It’s official: Doctor Who companion Jenna Coleman has announced she is leaving the show during the upcoming series to star in a regal new drama about Queen Victoria for ITV. While there are still a few episodes to go before her character Clara Oswald exits the TARDIS for the last time – Coleman would confirm only that it will happen at some point this series – attention has already turned to who will replace her as the Doctor’s travelling companion. Here are five suggestions for showrunner Stephen Moffat.
An obvious first pick, you might say, but that’s because the move just makes a lot of sense. As Arya Stark in Game of Thrones, Williams has proven she can play strong, resourceful, feisty characters, while her Twitter feed shows she also has a cheeky side, all of which are requisite traits for any fledging companion.
She’s also already set to appear in series nine as a guest character so shrouded in mystery that the internet has rarely been able to talk about anything else, and it wouldn’t be a surprise if Moffat is using the episode as a secret introduction for the Doctor’s new companion as he did with Coleman in Asylum of the Daleks.
Admittedly, her commitment to all things Westeros probably means Williams will be reluctant to tie herself down to another long-term contract, but she’d be great in the role all the same.
Her arrival as crimson-Mary Poppins Missy, who turned out to be the latest incarnation of the Doctor’s Gallifreyan archenemy The Master, was the unquestionable highlight of the last series, with Gomez’s menacingly bonkers performance vaporising those foolish complaints about a woman occupying a man’s role.
Her teasing, borderline flirtatious repartee with Peter Capaldi’s Doctor brought an extra layer of intrigue to a relationship as old as time itself and it would be fun to see this dynamic play out on a regular basis. Her re-appearance in Saturday’s series opener, The Magician’s Apprentice, also presents Moffat with the perfect opportunity to lay the groundwork for Missy’s transition from foe to friend, as the episode could perhaps see the Doctor giving his enemy one last chance to return to the side of the good.
Another guest star from Peter Capaldi’s first series as the Doctor, Wade won rapid praise for his endearing turn as kind-hearted graffiti artist Rigsy in Flatline.
A YouTube sensation thanks to his hit online comedy Mandem on the Wall, Wade certainly has the talent and the creative juices to develop his promising first appearance into a fully-fledged leading role, whilst his casting would also offer a refreshing change from the traditional man and woman pairing for the Doctor and his companion.
We already know that Rigsy is set to return in the upcoming series, but how and why he finds himself once again mixed up with his time travelling heroes is still under wraps – could his reappearance be linked to Clara’s impending departure?
Doctor Who loves a rising star and Jodie Comer is certainly that, having successfully stepped out of the shadow of My Mad Fat Diary, where she played Rae’s popular best friend Chloe, appearing alongside Michael Palin in BBC2’s chilling horror Remember Me and making a memorable turn as a young mistress in Doctor Foster for BBC1.
Her next job will be to head up a brand new BBC3 drama, Thirteen, as a 26 year-old woman who returns home after spending 13 years held captive in a cellar, giving Comer an even bigger platform to showcase her talents – surely a leading role in one of the country’s most popular show’s is the next logical step?
An outside bet, given his casting would understandably draw complaints about both the show’s leads being played by middle-aged white men, but that doesn’t mean a return of Frank Skinner’s loveable train engineer Perkins wouldn’t be a lot of fun.
The comedian’s guest appearance in last series’ Mummy on the Orient Express showed the comedian has what it takes to be a companion, as Perkins stepped in to be the Doctor’s moral compass whilst Clara was trapped in a separate carriage, and he proved to be so effective in the role the Doctor ended up offering him a job maintaining the TARDIS. While Perkins politely declined the offer the first time, could the Doctor persuade him to reconsider?