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The World Doesn't End Because the Doctor Dances

Doctor Who’s Jenna-Louise Coleman On The Pressures of Companionship & The Christmas Special

We’re still in the dark when it comes to details on the Doctor’s new companion. Actress Jenna-Louise Coleman has been filming on Doctor Who for a while now but everyone has been keeping mum on her character. Until now. Sorta. Coleman did an interview and managed to talk about her time on Doctor Who so far from the pure experience of it to the nitty gritty. 

Coleman spoke with Entertainment Weekly about filling the shoes left by Amy and Rory. Not actually being familiar with the long-running British children’s series helped her, she said. “I didn’t watch too much of Karen and Matt’s stuff on purpose because it’s such a rhythmic thing, the dynamic, that I don’t want to pick up on anything. I kind of want to research it and watch every single episode, but my character, I’m just a girl who’s going into this not knowing anything and has to experience it front on. So that’s what I need to do as well, I think.”

So what happened when she found out she had the coveted role? “My agent phoned me up about two days later saying I’d got the part,” she told them. “I was in [British department store] Marks & Spencer. I couldn’t carry on shopping. I had an avocado that I had to put down and just went for a walk.”

If you haven’t watched Season 7, turn away now.

The creators of Doctor Who shocked viewers when Coleman showed up first, not in the Christmas Special as expected, but the season premiere, “Asylum of the Daleks.” And if you’ve watched the episode you know her character Oswin turns out to be a dalek…who dies at the end.

“I was convinced it wasn’t going to be kept [a secret],” she said, although she was allowed to tell her family. “I thought maybe at least we could keep the ending a secret, with the Dalek. It’s just great. There’s not much TV these days where you really get that element of surprise. There are so many spoilers all the time. I was really shocked that it didn’t leak and so was Steven. We were all really pleased and proud about that.”

But as you may have learned already, it wasn’t originally the plan to have Coleman play Oswin. “That was part of a genius plan that Steven came up with half way through the audition process. That was already written but not written for what was to be the new companion.”

So the question remains, will Steven Moffat find a way to connect Clara with Oswin in some way (much like Torchwood’s Gwen and Doctor Who’s Gwyneth), or will it just be a fun bit of trivia down the road? And will it be addressed in the Christmas Special?

“We’re going to have what has been referred to as a ‘soft mystery.’ For me, filming, I’ve been totally oblivious to Oswin and the ‘Asylum of the Daleks.’ I really have had to erase it from my memory. Yeah, Christmas is it’s own episode,” she said. “It’s so difficult [to talk about it]. Because of the way it started with Oswin, it’s really difficult to say much: where she’s from, what period she’s from, what planet she’s from, even.”

Would you prefer the character’s stay separate or be connected in some way?

(via io9)

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  • Anonymous

    Moffat has already said about the Oswin/Clara connection, “That’s exactly the question I want you asking”.

    The answer I give when people ask “How can Oswin and Clara look the same, and be so far apart?” I answer, “How could Gwyneth from Unquiet Dead and Gwen Cooper from Torchwood look the same?”

  • wyveraryborealis

    All of the reboot companions, so far, have appeared in episodes before they become companions. In Donna’s example it wasn’t any stretch; there was no reason she just couldn’t be herself. The never address it for Martha or Amy, but their characters were tertiary at most. I think it would be really difficult to try to have Jenna-Louise as a minor character in the very same season she becomes companion without somehow connecting her to Oswin. It just doesn’t make any sense at all.

  • Gemmabeta

    But all of those cases were accidental: Freema Agyman and Karen Gillan were cast before their companion characters were even conceived and they both just happen to apply to the same show twice. As for Cathrine Tate, they were originally creating a character called “Penny” for the season 4 companion and someone happened to say “won’t it be cool if we get Donna back?”

  • Brian Adkins

    I remember an old saying that evryone in the world has a twin. So,why not in the universe? lol

  • Star Talk

    If they’re going to actually connect them, unlike what they did with Freema, and they do it well, it could be really awesome.

  • Kol Drake

    ‘Back in the day’ the next ‘regeneration’ of the Doctor was in an episode or two before the change. Even happened with Romana.

  • Anonymous
  • Alyson Stearns

    Actually, in Martha’s case, during the episode Smith and Jones she referenced that she had a cousin who died when she was working in Torchwood Tower (although she used the “cover” name for the tower – I can’t remember what it was anymore, but it was what the people who didn’t know about Torchwood called it). So it was addressed, albeit very subtly.

  • J.M. Midnite

    Canary Wharf

  • Abel Undercity

    The Doctor never actually saw human-Oswin, though, did he?

  • Incredibly Awesome

    i really dont want her to be a different unconnected character. it’s not genius if it’s already happened (Martha and her cousin)

  • Incredibly Awesome

    they actually have martha address it by saying her cousin died in Canary Wharf!

  • Michi Ligaya

    I’m kinda disappointed that it’s *not* Oswin that we’ll be meeting again — I adored her! I’d love for them to somehow be connected and I will be surprised if Moffat doesn’t address it.

  • Michi Ligaya

    Nope! He only ever met the Dalek!Oswin.

  • Incredibly Awesome

    at least they addressed it with Gwen and Gwyneth!

    Tell me, Gwen Cooper, are you from an old Cardiff family?
    Yes, all the way back to the 1800s!
    Yeah, thought so, spatial genetic multiplicity

  • Incredibly Awesome

    Martha mentions her cousin died at Canary Wharf!

  • Incredibly Awesome

    i just always assume it was a cost – thing or the lack of actors interested in educational programming. but this isn’t an educational show these days and it has a bigger budget :)

  • Seb

    I don’t know whether I’d want them connected or not. I think I don’t really care. Personally I’m more worried about they’re doing it well if they connect it. Either way, I’m sure Jenna will do an excellent job as the next companion and I can’t wait to meet her in the Christmas Special