“All of time and all of space is waiting in a big blue box. Please, don’t even argue.” - The Twelfth Doctor basically proposing marriage to Clara Oswald in Last Christmas.
Seriously, that’s basically what it was. Maybe not of the “let’s walk down the aisle” marriage (though do keep in mind how may people River Song wed while married to the Doctor…), but having rewatched that scene for the first time in a long while, I mean properly watched it, I mean what else can it mean?
This is the Doctor’s second chance. Second chance at what? He asks the question that he often doesn’t get second chances. What could he be referring to, because he has in the past. He got a second chance with Rose Tyler, for example. He got a second chance to avoid destroying Gallifrey. He is not alien to second chances.
We know what he’s referring to.
Despite the “love triangle” that emerged during Series 8, Clara still spent most of it in love with Danny Pink. Yes, she was in love with the Doctor too - Jenna Coleman herself has said so and the Mummy on the Orient Express scene sealed the deal. But nonetheless, Clara was with Danny because the new Doctor wasn’t able to give her the same affection that Eleven did. And he pushed her away. Note that a number of the “Doctor still has feelings for Clara” moments we saw in Series 8 were things Clara was unaware of. Such as “Beat that for a date” and looking at her in certain ways. Yes, there is a reading - I’ve done it - of Dark Water’s opening scene to suggest that Clara was going to let Danny go and throw her lot in with the Doctor. I still feel that’s the case. But the Doctor did not know this. As far as he was concerned, Clara was going to spend the rest of her life with Danny had he not been run over and at the end of Death in Heaven her lie about Danny sealed the deal. He assumed he’d lost her. Curse of the Time Lords.
Then he saw it. In Last Christmas, he saw Dream!Danny tell Clara that it was OK to move on. Miss Danny by all means, but move on. It’s the oldest romance cliche in the book that a dying lover tells his/her beloved “find somebody else”. The Doctor was present. He heard this. He also could not have missed Old!Clara implying that the Doctor was the only other person she’d have considered marrying.
The Doctor saw this as a second chance to be with the woman he’d fallen in love with as Eleven and realized he still wanted to be with as Twelve. Is it any wonder he became so paranoid about losing her in Series 9, to the point of being willing to destroy Time to keep her?
“Don’t you lecture me. Blue Box Man, flying through time and space on
whimsy. All I’ve got, all I’ve had for thirty-six years is cold hard
reality. So, no, I don’t have a sonic screwdriver because I’m not off on
a romp. Call it what it is. A probe. And I call my life what it is.
*click SAI.exe* BAM. SAI IS ON AND READY TO ROLL~!! <3
*click Photoshop.exe* Blue window of pain and suffering comes up. Endless parade of names flash erratically in light blue font on blue background. Watch a youtube video as I wait. The blue box clips into the browser window a few times. 10 years pass. Demons walk the earth. They ask if I take requests. I tell them ‘No.’ Photoshop turns on. Tablet driver isn’t working properly with it. Tablet driver crashed. Restart computer.