Who is Clara Oswald? That’s a damn good question and I don’t have the answer. But I do have a lot of ideas based on what’s happened so far. It’s always hard to try to guess where Doctor Who is going (especially Moffat-era Who), but sometimes the more outlandish ideas end up coming true (River is really Amy and Rory’s daughter you guys). So here’s my guesses about who and what Clara is that will either be dead on or hilariously off base. Ready? Go!
Let’s start with Clara’s weird relationship with the TARDIS. Who was the last person the TARDIS acted strange towards? Jack Harkness. And it was because he was “impossible” due to his immortality (which was, strangely enough, caused by a TARDIS inhabited Rose Tyler). Other than that, the TARDIS seems to either have cheerful interactions with his companions or she seems pretty indifferent towards them. She’s reacting strongly to Clara and I think it senses something is ‘impossible’ about her. But if the TARDIS can sense something is off with Clara, why didn’t Emma Grayling sense anything, you might ask. This might have to do with the fact that the TARDIS has met another version of her already whereas Emma is just meeting her for the first time a the perfectly normal girl Clara. Nothing is ‘wrong’ with her yet on a biological level. I think as far as Clara’s timeline is concerned, this is the first time she’s met the Doctor and the TARDIS. They, however, have met her and while the Doctor is extremely curious, the TARDIS is suspicious. So basically this Clara is “Clara Prime” and the rest are all copies of her.
In The Bells of Saint John her mind and personality gets uploaded to a network completely disconnected from her body making her essentially just a consciousness By the end of the episode we’re led to believe that everyone has been returned safely to their bodies, but perhaps there’s still a part of them left on the network. Maybe this small echo would allow her to be uploaded to knew bodies. She was, after all, uploaded to a Dalek. Whether this was straight off the network or taken from the fake body it was inhabiting, I’m not sure, but there is definite ‘uploading’ going on in Asylum of the Daleks so perhaps that was the case for the Victorian copy as well. This show has a long history of human replicas – Gangers, Teselectas, the TARDIS human interface.- so it’s not entirely out of the realm of possibilities that her mind could live on outside of a human body.
Strangely enough, neither of the other Clara’s seem to recognize the Doctor, but they do both show signs of a connection to the original Clara. For one, they both adopt the “Oswin” moniker that Clara coins in The Bell’s of Saint John. They also both use the phrase “run you clever boy and remember,” which Clara invented as a mnemonic to remember the WiFi password. Both of these things happened on the same day that she got uploaded to the network so maybe that information was ‘closer to the surface.” Why they don’t remember the Doctor, which happened on the same day… well, yeah I don’t know. Glitch from being uploaded to a Dalek body? Maybe the Victorian version was just pretending? Maybe whoever is controlling her doesn’t want her to know him for some nefarious purpose?
Someone controlling her? you ask.
Yes, here’s my grand theory on that…
I’ve got nothing. Perhaps the person in the shop who gave Clara the Doctor’s phone number was in on it. I mean, did that story seem a little fishy to anybody else? It’s gotta mean something… right? They haven’t really talked about it since then but… it… means something? Maybe? This is kind of where my theory ends, but tell me your theories in the comments.
Author: Angel Wilson
Angel is the admin of The Geekiary and a geek culture commentator. They earned a BA in Film & Digital Media from UC Santa Cruz. They have contributed to various podcasts and webcasts including An Englishman in San Diego, Free to Be Radio, and Genre TV for All. They’ve also written for Friends of Comic Con and is a 2019 Hugo Award winner for contributing fanfic on AO3. They identify as queer.
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