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article imageDoctor Who: Jenna Coleman to quit, Capaldi signs on for Season 9

By Mathew Wace Peck     Aug 18, 2014 in Entertainment
With “Doctor Who” just days from returning to TV screens, news has surfaced that one of its two main stars, Jenna Coleman, is set to leave the show; while, the other, Peter Capaldi, is understood to have signed on for a second season.
Late last week, DoctorWhoTV reported the Sun’s claim that Capaldi would begin filming a second season sometime next year.
If true, the news will allay fears from fans that his Doctor would be a one-season-only appearance as happened nine years ago with Christopher Eccleston, who handed over to David Tennant after just 13 episodes.
After spending most of 2014 filming Doctor Who, Capaldi appears to be in no hurry to relinquish a role he says he was born to play. Speaking to both the Independent and i, its sister paper, the 57-year-old said: “I grew up with Doctor Who [it’s] part of my DNA […] I’m constantly amazed that it is me playing this role. I think, ‘I’m Doctor Who — how did that happened?’ It’s a huge privilege and hugely exciting […] Every day is amazing.”
On Sunday, however, the Daily Record reported that “conversations about Jenna’s exit have started, and a plan is in place which is being ironed out” for her character to leave in a “sensational Christmas storyline” in this year’s Christmas special.
However, so far, no official announcement has been made, with the Independent reporting today that the BBC had “declined to comment” on the rumour.
If true, however, this Christmas will bring to an end the 28-year-old’s two-year-plus tenure as the Doctor’s companion, a part she will have played opposite both Capaldi and his predecessor Matt Smith.
Jenna by another name
Originally going by her professional name of Jenna-Louise Coleman, the BBC announced in March 2012 that she would be introduced as Clara Oswald, a new companion for the Doctor (Matt Smith), in that year’s Christmas special.
However, her first appearance in the series actually took place almost four month’s earlier, when she turned up — much to the surprise of fans — as Oswin Oswald, in the Season 6 premiere, Asylum of the Daleks. By the end of that adventure, though, her character had been killed off!
As planned, Coleman was then re-introduced — this time as Clara Oswin Oswald — in the 2012 Christmas Day special, The Snowmen. But, once again, her character was killed off!
Then, the following year, in the season premiere, The Bells of St John, Coleman returned yet a third time, now as Clara Oswald. The mystery of this “Impossible Girl” then formed the story arc of much of Season 7, before being explained in the 2013 season finale, The Name of the Doctor.
As Clara Oswald, Coleman then travelled with the Doctor throughout last year’s 50th-anniversay celebrations of the series, including last November’s feature-length anniversary special, The Day of the Doctor — by now, credited as Jenna Coleman — and the 2013 Christmas special, The Time of the Doctor.
The latter adventure marked Smith’s swansong as the Doctor, a part he’d played for four years. In it, Coleman was on hand to see the Time Lord regenerate for an “impossible” thirteenth time — impossible because Time Lords normally regenerate a maximum of 12 times — thus, witnessing Capaldi’s brief introduction as the Doctor’s new incarnation.
Since the beginning of the year, Coleman and Capaldi have been filming episodes for what will be Season 8 of Doctor Who the television premiere of which will be shown in several countries on Saturday, August 23.
Postcard from the Doctor Who World Tour 2014
Postcard from the Doctor Who World Tour 2014
Currently, as part of the pre-publicity for the new season, the pair are taking part in the first-ever Doctor Who World Tour, which most recently materialised in Mexico City.
Since 2005, there have been 10 Doctor Who Christmas specials; most of which have seen one-off companions join the Doctor. There have been just three exceptions to this, two of which — the aforementioned The Snowmen (2012) and The Time of the Doctor (2013) — featured Coleman as Clara. The third, The Christmas Invasion (2005), saw Billie Piper’s already established companion, Rose Tyler, on hand for David Tennant’s first full adventure as the Doctor after taking over the role from Christopher Eccleston earlier that year.
Coleman already holds the record of appearing in more Christmas specials than any other companion; but, if she is appearing in this year’s as-yet-untitled episode — whether or not it marks her exit from the series — in terms of Christmas outings, it will cement her in third place (on three), behind two Doctors: Tennant (five) and Smith (four).
Season 8’s Doctor Who premiere, Deep Breath — an 80-minute feature-length adventure written by Steven Moffat — will be broadcast in several countries, on television and in selected cinemas, on Saturday, August 23.
Meanwhile, the 2014 Christmas special will go into production in the coming weeks for its expected, now traditional, Christmas Day screening.
More about Jenna Coleman, Jenna Louise Coleman, Doctor Who, Peter capaldi, Clara Oswald
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