Mindy Newell: Take A Deep Breath
“Help him. And don’t be afraid.” – The Eleventh Doctor
The best things about the return of Doctor Who this weekend. (Yep – SPOILER ALERT!)
- Hello, the Paternoster Gang!
- T. Rex in the Thames!
- Awesome opening credits! This time around they were created by a fan. Stephen Moffat saw his work on YouTube and said: “I thought it was the only new idea for a Doctor Who title scene since 1963. And we got in touch and we said ‘OK, we’re gonna do that one.’”
- “Hold your breath!”
- Clara Oswald facing down the droid!
- The Eleventh Doctor!
- And the Twelfth!
“I don’t think I know who the Doctor is anymore,” said Clara, standing in for the rest of us. Of course the companions have always played the role of the de facto us, but I think this is the first time that an overtly honest reaction to the Doctor’s regeneration has been expressed. Yes, I know, Clara is the Impossible Girl who has been there at every turn of the Doctor’s long, long, long life, and she was witness to the meeting of three separate “faces” of the Doctor in the 50th anniversary special (The Day of the Doctor). So some may argue that she should have not been so questioning, so insecure, so bollixed by her witnessing the transformation of the young, exuberant, and sexy (more on that in a bit) Matt Smith into an old(er), aloof, cranky, and totally out-of-his-mind gentleman.
But remember, Clara did not just stumble into the Doctor’s life and onto the TARDIS, as did Rose, Donna, Martha, Amy and Rory.
The Doctor sought Clara out – intrigued by the mystery of this woman who died again and again and again, and yet lived again and again and again to cross paths with the Gallifreyan. And because of this, the dynamics of their relationship were inherently, from the beginning, different from any other the Doctor had experienced…
For Rose, for Donna, for Martha and Amy and Rory, the Doctor justified their existence.
Clara justified his.
So it isn’t any wonder that Clara so desperately wanted her Doctor back? She knew what she had meant to him, she was important to him, he could not, literally, live without her.
But what does she mean to this man, this alien, who claims to be the Doctor, but… Is he hers?
For the first time, Clara is dreadfully aware that this man, this stranger, is an alien and she cannot help the fear and distrust and dread that rises in her, threatening to choke out of existence her love and her loyalty to the man she knew.
And though Vastra and Jenny and even Strax, in his own potato-head way, try to convince her that the Doctor is the Doctor and will always be the Doctor, now and forever…
It takes a phone call from Trensalore to make her see that the Doctor needs her. He will always need her.
He will always need his Impossible Girl.
And don’t tell me that Peter Capaldi isn’t sexy!