The launch of Series 8 may be a matter of days away but the book has already opened on who might be travelling with the Doctor in the next series.
Yes, things certainly move quickly in the world of Doctor Who, as evidenced by Bonnie Wright (Ginny Weasley in Harry Potter films) and Game of Thrones star Rose Leslie being installed as bookies’ favourites to become the new companion.
As every agent in the country with a promising young performer on their books searches urgently for Andy Pryor’s number, it’s worth stressing that, in spite of some seemingly plausible speculation, there’s still been no confirmation that Jenna Coleman is to depart at the end of the impending run of episodes.
And, allowing for the fact that stories like this are more a case of easy publicity for bookmakers than accurate predictors of who may be in the frame, there are certainly some intriguing names in the quoted odds. It’s a mix of the promising (Kerrie Hayes), the good-idea-but-unlikely (Vicky McClure) and the clearly-included-for-a-laugh-on-a-slow-day-in-the-newsroom (Kim Kardashian).
Rose Leslie, recently seen as wildling Ygritte in HBO hit Game of Thrones, is undoubtedly a fine actress and would perhaps bring a touch more steel and assertiveness to the part of the companion than we’ve seen of late (she was chilling in a one-off appearance playing the young Geraldine James in the second series of Channel 4’s Utopia) but has the feel of an early place-holder rather than a serious contender.
Elsewhere on the list there’s the prospect of the Doctor’s Spin Doctor with the inclusion of Chris Addison, newly confirmed for an end of season guest appearance, who was on the wrong end of Peter Capaldi’s foul mouthed barbs in The Thick of It, as well as rumoured for the Twelfth Doctor around this time last year.
Most left-field choice has to be Sandra Dickinson, still best known as Trillian in 1980’s BBC adaptation of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy and also incidentally Georgia Moffat’s mum. The Doctor’s Mother-in-Law? If the space-time continuum buckled when the Tenth Doctor married the woman who had played his own daughter, just think what would happen if that one came to fruition…
They may be somewhat facetious suggestions but maybe they’ve unwittingly hit on something here? Who’s to say the companion always has to be young and female? Maybe, in this new era with its much heralded change of approach and tone, the producers are ready to try something different when it comes to casting Clara’s replacement?
The most likely bet is surely a newcomer, absent from silly season lists of bookies’ favourites and unknown to all except industry insiders, perhaps with a couple of small but praise-worthy appearances under their belt. Good enough to have been noticed, but not yet registering as star-in-the-making material.
Who do you think should be the new companion? And more to the point, what kind of companion do you think would be right for the show? Young? Old? Male? Female? Human? Alien? Welsh? Share your thoughts below?