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What did Doctor Who's companions do next?

As Jenna Coleman takes on a new starring role in BBC drama The Cry, we take a look at what she and the other New Who sidekicks have done since leaving the Tardis

Published: Sunday, 30th September 2018 at 10:00 am

As the sonic screwdriver baton is passed on from one regenerating Doctor to the next, usually, a new companion (or companions) come with it.


With excitement at fever pitch around Jodie Whittaker's debut as the Doctor, a new set of characters join her inside the infamous TARDIS.

And it seems Mandip Gill, Tosin Cole and Bradley Walsh have big shoes to fill, judging by some of the previous talent to grace the time machine...

Jenna Coleman

Played Clara Oswald (2012-2015)

After finishing her stint as companion Clara Oswald in 2015, it’s now Jenna Coleman’s career that has gone stratospheric.

The 32-year-old has starred as a young Queen Victoria in ITV’s sumptuous period drama of the same name since 2016, with a third series expected to air next year.

Jenna explained her attraction to playing the famously haughty monarch stemmed from her own admiration of Queen Victoria.

Speaking to the Telegraph, she explained, “I don’t think people are quite aware of how vivid she is and what a lust for life she has.”

But in a major departure from her roles in Doctor Who and Victoria, Coleman plays the lead in upcoming BBC1 thriller The Cry; a drama that takes over Bodyguard’s Sunday night time slot, The Cry focuses on a young mother whose newborn baby is abducted in Australia.

Discussing the new series, Coleman described the script as “like walking a tightrope, racing page to page, unsettling, unknowable, uncomfortable and thrilling.”

Billie Piper

Played Rose Tyler (2005-2006)

Gregarious Rose Tyler was companion to the Ninth and Tenth Doctor when the show was revamped in 2005 under the helm of Russell T Davis. Introduced as a fiery teenage girl working as a shop assistant, viewers saw how she steadily grew closer to the Doctor, played by both Christopher Eccleston and David Tennant, only to be sealed into an alternative reality.

While Billie Piper has made brief cameos as Rose since bowing out of the show in 2006, the 35-year-old’s work is dramatically different to that of Rose.

In her first role since her departure, Piper shed any fears of being typecast along with her clothes as she starred in ITV2’s sex-fuelled Secret Diary of a Call Girl, where she played high-class prostitute Belle de Jour.

The show’s often wild and raunchy scenes, which on occasion required her to go topless, saw Piper suggest she may have ruined her future chances at having a Hollywood career.

Speaking to The Telegraph in 2008, she explained, “Someone said the other day, rather viciously, ‘What A-list stars get their **** out?’ And I started thinking, ‘Oh my God, what have I done? I’ve ruined my future career."


Nonetheless, Piper has since gone on to appear as Brona Croft in horror series Penny Dreadful, before starring in stage-play Yerma at the Young Vic in London – seeing her win the coveted Best Actress gong at Laurence Olivier Theatre Awards. This year's she's also shown up in David Hare's four-part drama Collateral. 


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