It’s a new season on “Doctor Who,” but the same old rumors are flying. Jenna Coleman, who plays Clara, might be leaving the show in Season 9. She has reportedly quit the sci-fi drama for a new job.
Coleman booked the starring role on ITV’s new series about Queen Victoria, the Mirror reports. She’ll play the Queen when she first takes over the throne in the highly anticipated series. The network supposedly hopes that this period drama will fill the void that “Downton Abbey” will leave after the series finale airs in the U.K. later this year.
However, this isn’t the first time Whovians have prepared for Clara’s last ride in the TARDIS. The actress, who has been on the BBC America hit since 2012, faced the same rumors last year. After much speculation, it turned out that Clara decided to stay with the Doctor (Peter Capaldi). Yet, it seems that there may have been some truth to those rumors at one point.
Showrunner Steven Moffat revealed that he actually wrote Clara out in the Season 8 finale, but Coleman changed her mind about leaving. “[The Season 8 finale] was her last episode,” Moffat told Doctor Who Magazine (via Radio Times) in March. “And then she asked me if she could be in Christmas? So I said, 'Okay, I'll write you out in Christmas.' She came to the read through and did the 'write out' version - and again changed her mind.”
It wouldn’t be entirely surprising if the 29-year-old decided to leave. Since the series was revived in 2005, most of the Doctor’s companions haven’t appear regularly for longer than a year or two. Amy (Karen Gillan) made it through two and a half seasons, longer than any other companion in the modern series. By the end of Season 9, Clara and Amy will have spent about the same amount of time in the TARDIS.
If Coleman actually leaves this year, it might not be the last time fans see her. Companions typically return when their Doctor leaves. Billie Piper (Rose), Freema Agyeman (Martha) and Catherine Tate (Donna) all returned for David Tennant’s last episode while Gillan returned for Matt Smith’s finale.
Before leaving, Coleman still has a few more adventures. In “Doctor Who” Season 9 premiere, she’ll team up with Missy (Michelle Gomez). Working with the villain isn’t ideal, but it might be the only way she can find the Doctor after he goes missing.
“Doctor Who” Season 9 premieres Saturday at 9 p.m. EDT on BBC America. Do you think Coleman will actually leave this year? Sound off in the comments section below!