New ‘Doctor Who’ Season Features First Openly Gay Companion

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Peter Capaldi and Pearl Mackie in Doctor Who (BBC)We seem to have quite a bit of Doctor Who related news today but none is bigger than this reveal from a few minutes ago. In an interview with the BBC airing later today on the Six O’Clock news on BBC One, actress Pearl Mackie (who portrays The Doctor’s new companion Bill Potts) reveals her character is openly gay. In fact, there’ll be no doubts about Bill’s sexuality as it will be pointed right out for the world to hear in the character’s second line of dialogue. While gay and bisexual characters have been represented numerous times in the “modern era” of Doctor Who, most notably Captain Jack Harkness and River Song, this will be the first time we’ll see a season long recurring companion who is gay.

Mackie noted in her BBC interview, “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.”

“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.” the actress noted.

“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.”

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