Things were looking grim for DOCTOR WHO’s Clara Oswald (Jenna Coleman) at the cliff-hanger ending of “The Zygon Invasion” this weekend, and no matter if the Doctor (Peter Capaldi) can rescue her this time, we fans know the Impossible Girl is not long for the Whoniverse.
It’s just a question of when, not if.
And, of course, how Clara will go.
Executive producer Steven Moffat told the audience at the recent MCM Comic-Con in London: “Jenna actually asked me, ‘could you just not have the new one come in while I’m still there?’”
Remember that Coleman’s initial appearance came as a total shock — playing Soufflé Girl in “Aslyum of the Daleks” — many months before she was expected to debut in the Christmas special.
Moffat himself recalled the awkwardness of have the new girl working on the show before the old one was finished.
“I remember thinking it was quite tough on Karen [Gillan] in ‘Asylum of the Daleks,’ when she came into the makeup truck and, with my usual sensitivity — there’s Jenna! ‘Hi, I’m taking your job and your time machine!’ We always use this awful word, ‘companions,’ but they’re really co-stars; the co-leads. Right from the very beginning with Barbara and Ian, that [companion] character is the core. It’s a huge thing when they leave, and it knocks the living crap out of the Doctor every time. Which is a thing I like about the show. We don’t just treat it as a staffing problem. When they leave, it’s a major event, and [the Doctor] has trouble getting over it, every time.”
The current “best guess” estimate for Clara’s story to end is episode 10, “Face the Raven,” written by Sarah Dollard, which will see the return of… um, a familiar face from earlier this season.