Jenna Coleman

Herald Sun - Switched On - - ON THE COUCH - COLIN VICK­ERY TV WRITER

Jenna Coleman is a master at han­dling change. When she signed on to play Clara Oswald in Doc­tor Who in 2012, Matt Smith played the ti­tle char­ac­ter.

Within the year, Smith had left the sci-fi se­ries and been re­placed by Peter Ca­paldi.

There is more change ahead with ex­ec­u­tive pro­ducer Steven Mof­fat promis­ing to make se­ries 9 “un­pre­dictable”, and Coleman an­nounc­ing last week that she is leav­ing the se­ries to play Queen Vic­to­ria in new drama se­ries Vic­to­ria.

What can fans ex­pect in Se­ries 9 of Doc­tor Who? It is dif­fer­ent in tone to the last (se­ries). The Doc­tor and Clara are in a place where they know each other again. There is none of that ‘you have a new face’ re­gen­er­a­tion thing. It al­lows us to go on ad­ven­tures and be best friends and travel through time and space to­gether. Ev­ery­thing feels sim­pler. But that can’t last for­ever. As they get reck­less, it gets more dan­ger­ous.

How hard was it for you to adapt to the change from Matt Smith to Peter Ca­paldi? It wasn’t hard (but) it was quite a unique ex­pe­ri­ence. Not many show will change their lead ac­tor mid-scene. It was a mix­ture of emo­tions. I was so emo­tional to be say­ing good­bye to Matt. We had a great time to­gether. I was also aware the show moves on and I was so ex­cited to start with Peter — to see what he does and be by his side as he cre­ates his Doc­tor. There is not a day goes by that Peter doesn’t make me laugh. I’m so lucky. We’re proper bud­dies. We get on re­ally well.

How has Clara changed since you first took on the role? She’s grown up. I think she is more in­de­pen­dent. She’s got a cer­tain strength. She’s is the queen of multi-task­ing. She goes and teaches English and maths and then pops into the Tardis and fights aliens.

Clara is a hero­ine of sorts. What has been the feed­back from fe­male view­ers? I have been re­ally amazed by the num­ber of teenage girls. I as­sumed the fan base would be more boys. I meet so many girls who love Clara — es­pe­cially from the ages of seven to 15.

The death of Clara’s boyfriend Danny Pink last sea­son was very emo­tional. How has it af­fected Clara? Clara’s per­spec­tive on life and what she wants has changed. She was split last year be­tween earth life and Tardis life and she tried to have both and failed. Once some­body has gone through that loss … she no longer fears her mor­tal­ity. Life is short and she wants to ex­pe­ri­ence it all and be with the Doc­tor.

Michelle Gomez is back as arch-en­emy Missy. What is it like work­ing with her? Michelle is mag­netic to watch. When you’re work­ing with her, you’re drawn in by her be­cause she’s funny and you like her but you’ve got to re­mind your­self ‘oh no, you’re the bad one’.

Steven Mof­fat says he wants Doc­tor Who to be un­pre­dictable. How chal­leng­ing is that for you? When I started, Steven’s ad­vice was ‘stand there and face what’s com­ing at you’. I learnt to be to­tally present and re­act to what’s hap­pen­ing around me and not worry about the rest. It has def­i­nitely taught me a new way of work­ing. It is pretty phys­i­cal. You’re al­ways run­ning from some­thing or to­wards some­thing.

DR WHO, ABC, SUN­DAY, 7.40PM

Jenna Coleman

has been sur­prised that so many of her

fans are teenage girls.

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