The U.K. tabloid The Mirror is reporting that a source inside the Doctor Who production says that Jenna-Louise Coleman, who plays current companion Clara Oswald, will depart the show with this year’s Christmas episode. “The conversations about Jenna’s exit have started, and a plan is in place which is being ironed out,” according to the source.
Keep in mind this is only being reported by The Mirror, so I’d treat it as a moderate rumor right now. But despite the love shown for Coleman, we would not be surprised if it is true. Jenna will have officially been on the show for nearly two full series, plus the special episodes bridging Matt Smith to Peter Capaldi, which gives here a fair amount of time on the show. But it is rare for a companion to span much beyond a Doctor’s regeneration – notable exceptions were Billy Piper’s Rose, who did two full series (and some guest episodes) between Christopher Eccleston and David Tennant, and of course Elisabeth Sladen’s Sarah Jane Smith, who worked several series between Jon Pertwee and Tom Baker.
What does cast some doubt is the source saying, “By the time she leaves she will be one of the longest-standing companions ever.” That really isn’t true by any measure I can think of, considering the leader of the current run of the series is Karan Gillan with two and a half series, plus Sladen and some other companions in the classic series lasted longer.
Now, if you want to debate cutest companions, I agree she’s near the top of the list…