With Catherine Tate's character, Donna Noble, firmly written out of the show, and David Tennant leaving the series during the specials airing this year, the decks are completely clear for next year's fifth season of Doctor Who.
Joining a new Eleventh Doctor, Matt Smith, will be a new companion played by winsome Scottish redhead Karen Gillan. At 21, Gillan is only five years younger than Smith, who'll be playing the 900-year-old Time Lord.
If Gillan seems familiar, it's because she appeared in the season 4 episode "The Fires of Pompeii" as a chalk-faced soothsayer.
Head writer and Executive Producer Steven Moffat, who's taking over for creator Russell T. Davies, declared, "We saw some amazing actresses for this part, but when Karen came through the door the game was up. Funny, and clever, and gorgeous, and sexy. Or Scottish, which is the quick way of saying it. A generation of little girls will want to be her. And a generation of little boys will want them to be her too."
Executive Producer and Head of Drama BBC Wales Piers Wenger said, "We knew Karen was perfect for the role the moment we saw her. She brought an energy and excitement to the part that was just fantastic. And when she auditioned alongside Matt we knew we had something special."
Gillan herself says: "I am absolutely over the moon at being chosen to play the Doctor's new companion. The show is such a massive phenomenon that I can't quite believe I am going to be a part of it. Matt Smith is an incredible actor and it is going to be so much fun to act alongside him – I just can't wait to get started!"
Evidently the development of the companion's character was left to await casting, and will be molded accordingly; so far nothing at all has been revealed about who Gillan will be playing – not even her name.