A glimpse of Maisie Williams from a recent “Doctor Who” Season 9 trailer.
Video screenshot by Rich Trenholm/CNET

Maisie Williams has gotten lots of acclaim for her portrayal of Arya Stark on HBO’s hit fantasy series “Game of Thrones,” but is that performance the reason she was picked to play a part in “Doctor Who” Season 9?

Not quite, according to “Doctor Who” show execs Steven Moffat and Brian Minchin. In a video posted to the official “Doctor Who” YouTube channel on Thursday, Moffat and Minchin talk about why they decided to bring Maisie from Westeros to Gallifrey for the next season of “Doctor Who.”

While she certainly dazzles as Arya Stark on “Game of Thrones,” it was her performance in the 2015 made-for-TV movie “Cyberbully” that really wowed Minchin. “It was just Maisie onscreen for 80 minutes…and she was captivating,” Minchin said. “And, you know, if someone can take 80 minutes of screen time and tell a story like that and take you with them, then that is really extraordinary.”

In “Cyberbully,” Maisie plays Casey, a teenager who’s forced to do the bidding of a computer hacker. If she refuses, the hacker will leak compromising pictures of her online.

Moffat had been tossing around an idea for a “Doctor Who” character, and having Maisie play the part just made a whole lot of sense to him, and to Minchin. The rest is history.

We don’t yet know exactly which role Williams will play in the BBC’s long-running sci-fi series. Season 9 of “Doctor Who” premieres September 19 in the US and the UK. Airing time in Australia has yet to be announced.


How Maisie Williams from 'Game of Thrones' ended up in 'Doctor Who'