The Clara Chronicles: Part 1

It’s no secret to anyone I’ve talked¬†Doctor Who¬†with for very long that I really can’t stand the character of Clara Oswin Oswald. She has her moments where she’s not horrible, but in general, I dislike her times a thousand. So I’ve decided that as I’m rewatching her episodes, I’m going to document the waxing and waning and re-waxing of my dislike of her.

Obviously, these posts will be rife with spoilers.

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Here we go!

I quite liked Clara during the “Impossible Girl” story line. I thought it was a clever story line and was quite excited to see it through. However, I think Clara’s time should have ended with the “Impossible Girl” story and a new primary companion should have been introduced. Don’t be surprised to see a lot of “I like her” reports at the beginning of her jaunt as the Doctor’s Companion. She wasn’t always horrible.

Season 7, episode 1: “Asylum of the Daleks”

tl;dr I like her.

We first meet Clara before we know she’s Clara. She goes by Oswin Oswald and appears to be nothing more than a one-shot supporting character. She’s smart, witty, and has a compelling story line. You can’t help but like her and you can’t help but feel bad for her when you discover that she is actually a Dalek.

Season 7, Christmas episode, “The Snowmen”

tl;dr I like her

Seeing Clara on-screen for the first time is startling because we recognize her as the human-turned-Dalek from “Asylum of the Daleks.” Seeing her interact with the Doctor is sad on a number of levels. The Doctor lost Amy and Rory in the previous episode and has now been traveling alone for quite a while – which is never good for him. Also, he never actually saw Oswin as a human, only as a Dalek; he doesn’t know what she looks like, so he doesn’t recognize her in the streets of 19th century London.

Clara is a part-time waitress and part-time governess who is clever enough to notice that there is something wrong with the snow. She runs into the Doctor who is trying very hard not to get involved in human problems anymore – he’s become jaded. But Clara won’t give up! She is determined that he can help solve the mysterious problem of the snow that can form itself into snowmen.

Clara begins putting things together about the snow and the dead governess frozen in the pond, and she tries to find the Doctor again to ask for help. She encounters some of the Doctor’s friends, who reveal just how much the Doctor has changed since Amy and Rory died – “The Doctor doesn’t help people. Not anyone, not ever.” Clara is able to come up with the one word to lure the Doctor out of his reclusiveness: “Pond.” She’s thinking of the dead-governess-pond, but of course the Doctor thinks Amy Pond.

The Doctor gets involved in human goings-on once again and gloriously saves humanity from the psychic creepy snow. In the process, however, Clara dies saving the Doctor’s life. After her death, the Doctor discovers she is in fact Clara Oswin Oswald and makes the connection to Dalek Oswin.

In this episode, Clara is incredibly good for the Doctor and helps him get out of his post-Pond funk. She’s funny and selfless and intriguing. Way to go, Clara.