There’s a long-standing fan theory online that suggests Mary Poppins is a Doctor Who-style Time Lord, and the evidence is compelling.
Like The Doctor, Mary only appears at times of crisis, she carries a bag that is bigger on the inside than the outside, occasionally wears a bow tie, can converse with animals and – perhaps most convincingly – she has a bit of an ego.
But what does Emily Blunt, the star of Mary Poppins Returns and the second actress to play the role after Julie Andrews, think of the theory?
Admittedly she laughed when we put it to her, blaming her co-star “nerd” Lin-Manuel Miranda for planting the story in our minds, but Blunt does believe Mary has special powers that make her more than human.
“I think [Mary’s] a superhuman,” says Blunt. “Because I think underneath this completely fantastical exterior, there is somebody of great humanity, who is really coming in to heal and fix you, and help you.”
That actually sounds a lot like The Doctor to us, despite Blunt’s protests. Thirteen actors have played the Time Lord in Doctor Who now, with the latest incarnation portrayed by Jodie Whittaker. One of the key features of the Doctor’s many adventures is that he/she always departs in the TARDIS when the adventure is done… just like Poppins.
“She will inevitably have to leave again,” adds Blunt, “Which always made me so sad as a child, but what I love about the character is her connectivity to people, but she holds them at arm’s length, maybe because she’s going to have to go.”
We’ll find out how it’s received when Mary Poppins Returns lands in cinemas on 21 December.