clara appreciation day

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Clara Oswald’s normal, everyday life — here meaning her biological family (Mum, Dad, Gran, Linda), her quasi-adopted family (Angie, Artie, and Mr Maitland), or her job as a teacher — has been a part of 70% of her episodes so far. Not always a major part, but there is a continual commitment to showing her roots, that travelling with the Doctor is an addition to her normal life and not the whole of her life.

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“The time winds will tear you into a million pieces. A million versions of you, living and dying all over time and space, like echoes.” – “But the echoes could save the Doctor, right?” – “But they won’t be you. The real you will die. They’ll just be copies.”

It is a mistake to equate Clara with her echoes, to take their characterisation at face value and apply them to the original Clara. But that does not mean that they do not say anything about her. Clara’s echoes are reflections, distorted but still mirroring the original - and they tell us quite a lot about the qualities which Clara values in a heroine.

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Clara has conflicting inner needs. On the one hand, she absolutely needs to have control, to exercise boundaries and authority, which stems from her childhood experience of being “lost” and the eventual loss of her mother, who’d mitigated that awful experience. This, in fact, is the root of her sense of responsibility.

On the other hand she needs to travel, to explore, which often takes actually getting “lost” and letting go to really fully appreciate. She gets that opportunity with the Doctor, of course, but for the most part she’s been able to maintain more control over her adventures than just about any Companion before her — in part because she’s willing to let the Doctor take the lead when it’s obvious he knows better than she does; Clara doesn’t wander off, takes the responsibilities he gives her seriously.

She’s been able to balance (and indeed synthesize) these needs because she’s very intelligent — not just in terms of cleverness, but from having a philosophical attentiveness, the ability to see “deeper” than most. She understands how to navigate different social milieus. She understands how to invert her cognitive framework, from seeing that TARDIS is “smaller on the outside” to making Daleks “forget” to pulling a chair outside when the man she wants to talk to won’t come on in.

I would never think of Amy Pond ruminating on how everyone is a “ghost” from the Doctor’s perspective, on the eidos of a soufflé, or the soulfulness of an old woman’s remembrance of falling in love. Clara’s the one who recognizes that just because the Doctor’s learned to forgive himself doesn’t mean that the act committed was ever right, or fated.

So the charge that Clara has no “character traits” just comes out of nowhere. It’s an empty claim.

—  Jane explains Clara’s character better than I ever could.
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Moffat Appreciation Day Countdown: Favourite work

She didn’t just show me any old future, she showed me exactly the future I needed to see.”

The Day of the Doctor is an incredible piece of writing. It does its role as the 50th Anniversary Special justice and is simultaneously beautiful and funny, tragic and hopeful, silly and thought-provoking. As an episode, from its concept on, it is ambitious and downright bold - to not only use the occasion to explore the Time War, this grand event dividing New and Classic Who, but to dare to give it a new significance, even a new conclusion. But once the pieces fall into place, it seems like this is how it was always meant to be.

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