Jenna-Louise Coleman in Doctor Who

Actress Jenna-Louise Coleman made a surprise appearance in last night’s seventh series premiere of Doctor Who, ‘Asylum of the Daleks.’

This past summer, it was announced that Coleman would takeover the role of Doctor’s companion midway through the seventh series, replacing Karen Gillan‘s Amy Pond.

Gillan has played the Doctor’s companion since the start of series five (which also saw the introduction of Matt Smith’s Doctor, and Steven Moffat as show runner).  She, along with her on-screen husband, are set to leave the show after the seventh series’ weeping angel-centric fifth episode, ‘The Angels Take Manhattan.’  Producers had originally said that Coleman would be introduced in the next episode, which would be the Christmas special.  But that was obviously a misdirection.

In ‘Asylum of the Daleks,’ Coleman played Oswin, an Earth-born space traveler (presumably from the future) on the starship Alaska, who had crash-landed on a Dalek asylum planet and subsequently locked herself away in a room to keep safe.  She made for an interesting contrast with Amy Pond, almost like a before and after picture.  Oswin was perky and feisty, very much like the young Amy when we first met her; while Amy was more mature and world-weary, as if real life had supplanted the fantasy she lived with the Doctor.

It’s unknown if this Oswin is the same character that will  join the Doctor in episode six (given what happens in the episode, it would be complicated).  It’s not unprecedented for actors to appear in multiple roles in Doctor Who.  Gillan herself played a Pompeian priestess in a fourth series episode before winning the role of Amy.  So, we may well end up with a distant ancestor of Oswin when she makes her proper entrance in December.


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