Ding, dong, the companion is gay. Who is gay? The companion is gay! Dong, dong, the companion is gayyyyyy. Look, it’s not every day venerable 54-year-old pop culture institution breaks through a symbolic barrier and gives us our first out leading character. BBC announced that for the first time the Doctor’s companion on “Doctor Who” will be a gay woman. Biracial actress Pearl Mackie plays the new companion Bill Potts. According to reports, her sexuality is revealed “pretty much straightaway in her second line of dialogue.” As Mackie told the BBC:
“[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.”Now, the Doctor Who universe has had queer characters in it before. Captain Jack Harkness, Madame Vastra the lizard woman from the dawn of time and her wife Jenny, and so on. (And, was it just me or did River Song seem pretty wibbly wobbly on the Kinsey Scale? Spoilers!) But to have the companion be outright gay, well that’s something.
I’ve been an on-again, now off-again watcher of “Doctor Who.” Because of the show’s long (long, long, longlongong) history and complex (cough, occasionally convoluted, cough) storylines I sometimes feel like I’ve been dropped in the middle of a multigenerational family reunion where no one wears name tags while watching. I watched quite a bit of the 10th and 11th Doctors. I will admit to having watched none of the 12th Doctor, mostly as part of my lingering disappointment that they chose yet another straight white male character as the last of the Time Lords. But I think I might give his last season a go with Bill by his side now and cross my fingers for the 13th Doctor, whoever she may be. Ahem.
p.s. How can you not already adore a gay lady who serves chips? Heck yeah, I’ll have fries with that Tardis shake.
p.p.s. Well this is rather disappointing. Has Pearl already been given the boot before a single episode airs? Now that is the worst kind of spoilers.