Jenna Coleman is officially leaving Doctor Who, the show bosses confirmed today, amid days of speculation that this would happen. She is leaving to take the role of Queen Victoria in a production on Britain’s second longest-reigning monarch.
It will not be the first time Coleman has played a character in the Victorian era. In Doctor Who, she portrayed a young governess called Clara. That character died, but she came back as Clara Oswald in The Bells of Saint John and remained with Matt Smith’s doctor from then on.
The BBC reports that while Doctor Who has officially confirmed Jenna is leaving, the show has not given a timescale. It is unclear whether she will be around for the whole of season nine and the Christmas episode. Season nine begins on September 19 in the UK, and it is believed that all the episodes have been filmed.
Jenna Coleman’s character is the longest serving Doctor’s Assistant since the show rebooted in 2005. Her character has served two Doctors, Matt Smith and Peter Capaldi. When speaking about his time with her last year, Capaldi said that she had been “absolutely brilliant” and was his favorite companion. The actor only took on the role of the 12th Doctor last year when Matt Smith made the decision to stand down.
It does not seem a shock that Coleman is leaving, especially for her. This is a part, like The Doctor, that is traditionally short-lived. The Daily Mirror reports that she told Radio Times being in Doctor Who does not last. This is why is it so important to make the most of it while there.
“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”.
There are mixed reviews over her decision to leave. Her character has fans but also has a number of haters. This happens with all assistants, but Jenna has dealt with a large number of people wanting her character to leave. The assistants have become more involved in The Doctor’s storylines over the years, with their own back stories and taking over the screen time sometimes. Clara’s story of being The Impossible Girl took up a lot of time during the last three years.
Coleman will move on to play Queen Victoria. The production will tell the story of the princess becoming queen at 18 and the early part of her reign. Just last week, the current British monarch Queen Elizabeth II overtook Queen Victoria’s title of the longest-reigning monarch. Both served their country for 63 years. The role of Victoria was gained some time ago by Jenna Coleman, but has been a secret according to a source.
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