Ever since the news dropped that “Game of Thrones’” Maisie Williams would be joining the new season of “Doctor Who,” the Whovians have been wild with speculation. What’s her role? How does she know the Doctor? And could she possibly be someone from the past series resurrected?
Show runner Steven Moffat shut down a lot of these rumors Friday while on stage at the Television Critics Assn. press tour in Beverly Hills.
Joined via satellite by stars Peter Capaldi and Jenna Coleman, Moffat tackled “Doctor Who” rumor after “Doctor Who” rumor, greasing the wheels for the new season set to premiere this year in September. The first rumor blasted? Williams’ much speculated role that we got a tease of in the new season trailer.
FULL COVERAGE: All the news from the TCA summer press tour
When asked by the crowd who Maisie is playing, Moffat’s response was fairly cautious: “I can’t really tell you,” he said. “I think once you see what she’s up to in the show you’ll appreciate what a clever idea of Brian Minchin’s -- that was [my co-exec] who thought of Maisie for this part. It’s a significant role. We’re not throwing her away. We’re not just getting star value and doing nothing with it. It’s a great part, and she’s terrific in it. But, I would say, it will develop in unexpected ways."
Addressing one specific Williams rumor, Moffat got direct. “One thing I think is worth saying because it keeps coming up as an issue,” he said. “She is not playing a returning character. She’s a brand new character. She is not someone from the Doctor’s past.... Unless I’m lying. Aye.”
Because never forget, the Doctor lies. And perhaps that “Doctor Who” saying applies to the executive producer as well.
The “Doctor Who” rumor mill silencing didn’t stop there. Next up, this much-whispered-about but never actually planned “Doctor Who” movie. Will there ever be a brand new “Doctor Who” feature film? “The thing about the film, it’s not actually up to me,” Moffat said. “That’s up to the BBC. To say the least I don’t own Doctor Who.... What are we going to do -- shut down for a year and make a movie? Does everyone really want that? One movie instead of a whole series? Or the idea that I’ve always been incredibly resistant to, and you’ll be glad to know, Pete, is the idea that you would have a different Doctor in the movie because I think that would just be incredibly damaging to the franchise. You can’t have two James Bonds at the same time.”
Capaldi enjoyed that bit, laughing into the camera with costar Coleman. They would both later pretend to peer into the imaginary crowd they couldn’t see from question to question, cranking their twosome power of adorableness all the way to 11.
The Doctor himself also had a bit of a tease for returning character Missy (Michelle Gomez), who was revealed last season as the new face of the old “Doctor Who” foe the Master (or the Mistress, as she was referred to in the final episode). The good news is the mysterious villain will be returning, but the relationship will be different.
“She’s so wonderful and funny and clever and evil,” said Capaldi. “Michelle plays it so beautifully. It’s great. The role that she fulfills in the new season is rather different from what she did last time and rather different from what people would suspect from the Master. So that’s very surprising. Yeah, she gives the Doctor a hard time.”
“Rather different” for the Master could be almost everything, as every new iteration of this villain is extremely different from the last. So here’s hoping we’ll cover new Gallifreyan ground with the character Missy.