Steven Moffat Announces New Companion And Information On Upcoming Season Of Doctor Who

Steven Moffat revealed a lot of information about the upcoming season of Doctor Who, including the announcement that Jenna-Louise Coleman will become the next companion. I provided some information about Coleman earlier today, just after the announcement. It was also announced that there will be five episodes with Amy and Rory in the fall of 2012, including one with Daleks. Amy and Rory will leave the series in a final encounter with the Weeping Angels in episode 5. From the report that not everyone gets out alive, along with Karen Gillan’s previous statements that she would like her exit to be final, I suspect this means the death of Amy, and possibly Rory. It is also conceivable that Amy might decide to leave the TARDIS following yet another, and this time permanent, death for Rory.

Jenna-Louise Coleman will first appear in the Christmas 2012 episode and begins filming in May. Eight episodes will subsequently air in the spring of 2013 to complete the season, with additional episodes later in the 50th anniversary season.

In describing the choice of Jenna-Louise Coleman to become the next companion, Steven Moffat replied to a question on what he could tell by saying, “It’s not the usual kind of story, it’s a very, very different way for the Doctor to meet his new friend, so absolutely nothing. Not even the name.” It is rumored that her character will not be from earth.

In the press release announcing the choice (full text below), Moffat also had this to say:

“It always seems impossible when you start casting these parts, but when we saw Matt and Jenna together, we knew we had our girl. She’s funny and clever and exactly mad enough to step on board the TARDIS.

“It’s not often the Doctor meets someone who can talk even faster than he does, but it’s about to happen. Jenna is going to lead him his merriest dance yet. And that’s all you’re getting for now. Who she’s playing, how the Doctor meets her, and even where he finds her, are all part of one of the biggest mysteries the Time Lord ever encounters. Even by the Doctor’s standards, this isn’t your usual boy meets girl.”

Matt Smith is signed with the show through 2013, with no decision made as to when he will leave the show. Moffat also said that the departure of Amy Pond does not necessarily mean the end for River Song.

Above is a the video of a BBC interview with Jenna-Louise Coleman following announcement that she will be joining cast of Doctor Who.

Following is a transcript of a press conference with Steven Moffat and Jenna-Louise Coleman from earlier today:

Steven Moffat (showrunner), what can you tell us about the character?
Moffat: “Absolutely nothing – you’re going to have to wait and see! It’s not the usual kind of story, it’s a very, very different way for the Doctor to meet his new friend, so [I can tell you] absolutely nothing. Not even the name.”

Jenna, how do you feel about being cast?
Coleman: “Beyond excited. Very excited – I want to get started already.”

When do you start shooting?
Coleman: “I believe it’s May time, [for] the Christmas special.”
Moffat: “That’ll be her first episode.”

Are you a fan of the show and do you have a favorite companion from the past?
Coleman: “I’m a huge fan of the show. It’s actually literally my grandma’s favorite show, so she is the most excited person in the world! I think my favorite companion is probably… it’s between Billie Piper and Karen Gillan, I think.

“I’ve got a lot of memories from the Billie Piper era, and obviously I’ve been watching quite a lot of the show recently as well.”

And aside from Matt, who’s your favorite Doctor?
“It’s probably David Tennant, because it’s the David Tennant and Billie Piper era that I remember the best. But it has to be Matt, of course!”


How did you win the companion role?

Coleman: “I first went in before Christmas for a meeting with casting director Andy Pryor and then got called back for another meeting with Matt [Smith]. I just had an enormous amount of fun in the room, played around with loads of different ideas, got loads of things thrown at me – it was great.

“Matt was in the audition with me and he made me feel like we were both in it together, which was lovely. And I just left the room on a massive high, with a feeling of, ‘This would be great to do day-in, day-out, on set, together with Matt’.

“It just felt very spontaneous and fun, and you didn’t know where it was going to go next, and we were both playing around. [Then] I went back in for another meeting after and I was excited to get back into the audition – I’ve never been so excited to go to an audition before!

“[The script] was called ‘Men on Waves’ and I knew Karen Gillan said hers was an anagram [of companion] ‘Panic Moon’ so I spent ages trying to figure it out, and I found out this morning that the anagram was ‘Woman Seven’.”

Where were you when you got the call?
Coleman: “I was in Marks and Spencer’s, holding an avocado. I was debating what goes best in a salmon salad, and then I got a phone call from my agent and I was like, ‘I can’t carry on shopping now…’

“So I put my basket down and left Marks and Spencer’s, but I couldn’t tell anyone! So I just went for a bit of a walk and tried to digest [the news] – it’s been quite surreal.”

Steven, why did you decide to cast Jenna?
Moffat: “We did see a lot of brilliant actresses, because Andy Pryor is a brilliant casting director. There was a moment I remember, I think it was the second time she came in. She and Matt were together and they both looked frightened, doing a Doctor Who scene, it was brilliant.

“And then the fact that – which we’re going to play a lot with – I think she’s possibly the only person I’ve ever heard go faster than Matt. It was the first time we were going, ‘My God, Matt’s trying to keep up!’ – it came to life as a partnership. We were so excited.”

Jenna, which monster are you most looking forward to meeting?
Coleman: “I think it’s got to be the Daleks, but then I don’t know what’s going to happen, so I don’t know who I’m going to meet or who I’m going to be up against. It’s a mystery to me.”

Are you prepared for the change in your life?
“I think so. I think it’s maybe something that will happen in stages. I feel like maybe I’ve had a little taste of it, but I’m just taking everything as it comes and being excited about the job. Doing a good job is my focus, really.”

Steven, was the character fully formed or did Jenna’s casting inform the character?
Moffat: “Well, it’s a bit of both. The scripts were written, but the way it kind of works is, it starts with you telling them who the character is, and when it works, they tell you who the character is.

“Just as a lot of the Eleventh Doctor is actually Matt, it’s down to him. You have to let it develop that way, so it’s both. It will develop and it will change.”

Were you always thinking that the new companion would be a young female?
Moffat: “You don’t think in those terms. You don’t think, ‘We now need to find a young girl’ – I had an idea for a story and, as I say, it is quite different… so I can’t really answer that without telling what’s coming, which obviously I would never do!”

Steven, can you tell us more about how many episodes we can expect and when they’ll be broadcast?
Moffat: “Yes, six of them will come out this year, including the Christmas special and then eight in the next year. Jenna will be appearing first of all in the Christmas special.

“It’s too early [to say much about that] and I might change my mind. But I’m writing it right now and it does have a notional title.”

And is eight episodes the full run for 2013?

Moffat: “Oh, there’ll be more episodes than just those eight, but these are the ones we’re making right now.”

Jenna, do you feel any pressure about taking on such a high-profile role?
Coleman: “I think, on the outside – and I try not to think of it from the outside – there’s a lot of interest surrounding the show, which is great.

“But what I feel comfortable with is the meetings I had with Matt and how much fun we had so again that’s what I’m focusing on and why I can’t wait to get on set, read all the scripts and just start doing my job! So I’m trying not to look at those pressures and just be excited about the job in itself.”

What’s it been like living with the secret?
Coleman: “I’m so relieved for today. My flatmates have had no idea, I’ve had so many text messages this morning! My flatmates thought I was going to be going off to do this other job, and it’s opened up this whole web of lies.

“I’ve realized that I’m actually quite a good liar, which is terrifying actually! A few members of my family knew, but it’s a huge relief today to be able to tell my flatmates!”

Have you received any advice from past Doctor Who stars?
Coleman: “No, I haven’t. But I am heading to Cardiff this week, so maybe I might bump into Karen at some point then. I’ve had a few conversations with Matt, who’s been amazing.

“He text me this morning as well, wishing me good luck and, ‘We’re gonna have the best time ever’, I think were his words! So he’s been very supportive and excited.”

Steven, can you reveal more about Amy and Rory’s exit?
Moffat: “Yeah. Amy and Rory will leave in the fifth episode that goes out, and it will be a final encounter with the Weeping Angels, and not everybody gets out alive – and I mean it this time!”

And with their departure, does that mean we’ve seen the last of River Song (Alex Kingston) too?
Moffat: “No, not necessarily.”

How long do you think Matt Smith will stay with the show?
Moffat: “Honestly we don’t know. We take it a year at a time and that’s the only sensible way you can go with it. It takes a huge amount of time, filming a series of Doctor Who and towards the end of that, you have to consider whether you’re going to push on to another one.

“So the honest answer is, we don’t know. We’ll keep him as long as we can, that’s the absolute truth. And he hasn’t made up his mind yet.”

Following is the text of the press release announcing the choice of Coleman:

Jenna-Louise Coleman has beaten hundreds of hopefuls to become the new companion to Doctor Who, it was announced today by Steven Moffat.

Twenty-five year old Jenna from Blackpool will star alongside the 11th Time Lord, Matt Smith, to mark the biggest year in the show’s history.

Best known for her roles in Emmerdale (Jasmine Thomas) and Waterloo Road (Lindsay James), Jenna will replace Karen Gillan when she and Arthur Darvill bow out of the show in a heartbreaking departure after one final series of rollercoaster voyages later this year on BBC One.

Jenna says: “I’m beyond excited, I can’t wait to get cracking; working alongside Matt I know is going to be enormous fun and a huge adventure.”

The Doctor will meet his new friend in a dramatic turn of events as the show builds towards its enormous, climactic 50th anniversary year – full of thrills, adventures and big surprises. Series seven is currently filming and comprises 14 big, blockbuster-movie episodes – each a brand new epic adventure featuring new monsters and some familiar foes as you’ve never seen them before.

Lead writer and Executive Producer, Steven Moffat, says: “It always seems impossible when you start casting these parts, but when we saw Matt and Jenna together, we knew we had our girl. She’s funny and clever and exactly mad enough to step on board the TARDIS.

“It’s not often the Doctor meets someone who can talk even faster than he does, but it’s about to happen. Jenna is going to lead him his merriest dance yet. And that’s all you’re getting for now. Who she’s playing, how the Doctor meets her, and even where he finds her, are all part of one of the biggest mysteries the Time Lord ever encounters. Even by the Doctor’s standards, this isn’t your usual boy meets girl.”

Danny Cohen, Controller, BBC One, adds “As we approach Doctor Who’s 50th anniversary it’s great to welcome a new companion to the TARDIS. I feel confident the Doctor will look after her in his own very unique style.”

In 2011 Jenna made her big screen debut in Captain America: The First Avenger and is soon to star as Annie Desmond in ITV1’s Titanic. She has just finished filming on Stephen Poliakoff’s Dancing On The Edge for BBC Two.

Doctor Who is a BBC Cymru Wales Production for BBC One.

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