(credit: BBC)

Doctor Who fans may be fretting about the sci-fi show's break from our screens this year, but the BBC has already began its PR blitz for the next series by unveiling the Time Lord's new companion.

Step forward (or should that be run away from the Daleks?) Pearl Mackie, who is expected to make her debut as the Doctor's sidekick on this year's Christmas special.

Mackie's character name is Bill, and—based on a short introductory clip—appears to be a straight-talking ("wouldn't it be quicker just to say 'kill'?"), and cheeky ("it's got a sucker on it") Londoner for the tenth season of the rebooted show.

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