“Run, you clever boy. And remember.”
With just a week left until the mid-season premiere of Doctor Who, Easter Saturday can’t come quickly enough. The autumn episodes of series 7 saw the tearful farewell of the Ponds, but not three months later Whovians were thrust back into the world of our favorite Madman with a Box, and were formally introduced to his newest companion, played by the spunky Jenna-Louise Coleman.
But there is a single question that Doctor Who fans–and the Doctor himself–have been asking for months: Just who is Clara Oswin Oswald?
The 2012 Christmas special “The Snowmen” unfortunately left us with more questions than answers (and there were very few of those). And if writer Steven Moffat has a single predictable thing about him, it’s that he’s unpredictable, and I’m not going to attempt to theorize what part Oswin will play in the series, because I would assuredly be way off base. But I can tell you what we do know about this new mysterious companion.
She’s a Dalek
Well, at least she was in “Asylum of the Daleks.” But she definitely wasn’t a Dalek in the Christmas special, and she almost definitely isn’t a Dalek in the second half of series 7. So, there’s that. She claims to be human, but judging by the fact that she is on the Dalek Asylum and has in effect “dreamed up” a sort of alternate reality for herself, there’s obviously something more complex going on here. Also, the Doctor was able to hear her real, “human” voice through the intercom, and recognize it following their encounter in “The Snowmen.” So at least we’re not the only ones confused.
She Can Time Travel
Or so it would seem. After all, her first meeting with the Doctor occurred on the futuristic Dalek Asylum, and their second encounter took place in nineteenth century London. And now, judging by the episode previews, she is living in the present day. However, she seems to have no memory of her previous meetings with the Doctor, which raises the question of whether or not she is in fact the same person in every appearance.
She’s Died at Least Twice
Between being blown up as a Dalek and free-falling from the TARDIS through the night skies of London (stop it Moffat), Clara should by all rights be dead. And in fact, she is. Or was. Or…well, that’s what the Doctor is setting out to resolve, and guaranteed, there will be no simple explanation.
So who is Clara Oswald? And more importantly, what is and will be her relationship to the Doctor? Is she a time-traveler like River Song, with a definite time line, only the Doctor keeps meeting her at different points? Perhaps she’s connected to the Time Lords, or a member of a different race altogether. Is she even a single person? My guess is that by the end of series 7, while some things may get cleared up, we will only be left with more questions about the mysterious souffle girl. Nonetheless, we are in for a great second half of a season, and Clara promises to be yet another memorable companion.
Check out a clip featuring Clara from the upcoming “The Bells of Saint John” here.