We’ve known since December that the Ponds‘ days with the Doctor were numbered and now we know who will be replacing them as the new companion! The BBC held a press conference this morning to make the official announcement that Jenna-Louise Coleman has been cast as the new companion who will travel with the Time Lord in the TARDIS.

Coleman has made a name for herself playing the role of Jasmine Thomas in the British soap opera ‘Emmerdale.’ She has also appeared in the movie ‘Captain America: The First Avenger’ and will star in the ITV movie ‘Titanic’ as Annie Desmond alongside Ruth Bradley who was just cast as Grace, the embattled princess in the ABC version of ‘Beauty and the Beast.’

Apparently, Coleman really impressed show runner Steven Moffat at her audition, “It always seems impossible when you start casting these parts, but when we saw Matt [Smith] and Jenna together we knew we had our girl. She’s funny and clever and exactly mad enough to step on board the TARDIS.” The actress is being rumored to play a nonhuman companion.

The news came as a surprise to many as it was thought that Sophia Myles would be the next companion. It didn’t help that show runner Steven Moffat teased fans on twitter about a possible ‘Doctor Who’ reappearance from Myles and the fact that she just happened to be in Spain about the same time the cast and crew were filming their Western episode for the upcoming season. Add in the fact that Arthur Darvil tweeted to Myles “great to meet you. I think I ran off at the end. Good times. Big love. X” and you have the makings of a great rumor.

Myles had previously appeared on the show as Madame de Pompadour during the Doctor’s 10th incarnation (David Tennant) and since it’s not uncommon for the show to recycle their actors (Bernard Cribbins, Freema Agyeman, Karen Gillian), thinking Myles was in the running did not seem so far off.

Coleman will take over companion duties in this year’s Christmas special. At the press conference, Moffat said of Coleman:

“It’s not often the Doctor meets someone who can talk even faster than he does, but it’s about to happen. Jenna is going to lead him his merriest dance yet. And that’s all you’re getting for now. Who she’s playing, how the Doctor meets her, and even where he finds her, are all part of one of the biggest mysteries the Time Lord ever encounters. Even by the Doctor’s standards, this isn’t your usual boy meets girl.”

Moffat also stated that ‘Doctor Who’ will still get its usual 14 episode run (which includes the Christmas special) with the first 6 episodes to air this year and the remaining 8 in early 2013. Episode 5 will be the last episode where we’ll see the Ponds as they encounter the Weeping Angels. , “Amy and Rory will leave in a final encounter with the Weeping Angels in episode five. Not everyone gets out alive and I mean it this time,” comments Moffatt. And lastly, after a year without being seen, the Daleks will return in one of the episodes that will air in 2013 – just in time for the show’s 50th anniversary!

That’s about all that was said at the press conference but for Whovians, that’s quite a lot! My head is still spinning with all the great news! What do you think of it all and most importantly, what do you think of the Doctor’s new companion?