Friday 6 March 2015

Jenna Coleman planned to quit Doctor Who

In our Doctor Who Series 8 retrospective, Andrew Lewin and myself mused on the speculation surrounding Jenna Coleman's departure during the then unaired Doctor Who Christmas Special: Last Christmas.

We now know Ms Coleman chose to stay on as companion Clara Oswald. However, the latest issue of Doctor Who magazine exclusively reveals the actress had originally planned to quit the series, during Death in Heaven, but with surprisingly little fanfare.

Series showrunner Steven Moffat confirmed to Doctor Who magazine she had asked to be written out.

"That was her last episode," he said. "Then she asked me if she could be in [the] Christmas [episode]. So I said, 'OK, I'll write you out in Christmas.'"

"She came to the read through and did the 'write out' version - and again changed her mind."

"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.

"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."

Since then the BBC has, itself, acknowledged this.

Jenna Coleman now plays the longest running companion of the current era, eclipsing both Karen Gillan and Billie Piper.

Doctor Who returns to television screens later this year.

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