The song accompanying our Whovian week seems to have been Wham’s 1984 classic ‘Last Christmas’, after the BBC announced the very same title for Doctor Who’s Yuletide episode. The words of that Christmas ditty are quite appropriate. Last Christmas, Clara really did give her heart to the Eleventh Doctor. But he already had two of his own – which he promptly went and regenerated along with his kidneys. But this year will Clara give her heart to the new Doctor? Now that Danny has popped his cyberclogs, is Twelve her “someone special”?
We had expected Series 8 to revolve around the new Doctor, but we got Clara, Clara, Clara. And we are not complaining. We were utterly blown away by Jenna’s performance, which rivalled Billie Piper at her best. We had a new Sarah Jane in the making. Yet, in Series 7, her complex “Impossible Girl” characterisation and death or two made Clara a little difficult to identify with. And when she wasn’t being “impossible”, Clara was just scripted as a generic companion. It was if the production team paid little attention to her – hardly surprising in the anniversary year, not to mention a departing Doctor. Nevertheless, Jenna’s bubbliness and verve shone through, in every episode she appeared.
Now the BBC are ramping up the publicity around Clara. Will she? Won’t she? This Christmas, it won’t be the novelty of the Doctor pulling in the audiences, but his companion, and the intrigue surrounding her fate. Who knows if it is all a deliberate ploy by the Moffmeister to get us to tune in on Christmas Day? Or was the actress’s contract up in the air and quite simply nobody knew what turn events would take?
Personally, I hope Clara stays for the whole of Series 9. I don’t care if she does a “Tegan” and nearly overlaps three Doctors (assuming Capaldi stays on for Series 10). Indubitably, Moff and co. struck acting gold when they cast Coleman. It was plain to see that the actress had talent and experience, but little did they know how she would blossom and the extent to which we would take her into our hearts.
Some might argue that a new companion will refresh interest in the series and grab a few headlines for the show. But at what price? Fans and viewers love Clara. Many of us are tuning in just to see her, whilst we get used to the new Doctor.
We need Clara to stay. The plot requires it. Viewers were pitilessly plunged into the dark waters of the series finale and came out drenched and depressed. Both Doctor and companion found themselves in unenviably bad places.
Enough of this doom and gloom! No Mistletoe and Whine this Christmas! Here’s hoping the wonders of the universe will bring a smile to the face of the grumpiest of Time Lords and at the same time help Clara to forget her woes. Hopefully Christmas cheer will lighten their spirits, so they can go off and enjoy some new adventures in time and space next year, in the best tradition of the Fourth and Sarah. It’s time to have some fun!
So let’s conclude with another musical blast from the past and dedicate it to Clara Oswald. It’s a song by “KC and the Sunshine Band”. It couldn’t be anything else.
Clara, this one is for you, just stay in the Tardis – “Please don’t go!”
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