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One of the inevitable changes that comes on Doctor Who every few years is when a companion departs, something which most recently happened last year. In the Season 9 finale, Jenna Coleman exited the series after three years of playing Clara Oswald or one of the character’s “echoes” sprinkled throughout history. Most fans reasonably believed this was her final Doctor Who appearance, but it sounds like we may be seeing a little bit more of Clara in Season 10, if star Peter Capaldi is to be believed.
This past weekend at Awesome Con in Washington D.C., Capaldi accidentally let slip (which was captured by YouTuber Maggie Russell) that he recently shot a scene involving the Twelfth Doctor and Clara. As he put it:
I’m not sure how successfully Clara was able to wipe his mind. I just… I was about to tell you something I can’t tell you. I just shot something that Clara was still there in.
For those who forgot, in the Doctor Who Season 9 finale, titled “Hell Bent,” Clara was plucked out of time by the Twelfth Doctor seconds before her death in “Face the Raven” to try and save her. However, when it became clear that the Time Lords wouldn’t stop trying to track her down and return her to her proper place in time, The Doctor tried to erase her memories of him so she would be harder to find when returned to Earth. However, Clara didn’t want to lose her memories of The Doctor, so she tampered with his device so that it actually erased The Doctor’s memories of Clara instead. By the end of “Hell Bent,” The Doctor was able to rememeber everything about Clara aside from what she looked like, but going off of Peter Capaldi’s new comments, it sounds like the Time Lord adventurer may be starting to piece together her appearance again.
If Jenna Coleman did indeed shoot something for Doctor Who Season 10, it wouldn’t be the first time an actor from the show has returned after their official exit. As a recent example, in December 2013, Karen Gillan reprised Amy Pond as a hallucination The Doctor saw in “The Time of the Doctor” Christmas special. Matt Smith even made a surprise appearance as the Eleventh Doctor in the Season 8 premiere, “Deep Breath,” in the midst of his next incarnation getting the hang of his new body and personality. Of course, it’s also possible that the Clara we’ll see is just a double shot from behind, and we won’t actually see her face. Maybe The Doctor is just picturing her in his own head or recalling a moment with her from the past. Jenna Coleman is currently playing Queen Victoria in ITV’s Victoria miniseries, so it’s hard to say whether she’s too busy shooting that right now or had a little time to cameo on Doctor Who.
Doctor Who Season 10 won’t premiere until early next year, but U.S. fans can look forward to the latest Christmas special this December on BBC America. Season 10 will be showrunner Steven Moffat’s final season, and Broadchurch creator Chris Chibnall will take his place starting with Season 11 in 2018.