Bring on all of the prematurely formed opinions based on a two minute video introduction! After months of wondering about who a new Doctor Who companion might be or how they will interact with Peter Capaldi’s Doctor, fans have got their answer to both questions. And no, it’s not Maisie Williams. The BBC announced today that Pearl Mackie, a mostly unknown British actress, will be following in the footsteps of Jenna Louise Coleman’s Clara as the Time Lord’s partner. The announcement came in the form of a brief video wherein The Doctor and his new companion Bill are running away from Daleks in a futuristic setting. As TIME reports, Mackie’s first comments after her casting was confirmed show she is enthusiastic about the role.
“It’s such an extraordinary British institution, I couldn’t be prouder to call the Tardis my home,”
Because being terrified of Daleks is a tried and true story beat for every Doctor and companion along the way, it serves as a great shorthand setup to see how this particular companion deals with being attached my robots yelling “exterminate” and The Doctor’s general demeanor. We don’t know much about the new addition to the Doctor Who cast just yet, but a few details offer an intriguing glimpse as to how this companion will stand out. The most obvious thing, and a good sign for the show in the long term, is that Mackie is the first person of color to join a Doctor in his adventures for the better part of a decade now. The more important thing is whether the show will treat Bill better as a character than they did the last black companion, Martha.
Other details revealed in the unveiling are that her name is Bill, which is bound to have some backstory to go along with it, and that she is much more punk than previous companions. Her clothing carries a very 80’s vibe with it down to the style of her shoes. Plus, she doesn’t take anything the Doctor says for the automatic truth which will be a breath of fresh air after the blind followers (but, um, fun blind followers!) that Clara and Martha turned into over the length of their runs on the show. As has been previously announced, Whovians will have to wait all the way until Christmas 2016 for the initial adventure between Twelve and Bill, and until the following Spring for a full season of the pair. On top of everything else, that season could be Capaldi’s last one as the Doctor. So even if the two actors are tremendously charismatic with each other, fans might only get one go-round with the duo.