On the Nature of Whouffaldi
Last week, I wrote a meta about companions in Moffat vs Davies Who and how Moffat companions are defined mainly by their relationships. That meta was partly inspired by Clara: I find her a very difficult character to understand, but what I realized is that she comes into much clearer focus the more we see of her relationships with others. “The Time of the Doctor,” the first time we see her interacting with her family, is a good example of this. Her controlling tendencies and desire to maintain a certain image are instantly evident in the way she presents the Doctor as her boyfriend and obsesses over the turkey, insisting that everything be perfect.
A question that follows naturally from this realization is, of course, what is the nature of Clara’s relationship with the Doctor? Most of the other Doctor-companion relationships are clearly defined: Rose and Nine/Ten were a Romantic Couple (whether you think they were an actual item or just a bundle of sexually-charges longing), Martha had unrequited love for Ten, Donna and Ten were the Best Friends, and Eleven and the Ponds were a family. What was the Doctor’s relationship with Clara, then? Eleven and Clara seem pretty flirty, but then Twelve takes a hands-off approach. They’re friends, obviously, but it’s not the easy camaraderie of Donna and Ten; they push each at other. At times their relationship seems almost abusive, as he commands her and she goes to extreme lengths to control his actions, but they also have a lot of trust in and love for each other. What, then, are they defined by? The easy answer, of course, is that they are just the Doctor and Clara, and to attempt to define them further is to create too simplistic a model. There is a lot of truth to that in some ways, but it doesn’t satisfy me. So here’s what I came up with: the Doctor and Clara—particularly Twelve and Clara—are defined most of all by hero worship.