Karen Gillan is in for a huge couple of years with her role as Nebula in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. After exploring new versions of her heroine in the animated What If...? show, she's set for appearances as the machine-infused daughter of Thanos in Thor: Love and Thunder and Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3. And of course, this all comes after her key role in 2019's mega-blockbuster Avengers: Endgame.
The Infinity Saga's epic conclusion saw Nebula and the other heroes hopping through time to save their fallen comrades, but that wasn't Gillan's first foray into time travel. The Scottish actress first found fame in her role as Amy Pond on the long-running British sci-fi series Doctor Who, in which she traveled through time as a companion to Matt Smith's Doctor - who recently joined the Marvel world himself in Morbius.
The fourth Avengers movie gave Gillan arguably her most pivotal story arc in the MCU to date as she teamed up with Earth's Mightiest Heroes to bring half of humanity back to life. Even more so, on top of her epic action sequences and the dramatic fight she had with her 2014 doppelganger, the Scottish star got some of her funniest moments to date in her MCU tenure.
This included her hilarious interaction with Scott Lang before the team developed plans for the Time Heist, and she even ignored War Machine's Indiana Jones-inspired fears as they found the Power Stone on Morag. Even funnier is Gillan's recent confession on social media regarding a non-utilized joke that still gives her nightmares to this day.
Karen Gillan on Missed Endgame Opportunity
MCU star Karen Gillan took to Twitter to share her thoughts on a joke that slipped her mind during filming for 2019's Avengers: Endgame.
@Owzll expressed a sense of disappointment that Gillan didn't make a Doctor Who reference during the movie after spending five seasons starring as Amy Pond on the show. Both projects utilize time travel as one of their main plot devices:
"I am so disappointed in Karen Gillan during Endgame She should of said Doctor Who when they were talking time travel in media"
Gillan responded with a laughing emoji and admitted that it still "haunts" her that she didn't think of this while she filmed Avengers: Endgame:
"Honestly the fact I didn’t think of that while filming the scene haunts me"
Gillan's Regret About Missed Doctor Who Reference
While the MCU is known for its sense of humor that comes through in every movie, not all ideas for jokes make it through to the final cut. One of these missed jokes that fans often look back to was when Benedict Cumberbatch and Robert Downey Jr. spent ample screen time with each other in Avengers: Infinity War and didn't make any reference to them both playing Sherlock Holmes.
As for Gillan's missed joke here, fans would have certainly enjoyed a nod to her time on Doctor Who, one of the most popular sci-fi/fantasy shows from the 21st century. Her character, Amy Pond, stood by the titular Doctor as he traveled through time and space to fight injustice, similarly to how Nebula went on the Time Heist with the Avengers searching for the Infinity Stones.
A Doctor Who reference could have found its way into a couple of different Endgame moments, such as being one of the time-travel shows and movies that Rhodey listed off before testing the Pym Particles. Also, with the movie boasting a couple of notable doctors in the Avengers' roster, an actual uttering of the phrase "Doctor Who?" could have induced laughter in fans.
It appears that fans will have to keep waiting for a potential nod to Gillan's work on Doctor Who, especially with at least two more appearances lined up between now and May 2023.