close menu
DOCTOR WHO Finally Gets Its First Gay Companion

DOCTOR WHO Finally Gets Its First Gay Companion

Given the enormity of time and space, it feels pretty unbelievable that Doctor Who‘s not yet had an openly gay companion until 2017, but hey, better late than never, right? As if we weren’t already jazzed on the arrival of Bill to the Whoniverse, on Friday the BBC announced the latest human sidekick to everyone’s favorite two-hearted Time Lord is the series’ first openly gay companion.

Now, before you get all riled up: yes, we know Bill isn’t the first queer character on the series—Captain Jack has been around forever, and Madam Vastra and Jenny have been in the most recent Doctor’s life for awhile now—but she is the first full-time companion to be openly so.

bill-get-in-doctor-who

Speaking to the BBC on the matter, Pearl Mackie—the actress who plays Bill—put it succinctly: “It shouldn’t be a big deal in the 21st Century. It’s about time isn’t it?” adding that, “that representation is important, especially on a mainstream show.”

And she’s exactly right. There is a direct correlation between on-screen representation and wider acceptance and social equality growth, and for folks the mainstream media has generally—intentionally or otherwise—pushed into the background, moving to the forefront/starring in something as cosmically huge and impactful as Doctor Who (one of the longest running, most-watched shows in the history of television), is a dramatic sea change in terms of visibility.

bill-walking-doctor-who

“I remember watching TV as a young mixed race girl not seeing many people who looked like me,” explained Mackie, “so I think being able to visually recognize yourself on screen is important.”

Especially when the characters’ sexuality isn’t the main and/or most interesting thing about 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,” said Mackie.

bill-doctor-who-mind-blown

Needless to say we’re positively chuffed (sorry, our anglophilia is showing) at this latest Bill development and are more jazzed than ever on the new season of Doctor Who. Are you? Let us know in the comments below!

Featured Image & GIFS: BBC America


Alicia Lutes is the Managing Editor/Donna Noble of Nerdist, Creator/Co-host of Fangirling, and frequent over-sharerer on Twitter.

Did an International LAST JEDI Trailer Foreshadow Snoke’s Plan for Rey?

Did an International LAST JEDI Trailer Foreshadow Snoke’s Plan for Rey?

video
A Guide to Stephen King's Lovecraftian Gods

A Guide to Stephen King's Lovecraftian Gods

article
STAR WARS/FAMILY GUY Crossover Subs Chris Griffin in for Anakin Skywalker

STAR WARS/FAMILY GUY Crossover Subs Chris Griffin in for Anakin Skywalker

video