What Advice Would Karen Gillan and Pearl Mackie Give to New Doctor Who Companions?

As well as a new Doctor, we, at the DWC, are looking forward to new companions in 2018.

Bradley Walsh, Mandip Gill, and Tosin Cole are joining everyone’s favourite Time Lord on her adventures through time and space.

It’s bound to be an exciting but stressful time for those actors as they take on one of the most high-profile jobs in British television, as well as the punishing work schedule that goes with it. Fortunately, Pearl Mackie and Karen Gillan – who played companions, Bill Potts and Amy Pond respectively – have been giving their advice to the new TARDIS Team.

Somewhat surprisingly, these tips have been more about dietary choices than dodging Daleks or coping with temporal nausea (a horrible condition in which vomiting precedes any feeling of sickness rather than the other way round). For Mackie, it’s about being careful about what you eat:

“I’d say to them what Karen [Gillan] said to Jenna [Coleman, who played Clara Oswald], and what Jenna then passed on to me, which may be misinterpreted by any American readers, but it’s meant in the truest sense of the Welsh sense of food description words, which was: ‘Don’t eat the [meat] faggots in the canteen’. Which are Welsh faggots, but apparently aren’t very nice.”

“I don’t know, I didn’t try them, I was warned off them by two previous companions, so I thought best to steer clear.”

Karen Gillan, meanwhile, has some advice for those few moments of down-time the actors will get:

“I would say that the Wagamamas in Cardiff Bay is good. Or maybe they could do what I did every night and go to the Tescos in Cardiff Bay, and get a deep-filled sandwich and McCoys crisps. That’s a good way to end the day.”

In terms of their acting, Mackie trusts that Walsh, Gill, and Cole won’t need any advice from her:

“I’m sure they’re gonna be fantastic. It seems like a really exciting new direction they’ve got with having this big team together. So I think it’ll be great. I think just enjoy it – enjoy the ride and don’t stay up too late. Go to bed early, and learn your lines and just have as much fun as you possibly can because it’s just such an amazing adventure.”

What about you? How would you prepare for life with the Thirteenth Doctor? And what would you say to the new companions, and the actors playing them, if you had the chance? How should they prepare for what is bound to be, in the words of the Ninth Doctor, the trip of a lifetime…?