Whovians are not happy with Pearl Mackie's knowledge of Doctor Who

She got a key question wrong in on-air quiz

Unless you have been living under a stone, it will have been almost impossible to escape the endless PR surrounding the launch of the next series of Doctor Who on Saturday night at 7.20pm on BBC One.

That’s Saturday night at 7.20pm on BBC One. 

It was almost laughable how many times this phrase was repeated on The One Show on Wednesday. The phrase was more pervasive, and almost as irritating, as the Money Supermarket ad in the hour-long magazine programme.

The mantra was of course further justified by the presence of the Doctor’s new companion, played by Pearl Mackie, around whom the whole show was constructed. Ms Mackie certainly has a charismatic and easy manner which disguised the sense of overwhelm that she explained to Matt Baker and Angela Scanlon she now carried.

Of course, Whovians are enthusiastic, verging on obsessive, about their beloved show and so with the weight of their critical eye upon her it was a little awkward when a quiz challenged Mackie’s knowledge and found it wanting. The poor woman was subsequently berated on social media for failing to know that the Tardis was powered on Artron Energy.

However, it has been a mark of the BBC’s skilful casting that all major characters in their sci-fi masterpiece have not only been great actors, but brilliant interviewees on the round of PR interview couches.

Pearl will eventually be forgiven for the Whovian gaps in her knowledge, after all she is now in the hallowed inner circle, although the same can not be said of Fern Britton who appeared alongside Mackie on the sofa last night.

The seasoned broadcaster was promoting her Easter documentary, but it was her revelation that she hated sci-fi programmes that really put her on the spot.

Among the Doctor Who hysteria, footage of Fern requesting that the show and all its cohorts be put in Room 101 on Frank Skinner’s long running show was mildly embarrassing but also acted as a welcome tonic to what was verging on overkill.

While momentarily embarrassed by the clip, equipped with her notorious calm and humour, Britton side-stepped any potential furore with a lightness of touch, although probably expecting a mild twitter flurry from some Tardis terrorists.

Although there was a slot about suicide, an inflatable obstacle course and the ever-popular Sharleen Spiteri sang and joined in the chat frankly, anything short of a dalek would not have taken the focus off Pearl Mackie and the audience scrutinising her credentials for her role as Bill Potts.

Oh, and by the way, Doctor Who will be aired on Saturday night at 7.20pm on BBC One, in case you didn’t know.

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