hey so it is time for my first ever follow forever!!! technically, I am a little over the 400 limit (or this was rotting in my drafts) but it is still a pretty huge number for me and I would like to thank all the blogs that followed me !!! (side eyes porn blogs for contributing to the numbers) (…and crappy banner)
Clara may not ask for help often, but the Doctor is going to make damn sure that he’s around when she does. Whenever, wherever.
And that, I believe, is at the core of his “duty of care”. After the events of Death in Heaven and Last Christmas, there was no way that the Doctor would ever willingly leave Clara behind again, even if he did believe that their adventures would ultimately end in her demise. Just as he’s made himself essential to her, she’s become integral to him. It has nothing to do with a misguided sense of paternalism, or disrespect for her right to self-determination. To say that he was somehow trying to control her through this sense of “duty” would go in the face of everything we’ve been shown of their relationship. ‘Leaving her behind for her own good’ was something that the Eleventh Doctor may have tried to pull off, but Twelve? He made one valiant attempt at seizing control early on in their relationship in Listen (”Then you will never travel with me again…do as you are told!”), which Clara summarily dismissed, seeing it for the empty threat that it was. Since then, it’s been a case of her leading, and the Time Lord following right along. The control freak, and the man who should never be controlled. Et cetera, et cetera.
Therefore, as it stands at the beginning of series 9, he cannot leave Clara behind, he cannot tell Clara what to do, and he cannot stop Clara from throwing herself headlong into danger. So the Doctor does the one thing he can under these circumstances to minimise his anxiety over her safety, and to regain some semblance of control. He watches her, constantly. And he catastrophises. He lets his imagination run wild with the billion and one things that can happen to her. He takes on this duty of care over her that she’s never asked for, because being Clara, she will never ask for it. But he has to be ready to spring into action when she does need his help. Whenever, wherever.