Cookies help us deliver our Services. By using our Services, you agree to our use of cookies. Learn More.

The Real Reason Karen Gillan Left Doctor Who

Amy Pond became a crucial part of "Doctor Who" lore over her two-and-a-half seasons on the show. As the first companion to Matt Smith'sĀ Eleventh Doctor, she set the tone for the post-Rose Tyler and post-Russell T. Davies era. Amy's time in the TARDIS was more soap operatic than, for example, Leela's. The love triangle between her, the Doctor, and Rory Williams resolved itself in a hugely sci-fi manner: Amy and Rory got married, the Doctor married their time-travelling daughter, and then Weeping Angels got involved. Rory got yanked to the past, and Amy followed soon after. The Doctor eventually found their graves, and inferred that they had a happy life together in the 20th century.

Fans had mixed emotions about Amy's exit from the show. Some people loved the relationship between Amy and Rory being affirmed and finally fully reciprocal. Others found the episode packed with too many plot holes and an insufficient send-off for the longest-serving companion of the "nuWho" era. HuffPo TV critic Maureen Ryan said, "The sad fact is, Amy's been inessential to 'Doctor Who' for some time now, and time that could have been spent on making her the emotional core to these five episodes was spent on other things." But Karen Gillan herself loved Amy's ending. After all, she got to help design it.

Karen Gillan wanted Amy to 'get what she wants'

Speaking to IGN in 2012, Karen Gillan said that she and showrunner Steven Moffat negotiated Amy's exit over a very pleasant dinner. She explained that she felt it was time for her to go, he outlined some upcoming plot twists, and they put their heads together. "He told me where the story was at and where it was going and then we kind of together came up with it," she said. "So it was really pleasant, actually. We had a lovely dinner and just kind of discussed what we both want and what's going to happen and then came to the decision."

But why did Gillan want to leave when she did? It was a gut feeling, she said. "It just felt right! I like to go on instinct." Amy had been through the ringer in the past season or so. She had gotten divorced, her child had been kidnapped, and things were looking down. That's why Gillan insisted Amy get a personally fulfilling ending. Gillan said that when the audience met Amy, "she was kind of in this lost, transitional period, where she didn't have a stable life. So I just want to see her get what she wants." And what Gillan and Moffat thought she really, truly wanted was a life with Rory.