Steven Moffat confirms Jenna Coleman was to leave Doctor Who in season 8

Contributed by
Mar 5, 2015, 4:31 PM EST

The big Doctor Who question last year was whether Jenna Coleman would be leaving Peter Capaldi's Doctor and the TARDIS at the end of the Christmas special, “Last Christmas.” Clara's departure was speculated by fans and press alike ad nauseam while showrunner Steven Moffat and the cast remained mum on the subject despite rampant rumors.

But the truth of the matter is that Clara was indeed supposed to leave, but not exactly when we actually first thought. Steven Moffat revealed that Clara was originally written out at the end of the series-eight finale, “Death in Heaven,” rather than the Xmas special. Here’s what Moffat told Doctor Who Magazine:

“That was her last episode. 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 ultimate decision to stay on for series nine (after first deciding to leave) makes her the longest-running companion of the modern Doctor Who era. Last year she explained her decision for staying at a post-screening Q&A like this:

“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.”

Are you surprised to hear that Clara was originally meant to leave during the series-eight finale, "Death in Heaven," and NOT during the Christmas special? Were you actually glad to learn Jenna Coleman was staying on for season nine?

(via Radio Times)