Since Jenna Coleman announced that series 9 would be her last in the TARDIS back in September, there have been several names thrown about as to who will replace her. With series ten not due to be aired until 2017, the show has plenty of time to decide who will be joining Peter Capaldi for Steven Moffat’s swan song run. It will be interesting to see how much of an influence Moffat has in deciding the next companion. The last two companions, Clara Oswald, played by Jenna Coleman and Amy Pond, portrayed by Karen Gillan, both lasted two and a half series alongside the Doctor. If Coleman’s replacement plans to stick around for a similar length of time, it would be sensible to assume Chris Chibnall, taking over as show runner for series 11, would want some say in who will take up the role. Here are possible candidates that could be considered.
Michelle Keegan – The bookies favourite to join the Doctor, Keegan is an actress in demand, but the lure of Doctor Who could be the role she’s been waiting for since she left Coronation Street. This choice would be fairly route one. She fits what seems to be the criteria since the show returned for a companion; young, female and probably from 21st century Earth. It wouldn’t be the most adventurous appointment and it would probably see a similar relationship to what the Doctor enjoyed with Clara. Should Keegan be appointed, it’s hard to see her play anything other than a human being from current time. Although relatablility is an important factor in a companion, it will be slightly disappointing if yet another TARDIS resident is so similar to recent ones. It would be more interesting to see Keegan play a character from a different time zone or planet. Overall, Keegan would be a safe and steady choice, however, she would only really excite if her character had an added dimension from previous companions.
Ingrid Oliver – Oliver has played charismatic UNIT scientist Osgood since 2013 and made impressive appearances in series 8 and 9 since. Although her character is from 21st century Earth, she certainly would be different from anyone the Doctor has journied with since the show’s reboot in 2005. She already has an extensive knowledge of extra terrestrial affairs and her dynamic with the Doctor has been entertaining to watch and it would be great to to see it continue on a full time basis. Moffat has dented rumours that Osgood could take up a full time position in the TARDIS, stating he likes where the character is at the moment. However, should Chibnall have a prominent say in who will replace Coleman, he may push for Oliver to take the role. It would certainly be a different yet exciting appointment that would take the show in a different direction.
Harry Melling – Perhaps an unknown name to some, Melling played Dudley Dursley in the Harry Potter movies. There is also a Doctor Who connection as Melling’s grandfather was Patrick Troughton, who of course played the second Doctor. This would be another interesting choice as there hasn’t been a main companion played by a male since Peter Davison’s era. Of course there have been some males in the TARDIS since. Captain Jack Harkness, Wilfred Mott and Rory Williams have all enjoyed part time roles travelling with the Doctor, but seeing a male as the prominent companion would be an intriguing prospect. And what better Doctor to reintroduce the male into the TARDIS than Peter Capaldi. His grumpy but humourous persona would be a great mix with a young male and it would certainly prevent the show from going stale.
Gemma Chan – Gemma Chan is no stranger to sci-fi shows after playing Anita in Channel Four’s eight part drama “Humans”. Chan played a robot, and seeing a similar concept as a companion would be yet another intriguing take on the show. Chan has previous experience in Doctor Who too, playing Mia Bennett in “The Waters of Mars”. This shouldn’t count against her though as Freema Agyeman, Karen Gillan and even Peter Capaldi all appeared in the show, before playing new and more important characters later on. Should Chan be the new companion, it would feel like a waste if she was to play another present day earthling. Chan’s expertise would allow her to successfully play a character from another planet and/or time zone. Again, Capaldi’s confrontational Doctor would make such a relationship brilliantly entertaining television.
K9 – Ok, so an actor/actress wouldn’t be strictly necessary for K9 to return to the TARDIS, but why not? After Elisabeth Sladen’s sad passing, K9 is currently “unemployed” and it shouldn’t be too hard for writers to script the lovable robot dog companion back into the show. K9 would also allow a more short term option if Moffat didn’t want to introduce a full time companion before handing over the TARDIS keys to Chibanll. He would certainly be easier to write out than a human character. It would also service many fans who have craved K9’s return to the show and although not reason enough to revive the character, it’s hard to deny that seeing the robot dog in the TARDIS would be a thoroughly enjoyable watch.