Doctor Who has just found itself a brand new cast, with Jodie Whittaker’s Thirteenth Doctor being joined by three fresh companions – namely, Bradley Walsh, Tosin Cole and Mandip Gill. But have you ever wondered what the casting process is like for the sci-fi show? These roles are some of the most coveted on TV, so you’d imagine the whole thing is highly selective, right?
For the answer to that, here’s a behind the scenes video that explores how current companion Pearl Mackie – who plays Bill Potts opposite Peter Capaldi – came to appear in the BBC’s jewel in the crown. The clip comes from a 15-minute “Becoming The Companion” feature, which is found on the upcoming Blu-ray/DVD release of Doctor Who season 10.
On why Mackie was picked out of all the actresses who auditioned, casting director Andy Pryor explained:
“She just felt very fresh, very modern, and she’d shown in her theatre work that she had quite a range, and that she had a sense of fun which is essential for this kind of role. “
Showrunner Steven Moffat went on to say what he wanted from Bill, revealing that he wrote a fresh scene for the auditions because the character was so different to previous companion Clara (as played by Jenna Coleman):
“There’d be not a bit of point in asking her to audition as Clara. So I wrote maybe a slightly caricatured version of what I was looking for with Bill, so we could find the right person to do that sort of humour, that kind of irreverence.”
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Finally, Pearl Mackie herself recollected her first time acting opposite Peter Capaldi in the TARDIS. No doubt echoing what every Doctor Who actor has felt on their first day, she said:
“I was like, ‘What is happening here?’ This is absolutely the most insane thing that’s ever happened to me.”
Despite being an unknown face beforehand, Pearl Mackie proved to be the perfect choice for Bill as fans immediately loved the character for her down-to-earth nature and easy likeability. Hopefully, her successors – not to mention the new Doctor herself – will be met with just as much positivity from viewers.
Be sure to catch Pearl Mackie’s final appearance as Bill in this year’s Doctor Who Christmas special, “Twice Upon a Time.”
Source: Radio Times