Mary Poppins was a fictional character dating back to 20th century earth. In a series of books and an iconic musical film of the 1960s, she was a magical nanny who arrived to help families in need. The film was something the Eleventh Doctor wondered — in the midst of a discussion about his fitness as a babysitter — if the twelve-and-a-half-year-old Kazran Sardick had seen. The Doctor stopped himself before fully comparing himself to Mary Poppins, saying that the analogy would have been "rubbish". (TV: A Christmas Carol)
When the Eleventh Doctor gathered magician props from the TARDIS, he placed them all in a large carpet bag which was bigger on the inside than the outside, saying he was glad he got it back from Mary Poppins. (PROSE: Magic of the Angels) Tanya Adeola compared a bag with a large assortments of various useful things to Mary Poppins handbag. (PROSE: The Stone House)
The Thirteenth Doctor later reflected that Missy's "Mary Poppins look" could blind some, but not her, to the fact that she was as dangerous as all of the Master's other incarnations. (PROSE: The Doctor vs the Master)
Behind the scenes Edit
- Though the Doctor never specifically called Mary Poppins a film, a common sense reading of the scene would indicate he was talking about the film — largely because of the line, "Have you ever seen Mary Poppins?" The fact several other sources also refer to Mary Poppins as a film, the one-off reference to Mary in Magic of the Angels would appear more likely to be a joke than an actual indication that she exists in the Whoniverse.
- Missy's appearance is based upon that of the Julie Andrews version of Mary Poppins. In the stage directions from the script of TV: Deep Breath, Missy was physically described thus; "She's dressed a little like Mary Poppins." Furthermore, Missy imitates the style of Mary's arrival (floating down from the sky using an umbrella) in TV: Death in Heaven. This resemblance was eventually acknowledged in-universe by the Thirteenth Doctor in PROSE: The Doctor vs the Master)
- The official Lethbridge-Stewart Novels Twitter account revealed that the author and creator of Lyndon Travers, Andy Frankham-Allen, came up with the name as a nod to P. L. Travers, the author of the Mary Poppins series of books. P.L. Travers' real name was Helen Lyndon Goff. The surname was given to the family of Margaret Travers, mother of Anne and wife of Edward, by Frankham-Allen.
- Disney's 2018 film Mary Poppins Returns (a sequel to their 1964 film adaptation) featured David Warner, Jim Norton, Kobna Holdbrook-Smith, Noma Dumezweni, and Mark Addy among its cast.
- During an online Q&A organised by the magazine WIRED in 2020, a partially-in-character Jodie Whittaker was asked about the fan theory of Mary Poppins being a Time Lord. Whittaker jokingly answered that in fact, it was perfectly possible that the Thirteenth Doctor hadn't been the first female incarnation of a very specific Time Lord.