Doctor Who has been a hell of a ride in recent years. Peter Capaldi brought a new level of drama to the show, and season 8 really pulled out all the stops giving us excitement and heartbreak in equal turns. Doctor Who's season 9 is set to continue this tradition: with the latest trailers promising Missy's return, intriguing guest stars, and plenty of wacky aliens and strange new worlds, we're sure season 9 is going to be the show's best series yet!
If you haven't already, check out the latest trailer, then join us as we consider the possibility that this may be Clara's last season, and why Maisie Williams is set to be the next companion!
Farewell To Clara
Fans of Jenna Coleman were delighted when she was finally confirmed to continue her role in season 9. After her strained goodbye to the Doctor last season, Clara's future on the show was uncertain, and her return only raises more questions. Jenna Coleman shared some of her thoughts on the relationship between the Doctor and Clara in season 9.
“They're a bit addicted to each other, and to the dynamic they share. In a way, it’s actually quite dangerous now, because she realises there is no going back for her.”
It's easy to understand why Clara would abandon her real world life and join the Doctor for a life of adventure again: after Danny's tragic death in last season's finale, there's not much to hold Clara back. But as season 8 saw a much darker side to Clara, we're left wondering just how healthy this life is for her, and how long it can last.
Coleman herself has put Clara's future into doubt: originally planning to leave the show at the end of season 8, she decided to return as she felt the relationship between Clara and the Doctor was "unresolved", and she didn't want to leave now they "finally understand each other".
But Coleman is clearly not going to stay forever: she has an exciting career ahead of her and it's unlikely she'll stay on for more than season 9. So who could replace her? Most people have been suggesting Maisie Williams will be the next companion. The Game of Thrones star is only set to appear in two episodes in season 9, but there have been many hints that, if everything goes as planned, she'll be back for many episodes after that. But who is Williams' character? And how does the Doctor know her?
A Familiar Face
With Maisie Williams' dramatic reveal in the Doctor Who trailers, and tantalising hints from the writers, Williams' character is definitely going to shake things up in a big way.
Maisie Williams is certainly not going to make life easy for the Doctor, if Steven Moffat is to be believed.
"She is going to challenge the Doctor in very unexpected ways. This time he might just be out of his depth, and we know Maisie is going to give him exactly the right sort of hell."
So who exactly could Maisie Williams be playing? The possibilities, of course, are endless, but many fans have narrowed it down to a few likely characters, all of whom have plenty of potential to be a companion later on...
Susan: aka the Doctor's granddaughter, Susan was the first companion way back in series 1. And I don't mean 2005. Susan debuted in the 1960s, and apparently perished in the Time War. Could Maisie be Susan back from the dead? Her episode titles certainly hint at this: the first of the two-parter is called "The Girl Who Died", followed by "The Woman Who Lived", implying some distinction between the girl and woman... a timelady regeneration perhaps?
The Doctor's Daughter: not Susan's mother, but something far stranger. Remember that episode way back in season 2, where David Tennant's Doctor was brought face to face with his genetically engineered offspring? Jenny barely had time to get to know her father, escaping at the end of the episode never to be seen again. Jenny's return would please many fans who have hoped to see this plot resolved for years, but it might not make sense. After all, the Doctor seemed to recognise Maisie's face, and Jenny looked very different the last time he saw her.
- The Nightmare Child: this creature was a plot hint dropped by Tennant's Doctor in his final episode. The Child is one of the horrors trapped by the Time War's Time Lock, leading an army of eldritch terrors that must never be released. Could this frightening alien be the Doctor's next companion? It's possible, and would make for an interesting plot.
If Maisie Williams is to have a much bigger role later in the show, any of these characters would provide ample plot to support this.
But with her Game of Thrones commitments, this actress might not be available to be the next companion, as much as we want her to be. Moffat too has suggested that the next companion will be a little different from what we've seen before...
"As to changing it up with the companion [being a young female from present day Earth] … Wait and see. We absolutely could vary it."
This would provide some much needed variation, but it does mean that hopes for Maisie Williams to continue her role may be dashed.
But whoever the new companion will be, let's hope they can fill Clara's shoes: as the longest running New Who companion, Jenna Coleman has had a huge impact on the show. Though we're sure her future is bright, we'll certainly miss her on Doctor Who after season 9!