Jenna Coleman reveals she was “terrified” of doing Doctor Who

Jenna Coleman, who played Clara Oswald in BBC’s Doctor Who sci-fi series, has admitted that she was “terrified” when she got involved with Doctor Who, until that was, she met her co-star.

The 36-year-old, who first appeared in Doctor Who in 2012, before going on to become a companion full-time between 2013 and 2017 travelled with both Matt Smith’s Eleventh Doctor and later Peter Capaldi’s Twelfth Doctor on the series – and it was when she met Matt Smith that her fears about being on the show ere alleviated.

Speaking in an interview with the Daily Telegraph, Coleman admitted that she was “terrified of getting involved until I met Matt.”

But after meeting Matt Smith she changed her mind; “Then I realised: this is going to be fun! It was such an adventure,” she added.

Coleman, who is currently starring opposite Aidan Turner in a stage production of Lemons, Lemons, Lemons, Lemons, Lemons in London, was also keen to talk about how highly she rated the Doctor Who showrunner at that time, Steven Moffat, whose own London play opened recently and saw a mini Doctor Who reunion turn out on press night.

“[He] has the most brilliantly inventive mind. He writes scenes that are so beautifully moving without ever tipping into sentimentality.

Added Coleman: “Although when Peter Capaldi took over as the Twelfth Doctor they would have these intense, sci-fi nerdy conversations in a language I didn’t understand!”

Jenna Coleman has spoken before with fondness about her time on Doctor Who, saying that the show “never leaves you” and admitting she’s still in touch with people from the programme.

Said Coleman in October 2022: “I still speak to Matt (Smith) and Peter (Capaldi). I got a really nice message from Steven (Moffat) the other day saying it was 10 years since I’d been on it, which was terrifying.”

Doctor Who returns in November 2023 for three one-hour 60th-anniversary special episodes starring David Tennant and written by returning showrunner Russell T Davies. The episodes will also see the return of Catherine Tate as Donna Noble and there are expected to be other surprise appearances in the episodes from past Doctor Who alumni. Perhaps one of those might be Jenna?

The 60th shows will be followed by by the first full episode starring Ncuti Gatwa as the Fifteenth Doctor around the festive season of 2023 where we will also see his new companion Ruby Sunday, played by Millie Gibson for the first time.

Season 14 of Doctor Who, which will feature Aneurin Barnard as the mysterious Roger ap Gwilliam, Jemma Redgrave as Kate Lethbridge-Stewart and Anita Dobson and Michelle Greenidge in as-yet unnamed roles, will play out across 2024.