9 Potential 'Doctor Who' Companions to Replace Clara Oswald
Jenna Coleman, who plays companion Clara Oswald on Doctor Who, confirmed today that she is leaving the show. “I have left the TARDIS. It’s happened. I’ve filmed my last scenes,” she told BBC Radio 1. With three seasons under her belt, Coleman was the series’ longest-running companion and the second (after Billie Piper’s Rose) to stick with two Doctors.
Of course, a companion leaving the TARDIS is as common as the Time Lord own changing actors regenerating every few seasons. So who'll be next? Here, a list of possible candidates who should fill Clara Oswald’s shoes.
Someone From the Family Tree
With a time-traveling wife and a space-hopping daughter (albeit one created from the Progenation Machine, which takes DNA to form a fully-grown adult), the Doctor has no shortage of options from his own family:
As the Doctor's wife, the daughter of former companions Amy and Rory Pond and a time traveler herself, it would be interesting to see River spend time with her husband. With River returning this season to meet this latest Doctor incarnation for the first time, she should set down roots in the TARDIS. Not only is she quite familiar with the Time Lord and the kind of man he is, but she’s able to hold his own against him, which is no easy feat with the Doctor’s bigger not-just-on-the-inside personality.
The last time we saw Jenny, she had come back to life and gone off in a spaceship to have her own adventures. Even though she can "regenerate" as herself, little is known whether Jenny has the time-traveling capabilities as her biological dad (the Tenth Doctor, played by David Tennant). So it may be time to reunite with the latest version of her dad to explore a father-daughter dynamic. Better yet, it'd be interesting to see the Doctor travel with both his wife and his daughter for a big family reunion. (Fun fact: Georgia Moffat is Tennant's wife and the daughter of Peter Davison, who played the Fifth Doctor. Which means that if she returned to the Whoverse, meta minds would melt.)
Someone Back From the Dead
Many companion candidates have come and gone, but some stay a beat longer in our hearts and minds. In particular:
Everyone’s favorite UNIT scientist may have met her demise at the hands of Missy last year, but Steven Moffat confirmed that Osgood will be returning in Season 9. This would make her the ideal companion; she’s not just his biggest fan, but she’s also a highly-intelligent scientist—both qualities that would make for an enthusiastic and curious companion. (Plus, Osgood is just four letters away from Oswald.)
Should Osgood remain dead, another possibility would be bringing back actress Amara Khan. Her character, Rita, was actually a devout Muslim who was offered the role of companion in the Season 7 episode, “The God Complex,” before she died. Whether she's somehow resurrected as Rita (which would lend some companion diversity not seen since Season 3's Martha Jones, played by Freema Agyeman) or not, Doctor Who has a long history of recycling its actors for new parts In fact, Agyeman, Karen Gillan (who played Amy Pond) and even the current Doctor himself guest starred on the show before taking on their iconic roles.
Someone Beyond Earth
Twelve isn’t as enthusiastic about humans as his previous selves, so it may be time to travel with a citizen from another planet (and/or time period). One off-planet companion in particular could be a good candidate:
The Master and the Doctor? If the two can ever get past being archenemies and not destroy each other, sign us up for this odd-couple adventure. As two Time Lords from Gallifrey, they can reminisce about their planet. But it’s hard to say whether the latest regeneration of The Master (as a female, no less) can be redeemed, but if she can be, the pair would make for an interesting dynamic.
Someone From the (Near) Future
The Doctor might not have to stick with present-day Britain for his companion search. Even though he's not know for traveling with children, he could fast-forward to the future to meet slightly more grown-up versions of kids he has met:
Courtney—one of Clara’s former students in Season 8 could be a sassy candidate. A few more adventures with the Doctor might be just the thing the future President of the United States needs before she takes on a powerful position.
Alfie (aka Stormageddon, Dark Lord of All) was just a baby when he met the Eleventh Doctor (Matt Smith), but given that his cry helped stop a Cybermen attack, he's already prepped for saving the world. The Twelth Doctor could travel to a point in time when Alfie's older, which is a perfect way of life coming full-circle, as the Eleventh also helped Alfie’s parents, Craig and Sophie, get together.
Someone a Little...Older
In general, the Doctor’s companions tend to skew younger (and be more female), with the exception of temporary companions like Donna’s grandfather, Wilfred (Bernard Cribbins), or even Rory’s father, Brian (Harry Potter's Mark Williams). So an older (and maybe male) companion might provide a welcome change of pace for the show, while giving Twelve the friend he needs to move on from Clara’s departure. After all, the Doctor himself has a more mature outlook, so it might be nice to have someone who relates to him on a different level.
Someone From the LGBTQ Community
Perhaps it’s time Doctor Who added another significant LGBTQ character to its list. Some candidates from the existing canon might be con man Jack Harkness (played by John Barrowman, who also starred in the Doctor Who spin-off, Torchwood); FBI agent Eric Cantor (either the older or younger version, both played by real-life father and son, William Morgan Sheppard and Mark Sheppard, respectively); or the Victorian married couple of Madame Vastra (Neve McIntosh), who's also a Silurian, and Jenny Flint (Catrin Stewart).
Doctor Who premieres on September 19 at 9/8c on BBC America.