8:00 pm EDT, August 16, 2014

Jenna Coleman leaving ‘Doctor Who’? (Updated)

Jenna Coleman might be leaving Doctor Who this season if the rumors are correct.

UPDATE (8/19/14): Speaking to The Radio Times, a BBC spokesperson has refused to either confirm or deny the rumors, stating: “people will have to watch the series to see if she’s coming back or not.” Branding the rumors as “speculation at this time,” the BBC re-iterated they wanted to focus on the current series for now.

Far from discrediting the Mirror’s assertions, these cryptic statements seem to actually lend credence to them. Steven Moffat and the whole Doctor Who team are known for their (attempted) secrecy, but the refusal to comment on them will only lead to more speculation – especially considering Amy and Rory’s departure was confirmed so long before the actual event.

According to the Mirror, Jenna Coleman’s character, Clara, will be leaving Doctor Who at Christmas.

The Mirror has a long history of reporting Doctor Who rumors that later prove to be true. The BBC has elected not to comment, but it’s likely that this one will have some merit. Even if her departure doesn’t happen at Christmas, the end of the current series would not be unlikely.

Compared to other companions who lasted more than one season like Billie Piper, who played Rose Tyler, and Karen Gillan, who played Amy Pond, Jenna Coleman has not filmed that many episodes. On the other hand, due to the long gaps between series 7 and the Doctor Who 50th Anniversary Special, and then again between the Christmas special in 2013 and the current series, Coleman has been attached to the series for quite a long time. It wouldn’t be surprising if she wanted to try her hand at something new.

The Mirror’s source stated, “By the time she leaves she will be one of the longest-standing companions ever. She has been absolutely brilliant in the role, but everyone agrees it is a part that should change after a period. It was very much a mutual decision. It’s important to keep the series moving and fast-paced, and the time is just starting to feel right and the feeling is that it could be a perfect Christmas storyline.”

Companion exits in the reboot era have almost always had some kind of tragic turn to them. Rose Tyler was sucked into the void universe. Donna Noble had her memory wiped out. Amy and Rory were zapped back in time by a weeping angel. Only Martha Jones left on her own terms, relatively speaking unscathed. To avoid a “downer” at Christmas, if in fact Coleman departs at Christmas, having Clara depart on her own terms might not be a bad idea.

Doctor Who returns on August 23 on BBC America at 8:00 ET/PT with the first episode of the next series “Deep Breath.”

Would you be sad to see Clara leave the show?

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