At least they didn't keep fans guessing this time. On Friday, the BBC officially confirmedearlier reports that Jenna Coleman would be leaving Doctor Who in Season 9. During a radio interview with BBC1, Coleman also announced she'd already filmed her final scenes on the long-running sci-fi series, noting that Clara Oswald's departure from the TARDIS has been in the works for more than a year.
"Steven [Moffat] and I sat down a long time ago... and tried to work out the best place to do it, and the best place in which to tell a really good story," the actress said. "Hopefully that's what we've done."
The news that plans for Coleman's departure started last year should hardly be surprising to diehard Whovians. Earlier this year showrunner Steven Moffat confirmed after months of speculation that twice there were plans for Clara to be written out of the series—after the Season 8 finale "Death in Heaven" and again after last year's Christmas special—but the actress changed her mind both times.
Clara Oswald may be the most divisive companion in Doctor Who history—she's certainly the most controversial companion since the series was revived in 2005—but now that it's been confirmed she's got an expiration date, it's time to start doing what we fans do best: shouting out suggestions and/or speculating about who will be the next companion.
Will the new companion be female or will Moffat and Co. finally shake things up? Will it be someone who's face we've seen before like Karen Gillan or even Peter Capaldi, both of whom appeared on the series (oddly enough, in the same episode...) before being cast in their iconic roles? Hit the comments while I cross reference resumés with Google Image searches for my own picks.
Oh, and if you want, you can watch Coleman's full interview, in which she talks about her departure and filming her final scenes, below:
Doctor Who returns Saturday, September 19 at 9pm.