“The actor Pearl Mackie has been revealed as the new companion for Doctor Who. The announcement was made in a specially shot clip broadcast during half-time at the FA Cup semi-final between Everton and Manchester United, shown on BBC1 on Saturday. In the sequence, Capaldi and Mackie are shown exchanging barbs while hiding from a Dalek.
Mackie will be the Doctor’s 41st companion, and the ninth since the show was rebooted in 2005 – give or take (fans are divided on the official status of several characters who travelled only briefly with the Doctor). Mackie, who will play a character called Bill, takes over from Jenna Coleman to star alongside the current Doctor, Peter Capaldi. She will make her debut at the beginning of the show’s next season in 2017.
On joining the cast in her first major television role, Mackie said: “I’m incredibly excited to be joining the Doctor Who family. It’s such an extraordinary British institution – I couldn’t be prouder to call the Tardis my home. I can’t wait to see what adventures are in store for him and Bill throughout time and space.
“Reading the script at the audition, I thought Bill was wicked. Fantastically written, cool, strong, sharp, a little bit vulnerable, with a bit of geekiness thrown in.” The actor described shooting the trailer as “absolutely mental”.
“There were pyrotechnics and smoke and I met my first Dalek. I’m not sure it will ever become ‘the norm’ seeing crazy monsters on set, but I cannot wait to meet some more. The weirder the better – bring it on!”
Capaldi said it was “a genuine delight” to welcome Mackie to Doctor Who. “A fine, fine actress with a wonderful zest and charm, she’s a refreshing addition to the Tardis and will bring a universe of exciting new possibilities to the Doctor’s adventures…”