Doctor Who: Jenna Louise Coleman makes a surprise appearance in Series 7 première!

by Gerard McGarry

Jenna Louise Coleman as Oswin Oswald in Doctor Who

Wonder why the BBC were so keen to co-ordinate the launch of Doctor Who’s seventh series across the globe? Well, Steven Moffat had a massive spoiler up his sleeve. A spoiler which he shared with selected journalists and fans at the BFI screening of Asylum Of The Daleks in August.

It centered around an incredibly sexy, fast talking new character who didn’t appear in any promo material for the episode. Yes, Jenna Louise Coleman popped up as a feisty shipwrecked traveller who had the rotten luck to crash-land on the Dalek asylum planet. But since she technically didn’t set foot in the TARDIS, she’s technically not a companion of The Doctor. Yet. Read on for spoilers and speculation!

Okay. SPOILER WARNING OF THE HIGHEST ORDER. Do not read on if you haven’t seen Asylum Of The Daleks yet…

So, The Doctor, Amy and Rory are chucked down into the middle of a planet crawling with lunatic, uncontrollable Daleks. And they quickly make contact with a marooned girl called Oswin Oswald. She describes herself as “Junior entertainment manager, Starship Alaska. Current status: crashed and shipwrecked somewhere…not nice.”

She establishes a flirty and clever banter with The Doctor (and Rory) within minutes, calling them the chin and the beak respectively. And she’s a genius too – she’s taken control of the Dalek technology on the planet and can use eyestalks as cameras and open doors for the time travellers as they explore the asylum.

That familiar Moffat twist…

Dalek Oswin

It couldn’t be straightforward with Steven Moffat. As The Doctor promises to rescue the stranded Oswin, he has to run the gauntlet to the room that she’s trapped in. But when the door opens, he discovers that Oswin is…a Dalek.

Should’ve seen it coming, really – the nanocloud that transformed anything foreign to the planet into Dalekesque killers, the fact that Oswin had impressive control over the Dalek technology and…that oft-repeated clue about where she was getting milk to make soufflés.

Yes, when Oswin landed on the Dalek asylum, she became infected with nanobots and was fully converted into a Dalek. She created the soufflé-making, shut-in fantasy to shield her mind from the horror of what she’d become.

So what happens next?

There are a few questions that should be lodged in fans’ heads.

  1. The press release said the new companion’s name was Clara Oswin, not Oswin Oswald. So, is the Oswin in this episode a different character?
  2. She might be a different character, because unlike River Song, she’s never met The Doctor before. So, are we going to meet an ancestor of Oswin Oswald in the same way we met Gwen from Torchwood’s ancestor?
  3. Or will The Doctor find some way to rewrite history and save Oswin from being turned into a Dalek in the first place?

Either way, Moffat has managed to create a witty, attractive and technically brilliant character. Someone who’s potentially one step ahead of The Doctor in terms of intellect, but funny and quick-thinking at the same time. Unfortunately, he also managed to kill her off at the same time.

Over to you, Whovians! How do you think The Doctor and Clara/Oswin will eventually end up travelling together?


  1. The Doctor on September 1, 2012 at 9:03 pm

    i cant go back and save her from becoming a dalek. then she wouldnt have helped us escape the asylum. it would be a wibbly wobbly timey wimey paradox. oswin was a genius so i think i might find a relative of hers and travel with her if i need a new companion one day.

  2. Edward on September 1, 2012 at 9:38 pm

    I don’t think that she was ever turned into a dalek and is trapped somewhere else and will turn up somewhere! As you will remember, she turned and looked at the audience, technically breaking the fourth wall, and said “I am real”!

  3. kieranrose on September 1, 2012 at 10:09 pm

    @Edward, no she didn’t, she looked at the camera and said “Remember me…” probably in reference to the fact that she will be alledgedly cropping up all over this series, I’m smelling a ‘bad wolf’ type thing in the air…

  4. gerard on September 1, 2012 at 10:13 pm

    Still liking Edward’s idea – good thinking. But I agree with Kieran Rose. I was thinking Bad Wolf every time I saw the Alaska logo. It was also on the boxes in Oswin’s room, wasn’t it?

  5. Ben on September 1, 2012 at 10:15 pm

    Maybe Who has stolen two plots from Primeval 1. Dinosaurs 2. Claudia Brown became a completely different person – Jenny Lewis, after history was changed and meddled with. The two look exactly alike but were completely different people.

  6. GBrad on September 1, 2012 at 10:24 pm

    I loved Oswin,

    Not sure where Clara will fit in, I hope she is not a relative because I want her to be the girl from the asylum. I know the doctor will not be able to make it so she never became a darlek but maybe he could find a way to undo it. All I do know is I can’t wait for the next episode

  7. Karl on September 1, 2012 at 10:33 pm

    Do u all remember when the doc wipped the doctor-donna’s memory. Well he might go back before she crashed. Take her with him as a companion. Then at the end erase her memories and leave her back before she is to leave with the alaska. Just a thought

  8. Ewan on September 1, 2012 at 10:53 pm

    She’s super smart, and don’t Daleks have an Emergency Temperal Shift? And she was still her, just plugged into a Dalek, so maybe some sort of smarty-pants anti-Dalek majigger will probably save her. I’m almost definitely wrong, but my guess is as good as anyone else’s.

  9. Ewan on September 1, 2012 at 10:55 pm

    Also, who thinks that she’ll be an AWESOME companion? She’s smart, cool, funny and makes puddings…the four basic requirements to be awesome.

  10. Chloe on September 1, 2012 at 11:05 pm

    Well, he cooouullld go back and maybe stop them from crashing – I don’t think there would be a problem, would there? Because although without her, they might be dead, the only reason they were there in the first place was because the daleks heard her music playing. So stop her crashing and they would never have gone there. Actually, no. Yeah, too much happened as a consequence e.g. amy and rory. Ohhh welll, I really hope she comes back, she was great!

  11. Katie on September 1, 2012 at 11:18 pm

    Oswin probably died on the ship and well she was also a Dalek so there isnt much chance of her being alive. However there have been many photos of Jenna filming in a Victorian outfit so I reckon the actual companion of The Doctor’s will be Clara who is the great great grandmother or whatever of Oswin 🙂

  12. Dora on September 1, 2012 at 11:45 pm

    Wait, doesn’t the other Oswin appear in an episode set in the Victorian era, or some go-back history age like that? Maybe she’s the Dalek/Oswin’s great great …. uncle? I mean aunt? Or granny, if you insist. However, don’t really care, ’cause the girl is awesome, and it’s sure gonna be a lot of fun with her as a companion. Even though the Ponds..ah, the Ponds.

  13. zorella on September 1, 2012 at 11:56 pm

    More importantly, how was Oswin taking to the Doctor, Amy & Roy? Using a human voice, or just the TARDIS translating?

  14. Sougent on September 2, 2012 at 1:25 am

    Who’s to say she didn’t recognize the Doctor and knew that he hadn’t met her yet. There’s no reason why she couldn’t have a series of adventures with the Doctor and still end up crashed on that planet and turned into a Dalek. If she’s really a genius, she’d know she couldn’t let on that she knew him. She says “Run you clever boy, and remember”, the look on her face with the little smile implied to me that there was something more there.

    If River can meet him before he ever knew her, there’s no reason why this couldn’t be a similar situation.

    I think I’d like that more than the thought of him picking up her ancestor.

  15. TwelfthDoctor on September 2, 2012 at 7:27 am

    I suspect the story arc after the Ponds leave will likely center around the Doctor meeting her in the Christmas Special and deciding to change her future… Except he can’t actually tell her about it, because Spoilers. Given that Oswin’s already shown herself to be scary-clever, that’s going to cause an extremely interesting dynamic. There’s no mention of (or reason to think) Oswin’s transformation being a Fixed Point, but I’m sure she’s going to realize the Doctor isn’t telling her something big.

  16. Karl on September 2, 2012 at 8:43 am

    If on “The Moff” could see this. Then he’d be sorted for a while in terms of storylines

  17. Rose Tyler on September 2, 2012 at 7:17 pm

    I don’t want amy to leave, but oswin seems quite cool. I hope it is her who gets to be the companion, and not a relative. It could be a wibbly wobbly timeline, like river’s??

  18. Desariella of Aresia on September 3, 2012 at 3:29 pm

    1. Clara Oswin is said to be from “modern times”
    2. Oswin Oswald is from the future. (How far, don’t know. Year not given. But the Alaska was an Earth Starliner and Earth doesn’t have Starliners yet.

    My guess is that he meets a ancestor of Oswin Oswald.

  19. Shay09 on September 4, 2012 at 12:47 am

    Right my thoughts on this:

    The 1st episode is fixed now and after the Ponds departure he could go back to the asylum and save her before the planet blows up. That or she ascctivated a dalek shield or teleporter and survived the bombing. then over the next years series he could restor her to her former self or put a perception filter to make it look like her former self.

    And I’m another one which hopes he takes Oswin and not her ancestor.

  20. Mickey on September 6, 2012 at 9:31 pm

    Think Borg Queen. Like the Borg, Daleks have a telepathic link to each other. Even though the Borg Queen was killed, her mind was part of the collective and was saved. All she needed to do was create a new body. Similarly, Oswin could download her mind to the Daleks. With the resources of the Daleks, she can create a new body and go wherever and whenever she wants.

    I also liked how she looked at the camera and said remember me.

  21. Sougent on September 7, 2012 at 4:04 am

    Interesting thought. For that matter, there were some Daleks with the ability to time travel, if she’s the genius she’s portrayed to be, there are any number of ways she could have both saved her Dalek self and/or made herself human again. Remember, the Dalek are organic inside, some element of her human self was left inside that shell. She could very well clone a new body.

  22. Muffinboy on September 8, 2012 at 5:15 pm

    Oswin was way cool……..Why couldn’t we have had her on the Tardis as the “human” Dalek companion… Human in a Dalek body, as she still had all her faculties and was super smart…

    What gave it away for me was the room Oswin was in. It was a small dome room and I thought ” ah…… inside the dome of a Dalek…

  23. Matt on September 9, 2012 at 1:32 am

    I think the human analogue Daleks are the most obvious way for Oswin to join the rest of the storyline. Seems more than a coincidence that the human like daleks are introduced in the first episode of this season. I’m not looking forward to losing Amy and Rory, but Oswin would be a great addition to the regular cast 😉

  24. the jnr doctor on September 10, 2012 at 7:19 pm

    daleks have emergancey temporal shift so she do that and doctor do stuff to turn her human again

  25. Nenth on September 23, 2012 at 1:12 am

    Interesting thoughts, I think it will be the same person. I have no idea why there would be a name change though.

    SPOILER ALERT: The reason I think this is that Oswins voice seems to be haunting the doctor at the moment. Don’t believe me listen very carefully in Power of 3 again. I thought I heard Dalek voices at random points through the episode but wasn’t 100%… So I went back and paid attention, the only one I’m certain of is about 4 minutes from the end, There’s a salute and a taxi. Listen very carefully and see if you can make out what’s being said.

  26. Me on October 1, 2012 at 12:44 am

    What are you talking about? In what scene is that?

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