Wow, would you look at that, ever since 1982 Drill has been a dick.
On The Whispers Season 1 Episode 8, we learned Drill has visited our planet before. He only talked to one kid, Thomas, whose father worked at NASA. Drill being a repeat offender certainly makes him much more interesting. This means that Drill has known about our planet for awhile, but for some reason, he chose to reappear now.
We really needed someone like Thomas to show up because no one else would have been able to provide more back story on Drill. Aside from what Drill tells the kids, there wasn't any other way for us to know anything about Drill. Thomas changed that.