“Game of Thrones” star Maisie Williams is not playing the character fans think she is on the upcoming season of “Doctor Who”…Or is she?
That was the essential message from “Doctor Who” executive producer Steven Moffat at today”s TCA (Television Critics Association) press tour. There are a few popular theories about who Williams — who most will know as relentless survivor (we hope) Arya Stark on “Game of Thrones” — would be playing in the upcoming season of the popular BBC series. Perhaps the most frequently postulated is that she will appear as The Doctor”s granddaughter, who was abandoned on earth in a storyline that was established in classic “Doctor Who” series.
Support for this theory came in the form of Peter Capaldi”s interactions with Williams' character in the recently released “Doctor Who” Season 9 trailer. “What took you so long, old man?” she says in response to The Doctor”s surprised, “You!”.
“She's a brand-new character,” Moffat said, correcting the assumption. “She's not someone from the Doctor's past…unless I'm lying.”
Theoretically, that would mean that Williams is also not playing a younger version of Michelle Gomez”s Missy/The Master. Again, unless Moffat is lying…And he really may just be purposely deceiving the audience.
This is not stunt casting, however, the shorunner assures.
“It's a significant role,” Moffat said. “When you see what she”s up to in the show you”ll appreciate what a clever idea it was. It”s a great part and she”s terrific in it.”
Adding, “It will develop in unexpected ways.” As all great Doctor Who storylines do.
Following the panel, Moffat revealed that Williams' role on “Doctor Who” would “quite different” than her character on “Game of Thrones”.
When asked if it was a challenge that the actress is so deeply associated with Arya in the public mind at the moment Moffat said not at all.
“I think it”s a gift,” he reflected. “There was a time in television where people worried about things like that and that”s when they were mad. If someone”s hugely popular on another show then it”s great to have them on your show.”
Are you looking forward to seeing Williams appear on Doctor Who? What is your best guess about who she might be playing?