In Doctor Who Magazine #484, out now, Steven Moffat finally reveals what happened behind the scenes with Jenna Coleman’s decision to stay on for series 9. Prior to the announcement that Coleman would be staying, fans speculated that she would be exiting in the series finale, or maybe at Christmas. However, Moffat confirms that the original plan was for Clara to exit the TARDIS for good in the series 8 finale, “Death in Heaven.”
“That was her last episode. And then she asked me if she could be in Christmas? So I said, ‘Okay, I’ll write you out in Christmas.’ She came to the read through and did the ‘write out’ version – and again changed her mind.
But the truth is I never wanted her to go. I didn’t really want Death in Heaven to be her last episode. And with Last Christmas, I’d already written the alternative version where she stayed, and I preferred that version. For Christmas Day it’s a bit nicer. Frankly, I didn’t want to lose her. She’s an amazing actress, and she never stops working to make Clara better. I was very happy to go the extra mile to make sure we could keep her.”
Clara Oswald will now be the longest-running companion of the modern series, staying for at least 37 episodes (including the three Christmas specials, 50th anniversary special, and “Asylum of the Daleks.” This also assumes that series 9 will be 13 episodes long). In comparison, Billie Piper (Rose Tyler) appeared in 35 episodes, Freema Agyeman (Martha Jones) in 20, Catherine Tate (Donna Noble) in 17, and Karen Gillan (Amy Pond) in 36.
Coleman said of her decision to stay:
“I couldn’t walk away with the story being unresolved, there’s so much more to do and I think [Clara and the Doctor] have finally just reached a point where they really understand each other.”
The newest edition of Doctor Who Magazine is available now.
[Source: Radio Times]