On Saturday Pearl Mackie was officially revealed as the new Doctor Who companion. Given that 2016 is the year of no new Doctor Who you can imagine the excitement, glee, and anticipation that surrounded this announcement. I also think it was a pretty brilliant move by BCC to make the announcement during half time of the FA Cup semi-final match between Everton and Manchester United.
I’m willing to bet that typically the overlap between football (soccer) and Doctor Who audiences isn’t normally that great. But slotting the announcement in at half time exposes different audiences to Doctor Who and potentially ups the viewership of the match itself. Granted, there were a ton of people who I’m sure just turned in briefly to see the announcement then turned the tv off. But I still think it was a great marketing move. Similarly, the using a trailer to introduce Mackie as ‘Bill’ was brilliant and provided so much more fodder than the standard publicity photos. Seeing Mackie in costume, in character, and engaging with Capaldi on screen was way more than I thought we were going to get with this announcement. Well played BBC.
That being said, it’s still very early days and who knows what Bill’s character will bring to the show. I’m definitely looking forward to finding out…even if it is still months and months away.