Doc­tor Who scores a new side­kick in 1oth sea­son

Peter Ca­paldi calls episodes ‘a re­turn to the early days’

Metro Canada (Calgary) - - TELEVISION - THE CANA­DIAN PRESS

As Doc­tor Who de­buts its 10th sea­son Satur­day on Space, it’s go­ing through changes but also mak­ing a re­turn of sorts to its 1960s roots, when Cana­dian pro­ducer Syd­ney New­man was among the creators.

English ac­tress Pearl Mackie joins the Bri­tish sci-fi smash as the new com­pan­ion, big-hearted Bill. Un­like the pre­vi­ous com­pan­ion, played by Jenna Cole­man, Mackie’s char­ac­ter is to­tally new to the world of the ex­trater­res­trial doc who trav­els through time in a blue Bri­tish po­lice box called the TARDIS.

“In a way, it’s a re­turn to the early days of the show when the doc­tor is able to show a new per­son this won­der­ful world that he ex­ists in,” said Ca­paldi, who joined the show in 2013. In Jan­uary, he an­nounced he’s leav­ing af­ter this sea­son, not­ing “it’s time to move on.”

“My am­bi­tion was to do a first episode that could be the first episode you ever saw of Doc­tor Who and would ex­plain ev­ery as­pect of it,” added head writer and ex­ec­u­tive pro­ducer Steven Mof­fat, who is also leav­ing at the end of the sea­son.

“We treat ev­ery­thing from Bill’s point of view, which makes it a new show. I think the rea­son Doc­tor Who has run for so long and been so loved for so long is that it can be­come si­mul­ta­ne­ously as old as the hills and as fresh as paint.”

The time-hon­oured, time­trav­el­ling saga has achieved cult sta­tus, yet Mackie ad­mit­ted she wasn’t a Who­vian be­fore get­ting the role and didn’t re­al­ize how big the show was glob­ally.

“It wasn’t on when I was a kid,” said the 29-year-old Lon­don na­tive. “I was part of that gen­er­a­tion that was de­prived of Doc­tor Who as a child. I think the se­ries came back when I was 15, 16.”

She’d also barely done any TV be­fore her au­di­tion, which she de­scribed as “kind of mad, ac­tu­ally, be­cause it’s all top-se­cret.”

“At first I wasn’t told I was au­di­tion­ing for Doc­tor Who,” said Mackie. “When I first au­di­tioned I was then told, but ini­tially my agent was like, ‘I rec­om­mended some­thing for you called Mean Town,’ which is an ana­gram of Woman Ten, who is me as the 10th com­pan­ion.”

When she heard she got the role, she didn’t quite be­lieve it, not­ing: “it’s prob­a­bly one of the best jobs on tele­vi­sion.”

“I had to call my agent back about two hours later and go, ‘Did that ac­tu­ally hap­pen? Did I ac­tu­ally get that phone call?”

Con­trib­uted

Peter ca­paldi be­gins his fi­nal sea­son as Doc­tor Who on April 15.

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