It’s official: The upcoming season of Doctor Who will be Jenna Coleman’s last.
Earlier this week, reports surfaced claiming that the actress would be leaving Who in order to play the titular role in the upcoming eight-part ITV drama Victoria. (As in, Queen.) ITV confirmed the casting news to the BBC on Friday, and Coleman herself confirmed her exit on BBC Radio 1 the same morning.
“I have left the TARDIS,” Coleman told host Nick Grimshaw. “It’s happened. I filmed my last scene.”
Having made her first appearance on the long-running BBC series in 2012, Coleman said that her final days on set were “emotional,” but that her exit had “been in the works for a very long time.” She and creator Steven Moffat sat down “a year and a half ago and tried to work out the best place to do it and the best place to tell a really good story, so, hopefully that’s what we’ve done. I think it’s really, really cool,” Coleman teased.
Of course, she was tight-lipped on any further details, but she did promise that her exit would be organically written into the story.
“There’s not a lot of jobs where you can go to work and have a spaceship and an alien as your best mate and also run away from monsters,” she joked of her decision to leave. “It’s been so much fun. … I love it. It’s such a unique beast.”
With her last scenes in the can, Coleman’s departure has not quite settled in: “I think I’m in denial,” she said. “I really don’t feel like I’ve left. I think because I see Peter [Capaldi, who plays Twelve] and I still see Matt [Smith, who played Eleven] all the time, I kind of believe I still have a key to the TARDIS … which I might do, ’cause I stole it. I stole loads.”
Season 9 of Doctor Who premieres Saturday at 9 p.m ET on BBC America.
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