We know that Jenna Coleman will be returning for the new series of Doctor Who, which is currently filming in Tenerife, however, in a new interview Steven Moffat has confirmed that this was not always going to be the case.
As series eight drew to a close, many fans thought that Clara would not be returning to the TARDIS; she was not dealing well with the Doctor’s regeneration, and she was mourning the death of her boyfriend Danny Pink, played by Samuel Anderson. Even as the Christmas episode was drawing to a close, it looked like Peter Capaldi’s Doctor would be looking for a new companion, and I was so shocked when we were told that Clara would be returning.
Speaking to Doctor Who Magazine, Moffat said that Coleman’s last episode was due to be “Death in Heaven” which was of course the series eight finale; “That was her last episode. And then she asked me if she could be in [the] Christmas [special]. So I said, ‘OK, I’ll write you out in Christmas’.”
Coleman’s exit in “Last Christmas” was written, and it appears that the first script read through included Clara leaving the Doctor. However, as is a woman’s prerogative, Coleman changed her mind once more and said she wanted to return for series nine. This decision was one that pleased Moffat as he had no desire for Coleman to leave the show. “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.”
It appears that the fans’ hunches weren’t wrong after all, and during series eight, I think Clara went through so much, and her character changed in a way that made her leaving the most likely course of action. It would have been a decision that would not have upset me as a fan, because the Clara we saw in series eight was not the same girl I fell in love with during series 7. I just hope that we see a bit more of the old Clara in the new series which will air in the autumn, because I love Jenna Coleman as an actress.
Moffat was also full of praise for the star saying; “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.”