Doctor Who actor Pearl Mackie wants the next Doctor to be ‘non-binary’

Her next project is ITV thriller ‘The Long Call’ that also stars Ben Aldridge as a gay male detective

Maanya Sachdeva
Monday 18 October 2021 11:04
Trailer for new ITV thriller 'The Long Call'

Doctor Who star Pearl Mackie recently said she wants the next Doctor to be portrayed by someone who is non-binary.

Mackie, who played Doctor Who’s first openly gay companion Bill Potts in Peter Capaldi’s final season as the Time Lord, believes there’s “so much room for change” within the franchise.

In a new interview with The Telegraph, the 34-year-old actor explained that since “the Doctor doesn’t really identify with human constraints”, it would be fitting for a non-binary person to take over from Jodie Whittaker.

“I feel that could be a logical next step, wouldn’t it?”

Mackie also said that she’s extremely grateful — and pleasantly surprised — that her Doctor Who character encouraged viewers to accept and embrace their own sexuality.

“That’s not something you ever imagine when you decide to be an actor; that you are going to help to shape someone’s life, or their journey, particularly something as complicated and nuanced as coming out.”

Mackie came out as bisexual last year and reportedly lives with her girlfriend in Camberwell.

The actor is currently gearing up for the release of her new show,The Long Call, starring Ben Aldridge as a gay male detective. The ITV show is the first ever primetime drama to have a gay male lead — something Mackie thinks is “phenomenal”.

“As a member of the [LGBT] community myself, it’s so important that we see these stories that don’t just focus on sexuality and relationships, but the rest of a character’s life.”

The Long Call follows the story of Detective Inspector Mathew Venn (Aldridge) who, accompanied by his husband, returns to live near the West Country religious community that shunned him when he was 18. His homecoming is derailed when he gets caught up in an abduction and murder case.

Mackie plays DI Venn’s deputy Jen, who is a single mother and a domestic abuse survivor.

The Long Call is a book-to-movie adaptation of Ann Cleves’ 2019 novel with the same name. Produced by Vigil producer, Angie Daniell, the show will premiere on ITV on 25 October.

If you or someone you know is experiencing domestic abuse, you can call the 24-hour National Domestic Abuse Helpline, run by Refuge, on 0808 2000 247, or visit their website here.

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