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Doctor Who will tackle race and whitewashing in new episode

The British television series, starring Peter Capaldi, has already hit headlines due to the revelation that Pearl Mackie's companion character Bill is gay.

Doctor Who will be tackling more important issues such as race and whitewashing as the series progresses.

The British television series, starring Peter Capaldi, has already hit headlines due to the revelation that Pearl Mackie's companion character Bill is gay.

But sexuality isn't the only issue the programme will raise. Showrunner Steven Moffat has revealed that this week's episode entitled Thin Ice, which airs in the U.K. on Saturday night (29Apr17), will delve into racism, following the Doctor and Bill arriving in early 1800s London in last week's show.

"History is always whitewashed," Moffat told TV Guide magazine. "How do we manage to have a diverse cast despite that? The way that we did it was... (to just) say that you will see people of different colours there. In fact, there were. People all didn't arrive in the twinkle of an eye. It is bending history slightly, but in a progressive and useful way."

With Bill played by biracial actress Pearl, it was the perfect opportunity for Moffat to address race issues which are also so prevalent in today's world.

"It wouldn't be a pleasant place for (Bill) in several respects," he continued. "Taking that on is just respectful of the audience really. It's a chance to – I'm always reluctant to sound so pious and so do-gooding and all of that. It's useful that these things are talked about. The evil in Doctor Who can sometimes be the evil in our real world, too."

Moffat previously insisted that he wasn't looking for credit for introducing the Time Lord's first-ever gay companion to the show. Instead, he said Bill's sexuality shouldn't even be focused on.

"This wasn't, as some people thought, some kind of press release we made - it was just mentioned by Pearl in an interview. I didn't even know it was happening. I saw it on the internet," he told Digital Spy.

"It's not a major plot strand. It's not even a minor plot strand. It's just there. She's not 'the gay companion' – she's Bill Potts. She barely bothers to mention the fact. It only comes up when it's relevant."

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