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Jenna Coleman: “The Doctor Who Community Can Be So Joyous”

While promoting her new play, Lemons Lemons Lemons Lemons Lemons, Jenna Coleman has given a lovely interview in which she enthuses about her time on Doctor Who. Jenna, of course, played Clara Oswald (plus some splinter incarnations of her) regularly between 2012 and 2015.

In the interview, she calls Doctor Who fans “a real community; they can be so joyous” and further recalls that she was nervous about joining the show:

“… Until I met Matt [Smith, the Eleventh Doctor]. Then I realised: this is going to be fun! It was such an adventure!

“It was like being in a kids’ storybook. There was something so Alice in Wonderland or Willy Wonka about it. Climbing up into a world of imagination.”

She further enthuses about Steven Moffat’s time as showrunner:

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

Sadly, the interview is behind a paywall, but I did find her relationship with Blackpool especially interesting, and something I think many of us will understand. Clara often spoke about Blackpool with affection and Jenna admits that Clara as a character is close to how she is in real life. She explains:

“I’ve got a complicated relationship with Blackpool. Growing up, I’d be doing my Saturday chores aware that other people had come there for these more extreme experiences. It’s like Glastonbury, in a way. People are there to lose themselves, wanting a kind of obliteration.

“Somebody recently gave me a great book of photographs of stag and hen dos in Blackpool. There’s lights, glitter, happiness, feathers! Then this undertow of sadness. There’s something very cinematic about it and I really do want to make a film about it one day…

“But I needed to be an actor and I didn’t know how to make that happen in Blackpool. I wanted an unpredictable life. I was looking for different experiences. I wanted to tell other stories.”

Lemons Lemons Lemons Lemons Lemons runs at the Harold Pinter theatre in London until March 2023.

Philip Bates

Editor and co-founder of the Doctor Who Companion. When he’s not watching television, reading books ‘n’ Marvel comics, listening to The Killers, and obsessing over script ideas, Philip Bates pretends to be a freelance writer. He enjoys collecting everything. Writer of The Black Archive: The Pandorica Opens/ The Big Bang, The Silver Archive: The Stone Tape, and 100 Objects of Doctor Who.

Jenna Coleman: “The Doctor Who Community Can Be So Joyous”

by Philip Bates time to read: 1 min
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