We finally know!
What’s more, thanks to a special two-minute clip, we even got to see Pearl in action alongside Peter Capaldi, as well as facing off against the Daleks!
We also learned the name of Mackie’s character – Bill.
The Doctor and Bill. Bill and the Doctor. It has a nice ring to it, don’t you think?
But what else do we know about the actress and the character she is playing? Let’s have a look…
Who is Pearl Mackie?
Unlike many of the modern series companions, 28-year-old Pearl Mackie is something of a newcomer to screen acting.
IMDB lists just two credits to her name; 2013 British comedy film Svengali, starring Martin Freeman from Sherlock, and an episode of BBC One’s medical drama Doctors.
She has worked a lot in the theatre, however. Pearl was most recently seen on stage in The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time. And guess Who popped by to visit her earlier this month?
The tardis stopped by the Gielgud Theatre this afternoon and look who came to watch the show…Mr Peter Capaldi! pic.twitter.com/KbOKV1qytk
— Curious Incident (@curiousonstage) April 7, 2016
Away from acting, Pearl is a keen singer, a skilled ballet/tap/jazz dancer and can speak fluent Spanish and French. All abilities that could well come in quite handy on her journeys in the TARDIS…
Peter Capaldi says Pearl is “a fine, fine actress with a wonderful zest and charm”, and if he’s happy, we’re happy.
What do we know about Bill?
Apart from the fact that she has never met a Dalek before, the scene shows us that Bill is not one to simply accept what the Doctor tells her, and won’t be fobbed off with the Time Lord’s half-explanations.
This fits in with what Capaldi has previously said about the new companion:
“I think the companion has to be someone who’s not so impressed by the Doctor – she’s not an assistant, she’s not a servant, she can’t be that – she has to be someone who really says ‘are you sure that’s the right thing to do? What are you doing?’”
Likewise, Pearl Mackie herself has described Bill as “cool, strong, sharp, a little bit vulnerable with a bit of geekiness thrown in.”
The reference to the pair travelling back to 2017 would seem to suggest that Bill hails from present-day London, just as with previous companions, which is a bit disappointing but hey, ‘if it ain’t broke…’
This is supported by Mackie’s natural Brixton accent and Bill’s fashion sense (lovely nod with the Prince T-shirt there, BBC).
Capaldi hinted yesterday that Bill will be “a refreshing addition to the TARDIS and will bring a universe of exciting new possibilities to The Doctor’s adventures.” We can’t wait!
What should we expect?
After three seasons with Clara (by next spring it will actually be over four years since a new companion was introduced to the show), it will be refreshing to have a new pair of eyes at the Doctor’s side.
The previous two seasons showed Clara becoming much more like the Doctor, so it is just what the show needs to have a companion who is coming at the Doctor’s crazy life from a different perspective – something Bill looks sure to do.
As for exactly when Bill will make her debut, we may have to wait a little longer. Peter Capaldi commented recently: “I don’t know whether [she] would be involved in the Christmas special, because it’s so specific, the story we’re doing with the companion.”
Welcome to the Doctor Who family, Pearl Mackie! We’re sure it will be quite a ride…
Season 10 is expected to begin filming next month and will air on BBC One in spring 2017.
What are your hopes for Pearl Mackie’s character? Let us know below…