The BBC have announced Pearl Mackie as the Doctor’s new companion. Surprisingly, the company did this during Match of the Day’s FIFA cup live semi-final half-time. Previously, the identity of the Doctor’s co-star was a closely guarded secret. However, true to form, several bookies named Pearl Mackie as a contender for the role before the announcement.
The new companion, Bill, made her first appearance in a trailer featuring the Doctor’s oldest and most famous enemies, the Daleks. In a first, she took the opportunity to say things about the aliens that a lot of grownups have wanted to say about them for years while the Doctor treated the aliens as he always has.
Mackie takes the role after the departure of Jenna Coleman and her character Clara Oswald, who left the show last year to pursue the title role on ITV’s new royal drama Victoria.
Mackie reportedly said of her role: “I’m incredibly excited to be joining the Doctor Who family. It’s such an extraordinary British institution, I couldn’t be prouder to call the TARDIS my home! (…) Reading the script at the audition I thought Bill was wicked. Fantastically written, cool, strong, sharp, a little bit vulnerable with a bit of geekiness thrown in – I can’t wait to bring her to life, and to see how she develops through the series.”
Though young, Mackie has some considerable dramatic experience. After graduating from the Bristol Old Vic Theatre School she worked in film, TV, radio and theatre – where her credits range from the Royal Shakespeare Company to the West End. She is currently appearing in the National Theatre’s production of Mark Haddon’s novel The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time – which Peter Capaldi has reportedly been to see.
The tenth series of Doctor Who debuts sometime in 2017 following a single Christmas special later this year. (Our bets are on Christmas). The tenth series will also be the last to feature Steven Moffat as showrunner for the series; he will pass the reigns over to Broadchurch’s Chris Chibnail in 2018. Bill, meanwhile, already has her own fan-art. Things are off to an excellent start.