The BBC has announced the latest time-shifted phone box roommate (or “Companion,” in the parlance of the show) to share sci-fi banter and sonic screwdriver jokes on its long-running Doctor Who. Actress Pearl Mackie will be joining Peter Capaldi ’s double-hearted extraterrestrial weirdo for alien fighting, plot convoluting, and running, running, running when the show returns for its 10th post-revival season in 2017.
Mackie—a theater actress who’s currently appearing in a West End production of The Curious Incident Of The Dog In The Night-Time—is entering the show at a particularly change-heavy moment in the franchise’s history. She’s replacing popular companion Clara Oswald, whose actress, Jenna Coleman, asked to be released from the show so that she could stiffen her upper lip in the title role of the ITV’s Victoria. Meanwhile, the tenth season is also expected to be the last for writer Steven Moffat, who’s been running the series since Russell T. Davies stepped down in 2010. Broadchurch creator Chris Chibnall is expected to step into the role afterward, picking up whatever pieces Moffat leaves behind after smashing all his toys together for what’s likely to be one massive, timey-wimey explosion of a finale.
The BBC released a two-minute clip of Mackie and Capaldi trading quips and dodging lasers today, giving us a couple of tidbits of info about the new character: Her name is Bill, she really likes asking questions, and she thinks that Daleks look utterly ridiculous, no matter how many times Capaldi tries to forcefully whisper that they’re not.