We’ve been talking for months about the potential departure of Jenna Louise-Coleman from Doctor Who, and after the Season 8 finale, it seemed as though Clara’s days in the TARDIS were numbered. However, after Clara popped back up in the sneak peek for the Christmas special, some Whovians have started to wonder if we’ve really seen the last of Clara Oswald. It looks like we will have an official answer on Clara’s future in the TARDIS when we watch the Christmas special!
While Mirror UK ran a story this morning stating that Coleman will officially stay put as the Doctor’s companion, the new is nothing but a rumor at this point. When Radio Times contacted the BBC, a spokesperson for the network said the BBC would not comment on the article as it is merely speculation. In fact, the BBC’s official statement on Coleman’s future on Doctor Who is furiously ambiguous.
“Viewers will have to watch the Christmas episode to find out!”
Rumor has it the original plan for Clara was to have her grow old with the Doctor and then die of old age in the Christmas special. Of course, when Coleman allegedly changed her mind about leaving, the writing team reportedly was force to start from square one, rewriting the story to have Clara traveling in the TARDIS with the Doctor. If you watch the clip the BBC released of the Christmas special, it does seem that Clara hasn’t seen the Doctor for quite some time, so it would have made sense for early drafts of the script to have Clara as an old woman when the Doctor turned up with Santa. If these rumors prove true, maybe the Doctor Who writers just shortened the period of time between Clara’s last meeting with the Doctor to keep her on board as a companion.
As far as we know, Jenna Louise-Coleman is not signed on for Season 9, and Coleman hasn’t said a word about her character’s future on the show. However, her presence in the Christmas special does make me wonder if her days as a companion are truly over. After all, the Season 8 finale seemed like a pretty clear ending to Clara’s journey with the Doctor. Could Moffat and the Doctor Who team have just been messing with Whovians when they teased her departure from the show? After all, this isn’t the first time that a companion has left the Doctor and found her way back to the TARDIS again--namely Sarah-Jane Smith, Rose Tyler, and Martha Jones.
Of course, this could just be Whovians grasping at straws here. While I personally wasn’t a huge fan of Clara’s when she first signed on as companion, once they got her Impossible Girl storyline out of the way, I thought she became a very interesting character. More than that, she became a companion I truly cared about. Clara, when allowed to be someone more than a person “born to save the Doctor”, proved herself to be funny, loving, smart, brave, and fairly relatable. I realize it is the nature of the show to have companions--and Doctors--cycle in and out of the show, but I would hate to lose Clara just as she started to become a fully realized character. Here’s hoping that the Doctor Who writing team gives us more Clara as a Christmas present.
The Doctor Who Christmas special will air in the US on Christmas Day on BBC America.