Jenna Coleman Is Leaving ‘Doctor Who’ (For Real This Time)
This is not a drill. This is (unfortunately, depending on how you feel about the character) for real.
Jenna Coleman is leaving Doctor Who at some point in Series 9, in order to star in am eight-part drama series on the life of Queen Victoria on BBC rival ITV. She will play the lead role, naturally, because why on Earth would you leave Doctor Who for anything less? (Although I suppose we could ask the same of Matt Smith)
Filming on the Queen Victoria series is expected to start this month, which means Coleman — who plays The Doctor’s companion, Clara Oswald — has likely already filmed her final scenes for Doctor Who. Granted, this feels like deja vu, considering how last year, Coleman was all but ready to leave, but eventually changed her mind at the last minute, according to showrunner Steven Moffat. In an interview earlier this year, Moffat explained that Coleman was supposed to be written out in the Series 9 finale, but asked if she could instead leave in the 2014 Christmas episode instead. However, when the table read for the 2014 Christmas special came, Coleman had another change of heart. “She came to the read through and did the ‘write out’ version – and again changed her mind.”
Moffat has been vocal about his fondness for Coleman as Clara, and would go on to state that, if it were up to him, he wouldn’t have written her out at all.
“But the truth is I never wanted her to go. And with ‘Last Christmas’, I’d already written the alternative version where she stayed, and I preferred that version,” Moffat said. “Frankly, I didn’t want to lose her. She’s an amazing actress, and she never stops working to make Clara better. I was very happy to go the extra mile to make sure we could keep her.”
For her part, Coleman had gone on record saying that she couldn’t bring herself to leave last year, because Clara’s story was still unresolved, in her mind. However, it appears now, Coleman’s time is finally up. Of course, this isn’t the first time Coleman has been rumored to be leaving the series, as we got the same exact rumors circulating this time last year. The difference here, however, is that Coleman already has a future project lined up, making it all but certain that she’s leaving the series for good. With three series as a companion under her belt — if we include series nine, which premieres this Saturday on BBC One — Coleman has had a pretty great run. I don’t know that she’s ever been as popular as, say, Amy Pond or Donna Noble or even Rose Tyler, but I’ve absolutely loved Clara Oswald all the way through. Hell, I kind of wish she’d attained that level of popularity, because she’s one of the rare companions of the modern era to stretch out across multiple Doctors’ runs, and yet maintain a strong level of chemistry with both. She’ll certainly be missed. (Well, by me, at least)
What do you think of Clara’s departure? Sound off in the comments!
And for more on Doctor Who, watch the prologue for the Series 9 premiere this Saturday! (And be sure to check in on Saturday night for our recap and review of the premiere!)