|Main enemy:||Sentient oil puddle|
|Main setting:||St Luke's University, Bristol, 2010s|
|Premiere broadcast:||15 April 2017|
|Premiere network:||BBC One|
|Format:||1x50 minute episode|
|Doctor Who television stories|
|The Return of Doctor Mysterio||Smile|
|Behind the scenes video|
|More behind the scenes stuff|
|Another behind the scenes moment|
|A Scene in Analysis|
- You may be looking for The Pilot Episode.
According to Steven Moffat in a video introduction, "series 10 sort of begins the show again. [The Pilot] introduces everything you need to know about Doctor Who, and tips you into the universe". Indeed, through Bill's eyes now, viewers are introduced again to the character of the Doctor, his TARDIS, his enemies the Daleks, and his versatile tool, the sonic screwdriver.
New viewers are brought into the show with all important information given, and meet the Doctor as a mysterious figure, much like they did through Rose Tyler in series 1's 2005 "pilot", Rose, or through Ian and Barbara in the original 1963 introduction, "An Unearthly Child". Much like Rose, The Pilot follows Bill around in every scene.
This was also the first on-screen depiction of Movellans since their debut in Destiny of the Daleks. The episode introduces St Luke's University, where the Doctor apparently has been lecturing for over fifty years, and begins a plot thread surrounding what he and Nardole are hiding in a vault beneath the campus.
The Twelfth Doctor — now living and teaching at St Luke's University on Earth — convinces dinner lady Bill Potts to be his private student. The Time Lord and his companion Nardole soon discover that their new friend has unwittingly made a deal with a prospective girlfriend that threatens their safety in a way that even the TARDIS can't outrun.
Nardole brings a woman called Bill Potts into a university professor's office. The professor asks Bill why she keeps attending his lectures since she isn't actually a student but just works at the university canteen. Bill confesses that she loves his lectures and always wanted to attend the university. The professor offers to be Bill's personal tutor, telling her to address him as "the Doctor".
Bill goes through her daily routine: serving chips, attending the Doctor's lecture and tutoring session, and returning home to her foster mother. That night, a blonde woman catches Bill's eye when she visits a bar.
The next morning, Bill follows the Doctor and Nardole, who descend into a mysterious vault under the university. She meets Heather, the girl from the previous night, looks distraught. Bill notices a starlike pattern in Heather's eye, but Heather simply brushes this off as a "defect" and expresses, "Everywhere I go, I just want to leave." Heather leads Bill to a mysterious puddle near the university, telling her to look at her reflection in it. Both notice something is wrong with the reflection, but Bill doesn't know what. After the two leave, a voice issuing from the puddle claims that a "pilot is located".
At Christmastime, Bill celebrates with the Doctor, whom she tells that her birth mother died when she was young. Bill tells him that she apparently looks like her mother but doesn't have any photos to know this, wondering whether photos really help after loved ones are gone, while the Doctor looks wistfully the photos of his wife River and granddaughter Susan on his desk. At home, Bill's foster mother Moira shows her a newfound box containing photos of Bill's birth mother. Bill weeps upon discovering that she looks just like her mother. She notices the reflection in a mirror in one of the photos, seemingly the one photographing her mother.
Bill meets Heather again, but Heather mysteriously disappears while Bill is running around to meet her at the puddle. Bill consults the Doctor, who runs out of his office to investigate the puddle and the scorch marks surrounding it. The puddle seems to mimic a the subject, rather than producing a mirror image. The Doctor sends Bill home, where she notices someone in the bath, even though Moira is out that night. Bill runs to the university after noticing Heather's starry eye staring out of her bathroom drain.
Outside the university, Bill is confronted by the puddle, which has taken on the form of a soaked Heather. Bill rushes into the Doctor's office, where the puddle gushes into the room, reforming into Heather. The Doctor takes Bill (and Nardole, who is in the TARDIS already) down to the vault, where she realizes that the police box in the corner of the Doctor's office is a spaceship that is bigger on the inside. The Doctor and Bill infer that the puddle alien is not here for whatever is hidden inside the vault and is instead there to chase them. They escape in the TARDIS, which the Doctor flies to Australia to test the puddle's abilities.
In Australia, Bill asks the Doctor about the acronym "TARDIS" which wouldn't have made sense in his native language, a which the Doctor claims most people don't bring up. The puddle catches up, so the trio leaves to a planet on the other side of the universe, 23 million years in the future. Here, the Doctor and Bill hypothesize that the puddle is a type of sentient oil or perhaps a shape-shifting "liquid spaceship" requiring a host "pilot". Bill remembers Heather's desires to leave, explaining why the alien chose Heather. No sooner do they realize this, but the alien materializes and nearly takes Bill with it. The Doctor's last test of the puddle's abilities is to destroy it in "the deadliest fire in the universe".
The "deadliest fire" turns out to be a Dalek during Dalek-Movellan War. Meanwhile, Nardole distracts and quarantines the other Daleks using the Fourth Doctor's sonic screwdriver. The puddle (as Heather) materializes and proves indestructible to Dalek weaponry. Bill remembers that Heather promised not to leave her behind before the puddle absorbed her. Bill sadly absolves Heather of this promise, but the alien tries to entice anyway. Bill realizes she must resist and the alien deforms back into liquid. The Doctor brusquely returns to his ship while Nardole explains the former's seemingly ignorant behaviour.
Back in his university office, the Doctor tells Bill that she must forget about seeing Heather or travelling in the TARDIS and tries to wipe her memories of doing so, explaining that he must remain in disguise, unknown to everyone due to a promise he made. Bill retorts, asking how the he would feel if someone tried to wipe his memories. The Doctor tells Bill to leave immediately without another question before he changes his mind.
Bill finds the Doctor next to his TARDIS on the university lawn. He tells her his mind was changed by "Time … and Relative Dimension in Space", as the two run into the TARDIS, which dematerialises soon afterwards, leading on to a series of adventures for the Doctor and Bill.
- The Doctor - Peter Capaldi
- Bill - Pearl Mackie
- Nardole - Matt Lucas
- Moira - Jennifer Hennessy
- Heather - Stephanie Hyam
- Voice of the Daleks - Nicholas Briggs
|Executive Producers Steven Moffat and Brian Minchin|
|Not every person who worked on this adventure was credited. The absence of a credit for a position doesn't necessarily mean the job wasn't required. The information above is based solely on observations of the actual end credits of the episodes as broadcast, and does not relay information from IMDB or other sources.|
- The Doctor is Bill's tutor on physics and astrophysics, among other subjects.
- The Doctor says quantum physics and poetry are the same thing.
- Bill's graded paper on The Cosmic Far Ultraviolet Background mention Blazars which are members of the galactic nuclei and quasers, Polarization, the Pittsburg Conference on BL Lac Objects.
- Bill's graded paper on Quantum statistics of light mention the atom, electrons, protons, trees, balls, automobiles.
- Bill's graded paper on Laser cooling of ions: atomic clocks and quantum jumps mention ions and a few words from the Lord.
- The Doctor lectures on Time And Relative Dimension In Space, saying it means life and so references past days and future days, present days, little moments, big moments and hypothesises them all happening at once.
- The Doctor has, in his office, several sonic screwdrivers, of various designs from his past.
- The Doctor tells Bill that "TARDIS" stands for "Time and Relative Dimension in Space" (Some other stories have it as "Dimensions"). Bill points out that this acronym would only ever work in English.
- Bill compares the TARDIS control room design to a kitchen.
- She also asks where the toilet is.
- While she discovers the TARDIS is bigger on the inside, Bill at first thinks it's a knock-through behind his office, then that it's a lift.
- The TARDIS has a Macaroon dispenser.
- Bill is a fan of science fiction, and recognises many of its tropes in her experiences with the Doctor, including mind wipes.
- Bill watched a thing on Netflix about lizards in people's brains, controlling them.
- Moira has a Crock-Pot Cookery cookbook in the kitchen.
Food and beverages Edit
- Bill serves chips.
- The Doctor drinks water during his lectures.
- The Doctor mention vegan wraps.
- The Doctor jokes that the air and sky on the alien planet is made of lemon drops.
- The Doctor rhetorically ask Bill if she thinks her bacon sandwich loves her back.
- The Dalek doesn't recognise the Twelfth Doctor until it scans the sonic screwdriver, as according to its own knowledge at the time, the Doctor has brown curly hair and is wearing a long scarf.
- While running away from the sentient oil puddle, the Doctor, Nardole and Bill visit various locations.
St Luke's University Edit
- The Doctor has been lecturing at St Luke's University in Bristol for apparently 50 years.
- Bill serves chips there, and Heather is a student.
- The Doctor's office contains the TARDIS, photographs of River Song and Susan Foreman, Rembrandt van Rijn's Self Portrait with Two Circles, black-and-white prints of Joshua Reynolds' Portrait of Emma Hart and George Romney's Lady Hamilton in a Straw Hat, and busts of Ludwig van Beethoven and William Shakespeare. He also has an old-fashioned radio, a record of His Master's Voice and a gramophone.
- Bill comments that both the doors and windows in the office are too small to have brought the police box in without taking it apart.
- The Doctor and Nardole are keeping something hidden in an underground vault beneath the university.
- Nabeela is a member of staff at St Luke's University.
- Mrs Potts died when Bill was a baby.
- Neville is Moira's ex-boyfriend.
- Barry is Moira's friend.
Story notes Edit
- A working title for this episode was A Star In Her Eye.
- Before filming started, a two-minute scene featuring the Doctor and Bill known as Friend From the Future was broadcast in April 2016, set during the encounter in the Dalek war zone. Parts of this scene were adapted into the episode. (DWM 511)
- The song "Love Will Tear Us Apart" by Joy Division plays during the bar scene, when Bill and Heather first meet.
- Bill mentioning people being possessed by lizards in the brains is a reference to the series Stargate.
- When the Doctor finally invites Bill onboard the TARDIS, he says "Time And Relative Dimension In Space, it means... what the hell." it is a reference to the scene in Back to the Future in which Doc Brown tells Marty he broke the space-time continuum by avoiding death. [source needed]
- During the scene in which the TARDIS travels to the Dalek-Movellan War Zone, a short scene from TV: The Doctor's Wife is re-used in which the TARDIS leaves through the bubble universe rift for the House planetoid.
- As described by Caroline Lie, many if not all of the extras who attend the Doctor's lecture were employees from Doctor Who Experience in Cardiff. She can be seen, in fact, in multiple places, often near her friends, including Joe (TARDISArchives). Both previously participated in Classmates, a YouTube series consisting of fan reactions to episodes of Class.
- The setting of this story bears some resemblance to the unfinished TV story Shada. Both stories feature Time Lords (in Shada, Chronotis; in The Pilot, the Doctor) who settle in colleges as eccentric professors for an extended period of time. Both feature opening shots of a student (in Shada, Chris Parsons; in The Pilot, Bill Potts) entering their studies and noticing the TARDIS, parked in the corner.
- During the scene when the Doctor is about to wipe Bill's memory and she tells him to imagine if someone did it to him, "Clara's Theme" plays. This is a reference to the events of TV: Hell Bent.
- "The Sad Man with A Box" plays in the scene in which Bill is introduced to the TARDIS. A happier, more fairy-tale rendition of this same tune, "The Mad Man with a Box", played during the scene in The Eleventh Hour when Amy walked into the TARDIS and saw the interior for the first time.
- The Doctor uses a chalkboard with the same white roundel frame in his university classroom as Miss Quill does in her classroom at Coal Hill Academy in the spin-off Class.
- The romance between Bill Potts and her friend, Heather, may be homage to William "Bill" Hartnell, the first actor to portray the Doctor, and his wife, Heather Hartnell.
- The ringtone for Bill's mobile phone is the same as the one for Martha Jones' phone, which was later kept onboard the TARDIS by the Tenth Doctor.
- When Nardole shows Bill the Doctor's office, his arm makes a mechanical sound and a bolt falls from it, implying that his body is robotic, or at least partially cybernetic.
- Pearl Mackie is added to the title sequence in place of Jenna Coleman and is immediately followed by "and Matt Lucas", bridging the gap between actor names in the previous episode. The Doctor's face also appears after the show's title now.
to be added
Filming locations Edit
- The Main Building, the Sir Martin Evans Building, and Tower Building of Cardiff University largely fill in for St Luke's University, while the Reardon Smith Theatre (within the National Museum of Wales) is where the Doctor gives his lectures.
- The Cardiff Metropolitan University (Llandaff Campus)'s Atrium Cafe is where Bill serves chips.
- The bar scene was shot at Clwb Ifor Bach in Cardiff.
- Bill runs into the bathroom in "Australia", in World of Boats in Cardiff.
- CEMEX's Taffs Well quarry, just outside of Cardiff, is the exotic planet the TARDIS team travel to.
Production errors Edit
to be added
- Nardole's arm makes a mechanical noise and drops a bolt, hinting at his previous removal from king Hydroflax. (TV: The Husbands of River Song, The Return of Doctor Mysterio)
- The Doctor has a cup filled with his former sonic screwdrivers in his office as well as hidden in the TARDIS. (TV: Fury from the Deep, The War Games - The Visitation, Doctor Who, Rose - The Witch's Familiar)
- The Doctor has framed photographs on his desk of both his lost wife River Song (TV: The Wedding of River Song - The Husbands of River Song, et al.) and his granddaughter Susan. (TV: An Unearthly Child, et al.)
- The Doctor has a jeweller's eyeglass. (TV: Heaven Sent)
- The Doctor has an "Out of Order" sign on the doors of the TARDIS, nearly identical to one used by his first incarnation. (TV: The War Machines)
- The Doctor and Bill are wearing paper hats and pulled Christmas crackers. (TV: The Christmas Invasion, The Time of the Doctor, Last Christmas)
- The Doctor has a wooden raven on his desk in his office. (TV: Face the Raven)
- The Doctor still has blackboards in the TARDIS. (TV: Into the Dalek, et al.)
- Bill continues the Doctor Who-running gag (however she asks "what" instead). (TV: An Unearthly Child, et al.)
- Bill says the TARDIS is bigger on the inside than it is on the outside. (TV: The Three Doctors, et al.) Although it took a little longer.
- Nardole explains the concept of the TARDIS dimensions. (TV: The Robots of Death, In the Forest of the Night)
- The Doctor and Bill are bantering. He was previously against that. (TV: Robot of Sherwood, The Woman Who Lived)
- The Doctor's Rembrandt van Rijn portrait Self Portrait with Two Circles appears in his office. (TV: The Husbands of River Song)
- The TARDIS goes to Australia. (COMIC: Gemini Plan, Backtime, TV: The Enemy of the World, A Christmas Carol)
- The Doctor has previously met sentient liquid beings: the Kar-Charratans on Kar-Charrat (AUDIO: The Genocide Machine) and the Flood on Mars. (TV: The Waters of Mars)
- The Doctor mention all of time hypothetically happening at once, during one of his lectures on time. He once experienced such an event. (TV: The Wedding of River Song)
- The Doctor relents on wiping Bill's memory when she poses the question of how he would feel if it happened to him, clearly bringing back his memories (or lack thereof) of Clara Oswald. (TV: Hell Bent)
- The Doctor and his companions have before been chased throughout time and space.
- The First Doctor, Ian Chesterton and Barbara Wright were once chased by the Daleks. (TV: The Chase)
- The Tenth Doctor and Martha Jones were chased by the Family of Blood. (TV: Human Nature, The Family of Blood)
- The Eleventh Doctor and his team were once chased by The Then and the Now. (PROSE: Doctor Who: The Eleventh Doctor Year 2)
- The Doctor plays his electric guitar. (TV: The Magician's Apprentice, et al.)
- The Doctor is wearing his sonic sunglasses. (TV: The Magician's Apprentice et al.)
- The Doctor once encountered a creature which mimicked living people to steal their form. (TV: Midnight)
- The Doctor once encountered another spaceship part seeking a compatible pilot, who wants to leave, to travel. (TV: The Lodger)
- In his office, the Doctor has his bust of Beethoven, previously seen in his TARDIS. Similarly, he also plays Beethoven's Fifth Symphony. (TV: Before the Flood)
- In his office, the Doctor also has a bust of William Shakespeare. (TV: The Chase, The Shakespeare Code)
- As Heather follows Bill, the Doctor says you should never underestimate a crush, and Nardole says he didn't have to tell him. (TV: The Return of Doctor Mysterio)
- The Doctor tells Bill that being scared is good and rational. He previously told Rupert Pink similar. (TV: Listen)
- The Doctor pulls out his psychic paper. (TV: The End of the World, et al.)
- Bill writes an essay entitled "Laser cooling of ions: atomic clocks and quantum jumps." The Eighth Doctor encountered an atomic clock on the eve of the new 2000th year. (TV: Doctor Who)
- The Doctor pilots the TARDIS to the Dalek-Movellan War. (TV: Destiny of the Daleks)
- The Movellans reappear. (TV: Destiny of the Daleks)
- Near the vault the Doctor had a sign belonging to the Mary Celeste. (TV: The Chase, PROSE: The Mystery of the Marie Celeste, COMIC: A Stitch in Time)
- The Doctor had encountered scorch marks left in concrete by a shuttlecraft once before, also on a school campus. (TV: Remembrance of the Daleks)
- The Doctor mentions the TARDIS' broken chameleon circuit, (TV: An Unearthly Child, Logopolis, Boom Town, COMIC: Hunters of the Burning Stone, et al.) and calls it a "cloaking device." (TV: Doctor Who)
- The Doctor attempts a memory wipe. (TV: Journey's End) He previously revealed that he's done this several times, usually telepathically. (TV: Hell Bent) In this case, the method he's about to use was the same one employed on Donna Noble. (TV: Journey's End)
- The Doctor clicks his fingers to open the TARDIS doors. (TV: Forest of the Dead, The Eleventh Hour, Hell Bent, et al.)
Home video releases Edit
DVD releases Edit
to be added
Blu-ray releases Edit
to be added
Digital releases Edit
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- ↑ https://twitter.com/d0od/status/767445794781790208
- ↑ https://twitter.com/HDProductions70/status/766751107116896256
- ↑ Fullerton, Huw (13 March 2017). Does this Doctor Who series 10 title change mean a shake-up for the series?. RadioTimes. Retrieved on 16 April 2017.
- ↑ Martin, Dan (15 April 2017). Doctor Who: series 36, episode one – The Pilot. The Guardian. Retrieved on 16 April 2017.
- ↑ http://www.radiotimes.com/news/2017-04-15/did-you-spot-the-reference-to-clara-in-the-doctor-who-series-10-opener