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On April 15th, the world will finally get to see Season 10 of Doctor Who after eons of waiting. If you've been following news on the series in the past year, you've probably experienced a whirlwind of emotions as a fan. We know that Season 11 will introduce a new Doctor, a new series showrunner, and now possibly a new companion? Yep, sounds like Pearl Mackie's new companion Bill won't be around very long if a new report is to be believed.
While this sounds like the kind of rumor The Master or another dastardly villain would be spreading, The Sun is the one reporting that Doctor Who actress Pearl Mackie (Bill) will be a one-and-done companion. The decision is said to be a collaborative one between the BBC and new showrunner for the series, Chris Chibnall, and the logic behind the move would be to have Mackie departing alongside Peter Capaldi and showrunner Steven Moffat so that the series would get a fresh start with Season 11. The BBC did not offer a comment rather than essentially saying "wait and see," and Pearl Mackie's agency also declined comment.
This news comes on the heels of the actress' announcement that Bill would be Doctor Who's first openly gay companion. Those thinking this sudden news of departure could be a knee-jerk response to fan reaction needn't worry, as whispers of a companion change to coincide with the Doctor change have been around for awhile. Even if there wasn't that prior talk, Doctor Who has always been a pretty progressive show on all fronts regarding race and sexuality, so I wouldn't expect them to make a decision like that to begin with.
While one season companions aren't exactly common, they've been done before. Quite a few Doctor Who companions have really only stayed a single year, maybe followed by a secondary appearance in a later episode. If we're talking true one-season appearances, however, a popular name to drop would be current late night host James Corden, who accompanied the Eleventh Doctor as Craig Owens when the Time Lord left Rory and Amy temporarily. There's also Bruno Langley, whose character Adam Mitchell was booted from the TARDIS in Season 1 for having a negative attitude. Honestly, if it weren't for Season 4 bringing back a lot of past companions, there would be more names on this list!
So, if Pearl Mackie happens to be an extremely temporary Doctor Who companion, she can take solace in knowing she has some company. With BBC offering no explicit confirmation one way or another, we still really won't know her eventual fate for a while. Considering 99% of the world still has yet to see her in action, I'm not sure we should get all up in arms just yet, although her footage in trailers looks like she'll be a delight on screen.