Former ‘Emmerdale’ actress Jenna-Louise Coleman named as new ‘Doctor Who’ companion

25-year old replaces Karen Gillan as Matt Smith's new sidekick

Former Emmerdale actress Jenna-Louise Coleman has been named as Doctor Who‘s new companion.

The actress, who has also had parts in Waterloo Road, Captain America: The First Avenger and ITV’s new drama series Titanic, will replace Karen Gillan as Matt Smith’s partner in crime. Gillan will depart the show during its next series along with Arthur Darvill, who plays her on-screen husband Rory.

At a press conference this morning (March 21), it was announced that Coleman will start filming in May and make her screen debut in this year’s Christmas Special. Before that, Gillan and Darvill will appear in five episodes to air this autumn, with the remaining eight airing in the new year.

Speaking about her new role and starring alongside Matt Smith, 25-year-old Coleman said: “I’m beyond excited, I can’t wait to get cracking; working alongside Matt I know is going to be enormous fun and a huge adventure.”

Speaking about why he chose Coleman, the show’s boss Steven Moffat said: “It always seems impossible when you start casting these parts, but when we saw Matt and Jenna together, we knew we had our girl. She’s funny and clever and exactly mad enough to step on board the Tardis.”

He continued: “It’s not often the Doctor meets someone who can talk even faster than he does, but it’s about to happen. Jenna is going to lead him his merriest dance yet. And that’s all you’re getting for now. Who she’s playing, how the Doctor meets her, and even where he finds her, are all part of one of the biggest mysteries the Time Lord ever encounters. Even by the Doctor’s standards, this isn’t your usual boy meets girl.”

Both remained tight-lipped as to the details of Coleman’s character. Quizzed as to rumours that he could be playing an alien, Moffat teased, “Are there? Hmmm. An alien in Doctor Who? Gosh.”

Moffat also confirmed that the final adventure featuring Amy and Rory will be “a final encounter with the Weeping Angels, and not everyone makes it out alive. And I mean it this time!”

Doctor Who resumed filming in Cardiff last month, and recently shot an episode in Spain, which was doubling up for the Wild West.