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Happy Birthday Doctor Who Companion Pearl Mackie

first_imgHappy birthday, Pearl Mackie!A triple threat—actor, dancer, singer—Brixton-born Mackie is in good company among former Doctor Who companions Billie Piper, Karen Gillan, and Arthur Darvill, none of whom boasted much experience before traveling with the Doctor.With small roles in film (musical comedy Svengali, 2013), television (one episode of British soap Doctors, 2014), and theater (The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, 2015-16), Mackie was all but unknown when her name was called to join Peter Capaldi on the long-running BBC show.“I’m incredibly excited,” the young star said last year. “It’s such an extraordinary British institution, I couldn’t be prouder to call the TARDIS my home.”via BBCAnd it’s good thing, too.Since Mackie’s debut last month as Bill Potts, the unlucky-in-life lunch lady-cum-ultimate student of space and time has brought a refreshing boost of energy to what had become a stale show.Funny, relatable, and openly gay (a first for Doctor Who), Bill just wants to get on with her life, while occasionally helping to save the world.On-screen chemistry and witty one-liners aside, though, Mackie admittedly is not a Whovian like so many of the people watching her each week.“I was part of the Doctor Who-less years when it sort of was off the air just before I was born, and then came back when I was about 16, when I was mostly interested in hanging out in parks and stuff like that,” she told Vanity Fair in April.via BBCDespite watching the occasional Christmas special, the actor did little research into the role, actively avoiding previous seasons of the show—as executive producer Brian Minchin instructed.Her lack of familiarity, however, is precisely what landed her in hot water among fans: While promoting the new series on The One Show, Mackie suggested the Doctor’s famous time machine runs on “space engine oil” (it is actually powered by Artron energy).Mackie recovered from the gaffe, but her future with Doctor Who remains unclear: In response to rumors that she will leave the series after one season, the BBC simply said viewers will have to “tune in to find out.”Either way, I’m glad for the opportunity to get to know Bill—and Mackie, who celebrates the big 3-0 today.last_img read more