When Doctor Who returns later this month, fans will begin the process of getting to know the twelfth Doctor, played by Peter Capaldi. From what's being reported, a new Doctor isn't the only major change headed to the beloved sci-fi series. If you're averse to major spoilers about Doctor Who, you want to stop reading now!
Ok, that's your warning.
This latest update comes in the form of a report from Mirror that Jenna-Louise Coleman, who plays the Doctor's companion Clara Oswald, is leaving the series during "a sensational Christmas storyline." That's presumably the expected Christmas special. Mirror cites and unnamed source for this information, but given that big things tend to happen during the Christmas special -- Coleman's character Clara was actually introduced during the Christmas special in 2012 -- added to the fact that there's a new Doctor in play, it may not be shocking to fans if this is eventually confirmed to be true.
Earlier this month, DoctorWhoTV.co.uk reported that Steven Moffat confirmed that both Jenna-Louise Coleman and Peter Capaldi were on board for the Christmas episode, and that filming is slated to begin on that after they complete the Doctor Who World Tour, which is currently underway.
In terms of the nature of her exit, Mirror's headline says that Jenna-Louise Coleman is quitting her role and will leave this Christmas, however the article notes that her exit is "very much a mutual decision" and part of the series' effort to keep the pace moving.
Just as there have been numerous Doctors over the course of Doctor Who's very long run, there have also been numerous companions. Prior to Coleman taking over the role as the Doctor's assistant, Karen Gillan, Catherine Tate and Billie Piper also starred in the series during its run.
Since the big regeneration during last year's Christmas special, fans have been eagerly awaiting the series' return so that the Twelfth Doctor's turn can officially be underway. While it sounds like the rumors of a romance between Clara and the Doctor are untrue, Mirror says Steven Moffat hinted that Clara's relationship with Capaldi's Doctor will "change dramatically." It also sounds like this Doctor will be a bit unpredictable.
Series 8 of Doctor Who makes its official premiere August 23 with "Deep Breath." You can check out some Episode 1 promotional photos after the jump.