‘Doctor Who': Jenna-Louise Coleman on Being the New Companion, the Christmas Special, & What’s the Deal with Oswin?
In about a month we’ll all be settling in around our televisions after a long day of festivities, food, and family to watch the Doctor Who Christmas special. There’s no denying it’s become tradition for plenty of people on either side of the pond. And something extra special about this year’s Christmas special is its introduction of The Doctor’s new companion, Clara played by Jenna-Louise Coleman. Or is it her second introduction after a brief stint as a now-deceased-Dalek by the name of Oswin Oswald? That’s one of the many mysteries Coleman teased in her first interview with the American press.
Talking with Entertainment Weekly, Coleman discussed the usual trial of filling the shoes of The Doctor’s last companions – the much beloved Ponds – as well the Oswin/Clara conundrum. The whole interview is available at EW, but here are a few particular snippets I wanted to pull out.
Amy and Rory were so beloved. Has it been daunting to fill their shoes?
It’s strange, actually. I watched the five episodes that went out recently as we were filming. It was strange to watch their goodbye as I was doing the beginning — and interesting to see where it left the Doctor as well. There’s no way to consider it other than something totally different. You fill somebody else’s shoes by trying to do the same thing — and I don’t think that’s a healthy way to look at it. It’s a whole new story, it’s a whole new character. It changes the Doctor and you’ve got to go on that journey and also go on your own journey with it, as well.
I’m sure she’ll be fine. Every companion’s role in their first episode is to not only differentiate themselves from the former companions, but prove why they’re worthy to be traveling with The Doctor. If Clara is anything like Oswin, she’ll be perfect. And speaking of Oswin, Coleman reveals to EW that is wasn’t intentionally planned for her to be Oswin, but rather it was a part of Steven Moffat‘s impromptu, mad genius,
It’s interesting actually — I think I can tell you this — that that was never the initial plan either, to have me be Oswin. That was part of a genius plan that Steven came up with half way through the audition process. That was already written but not written for what was to be the new companion. I was auditioning for the companion and then I got all these sides and I was like, “Who’s Oswin? They clearly don’t know what they want, they obviously don’t know what they’re looking for. They just want people to show them different things and see.” This is what I assumed when I was auditioning, not realizing that it’s basically Steven’s mad genius again.
That is interesting. But I’m still confused, is there any connection between the girl with the souffle and Coleman’s companion, Clara?
So, you played an ultimately deceased Dalek on that show and now you are about to debut (again!) on the special Christmas show as the Doctor’s assistant. All of which obviously raises about a thousand questions. Is this a subject that is going to be addressed in the Christmas episode?
Uh… mmm… no. We’re going to have what has been referred to as a “soft mystery.” For me, filming, I’ve been totally oblivious to Oswin and the “Asylum of the Daleks.” I really have had to erase it from my memory. Yeah, Christmas is it’s own episode.
Oswin was a Dalek. Can you tell us whether your companion is human? Not all of the Doctor’s companions have been.
That’s why it’s so difficult [to talk about it]. Because of the way it started with Oswin, it’s really difficult to say much: where she’s from, what period she’s from, what planet she’s from, even.
It’s not often an actor can’t even reveal what planet their character is from.
Exactly, yeah. I know. Doctor Who’s the worst for it, isn’t it?
Gah! Why must they be so secretive!?! Chances are this is going to turn into a whole a lot of nothing with there being no connection, whatsoever between Oswin and Clara. But then why do they keep teasing us? Y’know, like Matt Smith and Coleman did in their intro for the Christmas special trailer,
The Doctor Who Christmas special, “The Snowmen,” airs December 25, 2012 on BBC America, BBC ONE, and SPACE.
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