Ever since Doctor Who first appeared on our screens back in 1963, the relationship between the Doctor and his assistant has been one of the main focuses of the show. Aside from watching the Doctor save the universe and altering the passage of time, viewers have been drawn to the way each Doctor interacts with his companions, mainly because we are compelled to see how, as a non-human, the Doctor forges relationships with mere mortals.
The Doctor/ Companion relationship has perhaps been an even bigger focus since the show’s re-launch in 2005. When Billie Piper played Rose Tyler alongside Christopher Eccleston’s ninth Doctor, the series gained a whole new legion of fans who loved to watch the on screen chemistry between the pair. With the arrival of David Tennant as ten, that chemistry intensified and the Rose/Ten ‘ship’ became the main subject of many fan forums and blogs. Arguably the best Doctor and companion pairing, their parting was heartbreaking for those who thrived on their relationship. However, there were also fans who welcomed the switch away from romance and back to the more everyday (?) task of fighting aliens.
With Peter Capaldi as the current Doctor and Jenna Coleman as his assistant, Clara Oswald, there has never been any hint of a possible romance between the pair. Capaldi, during a recent interview (with Coleman) for The Radio Times, said that’s best for everyone, though he would like to see more romance in the show overall:
“There should be lots more kissing in Doctor Who. So long as it’s not between the Doctor and Clara. It would have been completely creepy. It’s fine if you have handsome young men like Matt [Smith] and David Tennant, but as a father I felt it would be inappropriate.”
While there is a large age difference between the pair (Capaldi is 57, Coleman 29), the fact of the matter is, while some fans might be rooting for a romance between the two, Capaldi’s Doctor and Coleman’s Clara have never shared that sort of chemistry. While Steven Moffat might decide to reignite the Doctor/ Assistant attraction further down the line, it looks unlikely while either Capaldi or Coleman are a part of the show. Of course, there’s a good chance The Doctor will end up doing his fair share of kissing when his wife River Song, played Alex Kingston, shows up in the Doctor Who 2015 Christmas special.
In fact, it seems as though Coleman might well be done with Doctor Who already. A new report in The Mirror claims that Coleman will depart the show before the Christmas special airs, after landing the lead role of Queen Victoria in a new ITV drama. During the Radio Times interview, Coleman was decidedly coy when asked about her future on the show, saying
“You’re in Doctor Who knowing it will never last. It’s constantly regenerating, so you want to make your time count and enjoy the adventure for the fleeting time you’re here”.
Coleman has been one of the longer serving Companions since Doctor Who made its 2005 comeback, and rumours have been rife for a while that she will quit the show soon. Coleman only confirmed her return for season nine in December last year; up until that point, many reports had suggested she would be done after the 2014 Christmas special. It is also worth noting that during the Radio Times interview Capaldi was just as vague about his future on the show:
“It depends whether viewers like me, and you never know. We’re conscious of the fact the show will go on without any of us. Life is full of surprises, and there is the cosmic sledgehammer.”
With The Mirror claiming that Coleman has already filmed her final scenes, could it be that we will see a new assistant soon, followed by a Christmas regeneration? Only time will tell (as it always does on Doctor Who)…
Doctor Who returns to BBC1 and BBC America on Saturday, September 19th.