BBC Reveals New Doctor Who Companion Bill Is Gay!
Doctor Who Season 10 is set to debut on April 15th as Peter Capaldi and Steven Moffat’s final season and Pearl Mackie’s first. We don’t know much about new companion Bill yet but the BBC revealed she’s openly gay.
The BBC spoke to Mackie about the news. “It shouldn’t be a big deal in the 21st Century. It’s about time isn’t it?” she told them. “”[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.”
Though the language in the piece calls Bill the first “openly gay” character, of course this isn’t the first time the Doctor’s companions have been queer. John Barrowman’s Captain Jack Harkness is considered pansexual/omnisexual while Clara Oswald and River Song have both mentioned relationships with men and women (neither of which we saw on screen). Regardless, this is a nice step towards better representation, something both Moffat and his casting director have discussed over the last year with regards to their actual casting.
“That representation is important, especially on a mainstream show,” Mackie told the BBC. “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…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.”
More and more we’re seeing folks talk about how important it is to see yourself reflected on screen. The Doctor Who spinoff Class (which debuts next week here in the U.S.) features a gay character and the BBC piece mentioned Bill’s in-show reveal will be her second line of dialogue. I can’t wait to see where things go from there.