Doctor Who star Pearl Mackie says next Time Lord should be non-binary

A picture of Pearl Mackie as Bill Potts alongside Peter Capaldi as Doctor Who

Former Doctor Who star Pearl Mackie thinks it’s about time that a non-binary actor plays the Time Lord ahead of Jodie Whittaker’s departure.

With Whittaker leaving Doctor Who behind in 2022, there’s been plenty of speculation about who will be at the controls of the Tardis next.

Mackie, who starred opposite Peter Capaldi as the Doctor’s first openly gay companion Bill Potts in the tenth season, weighed in on who she’d like to see take on the role.

She told the Telegraph there was “so much room for change” as the Doctor’s regenerations “allow the show to move with the times”.

She continued: “In fact, I think it would be great to have someone non-binary playing the part.

“The Doctor doesn’t really identify with human constraints at all. So I feel that could be a logical next step, wouldn’t it?”

Mackie added she would also like to see “both a female and non-white” actor playing the Doctor. Jo Martin recently became the first Black actor to play the Doctor, but only in two episodes.

The dream of a queer actor playing the Doctor could be a possibility as Russell T Davies is coming back to Doctor Who. Davies helped re-launch the iconic series in 2005 but left in 2010.

The BBC recently announced he will return to take the reins from outgoing showrunner Chris Chibnall, who is departing the series alongside Whittaker.

One of Davies’ first duties will be deciding who will take up the role of the Doctor, and he’s previously championed It’s a Sin star Olly Alexander for the role.

However, Alexander’s manager has previously quashed any rumours that the singer might join the show, saying “Olly is focusing on his music for the time being”.

Earlier this year, Pearl Mackie reflected on her groundbreaking character’s “phenomenal” impact on queer fans in an interview with Digital Spy. She described the experience as a “bit of a whirlwind” as she got the role and was “catapulted into this amazing world” with a “huge fandom”.

Several years after leaving the Tardis, Mackie shared she’d met many fans who said Bill was a “huge catalyst” for them to come out to their families.

“It is phenomenal the amount of people who have told me that without Bill they wouldn’t have been able to come out to their family,” Mackie told Digital Spy.

“Without seeing someone that they identified with on a show that they loved, they wouldn’t have felt comfortable enough in themselves to be able to tell their own story.”

Pearl Mackie, who came out publicly as bisexual in 2020, added it was vital for young people to see authentic LGBT+ characters in mainstream media.

“That is why representation is important,” she said. “For me, I think it’s a huge example of why it is important to keep telling LGBT+ stories, especially women of colour telling these stories as well because there aren’t enough of those out in the world at all.”