2017 has been a devastating year for fans of Doctor Who as three members of the cast and crew have announced they'll be leaving the hit BBC series this year. The current Doctor, Peter Capaldi, showrunner, Steven Moffat, and the female incarnation of the Master, Michelle Gomez, all announced their departure during the last six months.
However, a fourth name has been added to this list — Pearl Mackie. Mackie who plays the current companion, Bill Potts, has revealed at SDCC 2017 that she will exit the show alongside #PeterCapaldi and Moffat this Christmas. Speaking at Comic Con, Mackie revealed her departure by saying:
"No, that's it — Christmas special, last chance to see Bill. But, I mean, hey, it's Doctor Who, so never say never!"
In the concluding episode of season 10, fans were lead to believe that Mackie had now left the show after running away with her love interest, Heather. But, when the Christmas special trailer was published online over the weekend, fans saw a glimpse of Bill Potts in the trailer, who will reunite with the Doctor one last time.
She may have hinted at a possible return in the future, but it has been made clear that Mackie is putting #DoctorWho behind her after Christmas, and now is a convent time to reflect on her wonderful time on the hit science-fiction show.
A Companion Who Created History
Back in March, the #BBC announced to the world that the new companion will be the series' first openly gay companion to travel with the Doctor. Bill's sexuality was revealed during her first moments of Doctor Who — during her second line of dialogue in the opening episode. When interviewed about her character's sexuality, Mackie explained that Bill's sexuality "shouldn't be a big deal":
"It shouldn't be a big deal in the 21st Century. It's about time isn't it? The representation is important, especially on a mainstream show. It's important to say people are gay, people are black — there are also alines in the world as well so watch out for them."
Whilst Bill was the first openly gay companion to travel with the Doctor, the show has also seen bisexual companions in the past — Captain Jack Harkness played by John Barrowman, and River Song, played by Alex Kingston. With them being bisexual, Bill remains the first openly gay companion to the Doctor as she was a permanent companion of the series. Whereas, Jack and River came and went throughout the seasons they appeared in.
A Breath Of Fresh Air
A companion full of excitement and happiness, with a quirky sense of humor and electric feel; Bill gave Doctor Who that energetic and lively feel compared to other recent companions. You can't help but notice the geekiness that contains Bill, mainly when she's with the Doctor. Of course, this is a just what Doctor Who needed. A nerdy Doctor and a nerdy companion flying through time and space gave the season the essence of science fiction, which actually stands out to children, even if they don't fully understand the references. It's still enjoyable.
Not only that, Bill was full of questions and didn't hesitate to ask them - Something you rarely see in Doctor Who these days. Nothing stopped Bill from asking why the seats inside the TARDIS aren't even close to the main console, and why there is gravity on a spaceship. Bill almost resembled Rose Tyler from season 1 and 2 — Full of adventure, had no fears, but Bill didn't have a love passion towards the Doctor — something Doctor Who is well-known for doing nowadays.
Saying that, Bill was also full of sarcasm and difficult questions like Donna Noble from season 4, making her the most quintessential companion travelling with the Doctor to date. Two everyday friends seeing the stars together, but having that "banter" attitude, but Bill knows when to have a break every now and then.
All the past companions since the revival in 2005 have had a major love interests with someone, including the Doctor. On the other hand, Bill struggled to find the perfect relationship right until the very end of the season. This being a key part, as Doctor Who most definitely isn't about major love interests, and is more for the enjoyment of seeing space, travelling through time, and simply having that trip of a lifetime.
Pearl Mackie makes her final appearance in Doctor Who on Christmas Day in the special episode titled "Twice Upon A Time." What has been your favorite Bill Potts moment? Sound off in the comments!