And lo, another Doctor Who seeason has come to a close (at least until Christmas), and while Jenna Coleman’s Clara put in a sizable return from her apparent death back in “Face the Raven,” Clara’s actual exit still leaves a void for Peter Capaldi’s next TARDIS companion. Capaldi himself wants only for the next companion to be female, however, saying “I’m frightened that they’ll give [a male companion] all the action.”

You’re warned of current Doctor Who spoilers from Saturday’s “Hell Bent” finale from here on out, but Clara is off on her own adventures through the universe with Ashildr / Me (Game of Thrones star Maisie Williams), leaving the twelfth Doctor without a companion. We don’t know exactly how long it will be before showrunner Steven Moffat starts auditioning actors, though Capaldi tells the Radio Times he’d prefer the Doctor’s companion to be female:

With the best will in the world, I don’t want a bloke, because I’m frightened that they’ll give him all the action and I’ll be standing around spouting scientific gobbledygook… ‘Oh, Peter’s not up to chasing those Zygons down the corridor, let the chap do it.’ And that would be awful. I want to chase the Zygons!

Granted, it’s more than a little backwards of Capaldi to presume a female companion couldn’t usurp action scenes as much as a male, Moffat had a more direct address of misogyny claims in a separate interview:

It’s a big and complicated issue and I never quite know how to respond to it. The general point being made by these people is correct. We need better female role models and representation on screen. We need all of that. Maybe this is my dimwittery but I do not understand why Doctor Who of all shows is singled out as a misogynist show. And I’m really not like that. I’m sure I’m to the left of a lot of my detractors, but I don’t want to argue with them because I think generally they’re right. We do need to do better.

It’s important to me that the little girls watching see Amy or Clara or Rose and want to be like them. People object and say you’re turning it into The Clara Show but that’s always been the case from the beginning. The Doctor’s always been a co-lead. He’s the hero figure but he’s not any more than a co-lead. Elisabeth Sladen was not less important than Tom Baker. Katy Manning was not less important than Jon Pertwee. Ian and Barbara frequently eclipsed the Doctor. Rose Tyler was the star of modern Doctor Who for the first two years. Every time any paper carried a photo of Doctor Who, it wasn’t Chris [Eccleston] or David [Tennant], it was Billie [Piper]. And that’s a strength.

That said, it seems Moffat is again leaning toward a female companion anyway, saying “I’m beginning to have an idea of the kind of person, specific ideas but not a specific actress … You can recruit new viewers when somebody else meets the Doctor. And I think we’ve got a really cool new idea about how to do that.”

The Doctor will buddy up with River Song for the upcoming Christmas special, but how long will it be before Peter Capaldi has a new companion to tear across the universe with? Does he have a point about a male-female dynamic striking a better balance?

Check Out 100 TV Facts You May Not Know!