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Friday, 22 March 2013

They Killed Clara!

I live in the US, in just a half hour (in good traffic) from Manhattan, so you must forgive me for being somewhat delayed at the latest episodes. Of course, living near New York is a huge problem: the Doctor can't take the TARDIS back there because the timelines are too scrambled! It's a timey-wimey bi lizard with major temporal distortions. I can't be living here if it means I have no chances of being whisked away by a man in a blue box.
Enough of the digression. I just watched the Asylum of the Daleks, The Power of Three, The Angels Take Manhattan, and The Snowmen and its prequels, and just in time for this Sunday's online release of The Bells of Saint John, too.
Spoilers--click "read more" to see the rest. Seriously. If you haven't seen Asylum of the Daleks yet, don't read it!

Of course, this means that I've been introduced to Clara Oswin Oswald. And, like any Doctor Who fan, I have questions. But, as a Doctor Who blogger, I have (made-up) answers.

The first time we see her, she just gives the name Oswin Oswald. She's on her crashed starship, the Alaska, on the Dalek's Asylum planet, and as we find out, she's been fully converted into a dalek. She get referred to by Chin-Boy as Souffle Girl for the entire episode and since she's a dalek, the Doctor never sees her face. But we know when we see Clara in The Snowmen that it is her.
At that point, there are some inconsistencies (Inconsistencies in Doctor Who? Never.) that we have to wonder about.

  1. Oswin Oswald stated that she joined the Alaska to see the universe. She dies as the dalek because the planet gets blown up. If she had travelled with the Doctor before, she would have already seen the stars.
  2. We see her in Victorian England looking the same age as we do in what we assume to be "present day" on the dalek asylum planet.
  3. Clara dies at the end of The Snowmen. The Doctor offered her a place on the TARDIS and thinks that she has to survive, or another paradox will be created. He must have forgotten about Inconsistency 1.
So, what is Clara Oswin Oswald?
Here's what we know:

We see her headstone in The Snowmen, and so we know her date of birth: 23 November. That's significant because Doctor Who first aired on 23 November 1963. Never ignore a coincidence, unless your busy-which we're not, we're waiting for the 30th.

The Doctor Who writers have fun with anagrams. (ie, Mister Saxon=Master no Six) Clara Oswin Oswald can be rearranged to spell  "I was a snow darlloc," and if we allow the misspelling of  "dalek," then we've definitely got something there. A big part of writing is character's names and their meanings. Clara means clear, bright. Oswin means "a friend of god" and Oswald means "the power of god" Clara is bright (smart). She is a friend to the Doctor, the lonely god, and gave him back his power to save worlds and swing on swings.
She will be the next companion. That's old news. She audition in secrecy, though, under the project name Men on Waves, which, back to the anagrams, can be Woman Seven--the seventh companion in the revival. Fun fact: she was chosen partly because she can talk faster than Matt Smith. We can look forward to some fun deducing there!

We see Jenna-Louise Coleman (the actress who plays Clara) at the very end of The Snowmen alongside the Clara Oswin Oswald grave. A friend she's with asks her if she's scared by the deserted cemetery, and she responds, "Nah, I don't believe in ghosts."

So, who--or what--is Clara?

  1. Like Jack Harkness, is Clara a fixed point in time and space, a temporal anomaly. How? No clue.
  2. Clara is the daughter of Jack Harkness and Gweneth from The Unquitet Dead and/or Gwen from Torchwood. Jack was sent very far back in time after Rose brought him back in The Parting of the Ways. I suggest Gwen/Gweneth they are both Eve Myles characters (and have very similar names), which as far as I know is unexplained, (and Clara has some strange ability to come back) And as Gweneth was connected to the rift and Gwen is from near the Cardiff rift, maybe she didn't die but slipped though, had Jack's baby and got bitten by a memory worm or a whole lot of Retcon. Back to the name meanings, it was the Face of Boe who first called the Doctor a lonely god, and it's been strongly suggested that Jack is the Face of Boe.
  3. She is a ghost, hence why comfortable in the graveyard. She does say she doesn't believe in ghosts, but the fact that you're a ghost is not something you bring up in casual conversation. "Why aren't you afraid of the cemetery?" "Oh, you know, I'm a ghost." No.
  4. The Doctor's post-Pond depression drove him mad and she is a hallucination/psychic projection. Vastra and the team are like his caretakers, hoping that if he finds a new companion he will be well again.
(Those are my own theories. I know there's others out there, but I don't care to restate them)

One theory that I found (feel so much freer to google Doctor Who things now that I'm all caught up) and find interesting is that Clara is the daughter of the metacrisis Doctor and Rose. The bar that Clara worked at was "The Rose and Crown," and we've already established that we're not busy enough to ignore coincidences. 
Another thing for the Rose-Clara connection is that they both had unique responses to the two things that all companions have in comon. Rose didn't ask "Doctor who?" but she asked "Doctor what?" just as Clara didn't say "it's bigger on the inside," she said "it's smaller on the outdise." But with the limited information that we have now, I'm not really to keen on the idea of the Rose-Clara connection. But I'd be glad to be wrong!


  1. The Dwen Gwyneth connection was explained in Journey's End.
    From the TARDIS Wiki:
    "When the Doctor sees Gwen Cooper for the first time, he asks if she comes from a long line of family from Cardiff. This is because of the similarity between Gwen and Gwyneth (TV: The Unquiet Dead), both of whom are played by Eve Myles. This similarity has been explained by Russell T Davies: "It's not familial as we understand it. There's no blood tie. Spatial genetic multiplicity means an echo and repetition of physical traits across a Time Rift.""
    Also, Jack had a daughter and a grandson in Torchwood: Children of Earth. Neither of them had his regenerative powers.

    1. Ah, thanks, I missed that in Journey's end.
      Yes, I know he has the daughter and the grandson. I believe all that we know is that the grandson didn't have the regenerative powers, and since he'd only be 1/4th Jack, not surprising. I don't recall it being clear that the daughter didn't have the ability. The ability could be a non-dominant trait that wasn't inherited by that offspring.
      Thanks for the comment :)


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