It’s official — Clara Oswald has left the building
The BBC has confirmed that Jenna Coleman is leaving Doctor Who during Series 9, which kicks off tomorrow, Saturday 19 September. And Jenna told Radio 1’s Nick Grimshaw, “I’ve filmed my last scene.”
Her exit details haven’t officially been released so the rumour mill’s gone into overdrive. The Mirror reports that Jenna will be gone before the Christmas Special.
ITV has confirmed that Jenna has jumped ship to play the Queen Vic in their major new drama series, Victoria. The ambitious eight-parter comes from the production team behind Poldark and Endeavour, and it marks novelist Daisy Goodwin’s screenwriting debut.
Jenna Coleman made her Doctor Who debut back in 2012 as Oswin “Eggs, Stir” Oswald in Asylum of the Daleks. She’s since been in all of Peter Capaldi’s episodes to date and after filming for the last series finished he said, “Jenna has been absolutely brilliant. I think she’s wonderful in the show, and she’s my favourite companion.”
Peter Capaldi takes on the Cybermen in Doctor Who Series/Season 8
Panic not, shoppers of Cardiff: you’re not being invaded by cyborgs from another planet. Just a lot of Scots people and a camera crew. As this excellent photo gallery from Wales Online shows, Series/Season 8 of Doctor Who will see the new Doctor surrounded by his ancient foes, the Cybermen.
Although the Doctor’s companion Clara Oswald (Jenna Coleman) is reportedly absent, the Doctor does have the assistance of plucky U.N.I.T. boffin Kate Lethbridge-Stewart (Jemma Redgrave) and the Gatekeeper of the Nethersphere (Green Wing and Bad Education star Michelle Gomez, pictured).
The Cybermen first had children leaping behind the sofa in 1966 and have been through several changes of image and voice since then. Modern Cybermen are considerably bigger, buffer and more intimidating than their somewhat squishy progenitors. Sadly, due to the untimely demise of Head Cyborg Roger Lloyd-Pack these Cybermen will doubtless be in search of a new voice, but there’s been no word yet on who will provide it.
Check out the BBC’s new oh-so-short teaser trailer for Doctor Who Series/Season 8 below. Excited much?
Why Tom Ellis? He’s known (but not too well-known) to US audiences from his guest spots on Once Upon A Time, and his stint in short-lived BBC supernatural drama The Fades showed that he’s adept at playing roles other than eye candy. Diving into US pilot territory showed that he’s ambitious and keen to move out of Miranda‘s shadow. Plus, he’s Welsh so will obviously love filming back in Cardiff!
“I’m looking forward to this with the mixture of mad anticipation and stark fear that is the only rational response to developing your own work for television,” said Aaronovitch. “[We] will be looking to put something on TV that will blow the audiences’ socks off out through their ears.”
With television vet Aaronovitch (Doctor Who, Casualty) behind the wheel, all should be well provided they get the casting right. Who could, who should play Peter Grant et al.?
For a while Aaronovitch maintained a collaborative fantasy casting wishlist on his blog made up of suggestions from readers. “I keep getting asked who I think should play the characters in the Rivers books and mind always goes blank. So I did what I always do when faced with an empty brain. I went on Twitter and asked other people. The result got out of hand so I decided to turn it into a page.”
Let’s join in the fun and add the TVClaw crowd’s choices to the Rivers of London fantasy cast.
As usual let’s speculate wildly, try not to cry when remembering that Patrick Malahide and Nigel Havers — both of whom would have been perfect 10 years ago — are too old to play Nightingale, ignore actors’ pre-existing work commitments, and compile our own dream cast for Rivers of London. Add your picks in Comments.
The TVClaw Rivers of London Casting Wishlist (Updated, 31/10/14)
P.C. Peter Grant: after much back and forth we’re going for Ukweli Roach over previous pick Alex Lanipekun (he is a little bit long in the tooth to play Peter). Check out Ukweli’s Twitter profile: he describes himself as ‘wizard’. Oooooh. Errrrr. Stay tuned for updates!
D.C.I. Thomas Nightingale:Paul McGann does have the perfect combination of eccentricity and intensity (and would have been the best Doctor Who ever if he’d been given a proper crack at it), but was initially barred from the Casting Wishlist on grounds of height. However, with some Folly magic that could be overcome. And yes, Tom Hiddleston would also be great in the role, and there’s an outside chance the Wallander alum would return to television à la his Thor co-star Elba. However, don’t discount the power of the vastly underrated Darren Boyd. That said, the popular vote goes to Ioan Gruffud. With his latest foray, Forever, wobbling a bit in the US television ratings right now it’s possible he could be available in the near future.
Molly:Talulah Riley in a black wig would still make for an interesting Molly. Yes, of course Helena Bonham-Carter would be hilarious and terrifying and perfect as Molly, but could she be tempted to the small screen for more than a one-off? However, the TVClaw popular opinion is that either HBC or Shirley Henderson would be a far better fit for the part than Riley.
As the rumour mill goes into overdrive and Doctor Who casting director Andy Pryor digs in for a deluge of unwanted advice on Twitter, who does the TVClaw crowd think would be a good replacement?
In an unexpected twist, John Hurt popped up as ‘The Doctor’ at the end of the Series/Season 7 Finale. Will it be his face morphing into Matt Smith’s?
Up until now, the Doctor Who powers that be have shied away from hiring big names to play The Doctor, and the role will more than likely go to a thirty-something British character actor.
However, with a new executive producer on-board and the show’s continuing success stateside, it’s possible that BBC America and BBC Worldwide will pile on the pressure to cast a big name. And/or an American actor? (Calm down, Ben Browder fans, it won’t be him. Or will it? He does have his own sonic screwdriver after all.)
All grown-up now from the Harry Potter moppet he used to be, Grint would be a popular choice on both sides of the Atlantic, but has he got the charisma to carry off the role? (Plus, it’s not like he needs the money.) A better fit from the Potter franchise would be Neville Longbottom, a.k.a. Matthew Lewis.
In the absence of hard news let’s speculate wildly, try not to cry when remembering how awesome David Tennant was, and compile our own wishlist (in order of preference) for who we’d like to see as The Twelfth Doctor. Add your picks in Comments.
The TVClaw Doctor Who Casting Wishlist
Eddie Izzard: The Doctor in nail varnish! What’s not to love? This is the perfect role for the future Mayor of London.
Idris Elba: okay, so Elba is still the TVClaw first choice to be the new Roj Blake. However, after chatting about this on Twitter with ace novelist and former Doctor Who writer Ben Aaronovitch, we agree that playing The Doctor would allow Elba to display the whimsy that often underpins his performances.
James Callis: the natural successor to the irascible, frightening, comical, utterly bonkers Doctors of the 1960s and 1970s. Callis effortlessly combines humour and eccentricity with an undertone of menace.
Jack Davenport: Elba’s erstwhile Ultraviolet co-star has time on his hands now that Smash has finally been put out of its misery cancelled. He’s a big name on both sides of the Atlantic and is not averse to committing to a heavy TV workload. Plus, he’s worked with Steven Moffat before, on Coupling.
Minnie Driver: in the unlikely event that the Twelfth Doctor was to be a woman, then this is the woman we want to see playing her. She’d be a funny, kick-ass kind of Doctor.
Tom Hiddleston: it’s unlikely that he’d give up his burgeoning movie career to revisit TV, but he’d be a good fit for the role in a Hartnell-esque way.
John Hurt: if Moffat et al. are moving towards The Doctor ending his life cycle, then it makes sense to have an older actor play him. Hurt’s certainly got the acting chops, and would be a great contrast to Smith’s youth, but would an old Doctor put off newly acquired viewers?
Harrison Ford: he wouldn’t do it of course, but wouldn’t he be totes amazeballs as The Doctor?