Despite “Doctor Who” being rebooted in 2005 by gay icon Russell T. Davies, who created the landmark TV series “Queer as Folk,” it has taken till now for the Time Lord to have a gay companion. Pearl Mackie, who plays Bill Potts, the new sidekick to the Doctor, revealed in a recent interview with the BBC that her character is out and proud. While Potts addresses her sexuality in the second line of dialogue, Mackie says it “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.”
As the actress observes, “It shouldn’t be a big deal in the 21st century. It’s about time isn’t it?” Indeed, she admits, “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 recognize yourself on screen is important.” And she adds, “that representation is important, especially on a mainstream show.”
We don’t know the circumstances under which Potts becomes part of the plot for season 10. However, in the teaser trailer, the character gives voice to a pithy description of the Doctor. “The first time you meet him he’s funny. The second time he’s amazing. The third time you realize he’s the most dangerous man in the universe.” She continues, “He says he’s a man of peace, but he walks in war. I’m having the time of my life, and I wouldn’t miss it for the world, even if it kills me.” The new season premieres April 15 on BBC America.
There are big changes in store for “Doctor Who” after season 10. Capaldi has announced that this will be his last season on the show, and it will also be the last for Steven Moffat, who has been the showrunner since 2010. In addition to “Doctor Who,” Moffat has found success overseeing another legendary British hero, “Sherlock,” for which he has won two Emmys including Best TV Movie in 2016 for the episode “The Abominable Bride.”
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