Welcome to Jenna Coleman Online, your best source for everything on the Blackpool born actress Jenna Coleman. She's best known for her role as Clara Oswald in Doctor Who, but she's now our fierce Queen Victoria in the ITV hit.
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2017 — Season 2
Jenna as Queen Victoria
RADIO TIMES – Will she stay or will she go? That was the question that raged around Jenna Coleman last year, as fans and press alike speculated over whether she would leave her role as Clara in Doctor Who. Tabloid rumour originally had her leaving the show in last year’s Christmas special Last Christmas, before eventually flip-flopping to the right answer that she would be staying on for series 9. According to Steven Moffat himself, though, the truth is that Clara was originally going to be written out at the end of series 8 finale Death in Heaven.
“That was her last episode,” he tells Doctor Who Magazine. “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.”
Coleman’s decision to stay on for the entirety of series 9 sets to make her the longest serving companion of the modern era. Explaining why she stayed at a post-screening Q&A last year, she said, “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.” (source)
Jenna Coleman has revealed that she is to continue playing the part of Doctor Who‘s assistant Clara Oswald for another series of the show.
There had been uncertainty about the future of the former Emmerdale actress, who joined the show in 2012.
She has starred alongside two Doctors – first Matt Smith and now Peter Capaldi.
“It’s wonderful,” she said. “I get a whole other series of stories with the Doctor and I couldn’t walk away with the story being unresolved.”
She added: “There is so much more to do. I think they’ve finally just reached a point where they really understand each other. The arrival of the 12th Doctor has just kind of dropped this whole bombshell and allowed the dynamic to totally change, so I think just when Clara was feeling more comfortable in the relationship, it has suddenly thrown something new up.”
Capaldi said: “I’m thrilled. Jenna has just been fantastic and such a pleasure to work with.”
Fans of the show had to wait until the end of the Christmas Day special edition to find out whether Coleman’s character would be staying.
BBC Press Release for the 2014 Doctor Who Christmas Special:
‘In Doctor Who, the Doctor and Clara face their Last Christmas. Trapped on an Arctic base, under attack from terrifying creatures, who are you going to call? Santa Claus!’
Will this really be the Last Christmas for the Doctor and Clara? And what exactly are these terrifying creatures? It’s not the first time the Doctor has visited the Arctic of course. It’s previously been home to an Ice Warrior in Cold War – and the Cybermen! Perhaps there are clues to be found if you watch the teaser for the Christmas episode. You can also catch this exclusive clip for Children in Need.
As Danny Cohen, Director of Television, says: “This year’s Christmas line-up on BBC Television is one of our best ever. There’s world-class talent, edge of your seat drama, outstanding comedy and fantastic storytelling. Across our channels we will bring families together and provide something for everyone.”
The episode will star Peter Capaldi, Jenna Coleman, Nick Frost, Michael Troughton and Nathan McMullen – along with a host of guest stars. You can read more about the BBC’s Christmas Schedule on the Media Centre website.
“My favourite Doctors are Tennant and Baker,” Coleman told RadioTimes.com.
“I worked with them both, too! [in 50th anniversary special The Day of the Doctor] Well, I never got to work with Tom Baker, but I was on set with him. Me and Steven [Moffat, the series head writer] came in to watch his scenes.”
However, the actress wouldn’t be drawn on which of the two most recent Doctors – Matt Smith or Peter Capaldi – she’d preferred travelling with.
“You can’t ask that!” she said. “That’s like saying who do you like better, your mum or dad? They are both very dear to me.”
“Very diplomatic,” she added.
Joining the series in 2012 with Matt Smith’s Doctor, Coleman’s Clara Oswald continued to travel with the newly regenerated Twelfth Doctor after last year’s Christmas special. And while she won’t pick a favourite, Coleman did admit that the two incarnations of the Time Lord had their distinctions.
“The energy that you’re working with between the two is very different,” she said.
“Matt’s Doctor will come out to the room, and he’s like a tornado that goes round, whereas Peter’s Doctor is much more contained and enigmatic. He kind of draws the room into him.”
She added: “The things that they have in common are, they are both very inventive, they are both really generous, and really brave.”
So does Clara herself have a favourite between the whirlwind Eleventh Doctor and the more subdued Twelfth? As ever, Coleman remained cagey.
“I think to Clara they’re the same man. He is the Doctor, and it’s a lot of what this series has been about, her accepting that. I don’t think there’s a preference to her.”
To mark the release of the DVD and Blu-Ray Box Set, Digital Spy sat down with Jenna Coleman to reflect on her time with the series, Clara’s journey this year and achieving global stardom.
Let’s go back to when you heard Matt Smith was leaving – were you nervous about having to work so closely with someone new?
“No, not really, I wasn’t, ‘cos when I found out it was Peter [Capaldi], I was still filming with Matt, so I was very involved there and we were having a great time and kind of doing our goodbyes.
“But then me and Peter went out for lunch… I didn’t tell Matt that, actually! It was like two-timing – and we both ordered omelettes and chips and from then on I knew it was going to be great!
“He’s so easy to talk to, instantly, and actually, from the first day on set, one thing I really noticed was he just totally had my back from day one. Even though it was his first day, he really looks after the people around him.
“It’s great ‘cos we’re mates, and it’s funny because we’re such different ages, but we’re just totally really good buddies. It’s lovely.”
Clara went through a lot in the series – do you feel she’s changed since we first met her?
“It’s interesting. I think the first series she was an enigma and she was removed from the audience and she was this mystery, so in a way she was kind of fulfilling the role of companion but yet we didn’t really know her as a person and that was kind of the purpose of the story.
“Not only is the show very different now, but the dynamic obviously was totally up for grabs as well – the show has been reinvented and the dynamic is new, so we can get to know Clara as a person more because the [original] story’s now out of the way.”
Do you feel like there was more of you in her this series? There were references to Blackpool and a little bit more of your accent coming through…
“That’s Mark Gatiss! He’s Northern and it’s funny whenever I read his scripts… you just see the Northernisms coming through, especially in the Robin Hood episode.
“But I don’t know how similar she is to me. Not as much of the control-freakiness. That’s not me! I’m totally chilled.”