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

The World Doesn't End Because the Doctor Dances

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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Jill Pantozzi is a pop-culture journalist and host who writes about all things nerdy and beyond! She’s Editor in Chief of the geek girl culture site The Mary Sue (Abrams Media Network), and hosts her own blog “Has Boobs, Reads Comics” ( She co-hosts the Crazy Sexy Geeks podcast along with superhero historian Alan Kistler, contributed to a book of essays titled “Chicks Read Comics,” (Mad Norwegian Press) and had her first comic book story in the IDW anthology, “Womanthology.” In 2012, she was featured on National Geographic’s "Comic Store Heroes," a documentary on the lives of comic book fans and the following year she was one of many Batman fans profiled in the documentary, "Legends of the Knight."