Pearl Mackie is fired, and will only play Bill for one season. Her termination is a result of a “shake up” from new showrunner, Chris Chibanll.
Pearl Mackie is shown the door before even one episode her her Doctor Who season airs. This is due to a “shakeup” from the new showrunner, Chris Chibnall. The Sun reports that the series’ first openly gay companion will be shown the door directly after Peter Capaldi’s last episode at Christmas.
Sources suggest it was a joint decision between the BBC and new showrunner Chris Chibnall, who is currently wrapping up his final season on Broadchurch.
According to The Sun, “A source told the publication: ‘Bosses have decided to have a completely fresh start.” So, it makes sense they would start from scratch.” It goes on to say, “It’s yet to be formally decided but it makes sense to give Chris his own choice of actor to play the Doctor and his companion.”
Her dismissal from from the show is obviously disappointing for many reasons. For one, she is the show’s first and only openly gay companion. Also, Mackie is the second woman of color to assume that role. She told the BBC News, “It’s important to say people are gay, people are black – there are also aliens in the world as well so watch out for them.”
She continued, “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.”
Although we’ve had a year to used to Mackie as the companion in theory, we’ve yet to see one episode. To say we’re having some complicated feelings would be an understatement.
The season premiere is only a couple of weeks away, and this news comes at an unfortunate time, as we try to connect with the new companion, and come to terms with Capaldi’s departure. It makes for some mixed feelings about the new season.