Jenna Coleman checks the time.

Jenna Coleman checks the time.

She’s left Doctor Who before, but this time it’s probably for good: Jenna Coleman has landed a major role as Queen Victoria in a £10million ITV drama, called, appropriately enough, Victoria. Coleman, 29, has been companion to both Matt Smith and Peter Capaldi in her three years with the Doctor – the longest-serving companion since the series was rebooted in 2005. She is thought to have already filmed her final scenes for the hit BBC1 show, and will take her final bow before the Christmas special.

Jenna Coleman will play Queen Victoria from when she became queen as a frumpy 18-year-old in 1837, through the early part of her 63-year reign. She had apparently clinched the role of Victoria some time ago, but it’s been a very closely guarded secret. ITV hopes the eight-part epic will give them the same kind of ratings bump they got from Downton Abbey.

Queen Victoria

Queen Victoria

The series is written by novelist Daisy Goodwin and made by the same producers as Poldark. Goodwin said Victoria’s diaries gave “an astonishingly vivid picture of her transformation from a rebellious teenager”.

The ninth series of the Doctor Who starts on 19 September, with Steven Moffat at the helm once again.

Update: The BBC has now confirmed what we already knew, that Ms. Coleman is in fact leaving the show. The exact point in the story where she does leave is yet to be revealed, but the other shoe has definitely dropped.

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