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Greetings, That’s Normal Whovians! As you all know, Doctor Who Series 8 and new doctor’s début episode airs THIS SATURDAY August 23 at 8pm EDT! The premier is called “Deep Breath” and the preview was finally released this weekend. If you haven’t seen it, check it out now:
T-Rex? Madame Vastra? Peter Capaldi in a nighty? I can’t contain my excitement! So, I decided to do a little countdown this week to help release my amped up emotion for the premiere. For Monday I am featuring the one thing that is the same from last season: Clara ‘Oswin’ Oswald. Since we are five days away, here are five things I love about Clara:
It’s a rare character who can make the Peter Pan collar absolutely work. Some will disagree with me, but Clara totally rocks it! She has the right shape and size face and the right haircut to not look five years old or awkwardly too old to be wearing a Peter Pan collar. I hope this wardrobe trend continues for her this season!
Ever notice how no companion ever seems to have a longterm job? Rose’s job was blown up in her premiere, Martha was still working on her medical residency when we meet her, Donna was a temp and then was unemployed, and Amy was a kiss-o-gram. Sure Clara was just a nanny when we first meet her (well, the “original” her), but now she’s got a proper job teaching! She has a flat too. Her own flat! This is a big step up for independent female characters in the Doctor Who reboot world. I’m a fan. Who says a girl can’t travel through space and time AND have a FT job?
I love Clara’s vulnerability. Sure she loves an adventure like anyone who travels with the Doctor, but she’s never trying to hide her fear in a scary situation. When she needs to pull out the brave card, she totally does (remember the motorpod/leaf moment in “Rings of Akhaten”?), but when there is a super scary monster loose in the dark, she is scared. I love that! Because it is scary, and we need to see that being scared is permissible, even with–perhaps especially with–the Doctor. After all, he is just a madman with a box. I think that Rory is the most like Clara in this way. He was always trying to make the practical choice because he didn’t want to be in a dangerous situation. But when he needed to be brave, like when he took on the ship of cybermen, he totally was.
Yeah, yeah, Amy was a good flirt, but not in the way Clara is. Clara has the flirt down to an art. She knows exactly the buttons to push with the Doctor to get him riled up, but she’s not into him as more than a friend. When she’s her other self the first two times we meet her (Asylum of the Daleks and The Snowmen), she already intimately knows the Doctor and it’s 100% evident how great she is at teasing him. So much fun to rewatch those episodes after knowing who she is in them. I am interested to see how the show writers will channel her flirt now that the Doctor is so different from Eleven.
A lot of flack has been given to Steven Moffat for how Clara is personality-less and just a giant enigma for most of her season. I have thought about it a lot and I now disagree. Clara is a super maternal person who likes to give and help. After losing her mom as a teenager, she flourished into someone who has to help, even if she is sacrificing part of her own dreams to do so. This is how we meet her in The Bells of St John–working as a nanny for kids who are old enough not to need a nanny simply because the day she was meant to go travel, their mom died. She couldn’t leave because of who she is. At the finale of her first season (before the 50th anniversary episode), she takes on the role of saving the Doctor throughout his timestream. She sees he is going to be destroyed, and she can’t let it happen. She has to save him.
Clara is a caretaker down to her very core. It’s natural that she be a nanny and a teacher. She’s that person. She wants to help others thrive. It defines her. I think it’s really great, and I do wonder how it will affect her relationship with the new Doctor. He is not supposed to be as floppy as Eleven, and therefore likely won’t need a caretaker. We shall see…
I know Clara isn’t everyone’s favorite, but she has certainly grown on me. I am excited for her to continue on the show and look forward to seeing how she adapts and grows with the new doctor! See you tomorrow, same place, same time for my four favorite villains!
What’s your favorite thing about Clara? Do you like or hate Clara as a companion? How do you think she and the new Doctor will get on?