It’s been a pretty solid year for LGBTQ+ representation in entertainment this year, what with Barry Jenkins’ masterpiece Moonlight winning Best Picture at the Oscars, the Beauty And The Beast remake featuring Disney’s first gay film character in LeFou, and Power Rangers confirming that the updated version of the Yellow Ranger is queer (though admittedly that last example was a little thin on the ground).
It may be about to get a lot better though, as Doctor Who‘s Pearl Mackie has recently revealed that her character, new companion Bill Potts, will be gay.
“It shouldn’t be a big deal in the 21st Century. It’s about time isn’t it?” Mackie told the BBC.
“That representation is important, especially on a mainstream show. It’s important to say people are gay, people are black – there are also aliens in the world as well so watch out for them.”
Bill won’t be Doctor Who‘s first LGBTQ+ character – Jack Harkness was pansexual/omnisexual and Madame Vastra and Jenny are married to each other (not to mention the show hinted that Clara may have been bi) – but she will be the Doctor’s first gay companion.
“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 recognise yourself on screen is important,” Mackie continued.
“[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.”
As Doctor Who is currently one of the biggest shows on the planet, we’re hoping this opportunity for positive representation will make other parts of the entertainment industry want to follow suit. Entertainment has always been pretty slow on the uptake when it comes to queer representation, but for now we’re just going to have to take it where we can get it.
Doctor Who Series 10 premieres on 15 April 2017 on BBC One. Get all the latest science fiction news with every issue of SciFiNow.