Doctor Who’s Newest Companion Will Be Openly Gay

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At right, Pearl Mackie.

When Doctor Who returns for its new season in a few weeks, we’ll be introduced to a new companion, Bill Potts, who’s portrayed by acting newbie Pearl Mackie. We’ve already gotten a taste of her badass alien-fighting chops in a few teasers, but besides that, little about her character has actually been revealed — but what we’re privy to now is a wonderful surprise. Bill will be the first openly gay companion to travel in the TARDIS with the Doctor, something that’s been over 50 years in the making for the seminal British sci-fi series. “It shouldn’t be a big deal in the 21st century. It’s about time, isn’t it?” Mackie explained. “That representation is important, especially on a mainstream show. It’s important to say people are gay, people are black … 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.” Many nonheterosexual and gay characters have been featured on Doctor Who since the program was rebooted in 2005, perhaps most prominently with John Barrowman’s portrayal of Captain Jack Harkness, who held the first openly nonheterosexual role in Who’s history.

Doctor Who’s Newest Companion Will Be Openly Gay