Dr Who News (4)

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    Anonymous @

    Not long to go now! I’m excited. I’m sure I read that it was going to be someone new.

    Anonymous @


    When will we know how is the new companion?


    Craig @craig

    I watched some football, just for you. Here is the new companion/assistant.

    I don’t think she’s an impossible girl. I’m getting Donna vibes. Yeah!

    Mersey @mersey

    When I saw the boots in the promo pic I thought it could be Courtney. I was close 😉 She reminds me Rose a bit. I think it will be a nice change. It seems that she is a regular, human girl. I like that.

    nerys @nerys

    Glad I’m not the only one who thought this was a grownup Courtney. I like her. Bill looks fun!

    TheDentistOfDavros @thedentistofdavros


    I too watched some football to see this! The things we do for Doctor Who!


    I’m not so keen on the regular modern day companion as it has been done so often but I don’t mind of course! Early signs are that she’s going to be very different to Clara and maybe not to far from Donna Noble? Sounds good to me anyway! Can’t wait now for next series!

    Anyone seen Pearl Mackie in anything else then? I myself can’t say that I have so was just wandering if she’s a well known actress or not?

    P.S the jacket reminded me of Ace for any classic series watchers though I have to see it again to be sure!

    Anonymous @


    She is reminds me Donna a bit but I think they will work good together and it will be great season


    TheDentistOfDavros @thedentistofdavros


    Yes she does look fun and definitely up for it!

    Anonymous @


    I found something about the new actor in here http://m.imdb.com/name/nm4929530/


    Anonymous @

    <p style=”text-align: left;”>As I’m sure you all are, I’m excited for this new companion. I will withhold judgement until I have seen her in action in a few episodes. I hope Moffat can finish off his last season with a bang while still settling Pearl as Bill into her role.</p>
    <p style=”text-align: left;”>There are hints that this companion could be from the not far off past, but we’ll have to wait and see.</p>

    TheDentistOfDavros @thedentistofdavros

    The back story to a new companion is always (I think!) critical and as @theconsultingdoctor said I shall withhold my judgement until we get to know more about her!

    Mersey @mersey

    @thedentistofdavros as a regular I meant that she doesn’t look like a girl who was born to save the Doctor. She appears to be a bit silly, happy-go-lucky person who won’t be flight the Tardis. And I got to like her from the first moment.

    Bluesqueakpip @bluesqueakpip


    Anyone seen Pearl Mackie in anything else then?

    I haven’t seen her, but the signs are good: Bristol Old Vic drama school (one of the top schools for training actors), a stint in a daytime soap and currently a West End role.

    Definite Donna vibes – which is good; I think Capaldi’s Doctor needs a Donna. 🙂

    blenkinsopthebrave @blenkinsopthebrave

    Well, I confess I was hoping for a companion that the Doctor had to respect (intellectually and even scientifically) from the outset, rather than another wide eyed ingenue he has to save. More Romana, say, than Ace. But I wouldn’t have been at all surprised if Bill had grabbed a baseball bat at the end of this clip.

    Of course, it is impossible to really tell from a short clip and perhaps backstory and context will assauge my initial hesitation.

    Such a long wait…

    Anonymous @

    Not sure what I think of Bill yet, but I can’t wait to learn more about her character.

    TheDentistOfDavros @thedentistofdavros


    Yeah I know what you mean and I too felt that there was something about her which just seemed likeable and ordinary (if anyone can be ordinary!)


    That’s good to hear!

    DoctorDani @doctordani

    @blenkinsopthebrave @thedentistofdavros I’ve always seen the companion as the proxy for the audience, hence them needing things explaining to them (to a degree).

    I really liked her in this clip and I’m glad they seem to be knocking the romantic undertones on the head with this companion. It bugged me that they kept on falling back on that with Clara in spite of promising not to. She’s definitely got Donna vibes, but I also thought there’s a bit of Mels/River-post-regeneration in there too.

    Anybody have any thoughts about the fact she’s wearing a Prince t-shirt? I’m presuming this wasn’t filmed yesterday, so how prescient is that?! What about the possibility that she’s actually from the 80’s? Consider me intrigued…

    winston @winston

    @craig    Thanks for watching football for us!  Bill looks fun and cheeky and I can’t wait to see more of her.  Of course it is hard to tell from such a short clip but I do get Donna and 1st series Rose vibes. It looks like thoses pesky Daleks are up to no good again. I wonder is she showing up at Christmas or the next series? Anyway the wait, oh the long,long wait.



    So they have to get back to the future in 2017.

    Big hair, Selecter-esque two-tone top and a vintage looking “Wow” badge (indeed, vaguely young-Pauline-Black vibe).

    I wonder if she is a 70s girl.

    Missy @missy

    Thank you for the clip Craig.
    Watched it three times, shall watch it another three times! I love this new companion.
    To me, she is a crossbreed between Rose, Donna and River, but she will bring something new to the role.
    The lines about the ‘suckers’ had me lasughing out loud.
    I don’t feel that she is stupid or an airhead, she simply wants to know who is who and whats going on in normal language.

    The Doctor, isn’t going to get away with much with this one either.

    Love her and approve.



    Pufferfish @pufferfish

    Love her, love the Purple Rain t-shirt. If you go to Pearl Mackie’s Twitter, she’s a massive Prince fan and appears to be (as the youf say) fairly woke.

    Mersey @mersey

    When I saw her name ‘Bill’ I started to wonder if she is a girl or a boy who looks like a girl. I gues Bill is an abbrevation for Billie. A tribute to Billie Piper?

    Miapatrick @miapatrick

    I wasn’t even sure why I was excited about the companion casting, since I knew it probably wouldn’t be someone I was familiar with. But now I am, moderately, excited. I think there is going to be a change in dynamic. As people as saying, somewhat like Donna (though younger, which will make a difference. I miss Donna.)

    It almost had a kind of retro, RTD feel, the clip. And although I prefer Moffart, there was something nice about that.

    And, God, all the complainers already going on about how the show is trying to attract a ‘yoof’ audience. Of course they bloody are. It’s supposed to be for all age groups, and with quite an old doctor, a young companion really makes sense, just as pairing Eleven with River so often made sense (and yes I know that age gap was much smaller but tended to get magnified through peoples sexist spectacles.)

    janetteB @janetteb

    I wondered if the choice of name was a nod to the Shakespeare anniversary this weekend.

    @miapatrick I waded through three pages of Guardian BTL recommending where required,( good to see @bluesqueakpip keeping up the good fight) until my faith in humanity was so eroded  I gave up.

    I was surprised however at the timing of the announcement. My S/O remarked that the BBC was aiming at the wrong audience demographic. I did point out that it is possible to be both a fan of football and Dr Who but then could not think of a single example amidst our acquaintances to prove my point.




    Anonymous @


    I was thinking ’80s: she has a certain Ace vibe about her.


    I agree, the companion is best when they’re our way in to the story. Which is why I’m a little disappointed that, yet again, the feisty companion is cocky under fire from what are supposed to be terrifying killer aliens.

    DoctorDani @doctordani

    @Morpho The thing is, Daleks don’t look like terrifying killer aliens. They look like futuristic plumbers. If she genuinely doesn’t know what they are, I don’t think it’s too unrealistic for her to want to take the mick. Personally, I loved her comment about one Dalek at the back being given two suckers and being hacked off.

    I do wonder if there’s going to be something significant about Bill’s name. Moffat has a thing for names. It seems like a nice nod to both Billie Piper and William Hartnell.

    Out of curiosity, and I know this was just a trailer to introduce the new companion, but did anybody else notice how Twelve didn’t even think twice about grabbing Bill’s hand and running? Post Clara and Darillium, he’s a far cry from Series 8, contact averse Doctor. If this is something they’re going along with in Series 10, I’m really pleased Moffat is allowing PCap’s Doctor to evolve, because, as much as I love Eleven, I’m not sure he ever did.

    Anonymous @


    Well they’re certainly supposed to be terrifying killer aliens, and had excellent form at terrifying children of all ages in decades past. And certainly the solution is not to rob them of even more power to frighten by writing characters that are consistently so blase about them. Also my point was more general than the daleks.

    DoctorDani @doctordani

    @Morpho I think part of the reason they’re no longer that scary is because they’ve been around so long. Sure, they’re iconic, but the fact they’ve been used so much has lessened their fear factor. Aside from anything else, kids these days find different things frightening than their parents and grandparents did, because of what they’re now exposed to in mainstream media. More generally, I don’t think ‘gallows humour’ is a problem, or that it necessarily demeans the scariness of a scene. It’s just a, well, completely British trait in a thoroughly British show.

    Anonymous @


    Like I said, it’s not specifically the daleks, so they’re iconography doesn’t have anything to do with it. In fact, the daleks have been used to quite intimidating effect by Moffat, particularly in Asylum of the Daleks, and it’s no coincidence that the Doctor was openly terrified of them in that episode even despite their lack of armaments. There are many other scary moments in recent Who. Part of what makes a scene scary is how the characters react to a threat. Moments in Hide and Heaven Sent were scary in part because the Doctor behaved as if he were threatened. The many other tense moments relied on him or some supporting character behaving believably (within reason). We feel the danger through them. But at least since Catherine Tate took over as companion, our principal proxy in the show has been annoyingly and flatteningly unfazed by everything, and that rather kills the drama a bit for me.

    DalekTor @dalektor


    Oh, I don’t know about not scary. They’re still imperialistic space nazis, after all, and you have to have at least some respect for a species that can build and use a weapon that can destroy reality and win a war with the Time Lords.

    Although they were stopped by the Doctor and company both times, but those were Acts of Writers. (First the Moment, then the meta-crisis.)

    However, I do agree with your earlier point that they do look like futuristic plumbers.

    Arbutus @arbutus

    Cool! While it’s pretty hard to garner a whole character and relationship from a 2-minute clip, I see potential. I love that her name is “Bill”, and wonder what clues this contains as to her character/backstory. I thought Bill’s questions and remarks were more likely her way of dealing with her fear. And based on her look of glee when the Doctor mentioned “back to 2017”, I’m guessing that she is indeed based in an eighties time zone.

    A commenter on Den of Geek made a comparison to Big Finish’s Lucie Miller, and I thought it was pretty bang on. Lucie, who was a fabulous character and really beloved by fans, was mouthy, down-to-earth, and tended to downplay things that we (and often the Doctor as well) would have expected to shock/amaze/frighten her more. She and the Doctor didn’t always get on in the early days, and I think it would be interesting to visit this type of rocky relationship, especially with Capaldi, who does cranky so well. Bill might have to gain his respect over time- a bit like Ten and Donna, but that relationship smoothed out over the course of one episode. It would be fun to have it take a bit longer.

    Arbutus @arbutus

    @miapatrick    with quite an old doctor, a young companion really makes sense, just as pairing Eleven with River so often made sense    You have given me something to think about here. I now wonder whether the reason that some companion pairings worked especially well for me was related to contrast with the Doctor. Offhand, I would say that Nine and Rose, Ten and Donna, and Twelve and Clara were the AG pairings that saw the most disparity between the two, whether in age, style, or personality. Of course, during the BG run of the show, the Doctor tended to differ more obviously from the companions because the style of the Doctor as written usually stood a bit apart from norms of Earth culture.

    @janetteb    I wonder what these commenters expected? Cool as I think it would have been to have an older companion, or a male one, or an alien one, I didn’t think this was actually very likely to happen. The new metric for the show dictates youngish human woman, and as they broke the Doctor mold to some degree with Capaldi, they were not likely to do it again with the companion, not at this time anyway. But people will whine, and I’m pretty sure that most Guardian commenters don’t really like the show anyway!  🙂 I had a read on the Den of Geek comments and they seemed a little more balanced.

    Arbutus @arbutus

    @Morpho    Which is why I’m a little disappointed that, yet again, the feisty companion is cocky under fire from what are supposed to be terrifying killer aliens.    To be fair, it wouldn’t make much of a show if the companion were seen to respond to the Dalek threat the way I likely would, i.e. by throwing up or passing out!  🙂

    It’s true that Donna was often unfazed by things, but there were times when she was good and frightened. I always loved her in the Sontaran two-parter, when she was stuck in the TARDIS and the Doctor needed her to come out and help him, and she was so paralyzed by fear that he had to talk her down. It was very endearing. Similarly with Clara in Deep Breath, trying to escape the robots. That scene was very frightening, due in no small part to Clara’s absolute terror. (I actually thought that Jenna Coleman always did “terrified” really well!)

    Anonymous @


    The scene with Clara in Deep Breath struck me as I was writing my last post, and proves to me that Coleman was more than capable of conveying fear. No fault in the choice of actor whatsoever.

    I love that scene with Donna, but it is played for laughs, not frights. Donna’s default reaction to danger throughout her series can be characterised as shouting at it. At the start, it was an amusing change, so long as Tate didn’t grate on you too much.

    There are exceptions of course. Amy for a little while in Flesh And Stone is another.

    gamergirlavatar @gamergirlavatar

    Bill reminds me of Donna but the way she smiled reminded me of Martha. She looks fun, silly and up for the task. It’s to soon to say I like her but I do have high hopes for her.

    Missy @missy


    People really give you the pip don’t they. It is supposed to be for kids!



    Missy @missy

    You know it could be that Steven Moffat called her Bill for no reason whatsoever, except to get the fans to have a debate as to why he chose that name.
    He is like that.



    Anonymous @

    “You know it could be that Steven Moffat called her Bill for no reason whatsoever, except to get the fans to have a debate as to why he chose that name.”

    When I was young we called everything George. Maybe Bill is just the new George. 😉

    ichabod @ichabod

    Looks good to me — change of pace, fresh air, just what the Doctor needs after going through the wringer of S8-S9 with that person he can’t quite remember any more.  A closed chapter, that — but one that can be re-opened at a later date, if someone so chooses, when it’s the lighter style that needs a rest.  And I’m all for it, either way.  A little of what you fancy does you good!  So it’s a good idea to be flexible about what you fancy . . .

    Juniperfish @juniperfish

    Hi folks,

    @miapatrick and @janetteb – I haven’t visited the Guardian yet.

    I think the publication of their research on BTL comments was really interesting (if both unsurprising and depressing in its findings). How they go about changing the culture there is another matter (especially as it’s bedded in now). It won’t simply be a question of more censorship – but creating a more civil cultural space. The problem is, people just go there to vent, very often, at the moment.

    Pearl looks great, and she’s not that young in actuality. She’s 28, older than Billie Piper (25) and Karen Gillan (22) when they joined the TARDIS.

    That is very timey wimey re her Prince T-shirt – I like the idea she’s from the ’70s or ’80s.

    Miapatrick @miapatrick

    @missy- oh, don’t use that word! (I don’t know how to make an angry devil face)… but, yup. For all ages, but the biggest bulk of potential new viewers is the young.  Capalidi racing around with a middle aged man- or a middle aged woman for that matter, might lose something there.

    as @janetteb says, it is all about the contrast. Agree with all the ones you named. Which is, again, why it worked having River turn up so often with Eleven (and Eleven did also manage, on occasion, to play very, very old.) And why I’m not so keen, looking back, on the Ten- Rose, Ten- Martha days.

    @juniperfish- Yes I think Karen was the only really young companion And she had to be, really, for her arc. Jenna was 26. People talk as though it is always teenagers. And as though Donna was the norm BG, she really wasn’t.

    As for the name- it doesn’t matter. In about two or three years time, Bill will also be a girls name. Bet you anything.


    Miapatrick @miapatrick

    sorry, sorry! as @arbutus said, re contrast.

    @janetteb- good point over football. There should be some though. James Cordon?

    janetteB @janetteb

    It makes sense for the companion to be from the 80s before all those much publicised alien invasions otherwise it makes no sense for the companion to be all, big eyed surprise when they first encounter daleks, sontarans, cybermen, etc. One thing that BG Who has done is to make alien invasion the “new norm” for the inhabitants of planet earth. That undermines an essential convention of the series, the unknowing companion. Donna was taken by surprise because she “was on holiday” or had a hangover when “things happened” and Amy’s lack of knowledge reflected the problem with the universe. The issue simply wasn’t raised with Clara as I recall anyway.

    Also I still think she is called Bill as a nod to the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death.



    Mersey @mersey

    @blenkinsopthebrave I’m sorry you are disappointed but Martha was the companion who could be respected intellectually and even scientifically. She was one of the smartest companion of the renewed series. And she didn’t have a big career both as a doctor and companion. I think the essence of a human companion is that she or he is not the Doctor and has no special skills like Rose, Donna or Amy. Their specialties are their goodnes and compassion. And I think that is the message. You don’t have to be very smart and skilful and powerful. As far as you have a big heart you are worth the attention and respect. And even Romana who was brilliant (I hope she still is somewhere in e-space or Gallifrey) played some kind of a role of a damsel in distress.

    Epikrocket @epikrocket

    So flippin hyped for Bill. I already love her just based on the preview!

    DalekTor @dalektor


    I certainly got a positive impression from the preview, but the three-episode-rule has to be implemented before I make final judgement on whether I think she’s any good or not.

    Missy @missy


    Yes, I agree,but she/he also has to have an enquiring mind. The Doctor approves when they ask WHY?

    I remember when Doc 10 and Martha were on the moon in hospital, he told her to leave the other Nurse/Doctor behind as she’d be in the way. That was because she said that they couldn’t be on the Moon, when it was obvious that they were.



    Mersey @mersey


    I guess you are right, they should be nosy. But I’ll give another example. Silence in the Library, poor miss Evangelista, a ditsy secretary who had to endure cruel teasing from members of the crew who ought to be her colleagues. Only Donna showed her charity. And she had no knowledge nor skills of these people. I think Doctor benefits the most from companions who makes up for their “ignorance” by their nobility. Remember that Martha considered blowing up the whole planet. Donna was one of the most “useless” companions and look what impact she’s had.

    AlexWho @alexwho

    I think Bill seems cool too.

    I liked Clara but I think Series 8 should have been her last. It’ll be good to see a fresh face bringing a new vibe to the show.


    Whisht @whisht

    Does anyone know whether the character name is chosen before the actor is auditioned?

    Just curious if the choice of actor inspires the character’s name.

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