Say goodbye to the Ponds! At a press screening for the ‘Doctor Who’ Christmas episode titled “The Doctor, The Widow and The Wardrobe,” executive producer Steven Moffat made it official: Amy and Rory Pond will be exiting the series next season and the Doctor will have a new companion.

“Amy and Rory will be rejoining us next series and joining the Doctor back on the Tardis,” announced Moffat, “But the final days of the Ponds are coming – and during the next series. I’m not telling you when and certainly not telling you how. But that story is going to come to a heartbreaking end.”

The news really shouldn’t be a surprise to Whovians as companions have always come and gone throughout the Doctor’s history but it is still sad to see them go. Hopefully the Ponds will get a two part send off like the other companions of the reboot ‘Doctor Who’. See, Moffat has said that the episodes in Season 7 will mainly be single standalone chapters and the only reason a two part episode will occur is if he thinks the storyline needs it to be.

Part of the reason why there were two part episodes in the past was because it was thought that it would save money. But after researching the effectiveness of these episodes, Moffat found out that it really didn’t save money at all and that the second part of the two part episode would always do worse than the first, even if the second one was the better one to watch.  It wasn’t until he saw the excitement of the “Let’s Kill Hitler” title at the end of “A Good Man Goes to War” did he realize that it would be better to tease the audience each week with a new episode then to keep them hanging for a second part.  “I want to be able to say, every week, we’ve got a big standalone blockbuster, and then a trailer that makes it look like nothing compared to what’s going to happen next week! That’s the form for next year.”

Moffat has revealed that the title of the first episode will be called “[Spoiler] of the [Spoilers]” (his words not ours!) but it’s not known if this will be when the Ponds rejoin with the Doctor to begin their farewell voyage.  Moffat also added that he believes River Song will make an appearance sometime next season but doesn’t know if she will be part of the Ponds’ exit storyline.

Gillan and Darvill both started the series at the same time Matt Smith took on the role of the Doctor. Of their departure, Smith says:

“The show will miss the Ponds, brilliantly played by Karen and Arthur, but the great thing about Doctor Who is its ability to change. We had the most incredible journey. We took over the show and we’ve really had to hold hands and help each other through it. So it’s very disappointing, but one has to remember that this show is about change and regeneration, and that’s what galvanizes it and pushes it forwards.”

And moving forward means a new companion! As Moffat concluded, “There are only so many more adventures with the lovely Amy and the lovely Rory. So that story…during the series will be over. And then the Doctor is going to meet a new friend – and I’m not going to tell you anything about he, she or it!”

So what are your thoughts about Amy and Rory no longer being the Doctor’s companions and who (or what) would you like to see as his next one? (Now don’t you all put down Captain Jack!)