The rumors are finally not rumors anymore. Jenna Coleman is leaving “Doctor Who,” and she’s doing it sometime this season.
The Clara Oswald actress revealed the news Friday on “The Radio 1 Breakfast Show” with Nick Grimshaw, which was then quickly confirmed by BBC. Coleman was promoting the new season of “Doctor Who,” which starts this weekend in the United Kingdom and the United States.
Coleman’s character reception has been met with mixed reviews from fans and critics alike. While no one has doubted Coleman’s acting, some fans have complained that Clara is more of a “Mary Sue” character, that is one who is there more for wish-fulfillment, or to help the writer insert himself or herself into a story.
But just as there may be detractors for Clara, there also are supporters. Showrunner Steven Moffat has even commented that Clara is his favorite companion.
Coleman was announced as the new companion in 2012 replacing Karen Gillan, who played Amy Pond since the start of Matt Smith’s tenure as The Doctor. While fans were led to believe Coleman would first appear in the Christmas episode that year, she instead surprised viewers by showing up in that season’s fall premiere, “Asylum of the Daleks.”
She has since filmed nearly 40 episodes, and has been rumored to be departing a few times during those episodes, including some speculation that last year’s Christmas special would be her last.
That means a search for a new companion likely already has started, and could be introduced sometime this season, especially since BBC has not made it clear when this season Clara will depart, and how she will do it.
So what’s next for Coleman? The Hollywood Reporter revealed later Friday morning that the actress is set to start in ITV’s new miniseries, “Victoria.” The eight-part series will feature the life of Queen Victoria, who was up until recently the longest-ruling monarch in British history, ruling from 1837 to 1901.
The new season of “Doctor Who,” starring Peter Capaldi in the title role, kicks off Saturday in the United Kingdom and on BBC America.