Why is the new ‘Doctor Who’ companion called Bill?

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Since her introduction yesterday as the new Doctor Who companion, some fans have been asking why Pearl Mackie‘s character has the traditionally male name of Bill.

While there’s not yet been any official comment on the choice of moniker, the most obvious assumption would be that it’s referring to actor William Hartnell, who played the First Doctor from 1963 to 1966 and was known as Bill to his friends and colleagues.

Interestingly, yesterday’s announcement marked exactly 41 years since his death on 23 April 1975.

Doctor Who William Hartnell

Perhaps by complete coincidence – although you should “never ignore a coincidence… unless you’re busy, in which case always ignore a coincidence,” as the Eleventh Doctor said – yesterday also marked exactly 400 years since the death of another famous Bill – playwright William Shakespeare.

Doctor Who The Shakespeare Code

Steven Moffat’s father was also called Bill, so the naming could be in memory of the writer’s dad.

The name could refer to actress Billie Piper too, who played companion Rose Tyler from 2005-2010.

Previous companion Clara Oswald was named after actress Elisabeth Sladen, who played Sarah Jane Smith in Doctor Who and whose middle name was Clara.

> Buy the complete Season 9 box set on DVD on Amazon.

> Buy the complete Season 9 box set on Blu-ray on Amazon.

Season 10 is expected to begin filming next month and will air on BBC One in spring 2017.

> Here’s everything we know so far about Season 10.

Do you like the name Bill for the new companion? Let us know below…