Doctor Who finally seems like it’s heading for a change. BBC announced that newest companion Bill Potts (Pearl Mackie) will be their first openly gay companion.
They have featured gay and bisexual characters that have become fan favorites. Paging Captain Jack (who was a fellow adventurer and not a companion) and Madame Vastra. It’s just that Doctor Who has been famously led by a white male with a female companion who always seems to get smitten with the Doctor. While the characters themselves have been great, the formula has gotten a little stale.
Bill’s sexuality won’t just be something that’s teased throughout the season. She will pretty much announce it in her second line of dialogue. In an interview with BBC, Mackie had this to say about her role:
It shouldn’t be a big deal in the 21st Century. It’s about time isn’t it? That representation is important, especially on a mainstream show. [She added:] It’s important to say people are gay, people are black – there are also aliens in the world as well so watch out for them. 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. [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.
I’m proud Doctor Who is doing this and I’m excited to see Mackie as Bill. This could be a really nice changing point for the series. Now, my fingers are also crossed that the series will possibly flip the tables and have the next Doctor be a woman (I can’t stand Missy so I like to think she doesn’t count) and have a little flirtation going on between the Doctor and Bill. This upcoming season will be the last for Peter Capaldi so the show has the potential to reinvigorate the show even more. And there has been rumors flying around like a TARDIS that actress Phoebe Waller-Bridge is being courted for the role.
Could we be actually witnessing a more diverse Doctor Who universe in a world full of aliens from all walks of the universe?
Doctor Who returns to BBC America on April 15.