiers. After the Empress was awoken, Bill and the Doctor were locked up by Captain Catchlove, who wanted Mars for himself. Friday rescued them and Bill attempted to prevent an all out war between the Ice Warriors and the humans. When the crisis was resolved, the TARDIS returned and Bill learnt that Missy had been let out of the Vault by Nardole to rescue them (TV: Empress of Mars)
After getting into an argument with the Doctor about the fate of the Ninth Roman Legion, Bill and the Doctor, along with a reluctant Nardole, the TARDIS arrived in 2nd century Scotland. Bill once again got separated from the Doctor when she was chased by Kar and then encountered a Roman. She witnessed the Roman get eaten by a mysterious creature and got rescued by the remaining Romans, who survived the creature's attack by running away. After being knocked unconcious for two days by the creature's slime, Bill awoke and worked with the Romans to find the Doctor. Upon being attacked by the creature again, Bill and the Romans escaped and encountered the Doctor and Nardole with the Picts. Bill and the Doctor helped the two sides work together and then worked to send the creature back through the portal where it came from. When the Doctor attempted to stay behind and guard the gate, Bill knocked him to the ground to stop him and reminded him of his duties to guard the vault on Earth. When they returned to the TARDIS, Bill and Nardole discovered that the Doctor had let Missy out of the vault for "maintanence". Despite his two companions not trusting him, the Doctor maintained the belief that Missy could change (TV: The Eaters of Light)
Bill and Nardole, watched over by the Doctor, became Missy's companions on a test trip to determine whether she could reform from her evil ways. While surveying the colony ship they were on, Bill was mockingly called the "exposition" by Missy. Bill was mortally wounded by a paranoid technician who was the only one left of his crew, due to her being human and supposedly a target for an unknown threat. Unable to save her, the Doctor allowed her to be taken by medical figures who had come from the lower levels of the ship as he understood were capable of healing her. He left a message in her subconscious for the moment she awoke: "wait for me". (TV: World Enough and Time)
After several months for her, she awoke with a cybernetic heart in a hospital. Due to the spaceship's proximity to a black hole (causing time dilation within it) Bill was forced to wait a total of ten years for the Doctor and in the meantime made friends with a man named Razor. Razor allowed her to watch the Doctor and the others upstairs, though time passed extremely slowly; by the time the Doctor raised an eyebrow, a week passed for Bill. Razor also took her outside the hospital once, explaining how everyone had to be converted to survive given the time differential with the upper levels. Bill, wanting to be with the Doctor, began to repeatedly ask him to take her to the lifts. Eventually, Razor apparently caved in and seemingly took her to the lifts. However, he had actually taken her to the Conversion Theatre, telling her that it was for her own good. She was then forcibly converted into the first Cyberman. Sometime later, the Doctor, Nardole, and Missy arrived. In the theatre, the Doctor found her, and asked her if she knew where Bill was, and told him that she was Bill, telling him, "I waited for you," as Missy, and Razor, (really the Master) took their places at her sides (TV: World Enough and Time).
Re-united with Heather Edit
Long but still inadequate summary of the plot. Skips straight from the lift to the final scenes.
Bill managed to reject the Cyber programming enough to help save the Doctor from another Cyberman, destroying it, and carry him to safety after the ship Nardole piloted crashed on floor 0507, a solar farm. While staying there, she still believed she was herself, unable to understand why the villagers were scared of her. When Alit gave her a mirror, Bill realised she was in Cyber-form, causing her distress. An injured Doctor arrived and explained to her what a Cyberman was and how she was converted, speculating her mind now acted as a perception filter so she would still believe she was human. Bill, upon seeing her shadow, which confirmed she was a Cyberman, grew angry at the Doctor for not saving her, accidentally blasting a hole in the barn that further startled the villagers as they prepared for war. The Master soon arrived, informing the pair that his future self had found something of interest, momentarily teasing Bill about how he hated the ten years he had to spend with her on floor 1056. Bill pretended that his cruelty did not upset her but was crying beneath her mask, something which surprised the Doctor.
While following the Master, Bill asked why the Cybermen were planning to invade floor 0507, the Doctor replying that it was due to their desire to take the children. Bill questioned why them specifically, though the Doctor withheld his reply, causing the Master to finish for him: "There is less to throw away". As the Doctor stumbled against a nearby tree, Bill began to lose hope, believing the scenario they found themselves in was inescapable- the Doctor even admitting he didn't know how he would get Bill back to normal. However, he briefly brightened Bill up by saying there was hope she was still able to produce tears.
They arrived in the middle of a forest to find Missy using her Sonic umbrella on a camouflaged lift. She briefly empathised with Bill's condition before calling the lift. Understanding a Cyberman would be in it, Bill ordered the others aside to combat the threat directly, the three Time Lords preparing their respective sonic devices behind her. An advanced model of Cyberman came from the lift, but the four managed to disable it after several seconds.
Bill later created a passageway for the children to escape in. When she went to inform Nardole of this, Hazran fired at her, believing her to be a Cyberman. This upset Bill and she went to talk to the Doctor, but before long the Cybermen arrived. The Doctor and Bill chose to remain and fight off the Cybermen despite Nardole's protests. He later bade farewell to Bill and the Doctor and was sent to defend the children.
In the final battle, she was allowed to join the Doctor as he confronted the Cybermen. After the Doctor blew up floor 0507, Bill was left alone on a battlefield. Heather appeared from a puddle and Bill found herself back in her body, and saw her Cyberman shell fall to the ground, dead. After taking the Doctor back to the TARDIS, Heather explained that she traced Bill through the tears she left; and also that Bill was now like her, a Sentient oil creature, but she could be made human again if she wanted. Once she had left her tears with the Doctor, Bill went to travel the universe with Heather. (TV: The Doctor Falls)
Bill was very smart and very inquisitive. She asked questions that most people didn’t ask and came to conclusions in a different way than other people normally did. She loved science fiction and was open to the idea that the concepts it proposed were real and affected the lives of those around her. When Heather introduced her to a strange puddle, she was open to the idea of alien lizard possession, no matter how preposterous the Twelfth Doctor found it. She was also easily able to figure out that the Doctor intended to wipe her memory when he tried to put her hands on her head, and even called out the Doctor for thinking she was stupid enough to fall for it. (TV: The Pilot)
Bill was also rather bold, hating the idea of being spoken to in a sexist manner and having to withhold her opinion due to racial stereotypes of the 19th century. When Lord Sutcliffe demanded she submit to him, Bill merely sneered at him. She also learned to understand the need to not dwell on matters that angered her as the Doctor taught her there simply wasn't time to waste on such matters. (TV: Thin Ice)
Despite having never met her mother, Bill invented an imaginary version of her which she spoke to for personal comfort. (TV: Oxygen, The Lie of the Land) According to Bill, this version always told her "with some people you can smell the wind in their clothes", a saying Bill made up based on what she thought her mother would say. (TV: The Pilot)
Bill was extremely bright and quick witted, able to perform well in the Doctor's university assessments with his private tuition in the field of science, getting a First in every assignment, and impressed him enough before hand that he saw potential in her. She was also able to deduce complex puzzles with only some prompting from the Doctor, notably that the puddle in the ground was not reflecting as a mirror and that the damaged cement was actually scorch marks of the ships, (TV: The Pilot) and that the lights, which she perceptively noticed, under the ice in the Thames were organic rather than artificial. (TV: Thin Ice) Bill also deduced the TARDIS granted her the ability to speak different languages, (TV: The Eaters of Light) and that the patients in the hospital were in severe pain despite "Razor" trying to convince her otherwise. (TV: World Enough and Time)
She could even notice things the Doctor overlooked, such as the strangeness that a grown man would root through grass and trees for bugs, or that he wasn't old enough for the Doctor's theory to make sense. She was also rather brave, leading her group of flat mates when they were scared. (TV: Knock Knock) She further displayed bravery as she volunteered to combat the oncoming Cyberman from floor 1056 in her cyber form despite the Doctor implying its technology would be more formidable than her own, and stayed to combat the army of multiple fully evolved Cybermen despite knowing full well she would die in the conflict. (TV: The Doctor Falls) She was also brave when confronting the sentient oil, who she thought was an intruder, willingly entering the bathroom to face what was hiding in there. (TV: The Pilot)
When transformed into a Cyberman, she managed to retain her free will despite being fitted with an emotional inhibitor. The upgrade prolonged her lifespan (though it slowed her down to mere walking speed) and also gave her a cybernetic blaster on the handlebars on her headpiece. Using said blaster by channelling anger, she could blast a gaping hole in a barn and a concrete wall, incinerate another Mondasian Cyberman and could combine with the Master's modified laser screwdriver to disable a fully evolved Cyberman. The upgrade made her resistant to bullets, even when hit at close range. She also retained the ability to cry, a gift her romantically involved classmate Heather granted her to be able to find her. (TV: The Doctor Falls)
Bill was a young woman with dark skin and afro-textured hair. (TV: The Pilot, et al.) According to the Doctor's sonic sunglasses, Bill was female, was 26 years old by the time of the Monks' invasion, weighed 130.2 pounds, and measured 167.7 cm in height. (TV: The Pyramid at the End of the World)
When mortally wounded by Jorj, she was partially cyber converted, given a cybernetic chest-unit. While on the colony ship, she aged, her hair becoming generally messier and less profound. (TV: World Enough and Time) She was also eventually converted into a Cyberman, subsequently looking like one, though she still inwardly perceived herself as looking human. (TV: The Doctor Falls)
Aliases and nicknames Edit
|Thing One||Given by Missy while pretending to be "Doctor Who".||World Enough and Time||Behind the scenes: a reference to the story 'The Cat in the Hat' and the Cat's helpers, Thing One and Thing Two|
|Exposition||Given by Missy while pretending to be "Doctor Who".||World Enough and Time||Behind the scenes: a stock character-type in literature.|
|RoboMop||Given by the Master after Bill was upgraded into a Cyberman.||The Doctor Falls||Behind the Scenes: A reference to both the character Robocop, who like Bill was fatally injured and turned into a cyborg, and to Bill's hair.|
Behind the scenes Edit
Bill Potts shares her name with William Hartnell, who was often known as Bill or Billy, while Bill's first love interest shares her name with his wife Heather. She also shares the name with Billie Piper who played Rose Tyler, a companion to the Ninth and Tenth Doctors, as well as the Moment.