We all know Jenna Coleman is leaving (and possibly even dying) this series, and if you have any sense you’re sad about that. Clara Oswald has moved from the irksome ‘Impossible Girl’ to an actual character, with quirks and flaws and a Blackpool accent. Seriously, go back and compare her introduction to now, it’s astounding.
If the Radio Times office is going to be cut up when she leaves, just imagine what things are like on the Doctor Who set. Steven Moffat is doing his best not to rub salt into the wound.
He told the audience at London’s MCM Comic-Con: “Jenna actually asked me, ‘could you just not have the new one come in while I’m still there?’”
The request goes back to when Coleman was on the other side of it, the new companion on the block in series seven. Following her announcement in the newspapers, Coleman made her first surprise appearance in Aslyum of the Daleks, months before her expected introduction in the Christmas special.
“I remember thinking it was quite tough on Karen [Gillan] in Asylum of the Daleks,” Moffat continued, “when she came into the makeup truck and, with my usual sensitivity, there’s Jenna!”
“Hi, I’m taking your job and your time machine!”
It hurts, yes, but at the risk of sounding like an Adele lyric, sometimes it’s good when it hurts. It shows it meant something.
“We always use this awful word companions, but they’re really co-stars, the co-leads. Right from the very beginning with Barbara and Ian, that character is the core. It’s a huge thing when they leave, and it knocks the living crap out of the Doctor every time,” Moffat explained.
“Which is a thing I like about the show, we don’t just treat it as a staffing problem. When they leave, it’s a major event, and he has trouble getting over it, every time.”
He’s not the only one.