Doctor Who gets his first gay companion: A woman called Bill
THE new series of Doctor Who will see the Time Lord joined by his first gay companion.
In an apparent bid to appeal to new audiences, the BBC sci-fi series will introduce the Doctor’s sidekick Bill Potts as gay from the start – with her sexuality mentioned in her second line of dialogue.
Actress Pearl Mackie who plays Bill told the BBC yesterday: ‘It shouldn’t be a big deal in the 21st century. It’s about time isn’t it? It’s important to say people are gay, people are black.
‘I remember watching TV as a young mixed race girl not seeing many people who looked like me, so I think being able to visually recognise yourself on screen is important. That representation is important, especially on a mainstream show.’
The series has featured gay and bisexual characters before, including John Barrowman’s Captain Jack Harkness and Alex Kingston’s River Song, but never before has the Doctor’s companion been gay.
Miss Mackie, 29, added: ‘[Being gay] is not the main thing that defines her character – it’s something that’s part of her and something that she’s very happy and very comfortable with.’
The new series, which begins on Saturday April 15, will be 58-year-old Peter Capaldi’s last in the title role and the last for programme boss Steven Moffat, who is being replaced by Broadchurch creator Chris Chibnall.
In recent weeks the odds on the new Doctor being a woman have dropped dramatically, with actress Tilda Swinton and comedy writer Phoebe Waller-Bridge among the favourites.