Steven Moffat has confirmed our suspicions that Jenna Coleman was originally set to be written out at the end of Series 8.
“I originally wrote her out in Death in Heaven,” Moffat told Doctor Who Magazine. “That was her last episode. And then she asked me if she could be in Christmas. So I said, ‘OK, I’ll write you out in Christmas’. She came to the read through and did the ‘write out’ version – and again changed her mind.”
“But the truth is I never wanted her to go,” he added. “I didn’t really want Death in Heaven to be her last episode. And with Last Christmas, I’d already written the alternative version where she stayed, and I preferred that version. Frankly, I didn’t want to lose her. She’s an amazing actress, and she never stops working to make Clara better. I was very happy to go the extra mile to make sure we could keep her.”
Jenna Coleman confirmed she is staying on for all of Series 9 after Last Christmas, saying “There is so much more to do. I think they’ve finally just reached a point where they really understand each other.”
“The arrival of the 12th Doctor has just kind of dropped this whole bombshell and allowed the dynamic to totally change, so I think just when Clara was feeling more comfortable in the relationship, it has suddenly thrown something new up.”
Hopefully we’re back to business next series after all the “to-ing and fro-ing” Moffat described, and some excruciating turns for Clara’s character last season.