'Doctor Who' Season 10 Includes the Show's First Openly Gay Companion

Saturday, 01 April 2017 - 5:03PM
Doctor Who
Saturday, 01 April 2017 - 5:03PM
'Doctor Who' Season 10 Includes the Show's First Openly Gay Companion
BBC
Over a decade into the modern Doctor Who series, the show's had some amount of diversity in its main cast, at least in terms of sexuality. But the biggest roles such as the Doctor's "companion," the ever-important co-star who joins the Doctor's adventures until they get sucked into some time vortex and recast, never hit any major milestones here.

But the show's upcoming season 10 (or "series 10" since it's a BBC show) is changing that, as the new companion Bill Potts will be an openly gay star of the show. Played by Pearl Mackie, Bill is set to make an appearance when the show returns in April, replacing the previous companion Clara Oswald (Jenna Coleman), who's so far been 12th Doctor Peter Capaldi's only major travel buddy. Unless you count Nardole, but we don't. 

Speaking to BBC, Mackie said "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." Her character Bill should stick around for at least the next season, but since this is Capaldi's final season, it's unknown whether she'd stick around with the next Doctor as well. Mackie adds:

Opening quote
"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."
Closing quote


Before now, the show's most prominent LGBTQ characters were Captain Jack Harkness (John Barrowman) and River Song (Alex Kingston), who were both bisexual - River had a couple wives of her own before becoming the Doctor's wife, and Captain Jack's love affairs were more prominent on his spinoff show Torchwood. But that was never a side of River that showed very often, and again, Captain Jack is a bigger part of Torchwood than he ever was on Doctor Who.

And spinoffs aside, Doctor Who's stars have always been the Doctor and his companion, so the announcement does hold some weight here. Clara wasn't nearly as interesting as the companions before her, which was especially obvious since she followed the power duo of Amy Pond and Rory, so a character bringing something new to the Tardis is something to look forward to.



Doctor Who returns on April 17, 2017.
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