Stay on target
The BBC on Tuesday responded to rumors that new Doctor Who companion Pearl Mackie will leave the series after one season.
The actress, set to debut as Bill Potts on April 15, is reportedly leaving the sci-fi program later this year, alongside departing lead Peter Capaldi and showrunner Steven Moffat.
The British Broadcasting Company, however, remains mum, telling Radio Times that “no casting decisions” have been made beyond season 10.
Mackie’s exit would create a clean slate for incoming boss Chris Chibnall, who has been equally tight-lipped about his work on the show.
“We never reveal the fate of individual characters on the show,” a BBC spokesman told Radio Times. “Viewers will have to tune in to find out. We are still filming series 10, and no casting decisions have yet been made on series 11.”
It’s not unheard of, of course, for the Doctor’s traveling mate to stick around for only one season. Donna Noble (Catherine Tate) appeared in the 2006 Christmas special and series four, bowing out at the “Journey’s End.” The same is true for some classic companions, including Katarina (Adrienne Hill), Polly (Anneke Wills), Liz Shaw (Caroline John), Tegan Jovanka (Janet Fielding), and Peri Brown (Nicola Bryant).
Mackie’s future on Doctor Who has been in question since Capaldi announced his retirement from the TARDIS in January. A cryptic trailer hinting at Bill’s fatal ending (“I’m having the time of my life, and I wouldn’t miss it for the world—even if it kills me”) hasn’t exactly helped the matter, either.
But it’s hard to get behind the news of Mackie’s farewell before she’s even stepped into the blue box.
All this speculation, meanwhile, also suggests an end to Nardole, the Twelfth Doctor’s alien associate. Played to bumbling perfection by Matt Lucas, the character first appeared in 2015 and ’16 Christmas specials “The Husbands of River Song” and “The Return of Doctor Mysterio,” respectively. Lucas reprises his role in the upcoming season.
“He’s not just there on a whim,” the actor said in December. “He has a job to do. All that becomes apparent throughout the series.”
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