The first openly gay companion will be featured in the next Doctor Who season.
The character’s sexuality ‘shouldn’t be a big deal in 21st century’, according to actress Pearl Mackie, who plays Potts.
“Not a big deal”:
In an interview with the BBC, Pearl Mackie, who plays Bill Potts in the upcoming series said that the character’s openness about her sexuality was important to represent onscreen, but not her defining characteristic.
She said “It shouldn’t be a big deal in the 21st century. It’s about time, isn’t it?”
Mackie, who will appear in the BBC1 show alongside Peter Capaldi added: 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.
“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.”
In the past, gay characters have featured in the program, but never previously as full-time companions.
An important role:
Last April it was announced that Mackie would be taking the role and her first episode is due to air on 15 April. She stated that the past year has been “kind of insane”.
She said: “My Twitter follower count went from 400-and-something to 16,500 in about two hours, so that was pretty mental. But it’s been really nice, everyone seems to be really excited. It’s sort of like being welcomed into a family and all the fans have been really welcoming,”
She added that the role was the biggest she had taken on, saying: “It’s an amazing platform for me and it opens a lot of doors that wouldn’t necessarily have been open before, it’s very exciting.”