Jenna herself appeared noticeably hesitant when asked recently whether she would be around for the foreseeable future.
“I am… I don’t know. I think it’s important to take it a series at a time,” she told an audience at the London premiere of series eight opener Deep Breath less than a fortnight ago. “I’m enjoying the storytelling and the new relationship with the Doctor so… as long as you keep enjoying it, I think that’s the important thing.”
It was at that point that Doctor Who showrunner Steven Moffat stepped in with a firm “We’re not telling you!” It drew a big laugh but it was clear he was keen to put an end to that particular line of questioning.
If Jenna is indeed considering her exit strategy it shouldn’t come as a shock – the life of a Doctor Who companion tends to average around a couple of years, with Karen Gillan’s Amy Pond the longest serving of the modern era with two and a half series under her belt.
Doctor Who wasn’t Jenna’s first TV role, either (even discounting her time on Emmerdale). She has always been an actress rather than ‘just’ a Doctor Who star and kept her hand in even after landing the role, with a central part in BBC1’s Pride and Prejudice sequel Death Comes to Pemberley.
But if the thought of Jenna leaving makes her time on Doctor Who seem short, fans should remember that she has (at least) a series still to come. And the good news is that right from the start, Moffat does some clever things to flesh out The Impossible Girl, who has until now been as much of a plot device as a character, despite Jenna’s charm.
So take a Deep Breath, because Doctor Who is about to get a new beginning – and maybe the beginning of an ending. But either way, there are lots of adventures to come first…