Hello! I know I’ve done a lot of Doctor Who posts, but I don’t think I’ve done many just for the sake of discussing the show. But Clara being one of my very favorite companions, and knowing the mixed reactions to her character arc throughout her time on the show, I really wanted to share my opinion. And I mean, this really is just my opinion and I respect the Whovians who completely disagree with me on Clara. Also, there could be possible spoilers. ;)
Let me start with telling you why I like her series 7 episodes so much. I think the main thing would just be her personality. She’s spunky, sassy, and while she’s excited about traveling with the Doctor, there’s this undeniable independent streak that she has. She’s not afraid to make fun of the Doctor and she’s not afraid to be on her own. At the same time, the sobering things that occur do have a profound effect on her, which I think makes her really relatable and human.
Although she makes some rather inappropriate comments throughout these episodes that I’m not crazy about (mainly in the “echo” versions of her, like in The Snowmen and Asylum of the Daleks) she has an overall youth and innocence about her. I guess I viewed Clara as the type of character that isn’t tied down by anything, except her love for others, which is something that she and the Doctor actually talk about in the end of The Bells of St. John (season 7, episode 6). I really enjoyed that balance of freshness and sweetness–that feeling that as I watched the show, anything could happen with her character at any moment.
Beginning with The Time of the Doctor, I feel like her character arc was a little bit of a let down. With the Doctor’s not-so-great treatment of her adding to it, her character didn’t seem as strong. I guess a lot of that really is because of the things that happened, but that’s also the fault of the writers’.
And moving on to Series 8, I won’t go into much about the first episode. Of course she’s going to be out of character: the man she was in love with just completely changed appearance and personality (which is honestly the more traumatic change of the two). The main thing was all the talk about her ego-mania and her being a control freak. Of course in the episodes like Hide (season 7, episode 9), when the TARDIS chooses the hologram of Clara when searching for someone she esteems, we got a glimpse of that side of her. But I thought it was really funny, and more of a hint about the TARDIS’s “opinion” about her rather than her opinion about herself.
And then starting with Deep Breath, she’s suddenly a control freak. It’s not that I don’t think it’s funny, or that she could never turn into that kind of a person, I just think there wasn’t much of a buildup to that, if any.
Also, Clara and Danny. In their first meeting, I felt distanced from Clara as a character, and that’s because I didn’t really see any natural chemistry between them. As the series progresses, I do like Danny in and of himself, but at the same time I feel like he was a bit too controlling with Clara. I realize that there are people who really ship these two, and that’s totally fine, but I just personally think their romance was forced. Even by the end of the series 8, the feeling behind the relationship felt stale, and so did Clara’s character development.
In Last Christmas, it’s clear that Clara still loves Danny. And to me, it still feels forced. Frustratingly so. To the point where she’d rather die than be without Danny. It is really sad, and I’d be lying if I said it didn’t give me any feels, but it doesn’t kill me because I don’t have a deep understanding of their romance in the way that I felt they needed to be together. Something that did happen in this episode was Clara agreeing to travel with the Doctor again, and even if it wasn’t entirely realistic in the flow of the episode, her excitement and eagerness was a bit more like the series 7 Clara.
There’s an element of recklessness (for lack of a better word) about Clara in series 8. To an extent, she’s been desensitized. Not entirely, because watching loss of innocent life always affects her greatly, but anything less than that doesn’t seem to bother her that much. Maybe that progression is realistic considering how many times they’ve risked their lives at this point, but as we get into series 9 it starts to get old. It gets to the point where Clara brushes off the Doctor’s concern about her taking too many risks.
The simultaneously youthful, spunky, and sensitive nature of Clara seems very dampened in series 9, replaced with an older, less innocent version. While her relationship with the Doctor definitely deepens, which I really love, it seems to be mainly on the Doctor’s part. He opens up to her more, he comes to realize how afraid he is of losing her and actually admits it for once. But mainly, he goes to greater lengths than ever to take care of her.
Finally, he’s being kinder, more careful, and more honest. And yet here’s Clara, being rather unappreciative of that. Like, thanks but no thanks. Basically, the Doctor and Clara are running as fast as they can toward whatever danger awaits them, all the while knowing it can’t last forever, as Moffat essentially tells us in interviews concerning their relationship in this series.
To conclude this post, I thought I’d share an edit that I made out of curiosity, wanting to see the comparison of Jenna Coleman’s appearances in each series. Of course, she’s gorgeous no matter what she does with her hair or makeup, but to me these changes really coincided with the changes in her character.
Some people were glad to see Clara leave, but I wasn’t in the least. It was heartbreaking to me, and the only thing I like about her exit was that it left an opening for her to make an appearance down the road, and for her and the Doctor to become friends again. While I don’t think the show writers did her justice, her relationship with the Doctor didn’t let me down. That just makes her absence in the show unacceptable, and is also the reason why I’ll probably keep vidding them for as long as I’m making videos.
And as for my favorite companion, that’s the beauty of being able to watch series 7 over again. I can still go back and appreciate Clara the way I like her best, when she was my favorite companion. My main frustration is that I didn’t get to see more of her like that.
Anyway, forgive my ramblings. Once again, this post is merely my opinion. I’d be glad to know if anyone agrees, or whatever your thoughts might be on Clara. I hope I didn’t come across as ranting, because I really don’t hate Clara, not even in the episodes where she didn’t seem herself. So thank you to anyone who stuck with this lengthy post! XD