“Doctor Who” will go into its new season next month with its first openly gay companion to the Doctor.
In an interview with BBC published Friday, actress Pearl Mackie, who plays new companion Bill Potts, noted, “It shouldn’t be a big deal in the 21st Century. It’s about time isn’t it?”
While Potts’ sexuality won’t be the central characteristic of the character, Mackie said, the actress noted that it’s “important” to have that representation “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,” the actress said. “[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.”
According to the BBC, Potts’ sexuality will be made clear in the character’s second line of dialogue.
Fans of the show reacted to the news on Twitter primarily with praise for the move.
“I just screamed “DOCTOR WHO WILL HAVE AN OPENLY GAY COMPANION” in Wizarding World Orlando and at least four people screamed back in joy,” went one representative tweet.
Read on for more reactions.
I just screamed “DOCTOR WHO WILL HAVE AN OPENLY GAY COMPANION” in Wizarding World Orlando and at least four people screamed back in joy
— Andrew Sims (@sims) March 31, 2017
“Bill Potts is going to be the FIRST openly gay Doctor Who companion!” Oh. Okay. pic.twitter.com/2b0B9GqPgg
— Jenny Trout (@Jenny_Trout) March 31, 2017
— ily ✧ (- 24) (@sandmanlock) March 31, 2017
Me: eh I don’t really care about Doctor Who anymore
Doctor Who: black lesbian companion
— cybersex joe biden (@electrapng) March 31, 2017
CAN YOU IMAGINE GAY KIDS WATCHING THE NEW SEASON WITH BILL AND JUST BEING EXCITED THAT THEY’RE REPRESENTED ON DOCTOR WHO
— cindy (@claraozwins) March 31, 2017
the doctor who companion is such an iconic role and it’s going to be a gay black girl pic.twitter.com/igX0InXgeT
— beth (@chysalex) March 31, 2017
me: THERE’S A BLACK LESBIAN IN DOCTOR WHO pic.twitter.com/naJpCZncGE
— Claire Biddles (@MsClaireBiddles) March 31, 2017
me: nah im done with doctor who
doctor who: bill is gay
— abbie ???… (@abbiecresta) March 31, 2017