Clara

Why is the Impossible Girl so Impossibly Boring?

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I haven’t been keeping up with my Doctor Who episode reviews which I never thought would happen. Dalek Clara totally hooked me.  I was sad to see the Ponds go, but I was ready for some awesome adventures with Clara.  Now to be fair, we’ve had some really fun episodes with her.  She’s proven to be quite witty, brave, and able to out-talk the Doctor.  But part of her hook was the mystery of her existence.  And though we’ve seen Clara prove to be an excellent companion, in eight episodes, we’ve learned nothing further about what makes her so “impossible.”  It’s a little frustrating.

I’m assuming they’re saving up any big reveals for the 50th anniversary.  But it just makes the rest of the season feel like filler.  I also kind of feel like Dalek Clara and Victorian Clara did a lot more in their brief appearances than Companion Clara.  It feels like Companion Clara just follows along with the Doctor and does what he tells her whereas Dalek and Victorian Claras were more than willing to ignore him and do their own thing.  I’m fully confident that Dalek and Victorian Claras could save themselves.  Companion Clara, I’m not so sure.  Also, Companion Clara got upgraded to be super computer genius smart.  Yet we haven’t seen her computer her way out of anything save for that first episode.  Sure, a computer isn’t going to be useful against Mr. Sweet back in the Victorian era, but certainly she could have used a terminal to mess with the Cybermen.

Don’t get me wrong.  I still enjoy the hell out of the show and this has been a fun season.  But it just feels like there’s something missing.  Next week is the final episode of this season and it looks like we’re going to be learning a lot about the Doctor’s past.  I’m hoping we’ll also learn something about Clara.

Doctor Who, “The Bells of Saint John”

It’s been a long winter without the Doctor to warm our hearts.  But now he’s back with a plucky new companion.  “The Bells of Saint John” was a great way to kick off the second half of season 7.  Let’s get into it!

For the Whom The Bell Tolls

The Bells of Saint John

There’s a whole bunch of stuff on the side of the TARDIS that I’ve never really paid any attention to.  I never would have guessed that St John was a reference to something on the TARDIS.  I wonder if there’s a deeper meaning than just a logo on the side of a Police box.

What the hell number did Clara dial to get the TARDIS?  While it seemed that her previous two meetings with the Doctor (or three if you count the prequel) were all accidental, this phone call had the feeling of some serious deux ex machina, as if the universe guided her hand to dial the exact wrong number to reach the Doctor.  I have a bad feeling that Clara is a trap of some kind.  She’s a walking impossibility which makes her absolutely resistible for the Doctor.  Moffat is exactly the type of writer to make us fall in love with a trap.  I don’t know if I’m ready for that.  I like her far too much already.

A Jacket of a Different Color

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At first, I thought he was chucking away David Tennant’s jacket which made me a little sad.  But upon further screen shot analysis, I don’t see Tennant’s trademark pin stripes.  So I’m thinking this is Matt Smith’s jacket from the previous part of Season 7.

He also grabs a black tie.  There were a few theories about the Doctor’s tie color flying around during the whole River Song saga, but I don’t know if anything ever came of it.  A black tie could signify much darker times for the Doctor ahead, but I may be reading too much into it.

Creeper

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The Doctor creeps around Clara’s room after he successfully downloads her back into her body.  I know it’s supposed to be a nice quiet scene, but I thought it was a little creepy.  Certainly, the Doctor wants to know more about her.  But why not wait until she wakes up to ask her a bunch of questions?

It did give him a moment to find her unused travel book.  More book imagery.

“Is that what you do? Bring a booth? There is such a thing as too keen.”

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I died when Clara called the TARDIS a “snog box!”  I suspect that by season’s end, there will be some snogging in that there Time And Relative Dimensions In Sexytime!

Clara also drops the classic “it’s bigger on the inside” line.  I thought she’d go with “It’s smaller on the outside” like she did in Victorian days.  Unless, of course, that’s not the same Clara.

Clara Oswald For the Win! OSWIN!

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“It’s never about the security. It’s about the people.”

This Clara became a super computer genius when she was partially downloaded. The Clara trapped on the Dalek planet because a computer super genius when she was transformed into a Dalek.  Or did Dalek Clara already have some computer skills?  Is Dalek Clara rooftop coffee Clara in the future?  Does rooftop coffee Clara get separated from the Doctor in the future and get turned into Dalek Clara?  How does that fit in with Victorian nanny Clara?  Are they three different Claras?

This rooftop cafe scene was really charming.  And I know I’ve been saying “I loved” a lot in this review, but I fucking loved the interaction between the two.  My favorite companions are the ones who challenge the Doctor, who aren’t completely taken by his whimsy.  That’s why Romana I, Donna, Amy, and now Clara are among my favorite companions.

The Great Intelligence

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We learn that the Great Intelligence was ultimately pulling the strings.  I know he’s a classic Who villain, but that’s about it. I hope he shows up again.  He’s seems like the right kind of bastard for the Doctor to face.

So we got a lot more questions than answers and possibly a big bad for the rest of season 7.  Not a bad way to bring back the Doctor.

 

“It’s Smaller on the Outside”

Lady Vastra and her companions.

Inter-species marriage, killer snowmen, a sassy potato warrior, a humbug of a Doctor, and a new companion?  It can be only one thing.  A Doctor Who Christmas Special!  After such a gut wrenching mid season farewell to the Ponds, “The Snowmen” was the perfect way to kick off the second half of the season.  New companion, new TARDIS, and more Lady Vastra!  I could gush all day, so let’s get to it.  And remember, spoilers!

“Good evening.  I am a lizard woman from the dawn of time.  And this is my wife.”

Lady Vastra and Jenny are the most perfect couple, ever!  Along with Strax, this episode proves beyond a shadow of a doubt that the three of them could carry a spin-off series.  I would need a closet full of new pants if we got that.

I love that Vastra and Jenny are the inspiration for Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes.  Would that make Strax the template for the bumbling Lestrade?  Who cares.  The three of them are perfect and I want to watch them always.

“Pond.”

Vastra’s one word test was absolutely brilliant.  We got to see just how clever our new companion is.  Clara does a superb job of navigating the test.  I also love the looks Jenny shoots Vastra.  You can tell they’re both trying their best to contain their excitement.  They know that Clara is perfect for the Doctor and can’t wait for her to break him out of his humbuggery.

The Doctor’s Carol

Last Christmas episode, we got a Whovian take on “A Christmas Carol” with the Doctor playing the ghost of Christmas Past and sort of rewriting the Scrooge’s history.  This time, we get another take with the Doctor as Scrooge.  There’s been some time between “The Angels Take Manhattan” and “The Snowmen.”  The Ponds are long gone and River is no longer traveling with him.  We don’t know if she’ll turn up again, but we knew that she wouldn’t travel with the Doctor for too long.  So he’s been left up in a cloud to sulk and mourn the loss of the Ponds.

Still, he just can’t help himself.  If the Doctor really wanted to disappear, he could have done so easily.  Let the TARDIS wander aimlessly through time and space and never bother to stop anywhere.  Except he did stop and reach out to Vastra and her crew.  The Doctor needs people, even if they are a lizard woman or a potato warrior.

Mystery Soulfe Girl

I like the idea that our big mystery for this last half of the season is Clara herself.  She’s died twice.  She’s appeared in two periods of time with a third on the way.  She’s also completely delightful.

For once, we see the Doctor running after the Companion.  There’s been some fan chatter about the possible romance angle between them.  The Doctor is still married to River so wouldn’t that be cheating?  UNLESS, of course, the heartache that Vastra is talking about is not the loss of the Ponds but the loss of River.  We know that she dies in the Library.  Maybe between “The Angels Take Manhattan” and “The Snowmen” River told the Doctor she was off to go explore the Library.

Anyway, I’m super excited for the new season to begin.  Clara is a wonderful addition to the show.  I think she’ll challenge the Doctor and shake up his life in all the best ways possible.  We’ve got so many awesome things to look forward to this season including more Vastra, Jenny, and Strax and the return of the Cybermen in an episode penned by Neil Gaiman.  And the new TARDIS.  Still not so sure about it, but it’s growing on me.