The good Doctor himself, Doctor Who has been through innumerable casting changes. Since the sci-fi series has been on the air since 1963, we’ve seen a revolving door of actors take the role of the Time Lord. While the development of a new Doctor is always one of the most followed casting announcements, there is another bit of casting news which helps rival this announcement. Namely, the incarnation of the Doctor’s newest companion. That is exactly what happened earlier this week during the halftime show of the FA Cup semi-final match.
Ever since Jenna Coleman officially announced she was leaving Doctor Who back in September of last year, fans and Whovians have been waiting on tenterhooks to see who would be stepping into the TARDIS as our beloved Time Lord’s new faithful companion. And now, we finally know! The BBC has announced that Pearl Mackie (Doctors) will be joining Peter Capaldi as his newest companion. While we don’t know much about the companion’s history and character development, we do know that Mackie’s character’s name is Bill.
And here’s the official press release from BBC America as well as some sound bites from Pearl:
BBC AMERICA today announced Pearl Mackie will join the Doctor Who cast as The Doctor’s new companion. Pearl was exclusively revealed to audiences on BBC One during half time the FA Cup semi-final on Saturday 23rd August.
Steven Moffat, Lead Writer and Executive Producer adds: “A new face in the TARDIS, a new voyage about to begin: welcome aboard the amazing Pearl Mackie! This is where the story really starts.”
Charlotte Moore, Acting Director of Television said: “It’s so exciting to be revealing the much anticipated new companion to the nation in such spectacular style. Pearl brings a wonderful energy and lights up the screen. She will captivate Doctor Who fans old and new across the globe.”
Brian Minchin, Executive Producer adds: “We’re utterly thrilled to have the hugely talented Pearl join Doctor Who and I can’t wait to begin her new adventures in time and space!”
Doctor Who is a BBC Cymru Wales produced drama and will return later this year with a Christmas Special. The new series will start on BBC One in 2017.
Although we don’t know much about actress Pearl Mackie or her character Bill, the excited newcomer did get to express her joy in joining the Doctor Who family in an official statement. Additionally, she very briefly described the character Bill, giving us a sneak peek as to what to expect from the newest of the Doctor’s companions.
On joining the cast in her first major television role, Pearl 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!
Peter Capaldi is such a brilliant actor, and his Doctor is such a wacky and wonderful character, 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 – I can’t wait to bring her to life, and to see how she develops through the series.
I always loved stage combat at drama school so I can’t wait to get on set and kick some evil monsters into the next dimension!
Shooting the trailer was absolutely mental, there were pyro technics 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!”
Pearl Mackie will be replacing actress Jenna Coleman’s tenure as Clara Oswald, the Doctor’s most recent companion. Rumors of Jenna Coleman’s departure had been circulating for months leading up to the official announcement. Coleman’s tenure as the companion spanned from 2012 to 2015. While this may only be a few years in terms of traditional television, it is one of the longest stints of any of the Doctor’s companions thus far- spanning 36 episodes. Additionally, she did assist both the eleventh and twelfth incarnations of the Doctor.