By: +David Herron; Date: January 8, 2018
Tags: Doctor Who
Clara Oswin Oswald, a.k.a. The Impossible Girl, has a convoluted history in Doctor Who. The character was first seen in Asylum of the Daleks but over her story arc she became entwined in the whole of the Doctor's life. How can we say for certainty when the Doctor first met Clara?
In Asylum of the Daleks, a particularly renegade Dalek was holed up in a bunker. This was a Dalek created by converting a human, Clara Oswin-Oswald, into a Dalek, but she refused to believe she'd been converted.
But, was that Clara? If Clara was born on Earth around 2000 AD, how did she become part of the crew of a space ship many hundreds of years later?
We saw another fragment of Clara in The Snowmen. As a Victorian-era Nanny she proved to be a good Companion, witty and resourceful. But, was that Clara? We saw a 6-or-7-year-old-Clara at one point, in the time period around 2000 AD, so how did she get to Victorian England?
In The Name of the Doctor we saw a situation in which The Doctor was in such stress/danger that Clara jumped into his time stream. That, according to the story, split Clara into fragments across the Doctor's entire life-span. We saw fragments interacting with various Doctor incarnations -- for example a great big unanswered puzzle of the Sylvester McCoy era is just how he was rescued from that icy cliff in Dragonfire. At the end of one episode he was hanging onto the cliff using just his umbrella, the next he's dusting himself off, with no sign of how the danger was solved. We now know it was a Clara Fragment that saved him.
Are we to believe that Clara Fragments are what saved The Doctor from all sorts of other dangers? Does that make any sense at all?
In any case, it's possible the Clara who jumped into the Doctor's timestream was the original Clara. If so, there is a line of events for that Clara leading back to childhood. A mini-episode between The Snowmen and The Bells of St John showed a 6 or 7 year old Clara interacting with The Doctor.
If, indeed, that's the original Clara, then we can say the Doctor first met Clara in that playground in that mini-episode. We saw the parents of that Clara meet, the oak leaf that became a special family hierloom, the burial site of Clara's mother, and various other points in time up until they met in The Bells of St. John. That indicates a strong likelihood that Clara was the original Clara.
But we also saw a different set of parents in The Time of the Doctor, making it really difficult to be certain of anything ....
But - is that 6-or-7 year old Clara really Clara, or was that just another Clara fragment? Ditto with the Clara he met in The Bells of St. John?
When the Doctor jumped into his own timestream to rescue Clara, did he reunite every Clara fragment? Was the Clara that emerged the original Clara?
How can anything be known for sure because of this nonsense of jumping into the Doctor's timestream? And - given what we were shown in Fathers Day, why didn't The Doctor jumping into his own timestream cause a tremendous explosion?
And if we take at face value - Clara became fragmented across The Doctor's timestream - how many of the Companions were really Clara fragments?