tenlittlebullets: (TARDIS)
Ten Little Chances to be Free ([personal profile] tenlittlebullets) wrote2013-01-03 02:49 pm

Shameless speculation on Clara

The Doctor Who Christmas special was rly rly excellent; okay, the plot was thin as paper, but CLARA. And symbolism run rampant. And Moffat continuing to write himself fix-it fic of RTD era, this time for Martha. (Along with nerdy backstory fic for Troughton monsters-of-the-week and a dash of interspecies lesbian Sherlock Holmes AU. Moff, let yourself be a fanboy more often, it's fun.) I am excite! Half from the guessing game, and half from I JUST REALLY LIKE CLARA OKAY.

Moffat might have just tipped his entire hand, at least regarding the Clara mystery, with that line about dreams outliving their dreamers. I'm 95% certain that's what she is. Not only does it fit nicely with Moffat's preoccupation with the persistence of memory, we've already seen her do it once: in Asylum, human-Oswin is long dead, consumed by the Dalek transformation, but dream-Oswin lives on, is fully human, and is ultimately the one in control. No wait, twice: barmaid-Clara dreams up Miss Montague, and even after she's dead, it's Miss Montague and the family's mourning for her that manage to melt the snow.

Ideas above her station. The junior entertainment manager turned genius hacker. The Dalek dreaming of being human. The barmaid turned governess. Both are true, but the one she really believes in is the one that gets things done, and what Clara believes herself to be is always more than what her outward situation would suggest. She's smaller on the outside. And the dreams within have a funny knack of coming true by sheer force of belief.

One of the companion's jobs is almost always to stay true to herself. To provide an anchor for the Doctor with his thousand (okay, dozen) faces. Amy did that by remembering, cutting through all the alterations to memory and reality to grab onto what she knew she'd experienced. Perhaps it's Clara's job to do that by forgetting whatever her present inglorious circumstances have limited her to being, and imposing her dreams on reality.

What is Clara? Almost certainly an ordinary human girl, and almost certainly something more. Quite possibly she is a dead human girl whose dream of Something More lives on. Quite possibly she's been preserved in a computer somehow (genius hacker, anybody?), and maybe, just maybe, the Something More is Time Lord.

Very probably she will be the one to disentangle the Doctor from all the circumstances and history that have grown up around him, and force him to confront who he really thinks he is, because that's the important thing, not all the burdens of guilt and reputation weighing him down. (Cf. A Town Called Mercy, where the kind of person you think you ought to be dictates what moral choices you should make far more than what you've already done.) Hell, she's already started doing it: she made the Daleks forget him. Forget him.

And here's where the abject tinhattery begins: hamletthemadmanwithabox on Tumblr brought up the question, and like a great big dope I thought it unlikely, but the more I think about it the more it intrigues me: what happens if a Time Lord dies while fob-watched? John Smith was a dream the Doctor invented, but was no less a real person for that; what if Clara, the human girl with dreams above her station, started out as somebody else's dream? It fits with her general inside-outness: John Smith, the man the Doctor dreamed up, dreams at night of being the Doctor. Just because he's made up doesn't mean he isn't real.

So, Speculation Cards on the table here: Clara is, at least in some sense, an ordinary human girl who had something extraordinary happen to her. I would lay down money that the original Clara is already dead and doesn't know it yet. There's a pretty good chance that some great intelligence imprinted on ordinary human Clara and is taking on her form, and doesn't realize it's not actually Clara. (Or is it? There's a question of identity there: if it took on her consciousness as well, it arguably is Clara in some sense.) After fuck knows how many years of the fandom convincing itself of elaborate theories whereby various characters are secretly the Rani/Omega/the Master/the inheritor of the Trouser Press of Rassilon, I'm not fool enough to lay down money that Clara is Romana. But gosh is it fun to speculate that Romana had something go horribly wrong with a Chameleon Arch or died while fobwatched, and wound up stored/copied somewhere still in the guise of her human avatar. And somehow keeps getting written into various time periods unaware that she's anything but Clara-with-ideas-above-her-station.
londonkds: (Bring back Bilis! (by redscharlach))

[personal profile] londonkds 2013-01-03 08:47 pm (UTC)(link)
I really hope this is true. I'm worried that she's some kind of trap set by some evil mastermind who was behind the TARDIS explosion at the end of Eleven's first season and possibly the Silence as well.
promethia_tenk: (clara who)

[personal profile] promethia_tenk 2013-01-06 06:17 pm (UTC)(link)
Hi there! I'm glad you added me because I'd actually been pondering adding you.

Yummy, yummy spec, mmmmmm.

And Moffat continuing to write himself fix-it fic of RTD era, this time for Martha.
I figure he will eventually get to every thing that he hasn't fed to the cracks? Probably we should send him a fruit basket or something.

Moffat might have just tipped his entire hand, at least regarding the Clara mystery, with that line about dreams outliving their dreamers. I'm 95% certain that's what she is.
Ahhh, interesting. I could see that. Had been thinking about how Amy and River were both self-writers (both in being writers/storytellers and in their tendencies towards dress up and role playing things), but that Clara seems to take that to a whole n'other level already.

Very probably she will be the one to disentangle the Doctor from all the circumstances and history that have grown up around him, and force him to confront who he really thinks he is, because that's the important thing, not all the burdens of guilt and reputation weighing him down.
Yes, I like that. Remember back when The Beast Below aired lots of people complaining about how Amy could have know the Doctor so well so fast, which I think missed the point of her whole Star Whale speech, which was not so much fact ("All that pain, and misery, and loneliness--and it just made it kind!" Obviously not true.) as her seeing the Doctor as his best self. And that's something he needs to have people help him see. Clara would be excellent for that.

And here's where the abject tinhattery begins: hamletthemadmanwithabox on Tumblr brought up the question, and like a great big dope I thought it unlikely, but the more I think about it the more it intrigues me: what happens if a Time Lord dies while fob-watched? John Smith was a dream the Doctor invented, but was no less a real person for that; what if Clara, the human girl with dreams above her station, started out as somebody else's dream?
I like this too. And Moff is certainly game enough to re-use things from Rusty's era, albeit with his own twists. It's a dangerous time to be a Time Lord and something up above seems to be pulling a lot of strings. Seems perfectly plausible to me that there's good reason to be hiding.

I've been thinking that probably the reason that Clara Who is splattered across time and space the way she is is connected to the TARDIS explosion. Perhaps even the purpose for the TARIDS explosion was to do so? Seeding her across the universe, so to speak, in the way that the intelligence in the Christmas special wanted to make copies of the ice governess (the perfect fusion of snow and humanity) so that it could survive on earth.
elisi: (Clara)

[personal profile] elisi 2013-01-03 08:50 pm (UTC)(link)
She's smaller on the outside.
This is my favourite line in the whole thing. <3 Really need to write up my own theory, but it definitely overlaps with yours a lot. (The themes are pretty clear, after all.)

[identity profile] 10littlebullets.livejournal.com 2013-01-03 09:10 pm (UTC)(link)
Yessss. She's smaller on the outside--and, just like that line, she's inside-out. What's in her head is what acts on the world, irrespective of the role life has handed her.
lost_spook: (dw - oswin)

[personal profile] lost_spook 2013-01-03 09:22 pm (UTC)(link)
Oh, very interesting - and I love the way you've written it up here.

[identity profile] 10littlebullets.livejournal.com 2013-01-03 09:43 pm (UTC)(link)
Thanks! It's tidier in my head, but I think I got the gist of it down. Oh words, why so squirrelly?

[identity profile] eve11.livejournal.com 2013-01-04 01:12 am (UTC)(link)
i don't think the fobwatches will come back, but I do like your idea of Clara being a human girl but something more without actually realizing it. I wonder if her "programming" whatever that is, kicks in when her persona is dying, and then you get the "Run you clever boy" line again.

The idea of being a girl and something else, something more, like a Key (I wonder if she is pieces of the Key to Time?) has a very Dawn Summers feel to it.

[identity profile] a-phoenixdragon.livejournal.com 2013-01-04 03:35 am (UTC)(link)
This speculation..this WHOLE POST. Made me smile and wriggle with excitement and expanded the ideas already knocking around like dry peas in my empty skull. This is just FABULOUS and I cannae wait to find out what happens next!

*HUGS*

[identity profile] lonewytch.livejournal.com 2013-01-04 05:17 pm (UTC)(link)
Glad you posted this in its own right, as it deserves to be read :)

This though....what happens if a Time Lord dies while fob-watched?.
Interesting. Very very interesting.

Someone commented on my post suggesting that this could be Cal trying to manifest River...and while i'm not sure that's the case, it got me to thinking that Cal could be trying to use the imprint of a dead human to put River's consciousness into. The point being that - yes - i totally agree that there's a huge chance the "original" Clara could be dead and that something is using her imprint to manifest itself, using her ghost...dreaming itself alive.

I might do a post at some point, summing up all my favourite theories :)

[identity profile] janie-aire.livejournal.com 2013-01-06 05:38 am (UTC)(link)
What if the Doctor died while fobwatched, and his new incarnation is a time-splintered Clara?

Love your post!
ext_10830: Jewellrey (Wibbly Wobbly)

[identity profile] glitterfairy25.livejournal.com 2013-01-13 02:28 am (UTC)(link)
And Moffat continuing to write himself fix-it fic of RTD era, this time for Martha.

How so? How does this episode relate to Martha? And when has he done it for other companions/in other scenarios?