Longtime Doctor Who actress Jenna Coleman will leave the show after season 9 for a more regal role, U.K. newspapers are reporting.
Coleman first appeared as the Doctor’s latest companion Clara Oswald in season 7, continuing on after Matt Smith left the show and Peter Capaldi arrived as the Twelfth Doctor. She originally planned to leave after season 8 but decided to stay on to resolve the relationship between Clara and the Doctor.
With season 9 due to premiere this weekend, the Mirror and the Telegraph are now reporting that Coleman is leaving to star in a high-profile TV drama about Queen Victoria. While the news hasn’t been officially confirmed by the Doctor Who team, an article on the BBC website says that “it is understood that Coleman has already filmed her final scenes for Doctor Who.”
In a recent interview, Coleman hinted at the cyclical nature of the show’s cast, saying, “You’re in Doctor Who knowing it will never last. It’s constantly regenerating, so you want to make your time count and enjoy the adventure for the fleeting time you’re here.”
We could very well be seeing a new companion join the cast as early as this year’s Christmas special.
Update 6:45am CT, Sept. 18: Coleman has confirmed this news.
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