The Pilot


Previous Next




The Pilot

First Transmitted

15 April 2017

Final Ratings



Box Set




previous arrow
next arrow


Regular Cast
Peter Capaldi (The Doctor), Pearl Mackie (Bill Potts), Matt Lucas (Nardole)

Guest Cast
Jennifer Hennessy (Moira), Stephanie Hyam (Heather),  Nicholas Briggs (Voice of the Daleks)


Written by Steven Moffat
Directed by Lawrence Gough
Produced by Peter Bennett


Two worlds collide when The Doctor meets Bill.  

A chance encounter with a girl with a star in her eye leads to a terrifying chase across time and space. Bill’ mind is opened to a Universe that is bigger and more exciting than she could possibly have imagined – but who is The Doctor, and what is his secret mission with Nardole on Earth?


  • A working title for this episode was A Star In Her Eye
  • The first new episode of Doctor Who following haitis for a year.
  • Nardole returns from The Husbands of River Song and The Return of Doctor Mysterio
  • The Doctor has framed photographs on his desk of both his lost wife River Song (The Wedding of River Song, The Husbands of River Song, Forest of the Dead) and his granddaughter Susan. (An Unearthly ChildThe Dalek Invasion of Earth)
  • The Doctor pilots the TARDIS to the Dalek-Movellan War. (Destiny of the Daleks)
  • The Doctor has previously met sentient liquid beings, the Kar-Charratans on Kar-Charrat. (The Genocide Machine)
  • The Doctor relents on wiping Bill’s memory when she poses the question of how he would feel if it happened to him. (Hell Bent)
  • In his office te Doctor has his bust of Beethoven, previously seen in Before the Flood. Similar to that episode, he also plays Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony.
  • The setting of this story bears some resemblance to the unfinished 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.
  • The plot element of having The Doctor travel to various obscure locations in the universe as he continuously encounters the same entity has been used in the Doctor Who universe various times before.

    • The Chase, back in 1965, famously had the TARDIS team travel to various locations, often to comical effect, while under pursuit by the Daleks.
    • This element was also used in the season-long-arc of Titan’s Doctor Who: the Eleventh Doctor Year 2, where the Eleventh Doctor’s team was stalked by a being known as then and the Now.

  • A creature which mimicked living people to steal their form previously appeared in Midnight.
  • Another spaceship part seeking a compatible pilot – specifically, one who wants to leave, to travel – previously appeared in The Lodger.
  • 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  Hell Bent
  • trailer

    error: Content is protected
    Skip to content