Why Jenna Coleman should leave Doctor Who by Cian Morey Dec19


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Why Jenna Coleman should leave Doctor Who by Cian Morey

Doctor Who’s eighth series has come and gone and it was one of the better ones. In fact, it was quite excellent, compared to Steven Moffat’s series 6 in particular. There were a lot of good episodes, a lot of good monsters, and, most importantly, a lot of good acting, specifically from Jenna Coleman.

Those who are familiar with Doctor Who will know that Jenna Coleman’s character Clara Oswin Oswald was introduced to us as a plot device. She wasn’t really a companion; she was mostly a mystery to be solved. And she stayed that way for all of her first series without getting a lot of character development or a lot of opportunity to show off her talents. She was rather forgettable and I wanted her gone.

Then series eight happened, and I realised that Jenna Coleman could actually act. Which was nice.

The series opener, “Deep Breath,” gave us a pleasant hint of what was to come as did “Into the Dalek” and “Robots of Sherwood.” In “Listen” she improved. In “The Caretaker” she improved again. In “Kill the Moon” she became one of my favourite companions.

Now I want to make it perfectly clear that I strongly disliked most of that episode due to its large assortment of scientific errors and gaping plot holes. However the last five minutes – when Clara stormed out of the TARDIS – were spectacular. Jenna Coleman delivered some of the best acting on Doctor Who since its reboot in 2005. Peter Capaldi, the new Doctor, a favourite actor of mine, had been outshone.

Jenna Coleman stole the show, in that episode and in many of the following episodes, and that was fine. I’m happy that she has had such a wonderful opportunity to showcase her marvellous talent, and she made some bad episodes (“Kill the Moon”) a lot better. They even put her face in the title sequence and billed her above Capaldi. This was her series.
And now it’s finished so she should be finished too.

Clara and the Doctor officially (or so it seemed) parted ways at the end of the series finale in what was one of the best companion departure scenes. It brought a tear to many an eye. It all worked splendidly.

Now she’s back for Christmas and possibly some of the next series. What a waste of time. It is now as though that perfect ending to the series finale (which was by far one of its best moments) never happened. And they’ve done that sort of thing already – with Clara and the Doctor suddenly best buddies again in “Mummy on the Orient Express” a week after the aforementioned “Kill the Moon” moment – and once is bad enough. Twice is appalling. Whenever she does leave they won’t be able to top that departure scene from the end of series eight. It’s just too good.

Secondly, Peter Capaldi never had as much of a chance as Jenna Coleman to shine in this series. And Jenna Coleman had already been on the show for half a series. This was Capaldi’s first ever set of episodes as the Doctor, and a lot of the time he wasn’t the centre of attention.

I can accept one Coleman-centric series (she deserved it) but I think one and a half is too much. She’s had her chance, and she certainly made the most of it, but now it’s Capaldi’s turn. From seeing Capaldi in other shows, I know that he is an excellent actor and has the potential to be one of the best Doctors, but this series hasn’t allowed him to fulfil that potential. The next series should – but I’m pretty sure that if Jenna Coleman stays around, it won’t.

Finally, Coleman’s staying on the show just doesn’t suit her character. In the finale – and here be spoilers – Clara’s boyfriend Danny Pink died. Three times. In two episodes. I’m almost certain that nobody who has had their life so completely destroyed like that would be willing to continue roaming the wonders of time and space like nothing had happened, at least not until a lot of recovery time has passed.

In series eight, Clara’s story seemed to come to its perfect, natural conclusion, with everything wrapped up neatly. Now it all seems to be unravelling again.
Not very smart, Mr Moffat. Not very smart at all.