Karen Gillan and Arthur Darvill in “The Girl Who Waited” (courtesy of bbcamerica.com)

BBC News journalist Lizo Mzimba tweeted the news from the screening of the upcoming Christmas Special “The Doctor, The Widow, and the Wardrobe.” Swiftly posted to the Doctor Who official tumblr page and confirmed on the BBC entertainment news blog. Steven Moffat has announced that Karen Gillan and Arthur Darvill (Amy Pond and Rory Williams) will be leaving. Moffat said, “The final days of the Ponds are coming.” 

While it’s been considered a strong possibility that Gillan, (soon to be seen as model Jean Shrimpton in “We’ll Take Manhattan”) and Darvill, (with a successful run as Mephistopheles in the Globe Theatre’s production of “Doctor Faustus”) would leave Doctor Who after the seventh series, this announcement raises some questions.

Arthur Darvill in “Doctor Faustus” trailer (courtesy of youtube.com/user/ShakespearesGlobe)

Although the BBC has confirmed the story, Moffat is well known for teasing fans via twitter and at the screening for “Let’s Kill Hitler” Moffat actively encouraged the audience to circulate fake spoilers on social media sites, to confound anyone who might be angling for a bit of attention. Could this all be an elaborate ruse?

It’s unlikely that this is a prank on an epic scale. Given executive producer/head writer Steven Moffat’s occasionally fractious relationship with those who leak spoilers and how much the energy and heart that Karen and Arthur have brought to their roles, fans can be forgiven for a little bit of wishful thinking.