We still don’t know what tragedy is set to force the departure of Doctor Who companion Clara Oswald this series – but Twelfth Doctor Peter Capaldi’s been talking about her exit, and it’s sounding both more ominous and sooner than we expected.
“It’s a sad one, gripping and very strange,” Capaldi said of this week’s episode Face the Raven at a recording of the Graham Norton show (scheduled for broadcast on Friday 20th November).
”And it’s the end of the line for Clara Oswald played by Jenna Coleman who’s been my companion for the last two years. It’s the end of her story. I don’t want to go into the details of it, but it’s sad.”
Asked if Clara could return to the series in the future, Capaldi added: “Sometimes people can’t come back. Sometimes things happen that they can’t come back from.”
So is Clara about to leave for good in this week’s episode? It would make some sense considering the following instalment is reported to be a one-hander where Peter Capaldi acts alone, and we did see her say goodbye in this week’s episode trailer – but we had sort of assumed that was a classic Doctor Who bluff. And what could happen to Clara that can’t be undone by time travel?
Capaldi went on to discuss the fame that comes with his role as the Doctor, describing the attention as “lovely”.
“The Doctor is a magical figure and exists more powerfully in the imagination than he does on screen so when fans see you in the street, and not looking too cosmic with a shopping bag and milk, they still see Doctor Who and they scream,” the actor said.
“Kids throw their arms around you because they see the character – it is delightful.”
Though not all the trappings of celebrity have been to his taste – especially when it comes to autographs and selfies.
“I don’t mind giving autographs but sometimes they end up on eBay for 20 quid soon after and that’s not quite the spirit of the thing,” he said. “But a selfie is lovely as it’s a token of the moment.
“Sometimes you see someone on the fringes with a phone who you think wants a selfie and that you should ask them. Then unfortunately sometimes you do ask them and they say ‘No!’”
Doctor Who: Face the Raven is on BBC1 this Saturday (21st November) at 8.10pm