Doctor Who (2005– )
38 user 26 critic

The Pilot 

0:31 | Trailer
The Doctor and Nardole team up with a university student to take down a sinister life-mimicking alien.


Lawrence Gough


Terry Nation (characters: Daleks), Steven Moffat





Episode complete credited cast:
Peter Capaldi ... The Doctor
Pearl Mackie ... Bill Potts
Matt Lucas ... Nardole
Jennifer Hennessy ... Moira
Stephanie Hyam ... Heather
Nicholas Briggs ... Daleks (voice)


The Doctor agrees to tutor Bill, a would be university student, but a strange puddle and the mysterious disappearance of Bill's friend interrupt the tutition. Will the Doctor, Bill and Nardole get to the bottom of things? Will the Doctor gain a new companion? And what IS the Doctor hiding in the vault...? Written by knackeredmum

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


TV-PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »






Release Date:

15 April 2017 (UK) See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

BBC Studios Wales See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs



See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Bill and Heather's romance may be an allusion to the first Doctor, William Hartnell. Hartnell often went by "Bill"; his wife's name was Heather. See more »


The Doctor says that "nobody's from space," and that he's, "from planet like everybody else". However he forgot about space stations and multi-generational ships, two things that he's encountered previously. See more »


Bill: [inside the Tardis for the first time] Look at this place! It's like a...
The Doctor: Spaceship?
Bill: Kitchen!
The Doctor: A what?
Bill: A really posh kitchen, all metal. What happened to the doors, though? Did you run out of money?
See more »


Featured in Whovians: The Woman Who Fell to Earth (2018) See more »


Deck the Halls
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

A Mostly Fun Reboot
16 April 2017 | by georgesepiclifeSee all my reviews

This was a decent first episode of the season.

First of all, I was very happy that it was a much more down-to-earth simple reboot, akin to "Rose", rather than a big mess like like season's premiere. This episode's main job is to introduce Bill Potts to the audience, and this is where the episode succeeds the most. I was worried that I wouldn't like Bill (based on the trailers), but I liked her a lot, especially her happy personality and humour. In fact, I'll say that this introduction is better than the one Clara got.

The episode is fun overall, with a threat that is occasionally creepy, and a story which involves traveling around the galaxy in the TARDIS. The pacing was a bit uneven, and it takes a while for the story to get going, but once it does, it's good fun. Peter Capaldi as the doctor is still great, who still has that darker edge, but also has a good balance with being fun as well. I thought some of the romance between Bill and the girl was a bit corny, and it seemed to try too hard to make it 'emotional'. I wasn't particularly impressed with the resolution, and the way the monster was defeated, but this is typical in the Moffat era, so I wasn't that surprised. But, for a Moffat episode, "The Pilot" was actually quite simple, and it got the job done decently - of course, my low expectations helped.

In terms of a season-long arc, the only thing I picked up on was the 'vault', and whatever was behind it. My guess is that it's going to have something to do with The Master (John Simms!), so I'm looking forward to seeing how that will develop. I'm also just relieved that this season's story arc doesn't look like season 6's ridiculously over-complicated mess, so thank you Moffat for that. This is Moffat's last season, so I'm hoping that he leaves on a positive note, and this first episode is a (mostly) positive start.

I'll give this an episode a 6.5/10 rounded up to a 7 because it exceeded my expectations. A generally solid episode, but nothing particularly special. I'm looking forward to the rest of the season.

8 of 13 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 38 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Free Movies and TV Shows You Can Watch Now

On IMDb TV, you can catch Hollywood hits and popular TV series at no cost. Select any poster below to play the movie, totally free!

Browse free movies and TV series

Stream Trending TV Series With Prime Video

Explore popular and recently added TV series available to stream now with Prime Video.

Start your free trial

Recently Viewed