Doctor Who: who is Clara?

Feature Andrew Blair 9 May 2013 - 07:00

Andrew looks at some likely (and unlikely) theories to answer the question running through Doctor Who 7b: who is Clara Oswald?

This article contains spoilers for the current series, and finale, of Doctor Who.

Maybe, by making us ask this question, Steven Moffat is giving us a subtle clue: Clara is Who, ie. The Doctor and/or Valeyard. Probably not though. Let's be more scientific about this*.

We first saw someone looking very like Clara through the medium of an insane Dalek, formerly Oswin Oswald, with leet haxor skillz and a position of Junior Entertainment Manager on a starliner in the future. Then, in the past, we saw Clara Oswin Oswald – governess and barmaid – whose date of birth is the 23rd of November. In Clara's 101 Places to See book she misses out the number 23. WHAT DOES IT ALL MEAN?

Sorry, I just spat on you there. Anyway, she also misses out 16.

Finally, we see Clara Oswald: made of win. 'Oswin'. A nickname she gives herself that hasn't really caught on. It's an anagram of 'winos' though. Write that down. Might be useful (it won't be useful).

This Clara is from the present day, is a nanny, and develops leet-ish haxor skills during the events of The Bells of St John. During this story we discover that she was given the number for the TARDIS phone by a woman in a shop, and wants to travel.

The Doctor then follows her for a bit, because his moral compass has become slightly skewed of late, and establishes that her mother died when she was a teenager. So far, so-inviting-comparisons-with-the-soon-to-return Rose Tyler. The Doctor then visits Emma Grayling in Hide, and the psychic tells us that Clara is normal. However, she then does some shifty eye acting which lends this scene a sense of enigma. Finally, in Journey to the Centre of the TARDIS we find out that Clara has no inkling of anything unusual, and is very forgiving of strange men shouting insane things at her if they're good at hugging.

So, given that, what possible explanations do we have for the issue of who and what Clara is? And how can I tie it in with the news that Alex Ferguson is retiring? Let the speculative gibberings of a caffeine-deprived hack commence:

1. Clara is Rose's daughter

Rose and Ten/Sitting in another dimension/nothing sexual rhymes with that.

Anyway. Rose and Ten are coming back, but when we saw Rose depart in Journey's End she had a leaving gift of a human version of the Doctor, which is only creepy if you stop and think about it for any time at all. Still, if they did have a baby, it might be able to regenerate/survive death/get fractured through time due to the all-powerful force that is narrative necessity. That's why Clara's reminiscent of Rose, because it's her old Mum, gertcha? 

File this one under unlikely though, as it'd require quite a few explanations. For starters, the hair colours are all wrong.

2. Clara is Jenny

Remember Jenny? She of the surprise-regeneration and exploring of the universe after the Doctor and Donna thought she was dead? Played by the daughter of Trillian from the TV version of Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy

Steven Moffat reportedly suggested that the Doctor's daughter survive the events of Stephen Greenhorn's second Who script. To what end? We haven't seen her since, maybe it's time for a return. However, this is even further back than Journey's End, and in an episode that is not as popular or well-remembered, and should have been called Hell Hath Fury, with more explosions and action by HAVOC.

3. Clara is Susan

This one's more likely (it's all relative, Susan would probably have an acronym to describe it). It's the anniversary year, and the Doctor's granddaughter Susan was the titular Unearthly Child in the very first episode. Furthermore, she already has regenerative properties, and was probably involved in the Time War. This allows for temporal shenanigans to occur more easily, so she can re-occur throughout history in the manner of Scaroth in City of Death.

This does mean that we need to explain why the Doctor can't recognise his own granddaughter, especially given Time Lords' ability to recognise each other, his taking Clara to the Rings of Akhaten as he did with Susan, and Susan's telepathic abilities. I expect that line'll take Matt Smith three seconds to deliver.

Still, if she's reunited with her grandfather, that'll be things coming full circle. We just have to ignore Clara's parents, and also the bit where she kisses the Doctor in The Snowmen (not a euphemism).

4. Clara is a trap

The Great Intelligence is lurking, with its fondness for snow-themed traps and possession, and the Doctor has a 'shard of ice' in his heart. A showdown is due on Trenzalore. 'Does an impossible girl hold the key?' is in the official synopsis.

If you're as powerful as some of the Doctor's enemies, it's not completely outwith the realms of overly-complicated nefarious scheming to distract the Doctor with said impossible girl by planting her across time and space, the lure of a companion who ticks all the boxes – a variant on the idea posited in the Eighth Doctor Adventures by Lawrence Miles, and Paul Abbott in his abandoned 2005 episode. Perhaps knowing that we were going to go into a frenzy of speculation about her identity, the identity of Clara is just a big red herring? It would make the Doctor's obsessive behaviour over the mystery all the more galling, knowing he'd been taken in.

5. Clara is one of River Song's children from the Data Core in Silence in the Library

Well, if River Song is returning in The Name of the Doctor in a post-library timezone, why the hell not? If she is a child created by a computer program, it follows (if you squint and don't poke at it much) that Clara would be a computer expert. Maybe her book of 101 Places to See turned up in the library, with a shelf code of 16.23.

6. Clara is literally everyone who has ever existed in the universe apart from the Rani

Because she definitely isn't the Rani.

As ever, we invite you to use your communication skills below. Here's hoping that we're all totally wrong in order to preserve some element of suspense.

*In a feature about Doctor Who I reserve the right to make up the science as I go along.

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I can't handle all these theories!!!

No, YOU CAN'T HANDLE THE TRUTH!

The Doctor and the Rani had an affair at the time lord academy resulting in twins. Clara and Susan. River Song was the midwife, Rose was jealous and teamed up with The Master to fracture them through time. The Silence are like the galactic Social services...
I think I've had too much coffee.

Just cant work this one out, she does seem to have been created to draw the Doctor out after faking his death, it seems to obvious that River gave her the Doctors number I really think there's another player who hasn't been revealed in this whole story yet.
Cant work out why there's a link to the 23rd of November and what the statements that the Doctor hasn't just met her twice before mean at all, however that last one could be a trick seeing as Tennant's Doctor may be meeting her in the 50th, dammit Moff what are you up to?!

At one point in my life I thought Clara would be The Doctor's sister. But... erm.... no, just no! Now I'm starting to think that Clara is just a trap for The Doctor by the Great Intelligence. But damn Moffat, this is a very hard mystery. However every episode that goes by doesn't really do anything with Clara- so every Saturday my anticipation for Clara's mystery weakens. I loved it when the Bells of Saint John aired, it grew my anticipation. Now, not so much. Oh well... I'm still looking forward to finding out!

I'm starting to think - 'who actually cares...?'

Here's my theory to add to the mix. The Clara that's currently travelling with the Doctor is the original. When the God Planet thing from Rings of Akhaten devoured the leaf that represented an infinite number of possibilities, it could not handle it and spewed different versions of Clara throughout time and space. This explains why when the Doctor timed stalked Clara growing up, he found that she was a perfectly normal girl.
That's why Emma from Hide said pretty much the same thing.
The Doctor has only met two of the alternate versions of Clara, but I'm betting if he looked hard enough, he find plenty more.
Modern day Clara gained her hacking skills only after meeting the Doctor and that knowledge was passed on to other versions of Clara.
Anyway, that's my theory. It's probably totally wrong of course. Moffat will no doubt have some even more timey-wimey explanation.

I am thinking something similar, however rather than something happening in 'Rings' something happens in the TARDIS at the end of the series, which is why the TARDIS doesn't like her; it is trying to protect her.

The funny part is that the plot of the Finale, revealing exactly who she is, was leaked last month and every official piece of information that's come out since would appear to back up its accuracy. (Hint: It's none of the above.)

that one is plausible, knowing moffat… it may be wrong but it makes sense...

That's an interesting explanation. It would tie in nicely to other aspects in the series.

I like the idea that she's Susan or the The Doctor's daughter. I'm hoping that they do more with her in the next episode as she's not been as prominent in the last few stories.

Link please?

I think she's this really hot girl who used to be in Emmerdale.

Hmmm... default comment from people who are accusatory about how predictable and repetitive Moffats writing supposedly is but aren't imaginative enough to offer theories of their own then when everything is finished complain about how obvious it was all the time.Considering this site published an article to collect suggestions and people are reading and commenting,it's not really as boring as you suggest and it's not like anything else has attempted something similar.

Go to Gallifrey Base and you'll find it there.

Khan?

What was the exact date on Clara's mother's grave? I know it was 2005. Her mother died as Rose met the Doctor. The woman twice dead, the show, also twice cancelled. "Hungry like the Wolf" from the Cold War was a hint. The car that nearly killed Clara's dad was the same one that killed Rose's (similar make and model). But whyyyy?!

I go there a lot. Lots of noise. Searching for "entire finale plot" doesnt narrow things down.

I don't remember the date, but I think I checked it when Bells of Saint John aired and it wasn't the same date as the air date for Rose

Since the introduction of the Silence I've found myself less and less worried about the big mysteries on Who because they are never as imaginative or satisfying as the ones the fans think up.

These days I just turn up on a Saturday and watch. I don't expect anything challenging or surprising from the show anymore and therefore I enjoy what's presented in front of me and promptly forget about it, apart from the odd episode that really does show what the show could be like with a bit more effort.

I don't really think there are any 'real' clues in the show that allow you to guess Clara's identity ahead of the reveal, just as there weren't regarding the silence.

All the crucial information will be kept for the finale and the 'clues' will be just enough for the writers to say look 'it was all there!', when it really wasn't.

I'll happily eat humble pie though, if any of the guesses above are accurate, although one or two may be on the right track (the GI is a bit of a loose end this series).

I really do think Who is now a kids show and any attempt at adult entertainment is token at best. The ideas presented are never fully explored and always resolved too quickly and cleanly. The show is getting pretty close to jumping the shark atm. Let's see what the finale and the anniversary special have in store though first.

Not really - I've just had Doctor Who overload recently and I doubt the Clara mystery will be truly revelatory. If you'd like my 'not really arsed' theory though, I think River is manipulating the Doctor's timeline in an effort to lead him to where he needs to be - after all, what is the universe? The ultimate library.

According to the DW wiki her mother died on March 5th, 2005, the same date that the episode Rose was leaked! Also Clara worked at a pub called the Rose and Crown.

Victorian Clara's headstone in 1892 states that she was born on 23 November 1866 and died 24 December 1892, meaning she not only shared the same birth date as Doctor Who itself but that she was also 26 years old when she died — the same age as Doctor Who was when it was cancelled in 1989 and also the same age as Jenna-Louise Coleman, the actress who played Clara.

My theory is similar, but I'm going with Clara being scattered through the universe by the exploding Tardis.

I'm the same, I used to be intrigued, now I'm just waiting for it to be all over and hoping it makes on iota of sense when it's done. There's quite a lot of hope over that.

Ho hum, this all went pear shaped.

A showdown with the Master in the Woolpack?

Gallifrey Base appears to still be operating in 1998.

Doesn't encourage sign ups when you might have to wait 2 days for verification.

It's not a secret dirty old men site is it?

I personally hope it may be Romana, who turned into a baby using a Fob Watch. Only reason I think this is the similar sounding name (which, to be fair, is probably coincidental) and the fact she had Tom Baker's first scarf in her home in The Bells of Saint John. Eh, just my two cents.

If it's like most of the DW mysteries since Moffat took over, we'll either never know, or we'll get some throwaway crumb of explanation before setting up the next mystery.

Clara reminds me of captain Jack (Harkness). So, is she Jack or is she related ? Maybe the relevant question to ask would be: what is Clara?

KHAAAAAAAN!!!!!!!!!

Is this the one from that "Whistleblower" blog that the blogger in question later revealed was fake? You know, the one who came across as a bit of a nutcase?

With no disrespect to those who love current DW, who cares?! Couldn't agree more. Clara has not been given any personality. She's not remotely real- just a vehicle to deliver snappy one liners and to attempt to create a mystery to bolster poor episodes. Rose had her knockers but she was far more "real" as was Donna. I don't blame the lovely JLC, the fault lies squarely in the writing. Why should the viewer care who she is or what happens to her when there's no level on which you can understand/identify with or connect with the character. A lot of people are yearning for the day Mr Moffat moves on. (Not that RTD's show was better, they've both delivered a largely mediocre show, just mediocre in different ways). But wow has this latest series been heavily dumbed down and shallow. Probably why the overnight ratings has consistently been dropping each week (4.61 million for the last ep.)

I want to know if Clara has a fob watch :D

Can she be the embodiment of the soul of the exploded Tardis?

Rose certainly did have her knockers.

"Does an impossible girl hold the key?". "The Impossible Astronaut". Coincidence? Almost certainly. Surely they can't pull the "She's River Song!" trick again!

While I like the idea of bringing either of those characters back (especially Susan), I definitely don't want Clara to turn out to be one of them. Considering the kiss she laid on the Doctor and the not-so-subtle flirting that goes on between the two, it would be too much (and by "much" I mean "gross") if it turned out the Doctor was her dear old dad (or grandad).

She is a Dalek mutated full circle, and doesn't die in or as a Dalek, but like Athena from Zeus' head, is born from one. She has the ultimate human/time traveller factor of Rose's hand print - Clara - light - so is sort of her offspring too, AND she's what the 4th Doctor was banging on about when he said, in the most epic Doctor who moment ever, floating in the vortex with Sarah and Harry, about the Daleks that "I also know that out of their evil must come something good" stiiiiiiiiiiing!

What was the name of the girl in Blink? Sally Sparrow. She worked in a shop at the end of that episode.... can't quite grasp that straw.....

I really hope the answer is a good one, and not some massive let down. Otherwise I think a lot of fans will walk away from the series, and that will be a massive shame.

NOTA.

It bugs me that the Doctor hasn't considered the possibility of her being time-fractured like Scaroth - you'd think him experiencing something similar before would at least make look into that. I feel someone would have thrown a line in about that if it wasn't being reserved for a possible solution (and yes, like the Gangers in S6 this might be a red herring).

I thin at least thematically she is meant to relate to the show itself - being born on its anniversary, dying (being cancelled) twice (I am including the TV movie in this) and her references to 11. Still, this offers no explanation except maybe suggesting she is tied to the Doctor before.

To those speculating it is Susan/Jenny/the Doctor's Mum - just like with River Song I seriously doubt this would happen when he has already kissed Clara and clearly has some sexual chemistry with her!

The main clue we have to go with is JLC tease that the Doctor hasn't just met her 3 times before. This implies it is SOMEONE he knows. While it is perhaps too predictable, and would likely get a very bad reaction from some, I am betting on it being a regeneration of River who has been fractured through time ala Scaroth. If it seems like she is returning from her apparent death in the Library, this is perfectly possible. I always thought, once learning River could regenerate, that it would be a waste not to re-cast her as a consistent companion. Introducing companions is getting tedious (as they rarely have such a long run as in the old series, yet are much more the focus of attention these days) so having a regenerating one would be a good fix for a few years, while allowing for actresses to move on.

That's pretty much my thinking in a nutshell. I kind of hanker back to the old ones. The writing might be a bit stodgy, the effects poor and the acting stagey but in most cases they had heart and soul. Oh and a story too. It's great having Doctor Who back on Saturday nights but the novelty of its return is starting to fade for me. Matt Smith is a terrific Doctor but I cannot think of a single story during his time that would rank among the very best IMO...

No! Have more, keep talking, I'll draft in into a screenplay and you and I are going into the movie making business, my friend.

I agree. I always thought the beauty of a companion was that they were "our man/woman on the inside". A normal person who is scared, bewildered, amazed, curious. The best example of that recently is probably Rory, but unfortunately he was caught up in a soap opera storyline. Now companions seem to end up being some great mystery or key to the universe, strung along across one or two series. The new series often does a good job of referencing the classic series, but there's been an overload of the new companions being all-important, turning up again and again after strung-out tearful goodbyes. If you want to see how a goodbye should be done, watch Susan, Barbara and Ian leave in the Hartnell era. Of course an extraordinary companion is great once in while, whether it's Susan, Adric or Clara, but for the most part are they not just ordinary companions following the Doctor in extraordinary situations?

I've said this before, but I like to repeat myself - whatever the explanation, I'm betting we will see Clara super-imposed into Classic series clips. Or maybe not. I don't know.

My one theory is that she sort of creates herself ala Bad Wolf... the Doctor keeps meeting her, so she must exist, paradox thingy. No? Oh well...

Either way, I've been loving the series, I love Clara and the Doctor and especially that they've brought back the Great Intelligence.

Yes, I think there is a difference between a kids show and a family show, but they've crossed over to kids now.

I thought of Sally Sparrow too, but she didn't have his phone number.

I think she is a normal girl- and by investigating her, the doctor will cause her to become the mystery by getting into some trouble that involves Clara being fractured through time and linked to the doctor somehow. Although seriously how many times has he messed up a companion?

Clara is the intriguing mystery which fizzled out in record time. We won't see the likes again for many years.

When River Song displaced Cleopatra in time (using her vortex manipulator crossed with some pebble-tech chipped from a weeping angel), Cleo had to go somewhere.

Perhaps she went several places, with psychic fragments attracted to some of the Pandorica's sponsors (hence turning up as a dalek, and aligned against the GI).

So CLara is CLeo. The CL is in the yCLept.

Gary Mitchell?

I doubt they'll walk away, considering there's been sillier storylines and plot twists in the Who universe (The Doctor/Rose romance, "Half human on my Mother's Side", the Doctor and River getting hitched, there's been a quite a few).

Agreed. As written she is generic and shallow. This is partly by design, because the character is meant to be enigmatic so any scrap of real personality or inner life would make her an individual and therefore less a blank slate...but that's no way to make the audience like or care about the character. I don't think people really have any interest in or affection for Clara herself; they're either hooked by the enigma or they shrug their shoulders. And no offense meant to JLC who clearly has some acting skills, and could do more if given some material, but she comes across here as generically pretty and bland voiced and not memorable in any way -- especially when compared to any other companion of the past fifty years.

Somebody somewhere wants Clara to travel with the Doctor, perhaps because she is vital to his future survival. To that end "someone" keeps placing "versions" of her in the Doctor's way, so that he will pick her up and invite her into the TARDIS. But it keeps going wrong. The first Clara turned into a Dalek. The second one got killed by the Ice Lady. Then the third one (modern day) survived, which is probably why we'll never see another one. The plan worked. What plan? Whose plan? I don't know yet, but a woman in a shop that just happens to have the Doctor's phone number?? Someone that wants the Doctor to survive...whatever it is that Clara will help him survive...River Song anyone?

Personally, I'd like her to be Jenny. That's what I've said since the start, even though it explains absolutely nothing about anything.

shortly thereafter to be sued into oblivion by the BBC. :-)

I'd help fund the defense though, I want to see this movie.

Right. I miss Donna Noble.

mmmmm... run, Rose, RUN!

I'm interested in who/what Clara is if only so the show can move on. I like puzzles, but this one is lacking any sort of meaningful enticement to solve. She can rip through dialogue on par with Smith and there have been some nicely crafted episodes, but, let's get on with "the story" already!

Or perhaps the TARDIS' daughter? Wonder why the TARDIS seems to not like her then...

If we finally get a resolution to the exploding TARDIS I will be satisfied. Imagine wrapping up all of the recent loose ends - Silence, Great Intelligence, Clara, etc. - in the final episode...

Yeah...I'm afraid that a major weakness of this series is why the Doctor finds Clara so interesting. I mean, given that he's a time traveller, he has to have bumped into people that look pretty similar over the years (millenia/eons). And given that he's meant to be some super-duper science guy - why can't he do a few tests? Quick test of DNA between Victorian Clara and 'Current' Clara - do some funky MRs of their brain and innards to check they're human - or even just do a bit of polygraph testing (e.g. 'Are you a Dalek' 'No' BUZZZ!). But no - instead he just gurns and runs about. Having said that - I like watching Matt gurn and run...

Clara isn't the Rani, because the Rani is making another appearance?
Well, one can hope.

She's the key to time! That's all I've got

Dr Who more than any other show is significant in its final ratings. That will be in excess of 6 million by then. U can't disregard fact like the press just to suit your opinions!

Gallifrey Base. Youll never find a more wretched hive of scum and villainy. You must be cautious.

Moffat is damned if he does and damned if he er....don't! Last season the arc heavy plot was heavily criticised as confusing so he dials it right back for this season and everyone complains! I do think the second split has suffered from lack of arc being pushed and individual episodes and no 2 parters but I applaud him for trying new things.

It was a deliberate pun :)

Look at the figures. From ep 1 (Bells) to Journey to COT, the final ratings are similarly down, by approximately 25%, A loss of 2 million viewers. There's a definite downward trend both at the overnight level and the final figures.

Is there a clue in the fact the tardis presented Clara with a hologram of herself as a communication interface. Is Clara a product of the tardis explosion? Also, could river be back because she is a better pilot of the tardis? Is she trying to stop the explosion?

And on that note how come if the tardis is meant to be flown by several timelords, hence gender doctors mad cap technique, how is river able to fly it so smoothly. Also, she said she was taught by the best, which we assume is the doctor, but he still can't fly that well. So waw river taught by the tardis. Or was all this explained already?

Maybe Clara is the Tardis... after it explodes shes the pieces of it spread through tim

She's the companion of the Doctor, spread throughout time after the time war, except she was actually the companion of the Ninth Doctor... Not the Ecclestone Ninth doctor, but the one between McGann and Ecclestone who will be unveiled during the 50th Anniversary played by John Hurt

Thats why the Doctor finds her so familiar and impossible, he travelled with her for years and she died traumatically during the time war, spreading her essence throughout time. An event so traumatic, that the Doctor forced himself to regenerate and totally blanked out the whole regeneration from his mind.

Blood calls to Blood through out the generations, Clara is Susan's grand daughter.

I can think of one MASSIVE SPOILERS AFTER THE BREAK bit of revealed dialogue from the series finale that may give something away (actually, it's more a statement of the obvious):

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Snippet of dialogue from the final episode - Doctor [delivered to the same actor who played the human version of the GI in The Snowman]: 'So how's the intelligence then? Still great?'

Come on, did anyone seriously entertain the idea that they'd bring back a recurring mega-villain not seen since the 2nd doctor's run, for two episodes in a row - the first being an 'origin story' showing the GI's transcendence from its human origins into the amorphous psychic being of the early classic series, in a manner that tries to give some explanation of the GI's fondness for snow themes and intimate knowledge of the London underground, and the 2nd ending with the reveal that the GI is alive and plotting away in modern London with the Doctor being completely unaware of its involvement in the episode's main plotline (okay, he already knew it was still alive - at the end of Web of Fear he leaves it stranded in space - but he's got no reason to think it's back on Earth again) - without that same mega-villain returning in the season finale?

Of course, the GI being the season's 'big bad' doesn't necessarily mean that it will be behind the Clara reveal....but surely a largely bodiless being of immense psychic power with a long-standing obsession with the Doctor (in its 'return serial' in Web of Fear, it attacks London specifically in order to draw the Doctor out with the intention of psychically possessing him in order to access the entirety of the Doctor's knowledge), who likes to combine psychically possessed human minions with semi-autonomous mechanical creations, has to be a serious contender?

She is The Master's daughter

I didn't make this up, I've seen it around the internet, but my favorite theory is that as a dalek Clara was spread across time and space by Rose during Bad Wolf. She turns up as a human because even as a dalek she's still human, like, in her heart, and adorkable things like that can happen on Doctor Who.

I hope she turns out to be just a nice hamper of consumables, something nice like that.

It would be a shame in a way though, as orginial Jenny was a rather lovely lady in her own right, so would be nice to have her back.

If she was a timelord and going about regenerating, even if she didnt know... she certainly wouldnt look identical after each regeneration...

The one thing we know for a fact and thats all the loose ends won't be neatly tied up :(

I'm perfectly satisfied with your "not really arsed" stance as I share it myself. This last slew of episodes have been attrocious. Matt Smith and JLC both look the part but they deserve much better material. That last episode - Gatiss' Victorian shambles in a workhouse - was so bad I actually felt as if the show was taking the piss out of me. If you enjoyed it then it is only because you have allowed yourself to be brainwashed into thinking you are somehow disloyal if you hadn't done. I'd rather the BBC went back to not making any Sci-Fi than churning out bilge.

Precisely.

I like this better than any other theory I've seen. Unfortunately having died twice foils the possibility of gathering all her counterparts throughout time in one spot to reassemble the Key, which would be the logical payoff. Too bad, it would have made a great story!

As she's Moffat's creation, I suspect her origin will be overly complicated, obscure and disappointing.

It's possible, the (pre-Eric Roberts) Master tended to look alike (mostly) after each regeneration.

But not the lowest for new Who and in fairness in keeping with final figures dating right back to Tennant. There's always been fluctuations. Add all the eps for series 7 together and its mostly been a very successful run. Until 2 weeks ago 11 eps in a row above 7 million. I do think its not without its problems in 7b but the figures are consistent with the modern series.

She's either Susan (like you said, anniversary year) as it would be the biggest comeback in history for the titular character of the very first episode.

Other than that, she's Romana. 'Cause if you think about it, she chose her appearance during her regeneration. Perhaps she has some form of memory loss, as someone/thing keeps placing her in the same situation.

Just a thought.

Didn't Rose Tyler work in a shop before she met the Doctor?

I don't think Dr who has been the same without Amy and Rory, so I still haven't warmed up to Clara yet.....

Love this idea!!

See "Let's Kill Hitler".

The TARDIS showed River how to pilot it. River is called "The child of the TARDIS", because she was conceived in flight on Amy and Rory's wedding night (A Christmas Carol).

Maybe she's the regenerated Master and something went wonky, there's always been speculation that a male Time Lord could regenerate into a Time Lady.

Agreed--"the woman in the shop" with the TARDIS' phone number--I think that's gotta be River & since we know she doesn't want him to travel alone, THAT would make sense. As for Who/What she is--I'd lean towards a "trap" except for the above point, so if she's not a trap....? I think a LOT depends on whether or not this version of "River" is Pre, or somehow POST-Library--if post--well, that in itself needs explaining, and since the "plot" is that someone is kidnapping the Doctor's friends to get him to pursue them to Trenzalore...that leads me back to TRAP. Arrgghhhh......We will find out in 9 days.

gotta agree--she quickly went from grating to my favorite of the companions since the show's revival. I have love for them all, but Donna tops the list & her "goodbye" was even more heartbreaking than Rose's

"The Silence are like the galactic Social services." <-Best Doctor Who explanation ever!

Fair enough. That provides a wider perspective. And perhaps there are other factors involved like not much publicity, split season and change of time slot every week...I guess the audience share is also very relevant and on that I'm not sure.

at first i had the theory that she was the Doctor's mother but now I reckon she's a part of the TARDIS because she keeps telling the Doctor to remember.... what he has to remember I don't know as yet but hearing about a "forgotten" Doctor which the TARDIS would know about makes a lot of sense

Seriously, brainwashed if you like it?
That's funny. So, if nobody agrees with you they're wrong.
I've enjoyed this series. I don't think it's been the strongest, but I do like the fact it's constantly trying something new. Moffatt doesn't always get it right, but he does seem passionate in his approach. I think he's done a great job as show runner. I think some people like to moan and others will only be happy when they drive the series off our screens again.
Relax.
Enjoy.

I've no idea who Clara is. I look forward to finding out.

Definitely now a kids' show. Which is all a bit worrying as the Doctor's behaviour is creepy when it comes to the little girls he encounters. Will Jimmy Savile appear in the 50th celebration?

Clara is a living TARDIS, like the compassion? In one of the books it states that Laura Tobin was "remembered" several times through the centuries, and eventually became the Compassion

Not sure she can be a Timelord/lady or descendent of one as she's been killed twice and a regeneration should mean change of appearance. How about a Teselecta? Especially as the last episode this year mentions Trenzalore and that would link back to the last series...

Sorry if this has already been posted, but it crossed my mind...

M/b
Clara isn't one past character revived or the next doctor or the
personification of the show, the TARDIS, etc., or even a culmination of
all the past companions.

What if Clara is a culmination of all
the doctors 1-9? It would be an easy way to get out of having any of the
previous doctors (other than 10--or perhaps even 10 if Tennant will be
playing 10.2) in the 50th, and it would answer all of the callbacks to
old doctors (it's almost as though there has been at least one for every
doctor, chronologically, as we go thru Season 7).

There would
have to be a perception filter hidden away somewhere, which prevents her
from knowing who she is in each iteration, and 11's
fascination with/affection for her makes sense. As much as we love him,
the Doctor is, after all, something of a narscissist and he, himself,
is the being he trusts most in the world.

I'm not sure what
would happen to Clara (1-9) after the secret is revealed--how could she
continue as a companion? So just a (possibly very silly) thought.

So, have at it, folks!

Who is Clara? The most annoying Dr. Who companion since Ace, that's who. I hope she doesn't last beyond this season. Can't stand her.

I'm pretty sure the 'Half human on my Mother's Side' is buried at the furthest depths of retcon hell.

It's definitely the "Han Shot First" of Doctor Who.

Everyone--she can't be anyone's child because she had normal parents! She was a baby, she grew up. She wasn't planted in a timeline whole and she wasn't adopted or the Doctor would have noticed it and tracked her origin back.

I bet the editors never expected the widespread "Who cares?" response to this question ...

She's the love child of Khan and the Rani.

Thank you, sir.
My opinions are:
This series has been patchy but decent and with some great moments.
Moffat isn't perfect but he's passionate and he's doing a decent job.
...Clara's the love child of Mycroft Holmes and the Rani (don't ask me how, but I'm sure.)
Goodnight.

I love Donna! Best companion of the 10th Doctors reign :)

I totally agree. JLC is a great actress, stunning girl, and her 1st ep in Asylum was cracking. But I just don't feel it... River was ok as a 'mystery' as she wasn't a main companion. These filler episodes seem to just forget 'Clara who?'

Would love it if she's spread through Tim ;)

wow. I must be an enigma! After only two episodes, and through her whole time I couldnt care less if Amy died. Her goodbye was not sad i was cheering. The girl who waited was not a huge awesome episode to me. My point is, all I have been reading about Clara is exactly how I felt about Amy, and River for that matter (post library). I didnt care about who mid season 5 thru season 7 but kept watching..and waiting..and finally an awesome comapion like Donna and Rose and Sarah Jane and Jo and Jamie and Ian and Tegan. Clara is wonderful, and I hope she isnt just temporary eye candy until the 50th. i hope she sticks around even after the "big reveal".

That made me laugh out loud. Thank you.

So true. Ah hahaha.

Doctor who was never the same WITH Amy and Rory. I know people have a crush on Amy, but honestly i couldnt stand that time. Rory coming in really helped though I liked him. I feel the show improved with Clara. But Amy had her moments. Rory always helped. Clara can hold her own like Donna and Rose and Sarah Jane.

OMG. I think you accidentally typed "Clara" when you really meant "Amy". Clara is easily the best companion since Donna and before that Rose.

I think that Clara, NOT Rose, was meant to meet the Ninth Doctor and travel with him, but missed the meeting because of her mother's death (her Mom's funeral is the same day that Rose met the Doctor). Time is trying to correct the mistake by causing her to echo throughout the universe, and that echo is why the TARDIS doesn't like her, and maybe even the cause of the TARDIS exploding. Fixing the problem involves Ten and Rose coming back.

My head hurts
When you think too much about Doctor Who
you go slightly
mAD

Everybody complains about Doctor Who. Some people don't.
Story arcs, blah.
Too confusing, blergh.
Kids show, err.
But really, if the show stopped, what would happen?
I think the Whovians would implode

The shares remained consistent. All the factors u just listed are fair but it is fair to say its not at its best in the second run. I definitely think the split has hampered not helped. Still less good Who is still better than most other things for me! :)

but that would mean he kissed himself......and was a woman

the rest actually makes a sort of crazy mixed-up kind of sense

kudos on tying the exploding tardis into that one we never got an answer for that one...

Thank you. Thank you. I cannot say it enough - thank you!

My name is... Tim?

Where is The Silver Nemesis review?

If it is going to have some link to the 50th episode then John Hurt as the 9th Doctor has to be the pivot point. I like the idea that we will find out the Doctor regenerated after the time war to forget his role and consequently his at the time companion Clara who died and and has been cast throughout time.
This might help to explain why the Tardis doesn't like her. It's because the Tardis doesn't want the Doctor to remember his forgotten self. Also might explain how the Tardis could produce a hologram of Clara as it had spent considerable time with her before.
It could also tie up with why the Doc feels familiar with her, how she seems to be able to cope in various situations despite being 'new'. I think could also explain the 'run clever boy... and remember comments' as every instance of Clara that the Doctor encounters is trying to make him remember his past self and her, although this only happens as she dies so that would imply she has forgotten her purpose.

I have just seen the TV preview for finale and going on what it shows this is probably well wide of the mark as it seems to suggest she is the Doctors savior, so my guess is she sacrifices herself at some point causing her to be sent through time to protect him. Although maybe instead of being killed in the time war she sacrificed herself in some way during it in attempt to save him.... unlikely but helps at least keep my possible theory going.

I was watching JJ Abrams tonight on some BBC show talk about Lost and how some mysteries should never be explained, because the explanation will never match what we imagine it could be. And that's when I had the idea that maybe Moffat won't answer the one he's set up. The finale will be contrived so that the Doctor will end up not caring who Clara really is. Certainly most of the rest of us don't give a crap now.

This a something I came across earlier online as a possible storyline -

River says the Doctors name, a tomb opens, inside are all his timelines and strands of his history, the Great Intelligence go in and start to change his past victories to defeats and start to change his history, Clara goes in also and tries to stop the GI and to help the Doctor, hence the appearances through time as the same person, probably not going to happen but does sound good to me. River,realising what she's done goes in as well then sacrifices herself and erases herself from history so she cannot live to say his name and hey presto tomb never opens . The end.

I particularly liked the theory that she is anybody other than the Rani.

Clara is Clara. She doesn't become important until 'the Name of the Doctor' in which she gets scattered throughout space and time

Main problem with Clara, Moffat is more interested in the mystery than anyone else! It has not been effectively integrated into the plot; apart from The Doctor occassionally mentioning her as the impossible girl there has been little effort to investigate the mystery.

Maybe it should have been done the other way round, with The Doctor continually running into different Clara's, & only when he solves the mstery of her repeated deaths does she become a companion.

I hope Moffat has an interesting resolution, maybe there is no mystery? Maybe what happens in the final episode creates the mystery of Clara's death/rebirth.

River is locked in the library wi th the vashda nerada. The vashda neradas home is in trees. Claras story started with a leaf that was the most important thing in the world. Make of this what you will.

Run You Clever Boy And Remember

R.Y.C.B.A.R

C.BARRY

I give up, the usual conclusion of these type of stories on Who are usually more contrived that Ted Rogers revealing if you've won Dusty Bin or not.

Heh, heh--good point.

Although at least marginally better than kissing his daughter or granddaughter or a TV show, no?

Or a zygon as they're in the 50th special! Ok, I'm giving up trying to guess now! And going to avoid fan boards like the plague as BBC distributors cocked up and sent some DVDs out early! Don't want to spoil Saturday :-)

I always took this line as a joke. Probably because I like everything to be canon and hate retcons. So for me, just a joke, no problem !

Well there actually very few mysteries in Lost which weren't explained at all, I watched the whole series several times and it's pretty clear at the end.

The Khani?

Last weeks lost of rating maybe due to FA cup?

Let me ask a question: if the Doctor were to fall in love with anyone, who would it be? Answer: The Tardis, the only thing he has ever really loved. Therefore: Clara is in fact the Tardis embodied. That is why she is able to appear repeatedly through time and space, saving the Doctor each time. Perhaps the Doctor is facing such a serious threat that the Tardis has to do something to save him by becoming Clara?

i have a theory of who clara is- and whovians can speculate if this could be accurate or disprove it- but my theory is this: i think it goes further than that- i believe that clara is the doctor's 1st wife from gallifrey, but she wanted to find him after being apart from him for so long that she escaped before the planet could timelock by hijacking her own tardis from the museum where the doctor got his- after escaping from gallifrey to look for him just as the time lock had come about, she left to search for him, but when she could not find him after searching for him after so long (over 900 years of searching),she then went on to seal her identity so she doesn't want to remember, it changes her physiology just enough so that she isn't entirely time lady anymore, but is not human enough to completely die, which is why she keeps coming back and not remembering ho or who she was before, why she always appears the same throughout the ages, but does not regenerate to the point in changing her appearance, and why she feels a connection to the doctor but still cant remember him, just like how the doctor was when he changed his physiology and put his memories in the fob watch (chameleon circuit) when being chased by the family of the blood.

I have an idea but lack the encyclopedic knowledge and mental discipline that you true whovians have to fully analyse it so i'll just throw it out there. Could she be a future incarnation of the Doctor? It could explain how she gets round in time and space a bit.

Why has nobody picked up on the fact that at a time in which others are interested in the enigma of the Doctor's true identity, the Doctor just happens to be interested in the enigma of Clara's ? This seems to me to be very unlikely to be simply a coincidence, and far more likely to be a central key to an understanding of the truth.

You were damn right.

OMG! That is the first theory I have read that was both original and gave me chills up my spine. I definitely think that Clara is somehow connected to River. Remember River knows everything about the doctor.

Theory: she's a lost incarnation of the Tardis, unaware of her true nature, repeating itself throughout History in a similar way that the Tardis' explosion caused the cracks throughout history, since its been established that it exists at every point in time simultaneously. That's why Eleven's Tardis doesn't like her -- you never get along with yourself. Aka your own clone would freak you out.

don't forget Rose-------and her appearance ------her eyes, very much like the Bad Wolf episode, where she scatters everything across time and space.

That version of Rose has a lot more to do with the series. In fact, if you look at a lot of the companions, they have been destined/planted there. Much like Donna Noble.

a post-library River appears in the day of the doctor

only 4.61 million?????? lol

its so badly written now that they probably just dismiss it and don't even given any outcome. like they did with the women time lord in the last of tenants episode. why go to all that effort to include her yet never reveal. it comes down to very poor writing which relying on cheap stunts like this rather than good quality stories. like it used to be. now its all about running.

**ding** give that man a prize

Maybe Clara is Rose! Maybe when Rose looked into the Heart of the Tardis, she created a piece of herself to save the doctor.

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