Pearl Mackie wishes her younger self could see her in 'Doctor Who'

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LONDON, ENGLAND - AUGUST 08:  Pearl Mackie attends the opening night of Film4 Summer Screen at Somerset House featuring the UK Premiere of
Pearl Mackie stars in new ITV drama 'The Long Call'. (David M. Benett/Dave Benett/Getty Images for Somerset House)

Pearl Mackie has opened up on the strange experience of filming in a place where she used to be a student, admitting she wished her younger self could have seen how successful she would become.

The actor is best known for her role as Bill Potts, the Doctor's companion when Peter Capaldi was starring in Doctor Who, and will feature in new ITV drama The Long Call.

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Mackie, who filmed the TV adaptation of Vera and Shetland writer Ann Cleeves' books in Bristol where she used to be a student, said: "It was quite surreal walking around the places where I’d spent five very vivid and sometimes challenging years of my life. 

"I was offered a flat to stay in during filming which was quite near to The Old Vic and my old stomping ground, but I thought it would be better for my mindset to be somewhere totally different. 

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THE LONG CALL
EPISODE 1

Pictured:PEARL MACKIE as DS Jen Rafferty.

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Pearl Mackie in 'The Long Call'. (Silverprint/ITV)

"In a way, although there was so much I’d loved about Bristol, I didn’t want to return to those days where there was so much grappling with who I was and what I wanted to be and how I was going to get there."

Mackie, 34, added: "Had I known back then how the career would have gone, including being cast as Bill Potts, Doctor Who companion when Peter Capaldi was in the role, and a real game changer for me, I’d have been much more at peace with myself. 

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"There was an element of returning now to Bristol to film The Long Call where, without wanting to sound arrogant, I did feel really proud of myself for how far I’d come. 

"I’d really have liked that girl back then to see me now.”

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Pearl Mackie starred alongside Peter Capaldi in 'Doctor Who'. (BBC)

Mackie plays DS Jen Rafferty in The Long Call, who works alongside DI Matthew Venn (Ben Aldridge) on a shocking murder investigation in a Devon coastal community.

The case is particularly significant to Matthew as he has recently returned there, his hometown, with his husband after turning his back on the religious commune where he was brought up years earlier.

Matthew's mother, who he navigates a tricky relationship with after his father's recent death, is played by Juliet Stevenson.

The Long Call will air across four nights from Monday, 25 October at 9pm on ITV.

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