'Doctor Who' Makes History With First Openly Gay Companion

Credit: Ray Burmiston/BBC
Peter Capaldi and Pearl Mackie of 'Doctor Who'

Actress Pearl Mackie will star alongside Peter Capaldi's final turn as the eponymous Doctor.

Doctor Who, the long-running British sci-fi television series, will make history with its upcoming season.

Actress Pearl Mackie will play the first openly gay companion to the eponymous space-hopping doc. 

"It shouldn't be a big deal in the 21st century. It's about time isn't it?" Mackie, who plays Bill Potts on the latest season of the show, told the BBC. "That representation is important, especially on a mainstream show."

Mackie will star alongside Doctor Who actor Peter Capaldi, who will step down from his role as the Doctor at the conclusion of the upcoming season. 

"[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," the actress said of her role.

Mackie also stressed how important the representation was for audiences and fans of the show: "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 recognize yourself on screen is important."