Why Doctor Who's New Companion Is Definitely Worth Celebrating

Whether you're a Doctor Who fan or not, the show's latest companion is worth celebrating. It was announced last year that Brixton-born actress Pearl Mackie had been cast as a character called Bill Potts. Now the BBC has said Bill be the long-running sci-fi series' first ever openly gay companion.
Even more excitingly, Doctor Who won't be dancing around the issue of Bill's sexuality at all. When Mackie makes her debut on the show's season premiere on the 15th of April, Bill will confirm she is gay in only her second line of dialogue.
"It shouldn't be a big deal in the 21st Century. It's about time isn't it?" Mackie told BBC News. "That representation is important, especially on a mainstream show."
"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," she added. "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."
Peter Capaldi as the Doctor, Pearl Mackie as Bill Potts
Doctor Who has introduced prominent LGBT characters before, most notably John Barrowman's Captain Jack Harness, but Mackie's Bill will be the first full-time, openly gay companion.
Her casting comes as many fans are calling on the show to introduce its first ever female Doctor. Peter Capaldi has announced his departure from the TARDIS at the end of the current season, and Fleabag actress Phoebe Waller-Bridge is now bookmakers' favourite to replace him.
Other actresses who have been linked to the iconic role include Tilda Swinton, Maxine Peake, Olivia Colman, and Chewing Gum's Michael Coel. The new Doctor will be the show's 13th in its rich, 54-year history, so it's surely about time a woman is cast as its lead.

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