Seeing characters you love represented on screen is a big deal. However, Doctor Who takes it a step further by having the first openly gay companion in its 10th season.
Pearl Mackie, who plays Bill Potts, the newest companion on Doctor Who, feels an openly gay companion is long overdue. “It shouldn’t be a big deal in the 21st Century. It’s about time, isn’t it?” Pearl says. And she isn’t wrong. With gay marriage now legal in 50 states, a television character coming out shouldn’t be a big deal.
However, after seeing a stream of hetero couple after hetero couple, there is a lot of importance to having diverse characters represented on screen. Peter Capaldi, the 12th Doctor, reminds us of this as well. He says “that representation is important, especially on a mainstream show. It’s important to say people are gay, people are black – there are also aliens in the world, so watch out for them.”
Pearl Mackie also discusses the importance of seeing diverse races on screen. “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 recognize yourself on screen is important.”
The good thing is, the show does not focus on Bill’s sexuality and race alone. “[Being gay] is not the main thing that defines her character” Pearl says, “it’s something that’s part of her and something that she’s very happy and very comfortable with.”
There’s so much to come this season and I am super excited for it! Take a look at the trailer and hold on to your hats. April 15th is just around the corner!
If you are sad because you don’t have access to BBC America, your local theater may be playing it. Fanthom Events is hosting, so check your movie times here.