Start shooting Dr Who Xmas Special tomorrow. Will surface again in four weeks. Fingers crossed all goes according to plan…
— paul wilmshurst (@PootleFly) September 7, 2014
Director Paul Wilmshurst confirmed that filming is underway for the Doctor Who Christmas special in Cardiff, amidst speculation that the final episode for the year may be Jenna Coleman’s swan song.
The Mirror reported that Jenna was exiting the show after the Christmas Special this year a few weeks back, but as it’s an unreliable source and the BBC has refused to confirm or deny it, then Clara’s future on the show remains a mystery. Alex Jones of The One Show was interviewing Peter Capaldi when he dropped the question, catching Peter off guard. “Well I’m not looking for a new assistant,” he answered, adding cryptically “… I’ve read that she may be leaving at Christmas but I don’t even know if she’ll get to Christmas… You’ve got to just watch and wait and see.
Meanwhile Jenna has discussed the rumours with Radio Times:
“There’s lots of rumours,” she said. “We’ve sat down with Steven Moffat and we’ve all decided we don’t want anyone to know which way it’s going.”
“If you know I’m in the next series – or if you know I’m off – you’ll know how the story ends…Because there’s a surprise we’ve got coming, it’s much better that nobody knows which way it’s going to go – so that’s where we’re trying to keep it at the moment.”
We should expect the cast and crew to remain guarded on the matter. Probably more telling were Jenna’s BBC interview last month for the Doctor Who Blog where she discussed the strain that keeping the Doctor from her new beau Danny Pink is placing on Clara. “She tries to hide it from him whilst at the same time falling in love. She becomes very torn between the two. It’s almost as if she’s having an affair, without having an affair, but the lying becomes more and more. Basically she’s trying to manage the two, and have these two men in her life. It becomes quite a hurtful thing and quite a hard thing for her because she’s totally torn between the two, and trying to have both at once without being able to do it successfully.”
When Clara’s family were introduced last season in The Time of the Doctor, Clara begged the Doctor to pretend he was her boyfriend during Christmas dinner. In Deep Breath she also muttered that she didn’t have a boyfriend to the Doctor. I suspect the introduction of Danny Pink may be the catalyst for Clara deciding to leave her adventures in time and space for the sake of having a relationship. Samuel Anderson has said he is not going to be playing a companion. And we’re expecting some sort of clash, or at least uncomfortable meeting, between Danny and the Doctor at some point. Could Clara Oswald be dreaming of finally settling down to a mundane suburban life married to another teacher?