Actress Pearl Mackie will play the first openly gay companion in Doctor Who, later this month.
Mackie, who plays Bill Potts, will see her character’s sexuality revealed in only her second line of dialogue.
“It shouldn’t be a big deal in the 21st Century. It’s about time isn’t it?” she told the BBC.
“That representation is important, especially on a mainstream show.
“It’s important to say people are gay, people are black – there are also aliens in the world as well so watch out for them.
“I remember watching TV as a young mixed race girl not seeing many people who looked like me, so I think being able to visually recognise yourself on screen is important.
“[Being gay] is not the main thing that defines her character – it’s something that’s part of her and something that she’s very happy and very comfortable with.”
Doctor Who has featured gay and bisexual characters before, notably Captain Jack and River Song, but this is the first time the Doctor’s permanent companion has been openly gay.
The show returns 7:40pm Sunday April 16 on ABC, preceded by an iview screening earlier in the day, and followed by Whovians at 8:30pm on ABC2.