Rumor Patrol: Jenna Louise Coleman Leaving ‘Doctor Who’

Published 8 months ago by

doctor who clara exit Rumor Patrol: Jenna Louise Coleman Leaving Doctor Who

Doctor Who fans have had to endure quite an emotional roller coaster ride over these last two years. First, we saw Rory and Amy Pond’s emotional exit, then the rise of Clara (Jenna Louise Coleman) as the Doctor’s new companion, the return of the 10th Doctor (and sort of Rose), the revelation that was The War Doctor, a bit of The Time War, Matt Smith’s exit (after months of rumors) and then, almost nine months ago, our first real glimpse of Peter Capaldi as The Doctor.

With Doctor Who returning to our TV sets (and film screens) in one week’s time, no one would blame Whovians if they cried out for a little stability as this new era begins, but those cries may go unnoticed if a recent rumor is to be believed.

Take this with a grain of salt, but The Daily Mirror is reporting that Jenna Louise Coleman will exit the globally popular time travel and space adventure series at Christmas – meaning that, for the second year in a row, Steven Moffat will seemingly try to ruin Christmas by sending off a popular character.

This isn’t entirely on Moffat, though. According to the same report, the decision about Coleman’s allegedly waning future with Doctor Who is a mutual one. But if this is true, we have to wonder why – even if that means that we’re about to address rumor with speculation.

At just 28, could Coleman have an itch to try and leverage her work as the Doctor’s companion into a stateside career in the way that Karen Gillan has with Guardians of the Galaxy, Oculus, and Selfie, her upcoming sitcom on ABC? Perhaps, but if Gillan’s career is her spirit animal, Coleman might be jumping off the Who train too soon.

Karen Gillan established herself on Doctor Who over the course of 34 episodes as Amy Pond, displaying a color wheel of emotions beside Matt Smith, with whom she had excellent chemistry. Right now, Coleman has played Clara (or some version of her) in just 12 episodes. By season’s end, that will jump up into the twenties.

But while she did a good job next to Smith, has she really stood out so much that there are other opportunities knocking down her door?

Peter Capaldi Doctor Who Time of the Doctor Clara Twelve Rumor Patrol: Jenna Louise Coleman Leaving Doctor Who

How we view Coleman could, of course, change drastically over the course of this season. For one thing, Capaldi has shot down the possible continuation of the flirty business that went on between his predecessor’s version of The Doctor and Clara last season (though we assume there will be romance between Clara and upcoming male companion Danny Pink) and Moffat has weighed in with regard to this version of the Doctor’s personality, saying that he might be considered the rude Doctor.

Because we don’t know how this will all play out, it’s a bit unfair to expect people to have an opinion about these rumors regarding Coleman’s exit before we see how her character and Capaldi’s Doctor get along. Maybe this mismatched dynamic will work – a throwback to a time with the companion didn’t always moon over the Doctor.

There’s also the possibility that Coleman’s character could fit poorly beside the new Doctor. We just don’t know yet.

What we do know is, this is just a rumor, but if it turns into a fact, Doctor Who fans will have to remember that cast exits are a part of what has helped keep this show fresh and relevant for more than 50 years, even though those exits are almost never on the fan’s timetable.

Doctor Who season 8 will premiere August 23rd on BBC and BBC America.

Source: The Daily Mirror, The Sunday Times


Follow Jason Tabrys on Twitter @jtabrys
TAGS: Doctor who
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  1. I hope this is just a “Rumor.” Nothing factual. I actually like her character a lot better than Amy’s.

    • it isn’t a rumor i am sorry but Clara is leaving on the Christmas episode but if she changes her mind and stays that’s all she could do

    • Yeah, I agree. I like how she keeps him in line.

  2. I have often wondered whether the Clara character would be a proper fix next to this new “rude” Doctor.

    I like the character, but wouldn’t mind if she left.

  3. What is it about people wanting off Doctor Who? It’s constant. Main characters on a big time show and everybody can’t wait to leave. The money must be pretty lousy in Whoville. Or does everyone dislike working for Moffatt? It’s got to be something. No other show I can think of has this many actor’s deciding to leave year in a and year out. Just seems odd.

    • I think they like using Doctor Who is a jumping board into heir Big Movie Carriers as they might thing !

      Guess they feel like big time and then they leave and then realize….there are not as big as they thought they would become !

      Doctor Who might make u feel like u r on top of the world !

      • As Andrew says below, it’s not an uncommon phenomenon with British shows; I think it also has to do with the comparatively tiny scale of our homegrown TV industry, and actors at any level fearing typecasting within it.

    • You mustn’t watch much British TV. “Skins” changed its entire cast every two seasons (and the seasons were only six episodes). “Spooks,” the British “24,” essentially swapped out its entire cast of characters every two to three years with at least 2-3 regulars dying per season (and each season was only eight episodes).

      ‘Who’ is a public broadcaster show so the money isn’t great. Unlike other British shows as well, it’s a big commitment – eight months of filming in a quiet city in Wales, extended publicity tours, etc. It’s high profile but a lot of work and better paying opportunities come quickly due to the exposure so it’s no shock some of the younger ones snap it up quickly, though for most it hasn’t worked out well, only the Scots (Tennant and Gillan) have had robust careers post-’Who’.

      • I wouldn’t exactly deem Gillan’s post-Who career “robust”. GotG could be the beginning of it though.

  4. It just seems to me there’s an obvious pattern going on here.

    Clara is the first companion to directly witness a regeneration since Rose; Rose straddled the change between the Ninth Doctor’s only season and the Tenth Doctor’s first season, just as Clara is straddling the Eleventh’s last and the Twelfth’s first.

    If Jenna ends up leaving her spot as a main cast member (and judging by her recent interviews, it seems that her character’s arc for this season leaves plenty of room for that) I’m sure we can expect her to return from time to time.

    Perhaps this can also lead to some more experimentation with companions, ditching the flirty angle and going for some more variety. Keeping my fingers crossed for a third Craig episode!

  5. I wouldn’t be surprised if she left , and I wouldn’t blame her at all. Given that you have Benedict Cumberbatch, Matt Smith, Karen Gillian,and Martin Freeman all getting stateside gigs, I could see her wanting to make a move now as opposed to waiting a few years.

  6. Gillan was brilliant in A Touch Of Cloth III last weekend.

    As for Jenna-Louise, she made her name in the British soap Emmerdale, playing a lesbian character for a few years and eventually left in her early 20s to seek other roles.

    I assume the same here, not wanting to be trapped in one role or known purely for this show. Tennant left because the show interfered with his other TV, movie and stage roles and Capaldi I imagine is fine with being The Doctor because his most famous role is in The Thick Of It (and subsequent movie spin-off) and doesn’t have much else lined up outside of the occasional BBC role (such as in The Three Musketeers earlier this year).

    Eccleston even gave the reason that he didn’t want to be typecast as The Doctor as his excuse for leaving before revealing his general unhappiness being on the show a few years later.

  7. Thank god! she is one of the most disingenous over trained, jazz hands, bright eyes, all hugs and kittens drama school hacks I have seen in years.
    Really hope who is getting back to basics, less hugs more scares.

    • What a perfect description of her, and I also agree on the general tone of the show. Less cheesy – more substance.

  8. Good. Not to sound mean or anything but I could never really get into her as a companion, she just didn’t fit it for me. I think the next companion should be alien, its about time we had an alien as a companion again and try to make them seem alien I dont mean a giant ant or anything, obvisouly they will stick with the whole humanoid alien but give them some strange alien features.

    I’m bored of humans and I know the companion is meant to be our way into the show so that we can learn about aliens but that can happen with aliens as the companions. NO MORE HUMANS!!!!

  9. I feel the reason they stick with mostly human companions is because, in the words of the Doctor, he loves humans. Companions come and go, Captain Jack, Rose, Mickey, Martha Jones, And Donna Noble..all had to leave the T.A.R.D.I.S. eventually, as we know, they eventually brought them all back together for two episodes. But like the Doctor, the companion changes as well. Now for Clara, she’s shown up in several previous episodes as we know, and maybe we’ve already seen this soon to be companion and not even known it. I too am okay if the Doctor decides that he’s not too fond of Clara and leaves her somewhere. But one of my questions of this new Doctor is, will he meet River Song?

  10. I never really liked Clara that much, and I thought Moffat’s meddling with Who history by inserting her into every aspect of the Doctor’s past was unnecessary and frankly egotistical, as was his decision to erase Gallifrey’s destruction. It was like he wants to show that the show was his in a way that no one will ever be able to forget, metaphorical “Moffat was here” graffiti sprayed throughout previous series.
    Having said that, I do hold some faith that Moffat will write Clara out well, hopefully tying it into the Doctor’s whole “Am I a good man?” arc. If Clara were to decide to leave on the grounds that she found the Doctor dangerous and untrustworthy in his new incarnation then it would be a hard hit to his ego, hopefully sending him spiralling into some much needed depression and darker stories.

    • Well.. The Gallifrey destruction was created by Davies.. which removed a whole element out of the show.. no other time lords. Some of the most memorable moments prior to the “reboot” have been the interactions between the Doctor and others of his species.. So when the Master was revealed to be alive and kicking in the new series, it was refreshing.. I think bringing back Gallifrey will do a lot for the show, and give the Doctor some challenging opponents.

  11. Every time I read news,I have less reasons to be interested in the new season…

  12. I’m fine with the casting either way. Her performance didn’t bother me at all, on the other hand I wasn’t blown away by her, either.

    I have one peculiar observation to share, though: Jenna-Louise Coleman is ridiculously good-looking on just about any promotional image and even on her Late Late Show appearance, but on Dr. Who she’s ‘just’ cute. Is there any user on here with a working knowledge in all things photography etc. who could provide an Explanation for that strange phenomenon? (I know, it’s the day the Earth stands still up until the moment this issue is finally resolved …)

  13. *on just about

  14. I like Jenna Coleman, that said, given the history between Clara and The Doctor (Christmas episode, cannot lie).. it would be kinda difficult (if not creepy) for Clara and the Doctor to maintain a flirty relationship, especially given a) Capaldi nixed it and 2) Capaldi is 28 years older.. Time and Space can do a lot of things, except that…

    That said.. I hope she’s not killed off

  15. I grudgingly admit to loving the new Doctor. Now just dump Clara and pick up River and we’ll have a show!

  16. Honestly I anticipate the day that Clara as a character dies or disappears. She has been by far the worst companion on the show. She’s just so 2-dimensional and generic, its like she has nothing unique or special to offer. And I wouldnt even go so far as to call her a companion as she just lives her own life and has the Doctor on the side as a side-b****; she dosent even live with him and share those emotional moments that literally every other companion had to build their character.

    I dont know if its just that shes a bad actress or Moffatt is just an awful story teller