New companion wins fans as Peter Capaldi's last Doctor Who series begins

The new season - which introduces actress Pearl Mackie as new companion Bill - started last night on BBC First, exclusive to OSN, and time is running out for this incarnation of the Doctor, the twelfth in the show's 54-year history.

Former fan favourite characters River Song (Alex Kingston) and Captain Jack Harkness (John Barrowman) were both omnisexual, while the show more recently featured married lesbian interspecies crime-fighters Madam Vastra and Jenny (Neve McIntosh and Catrin Stewart) in recurring roles.

"I had to call my agent back about two hours later and go, 'Did that actually happen?"

Peter Capaldi stopped by The Graham Norton Show to talk about filming his final season playing The Doctor on Doctor Who. For the LGBT community, it is a big step towards gay representation in shows and films.

Bill is fun, sparky and super-smart - Bill clearly noticed the Doctor (Peter Capaldi) in the background of those photos of her mother, which mysteriously turned up not long after she confided in the Time Lord about having so few pictures of her. Mackie's doesn't play her knowledge of science-fiction too over-the-top either; it comes across as more offhanded so when she suggests an odd puddle is an alien, it's doesn't come across as a "look how quirky I am" line.

I just thought, you know, while you're enjoying it-leave.

I think it will please fans. "My friends were messaging me and asking 'what are you doing?' And I was like 'this play I've been doing for nine months has suddenly needed more attention in recent weeks'". "I love what the show has done, and I love Matt and David and Chris".

As for what gives "Doctor Who" its magic, Capaldi suggests it's the show's indefinable mixture of the silly and the profound. The action is relentless and dramatic from the moment the pair meets at a university.

While the classic foes have been redesigned in the last 50 years to become the highly advanced, technological cyborgs modern fans would be familiar with, Mackie said the original version still had the power to terrify. "I could play her'".

I've never been described as a classic monster before, how dare you! I was about 12 when I realised it was not a chore. Now the Doctor's dealing with someone who questions him and skewers him from time-to-time in different ways, and quite ordinary ways. "I don't think I should be expected to do that". If the Daleks attacked a space station, well, I had to go in and see that. How will he "die"?

Of course, Capaldi is not giving much away.

"I got to Cardiff about 3am and had to be on set 6am". Though for us classic Whovians out there, don't feel you're going to be spoon fed ever so slowly the ins and outs of your favourite Time Lord - if anything you'll need to be extra alert for the crumbs Mr. Moffat is carefully placing along the path.

  • Salvatore Jensen