Disclaimer: This analysis is of the new series only. I’ve never seen the classic series, and I won’t claim to know anything about it. I just claim to know the continuity as it’s presented now. (I’ve also done a meta/character analysis on Martha here)
For me, what defines Clara’s character is her mother. She loses her mother, whom she was clearly very close to, and that loss defines her. She makes up for it by spending the rest of her life giving to others. Nannying and taking care of other people. Being the mother to others. Because she lost hers, she is one to everyone else. She takes care of both the children she comes across in the series and the doctor.
Before she meets the doctor, she’s the nanny of the Maitland kids. Two kids who lost their mother just like she did. When she does meet the doctor, she refuses to travel with the doctor full-time, so she can be there to take care of them. It’s not just the Maitland kids either. She has an instant connection with Merry in the Rings of Akhatan, and her Victorian incarnation was a governess. When she finally moves on from the nanny job, she becomes a teacher. As a teacher, she still gets to take care of children. It’s still a selfless profession, she’s still giving back.
But it’s not just the kids who she nannies. She also nannies the doctor. Over this series, she has taken a broken shell of a doctor and healed him. Not just the wounds Amy and Rory left, but the wounds from before. From the war and the genocide. She’s given him a way to move on, a ray of hope in the darkness.
When she finds him (I say that she finds him because however much the doctor searched for her, Clara was always the one who found him), he’s a broken shell of man. Completely overcome with the grief over the loss of Amy and Rory. And she pulls him back from the brink. And when he sets off to find her other incarnations, she gives him the first purpose he’s had since they left. When he finally does find the original Clara, he keeps her at arms length because he’s scared of getting close to her and because he doesn’t know her origins and he’s worried about trusting her. But it doesn’t matter, Clara takes care of him anyway. When she jumps into his timestream to save his life, she saves him a thousand times over, in each and every incarnation. And she learns all his secrets, the ones he’s never told anyone, because she was there. When he goes on his adventure in the 50th, she’s there to support him. And when he looks like he’s going to fall back on old habits, commit the genocide he believes he can’t prevent, and fail to fulfill his mission as “the doctor” again, she reminds him that he can be better. She reminds him, the way a mother or a nanny would, that she expects better from him. And so he chooses better.
I don’t understand people who say Clara is boring. So she isn’t being flashy and sarcastic and just generally loud like the other companions were before her. That’s not really her style. She isn’t like Donna, her solution isn’t to shout at problems until they go away. She isn’t Amy, she doesn’t worship the doctor and put him on a pedestal. She’s the balm that soothes the pain. She’s his support. She’s there to be a partner, to be there when he needs her, to mother him.
The doctor normally takes care of his companions. He babies them and keeps secrets from them and protects them. But ever since she sacrificed herself for him, she’s learned all his secrets. There’s nothing he can hide from her. No matter what he says, she can look in those big sad eyes and she can tell. The doctor doesn’t take care of her. She takes care of him.
“Tell her, this is the story of Amelia Pond.”
Nothing is ever forgotten…
10 and 11 working together to save London
The Crash of the Byzantium.
#i feel that there was no acting involved here #moffat just set matt loose on set and prayed that he didn’t break his neck or something #at least matt didn’t fall off the couch #we’re counting that as a fucking blessing
"Respect the thing."
Doctor Who 5.5 — Flesh and Stone