In a special announcement on today’s Match of the Day, the BBC have revealed who is to play the Doctor’s new companion in Season 10 - Pearl Mackie!
Though she has a limited TV filmography, Mackie is prominent in theatre; she’s currently starring in a West End production of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time. Mackie also works as an acting coach for children, where she’s said to have “vibrant optimism”, and is skilled at “mixing maturity with immaturity” - both key attributes for a Doctor Who companion!
A scene featuring Peter Capaldi alongside Pearl Mackie showed the Doctor and his new companion, Bill, up against the Daleks - you can see that scene below, here.
Pearl Mackie will start filming shortly, with her first appearance being in the 10th Series of Doctor Who, which will be airing on BBC One in 2017. Obviously, there’s no current indication as to how long she will stay in the role; with Chris Chibnall taking over from Steven Moffat for the 11th Series and beyond, it’s possible that Bill will only be with us a single series.
Personally speaking, I’m really looking forward to seeing Mackie in the role. I know nothing about Pearl Mackie, admittedly; I’ve never heard of her, and I’m not really familiar with her work. But in some ways, that makes it even more exciting - Doctor Who has a long history of casting relative unknowns, and there’s something about that potential which is quite thrilling. It’s also nice to see that Doctor Who is remaining committed to diverse casting, with their first POC companion since Martha in 2008.
The Doctor Who team has never once made a mistake with the casting of their companions - I have a lot of faith in them, and in Pearl Mackie.
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