It’s been one week since Pearl Mackie was announced as the new companion, Bill, who will be joining Peter Capaldi’s Twelfth Doctor in Series 10 of Doctor Who. However, we here at TGT are still talking about the news and discussing our thoughts on Bill. So, here’s some of our initial reactions to the casting announcement:
Ben – Assistant Editor
I had no real expectations for the new companion – I always wish for an alien, but I know that’s not very likely – so I was just hoping for somebody different that we hadn’t really seen in the show before. I was very excited when I saw the clip of Bill for the first time, as this is potentially the biggest hype we’ve ever had around a new companion. The character looks like a good contrast for Capaldi’s Doctor. Although we haven’t seen much of her yet, there are lots of qualities showing already. There’s the confidence, the humour and (for want of a better word) hipness, with a striking similarity to Ace I might add. Unlike Clara, who seemed over-knowledgable and unimpressed much of the time, Bill seems to know very little of alien life and is very much the Doctor’s side-kick instead of his equal.
My only quibble with the clip was that it was very humour focussed, with a bit of an unrealistic reaction to the Daleks, but I understand this is probably just a light-hearted scene to get us to like Bill, which certainly worked. Finally, the name. Bill. An odd choice for a female character, but I love it. I’m assuming it’s a nickname or an abbreviation, but it’s definitely different. I can’t wait to see Bill in Series 10 and wish all the best for Pearl Mackie as she joins the family and sets off in the TARDIS.
Andrew – Writer
Well I was wrong with my prediction of Frank Skinner (There were some great rumours including Stephen Fry!) But Pearl Mackie looks like an exciting and pretty inspired choice, from that clip we get vibes of Donna Noble/Ace/Rose/Martha/Amy (yes I realise I’ve just listed virtually every New Who companion) (not including Ace) but basically nothing like Clara. Mostly what I see is the naivety which is maybe necessary to give us new angles on the Doctor and potentially draw in new viewers. I still feel sad that Clara has disappeared for now, although it’s very cool being in her own American Diner TARDIS. Anyway, with Mackie it’s great to see the ethnic diversity too. Clara kind of had it all and it was always great to view her as more intelligent than the Doctor. I think the Doctor will be boss again now, but that will trouble him after all Clara taught him. Good luck Pearl Mackie – please help Peter Capaldi’s third Series be as phenomenal as Series 9!
Patrick – Writer
I must admit to being firmly on the fence with the announcement of Pearl Mackie as new companion Bill. This is primarily because, whilst I feel Bill could be a fun companion in the vein of Donna from years past, there was still the lingering feeling that Bill is a model character of a Steven Moffat way of writing that has long since become dated. She is quirky, witty and energetic, all positive traits of much loved Moffat characters such as River Song, but we are entering a Moffat-less era, as such Bill lacks that refreshing quality to be instantly interesting. But of course it is much too early to make a firm judgement based purely on one teaser; it won’t be till next year that I can coalesce my thoughts on Bill in the post-Clara age.
So, that’s our thoughts on Bill, but what do you think about the new companion? Let us know in the comments below or on Twitter.