Jenna Coleman

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Jenna Coleman (born 27 April 1986[1][2]) — initially credited in Doctor Who as Jenna-Louise Coleman — played companion Clara Oswald in Doctor Who.

During her time as Clara, she also played Bonnie in the Doctor Who television story The Zygon Invasion / The Zygon Inversion, and read the AudioGO audio story The Time Machine with Michael Cochrane and Nicholas Briggs.

Prior to landing the role on Doctor Who, Coleman was perhaps best known for portraying Jasmine Thomas in Emmerdale and had also appeared in Waterloo Road as Lindsay James, the Marvel feature film Captain America: The First Avenger as Connie and the 2012 miniseries Titanic as Annie Desmond.

Biography[[edit]]

Coleman was born in Blackpool, Lancashire. (Incidentally, Blackpool is also the hometown of her character, the modern Clara Oswald, as revealed in TV: Robot of Sherwood.)

Work on the series[[edit]]

In 2012, Coleman introduced the prequel The Great Detective, and the trailer for The Snowmen, for their broadcast during Children in Need, ahead of her official introduction to the series.

In June 2013, Coleman announced that she was shortening her professional name to Jenna Coleman, and was credited as such beginning with The Day of the Doctor.[3] (She does not actually receive screen credit for the minisode Clara and the TARDIS, which was released after the announcement.)

Later that same year, she appeared as herself in The Five(ish) Doctors Reboot, and also co-starred in the three-part BBC miniseries Death Comes to Pemberley, which began the day after the broadcast of The Time of the Doctor.

According to Steven Moffat, Coleman had intended to leave Doctor Who after series 8, and agreed to one additional story, Last Christmas, which would depict her character's death. During filming, she decided she was not ready to leave the programme yet, so Moffat wrote an alternate ending, allowing Clara Oswald to return for one last series.[4]

By the end of series 9, Coleman had become the longest-serving companion actor of the revival era, surpassing Karen Gillan by several episodes.

Beyond Doctor Who[[edit]]

After filming her final scenes for Doctor Who in late August 2015, Coleman took on the lead role of Queen Victoria in the ITV series Victoria, which began filming in the fall of 2015. During a break in filming series 9, she shot a supporting role in the romantic drama Me Before You, released in 2016. She also recorded a guest voice for an episode of the second series of the animated sci-fi programme Thunderbirds Are Go that aired in October 2016. Victoria began airing in August 2016 in the UK and was swiftly renewed for a second series and a Christmas special, production of which began in February 2017 and later broadcast in both the UK and North America. A third season followed in 2019. As of 2022 there are no immediate plans for a fourth series, though Coleman and others involved have been adamant the series is on hiatus, not cancelled, though Coleman has acknowledged the role may be recast with an older actress at some point. Victoria co-stars Eve Myles, Ferdinand Kingsley, and Tommy Knight).

In 2018 she starred in the Australian drama The Cry. Her performance won her a Most Outstanding Actress Logie Award, a most prestigious Australian acting award. This was followed in the spring of 2019 by her West End debut in the play All My Sons co-starring Colin Morgan. In the fall of 2019 it was announced that she would be co-starring in the serial killer drama The Serpent. Around this same time, a short horror film she appeared in prior to joining Doctor Who, Corporate Monster, was given a belated release on YouTube.

In early 2020, a guest appearance on the Reece Shearsmith co-created series Inside No. 9 aired.

The COVID-19 pandemic suspended production of The Serpent for a number of months in 2020. During this downtime, Coleman took part in an online production (conducted from the actors' homes via Zoom) of the play A Separate Peace in which she co-starred with David Morrissey. Her reading of a Beatrix Potter short story was also released in 2020 as part of a set of CDs that also included readings by David Tennant, Olivia Colman, Pearl Mackie, David Harewood, Mandip Gill, Hugh Bonneville, Joanna Lumley and others.

Production of The Serpent resumed in the summer of 2020 and it was broadcast first on BBC One in January 2021, followed by worldwide release on Netflix. Another Who alumnus in the cast was Tim McInnerny.

In the first season of the 2022 Netflix series adaptation of Neil Gaiman's The Sandman, Coleman plays two versions of the character Johanna Constantine, appearing in three episodes. Coleman filmed her roles in late 2020-early 2021, sharing scenes with Clare Higgins, Meera Syal and Ferdinand Kingsley (other Doctor Who alumni appeared in other episodes).

She also filmed a role in the comedy film Klokkenluider in early 2021, which made its film-festival debut in the fall of 2022 with a wider release expected in 2023; and it was announced in the spring of 2021 that she would produce and star in a TV series titled The War Rooms, though production of the series had yet to commence as of the spring of 2023. In the late spring of 2022, Coleman began filming a role for an Amazon Prime thriller series titled Wilderness, which is expected to be broadcast in 2023. In late 2022, she filmed a role in a thriller film titled Jackdaw (another 2023-anticipated release) and spent the early months of 2023 starring in a touring stage play in England. A second series of The Sandman was announced in late 2022 but as of spring 2023 she has yet to be confirmed as returning as Johanna Constantine.

Characters portrayed[[edit]]

During her three seasons on Doctor Who, Coleman portrayed multiple characters, some with substantial roles in stories, some briefly:

In addition, Coleman played multiple versions of Clara Oswald from different points in her timestream in the mini-episode HOMEVID: Clara and the TARDIS. She also played an elderly version of Clara in TV: Last Christmas. Her 2013 audiobook, AUDIO: The Time Machine does not feature Clara; instead, she voices a one-off companion named Alice Watson as well as the Eleventh Doctor.

As such, it can be claimed that Coleman has played more different named characters in the Doctor Who franchise than any other performer to date.

In-universe[[edit]]

A fictional in-universe version of Jenna Coleman, also an actress, is referenced in the comic story COMIC: The Girl Who Loved Doctor Who.

Credits[[edit]]

Television[[edit]]

Doctor Who[[edit]]

As Clara Oswald

Mini-episodes[[edit]]

Other[[edit]]

Audio[[edit]]

Destiny of the Doctors[[edit]]

External links[[edit]]

Footnotes[[edit]]