I sat down and marathoned the Clara arc last night. That was... not bad. Particularly after Amy and Rory. A marriage made of "I love you more" vs "You couldn't possibly love me" is not one the Doctor should have been trying to save, but I guess there are some lessons even the Doctor never learns.

Clara stuff under the cut, because the finale went out a month ago, there's more in the 50th Anniversary special, and I don't need the internet to throw things at my head.

I actually thought her plot ended up making perfect sense, or as much sense as anything ever makes on Doctor Who. She was an ordinary girl who ended up doing extraordinary things because she fell in with the Doctor. It seems trite to say 'that's all' -- that was quite enough. It wasn't necessarily a time loop of she's mysterious > let's find out about her > ask her to travel with me. Clara is the sort of person he picks up anyway, without the additional impetus of having seen her die a couple of times before; it's perfectly possible that the initial meeting happened, in the original timeline, simply because she was interesting and in danger.

The "girl in the shop" who gave her the number to the best helpline ever wasn't River Song, or Clara would have recognized her in the conference call. It's unlikely that it's any of the Doctor's former companions -- Rose is in an alternate universe, and people like the Brigadier and Sarah Jane Smith don't seem to have any reliable way to contact him, other than just waiting for more aliens to turn up. It may be a sideways reference to one of the Big Finish audios, in which a harmless memetic virus sweeps through Earth, causing people to subconsciously dial wrong numbers that connect them to exactly the person that they need. More likely, it's a temporal echo. There are a number of elements that repeat from Clara to Clara, like the name Nina (Oswin's teasing Rory / the friend that Angie wants to visit) and her crazy-mad computer skills (even Daleks can't normally hack the entire Dalek collective / being uploaded and downloaded after a slight upgrade).

There's even a direct echo of her being on the "floor" of the nowhere in the middle of the Doctor's timeline -- the hysterical shouting of, "I don't know where I am!" Which is just unusual enough to be deliberate, if you think about it. Technically, she does know where she is, and since she jumped in there to rescue the Doctor, you'd think the first thing she'd do is shout "DOCTOR!" repeatedly at the top of her lungs. Even if you don't count all the 'where are we?' questions about the bazaar and the amusement park, which are status quo for companions, it's also echoed in The Dalek Asylum, where she keeps telling the Doctor that she can't tell him exactly where her pod is -- quite strange, considering all of the other information she's been dragging out of the Dalek sensor network.

I expect that the "Impossible Girl" aspect of her storyline is now considered solved, since unless you want to retcon the hell out of everything that happened in the finale, it's all explained to the extent of normal Doctor Who logic. The next thing that needs to be resolved isn't where she comes from or how she got there, but the fact that being in the TARDIS-tomb tickled the memories she shouldn't have of the day the Doctor erased. (Why does she remember it in the first place? Because jumping into his personal timestream later put her in all of his timelines -- even the aborted ones.) She didn't know his name outside the doors, but River spoke it, and presumably this plus TARDIS-magic will eventually trigger Clara's direct memory of reading it in the history book.

I think it's also worth pointing out that when Clara claimed she saw "all of you" in there, she specified eleven of him. She doesn't seem to be aware that Time Lords have a theoretical cap of thirteen bodies. (The point is made, occasionally rather gruesomely, that in order to properly kill off a Time Lord, you pretty much have to stand there and murder the remaining regenerations one at a time. Even if the Eleventh Doctor is the last one who got to get up and go anywhere, she still would have seen two more faces, if wrenchingly briefly.) That means all the Doctors she's been dying to save are only the ones that have occurred linearly up to the point in his personal timeline where he careened into his own tomb. She hasn't seen any of his personal timeline that occurs (from his perspective) after he came in to get her. Given how much is made of the leaf and how it symbolizes an infinity of futures yet unlived, I would be surprised if this is not a big factor in how the Doctor resolves the... whatever is going on.

The TARDIS probably doesn't like her because she's at a lot of temporal coordinates where she's not supposed to be. The TARDIS has a long, storied history of not liking anybody who mucks with the Doctor's biodata and timeline. She's equally pissy when other Time Lords do it, she's just more able to do something about it when it's a human who doesn't know anything about breaking into sophisticated pieces of time travel machinery. She dislikes Jack Harkness for much the same reason, at least until the Doctor quits trying to squirm out of his own skin whenever Jack is around. It's unclear whether Clara was actually flying the TARDIS into the pocket universe or not -- the TARDIS is at least semi-sentient and has been known to bend the rules on that when her favorite Doctor-person really wants her to. For all we know, the TARDIS homed in on him herself and just relented long enough to let Clara press the button that said GO.

There's something going on with Clara's outfits that I still haven't quite deciphered. She wears a striking amount of red and blue. Sometimes predominantly red, sometimes predominantly blue, sometimes an outfit that involves both. It's not quite connected with her death(s). I would almost think that time is playing "red light, green light" with the Doctor, putting her in blue when a choice he makes enables the Clara he has to stay with him. Victorian Clara meets him wearing red, and dies wearing blue -- but she's wearing red the first time, when he sends her away, and has changed to blue by the time he accepts her and hands her the TARDIS key. Dalek Clara never wears blue and dies dreaming she's wearing a lipstick-red dress, the Doctor never having seen her pre-Dalek form, and certainly never offering to take her with him. Wifi-Clara adventures in a maroon tunic, but tells him to ask her to go again tomorrow, when she comes back wearing a blue outfit. She wears a red dress when he chases her desperately through the crashed TARDIS, but once he's erased the day, she comes back from swimming or shower or something wearing blue, with a blue towel over her shoulder.

The dress she wears when they stop off in Victorian times to deal with a lot of red leech goo is deep purple. No idea what that means. She's wearing silver in the submarine, but also spends most of the story with a dark blue Russian officer's coat on over it. She's in black with a vivid red print for Cybermen, and in blue plaid in the finale. Other outfits have involved a bright red crossover bag over something quietly blue, like in the bazaar and the ghost house, where she also had a big red brolly.

In several of the flashes of her in other places in the Doctor's timeline, she's wearing brown, but not in all of them -- when she directs him to the TARDIS with the dodgy nav systems, she's in a deep red tunic. The Victorian barmaid is wearing red. The next looks like Ten at the Library, and she's in red. Brown for the TARDIS corridor with Six in the obnoxious coat walking behind her. Brown, skulking behind Four, and then brown again when Two runs past in his favorite ridiculous fur coat. Her sleeve looks blue while she's looking in at Five in the Matrix.

Early press made much of the fact that there were apparently several takes of the kiss in The Snowmen, which made me wary. Clara does flirt outrageously with him, but not for the sake of trying to pull him. It seems to be because when she first met him, and thought he was much more ordinary than he was, she tried it on him as a matter of course and discovered that if she pushed to the point where he realized it was flirting flirting, the reflexive scramble to explain that it's not like that short-circuits whatever else he was trying to argue about. She does it tactically, and also because it's funny. He is eleventy kabillion times more nervous of accidentally letting her think he means it than she is, possibly because of Amy. Given her total lack of reaction in Hide when he starts babbling about love stories with his arm around her shoulders, her blithe assurance that she knows he doesn't mean to get her out of her clothes like that in The Snowmen, and that her instant response to him making a pass at her in Silver Nightmare is to smack him out of the mind-control, I'd say she doesn't think she's in the middle of an epic romance and would be deeply weirded out if she ever thought that he did. Eleven is very handsy with her, but Eleven is very handsy with a lot of lifeforms; Clara just welcomes it more than most.

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