First an apology. I know I promised to devote more time and bandwidth to geek loves other than Doctor Who. But the first rule is: The Doctor lies. Apparently it’s contagious. Writing about the Doctor is enough for you to catch the liar-flu. So in my best Ten/Tennant voice: I am sorry. I am so sorry.
- Apology? Check.
- Jelly babies in hand? Check.
- Spoiler alert?
Yes, there will be spoilers ahead. I will compare, analyze, deconstruct and discard trivia from all of the aired episodes, radio/print/web interviews, articles, blogs and forums all over the known whoniverse. All to answer a burning question that will be answered in a week or two. But we’re time travelers. We’re impatient.
When I say we’re time travelers. I mean it. All of us travel in space and time. We just tend to do it slowly and in one direction. Unless you consider memory a form of travel into the past -which I think that head writer/executive producer Steven Moffat does. But that’s another blog for another time.
Who is Clara Oswin Oswald?
She is not who you think she is. More important, my whovian brothers/sisters/and multi- or ungendered folk, she is not who you want her to be. Because most theories about the mystery of the “impossible girl” are just that. Sort of wooly headed wishful thinking that makes me go “WHAT?”
Prime example: Rose. A favorite fantasy of who bloggers is that Clara is the return of Rose. The basic logic of the blogs is “I miss Rose. Maybe she is Rose.” Um, no. No she’s not. Rose exists happily in an alternate universe with an alternate humany Doctor.
But Bad Wolf Rose? The sort of tardis-rose mergy thing that was all powerful. It was everywhere and everything and I didn’t really get that anyway. Couldn’t she be that Rose?
No she’s not. Bad Wolf was an event. And a warning of the event. A recurring theme that implied a destiny and inevitability of events, including Rose leaving the universe (and Billie Piper leaving the show) at Bad Wolf Bay.
If Ten.2 and Rose had a baby, then Clara could be that baby.
No. No she’s couldn’t. First, you’ve been reading too much Twilight and I can promise you that Moffat has not. Second, imagine humany Ten and human Rose have a baby in a parallel universe but an identical timeline. She grows up superfast. She then appears in our world in the Victorian era, current era and distant future. She dies in the past and future where she is buried or blown up but she reappears as an identical woman, the same exact age, the exact same name but no memories of either lives or the Doctor. She is however supplied with family, friends, obligations and all the trappings of “normal life”. Because timelords are like that.
No they’re not. No she’s not.
Give it up, Rose is gone. This is fan-fic narcissism. TV writers can be fans but they don’t as a rule do the mad scientist mesh and merging that happens in slash fan fiction. The character of Rose is distinct and separate. It belongs to the actress Billie Piper. The character of the Doctor is unique in his actor-hopping/regenerative abilities. (Unique in the way that the Master, Romana and all timelords are. Wouldn’t you like to be a Pepper too?) But it is clear that each regeneration is a separate new being, an unknown entity, and switching actors is similar to death to the past incarnation. This is as much respect to the actors as the fans. It’s a brilliant bit of television evolution.
If she’s not Rose, maybe she’s River.
No she’s not. All the same reasons above. A River Song without Alex Kingston would be pointless and insulting. Besides we’ve seen her regenerations. Also, River is dead. So not River. Not the child of Doctor and River. Really, stop that. Not Jenny (the child of the Doctor and the Machine). There is nothing timelordy about being dead in multiple centuries but reappearing with the same face and no memories. Timelords avoid dying by changing.
Important point about Clara is that she did not avoid dying. She died and was buried and then the camera pans ahead 100 years and she’s literally walking on her own grave.
- Clara did die.
- Clara did not change.
She didn’t change her physical appearance or even her name. Is she related to herself? We don’t know but we can assume if it was something as simple as family resemblance (which has been referred to in past episodes as when the actress Freema Agyeman played a Torchwood employee-turned-cyberman prior to becoming the Doctor’s companion, Martha Jones. “I had a cousin at Canary Warf.”) then the Doctor wouldn’t have had so much trouble finding her again.
What dies but doesn’t? If you’re simply searching the DW canon you’ll find lots more choices than just timelords. One name comes to mind. Rory. Rory died and returned with such consistency that he became like Kenny from South Park: “They’ve killed Rory. The Bastards.” How did he do it? Plasticene duplicate, alternate timeline, hallucinogenic dreamlord, Weeping Angel paradox.
No, I don’t see much Clara there. But wait… what if the weeping angels partnered up with the Silence and have been bouncing her around in time but messing with her memory or maybe she drank tequila made with memory worm… which explains time travel and amnesia but not resurrection. Hmmm.
Maybe she’s a…
No, no she’s not.