he named a bee after her omg
HE FAKED TEH OVERSDOES??@?
SHERLOCK NO FUCKING NO NOOOOOO
IRENE IS MROIRAIRTY RARE YOUF CUKIGN KIDDING ME OGMMGM
“as far as moriarty is concerned, i will never allow any harm to come to you. not ever.”
“you can’t promise that.”
“and yet i have.”
I had some thoughts on tonight’s episode, prompted by a post on my dashboard referring to the Doctor as Clara’s “best friend”:
“can we just appreciate for a second how people were saying Clara was “too special” and they were sick of “special” companions when really she was just an ordinary girl who was brave and decided to save her best friend”
Reading that made me realize how hugely I disagreed. This is my main problem with Clara’s character arc. (Well, it would have been nice if she got some character, other than being generically “cute” and “feisty” when the plot demands it, but that’s a different issue.)
My problem with Clara was never that she was “special”. I like ordinary (hello, shop girl Rose!) but I like special too (hello, space and time bleeding into Amy’s head!). They offer different options when telling the story of a companion, and I like that. I don’t believe one is inherently worse than the other. But what you need, in order to make both work, is a sense of emotional attachment. You need Rose ; angry to the point of tears in a chip shop because “the Doctor showed me a better way of living my life” and she can’t - she won’t - leave him to a lonely death. You need the Doctor ; returning to Amelia as the cracks in the universe start to close, choked with emotion as he rewrites their future, erasing the time they spent together in order to save her. If Amy, or Rose, or Donna, or River, sacrificed themselves for the Doctor the way Clara just did, I’d buy it. Because I’ve seen that connection. I know how deep it runs. I know they’d do anything for the Doctor, and the Doctor would do anything for them.
And here, unfortunately, is where reality sneaks into the middle of an enjoyable dramatic moment and kicks me in the teeth, because, uh … the Doctor is not Clara’s best friend. He’s a funny, strange alien guy who dropped into her world one day and saved her life. Sometimes he flat-out intimidates her. They travel together and she thinks he’s cute (a feeling he apparently reciprocates) but they haven’t really bonded. Let’s be honest, they haven’t. Most of season seven consists of Clara running and screaming (and swooning) while the Doctor saves her. It would take me more than two hands to count the occasions on which Clara has been reduced to this role in the plot. When she’s not doing this, she exists just as a “thing” in the abstract, a mystery the Doctor must solve. “What are you?” he demands repeatedly, and it’s a telling choice of words. In storytelling terms, who Clara is matters much less than what she is. Well, fine. If you want Clara to be a blank cipher around which the plot is built, I can deal with that. But you can’t then turn around and ask me to feel for her. You can’t then hinge the denouement of this huge, epic mystery around her emotional connection to the Doctor. Not if you haven’t bothered to build one.
I like Jenna-Louise Coleman and I want to like Clara, but I can’t. Her character has not been afforded the respect it deserves, and if anything, this revelation of Clara as the brave, self-sacrificing best friend only serves to highlight that. If Clara was always going to give up her life, then we deserved to know more about it before she did so. We deserved to know what she was giving up. On the show, it amounts to little more than babysitting two kids and failing at making soufflés. She offers no last words for the Maitland kids, who she supposedly built her life around. She doesn’t even seem to think of them in her final moments. She sacrificed her dreams of travel for these kids, she’s been a mother to them, and yet we’re supposed to believe that what matters more to her is the Doctor. A guy she knew for a few weeks (a few months at best), and has a vague romantic interest in. A guy who she was horrified to learn - just minutes earlier - had been lying to her all that time. Even earlier than that, her illusions about being the only one in the universe the Doctor trusts were debunked when Vastra asked her what his name was. When she discovered he had a wife he’d never cared to mention. And for this man she gave up her whole life. Would you? Probably not. So why should she? The only real reason is that the plot demands it, and there’s a word for that. Poor writing. (Okay, two words. One idea though.)
I know - Matt and Jenna-Louise are great actors, and have an undeniable chemistry. They’re cute together, and it makes the idea a much easier sell. But you don’t kill yourself for someone you’re “cute with”. You need a much deeper emotional connection for that, and the show just hasn’t given us one. They haven’t shared anything with each other. Actually, a major component of their relationship is the Doctor’s decision to withhold information about Clara from Clara herself. Which is somehow okay because, well, he’s the Doctor. He’s never held accountable for that kind of head-fuckery because everyone knows “The Doctor lies”, and it’s not like a 900 year old Time Lord has any capacity for change. Even though he’s the Doctor, and his constant capacity for change is sort of the point. (It’s probably best if we don’t examine that one too closely.)
The Doctor and Clara aren’t best friends. Their connection is about as deep as the Doctor’s connection with Vastra or Strax. Actually, those two have a far deeper connection with him, as he saved them both from angry, destructive life paths. (Vastra was fixated on revenge, Strax on mindless warfare. Both are shown to be much happier in their current lives.) The Doctor doesn’t have that connection with Clara. He hasn’t touched her life in that way. He just picks her up every Wednesday for a fun day out with a side of flirting. Which is fine. What’s not fine is the message that if you’re a pretty young woman and encounter a man like this, you should be willing to die for him. Because he’s a really special man, and your life is only special if you give it up for him. That’s the only thing that matters about you. In fact, it’s not enough to say your only legacy after you’re gone will be saving this man. Why not make it the entire point of your life? You were born to save the Doctor. Like a robot programmed with only one function. Whatever else you wanted, whoever else you cared about … they don’t matter. That’s what Steven Moffat is saying with this storyline. That was the point of Clara’s character.
And I’m sorry, but that’s not a message I can get on board with. It’s actually a message that makes me deeply uncomfortable, because it’s really, really wrong. Clara the character deserved better. Jenna-Louise the actress deserved better. Doctor Who, the show I love, deserved better. And I deserved better. I’m a viewer and a fan and a woman, and I deserved better than such a poorly written, toxic plot.
I want the Doctor to take a kid as his companion.
A 14-15 year old kid who’s parents are fighting, has few friends, bad grades, and feels like complete shit before the Doctor comes.
No kissing, complicated relationships, confusion or stuff like that, just the Doctor taking a kid who doesn’t see much out of life for a ride.
This is an original piece of improvisation while I was sitting at the piano, with Dean and Cas in mind. Hope you guys like it.