We gaze upon the Doctor’s new friend in the TARDIS.
Meet the new Doctor Who companion played by Pearl Mackie...
The next Doctor Who companion has arrived. On 23 April, the BBC aired a new scene in the half-time break of the FA Cup semi-final, entitled “Friend From The Future”. In it, we were introduced to Pearl Mackie as Bill (or as BILL, as the on screen text actually read), the companion who will be replacing Jenna Coleman when the show returns. The actress was previously best known for appearing in the stage production of The Curious Incident Of The Dog In The Night-Time. The scene was certainly short and snappy, but while it didn’t give much away about Bill’s character, there were a few nuggets of information to be gleaned... She’s funny: There’s a slight Donna vibe to some of Bill’s irreverent dialogue with the Doctor. She’s observant (instantly clocking that the Dalek might be too “fat” to reach them) but while she mocks their appearance, she doesn’t seem as cocky as Clara. Mackie has described her character as “Fantastically written, cool, strong, sharp, a little bit vulnerable with a bit of geekiness thrown in.” She might be from the past: Could Bill be from the 1980s? Her faded denim jacket, WOW! patch and Prince t-shirt all reek of the decade. Then there’s the Doctor’s line, “We need to get back to the future. 2017 needs us,” and Bill’s excited expression. Surely she wouldn’t look that thrilled if he was just taking her home... The name game: Casting director Andy Pryor has revealed that the code word used to refer to Mackie throughout the casting process was “Mean Town” – an anagram of Ten Woman, in reference to Bill starring in the 10th season. A glimpse at the future: So is this a self-contained short? Apparently not. The iPlayer blurb describes it as “an exclusive scene from a future episode” – which is surprising as filming on the series hadn’t begun at that point, and it contains recycled footage from “Into The Dalek”. Doctor Who Magazine have since confirmed, however, that it will form part of a future episode. When will we see Bill next? The only Doctor Who episode broadcasting in 2016 will be the Christmas special, but there’s been no confirmation that it’s Bill’s debut. So will we have to wait until the 2017 series to find out more about the TARDIS’s new occupant? It’s looking likely. Whenever she starts, Pearl is excited to be a part of the show, saying, “Peter [Capaldi] is such a brilliant actor, and his Doctor is such a wacky and wonderful character. I can’t wait to see what adventures are in store for him and Bill”.
Doctor Who returns at Christmas.
Bill: sign o’ the times.