“Doctor Who” has gone through a lot of changes leading up to the Season 9 premiere, but the show isn’t done yet. It’s been confirmed that the main character’s long-serving companion, Clara Oswald (Jenna Coleman) will be leaving the hit BBC science fiction series this season.
The news comes after previous reports indicated that the 29-year-old actress would step down from her recurring role on “Doctor Who” in order to focus on her new role as Queen Victoria in ITV’s new drama series focused on the early life of Britain’s second longest serving monarch. While speaking to Britain’s Radio 1 Breakfast show, the actress told host Nick Grimshaw that she has already filmed her exit from the TARDIS.
"It's been in the works for a very long time," she said, "[Writer] Steven [Moffat] and I sat down a year and a half ago and tried to work out the best place to do it and tell a really good story,” she told the host (via BBC News). "We're not going to give any details but it will happen at some point this season... We worked out a really good story arc out so hopefully people will love.”
Entertainment Weekly notes that Clara has been the Doctor’s companion since 2012, when the role was still held by Matt Smith. She helped audiences shift the show’s focus to Peter Capaldi in Season 8 and will apparently ease fans into another transition at a yet undetermined time in Season 9.
As previously reported, it’s not altogether surprising to see Coleman depart from the show after spending two and a half years traveling through space and time with the Doctor. Similar to the monarch she’s leaving the show to play, Coleman has experienced one of the longest runs of any other person to occupy her position. After Season 9, Clara will have tied Amy Pond (Karen Gillan) as the longest-running companion in the show’s history (since its revival in 2005 that is).
While viewers are likely very sad to see Clara go, every “Doctor Who” fan knows to be excited for a new companion to be introduced as a replacement. Unfortunately, only time will tell what showrunner Steven Moffat has planned for the Doctor’s next traveling buddy. In fact, it’s possible it’s a character that audiences have already met.
Are you excited or sad to see Clara leave “Doctor Who”? Comment below or tweet your thoughts to @TylerMcCarthy.