Doctor Who shook what felt like the world when it announced that the next Doctor would be female back in 2017, but now former Doctor Who companion Pearl Mackie feels like the series should go further and make the Doctor non-binary.
Mackie is known for her time as playing the brilliant and openly lesbian Bill Potts, the companion of the Twelfth Doctor (Peter Calpadi). Bill eventually left to go on her own adventures (becoming a sentient goo and all) alongside her partner Heather, but even the short time audiences got to spend with Bill was more than memorable.
In an interview with The Telegraph, Mackie spoke up about her life, her new role in The Long Call, as well as why the next actor for Doctor Who should be non-binary.
As Mackie pointed out, the Doctor’s trait that allows them to regenerate into, essentially, another person allowed “so much room for change.”
She continued that “in fact, I think it would be great to have someone non-binary playing the part”, further mentioning that the Doctor themselves doesn’t really adhere by gender. The fact that all previous regenerations have been men was arguably because the ‘world wasn’t ready’ for a female Doctor, and considering the backlash that was received when Jodie Whittaker was revealed as the Thirteenth Doctor, perhaps that argument was right… To a certain extent.
The Thirteenth Doctor also introduced a lot of new fans to the series, particularly young girls who can see themselves as more than just a companion for a time-travelling alien. Yes, now they too can be that alien and yes, that’s a good thing.
Mackie didn’t stop at just wanting a non-binary actor playing Doctor Who though. She also stated that she would like to see “both a female and non-white” play the Doctor too. The only non-white actor who has played the alien so far is Jo Martin, becoming the show’s first black Doctor. However, it was only for two episodes.
It hasn’t yet been confirmed who will be playing the Doctor after both Chris Chibnall and Jodie Whittaker depart in 2022, but considering Russell T. Davies will be back in the showrunner chair, it wouldn’t be too much to hope it’ll be a queer actor.