This weeks episode, The Caretaker, deals with the strain that most companions of the Doctor must come to grips with. Especially in the reboot era, there have been several of them trying to keep some semblance of a normal life right along side the insanity of hanging with the Doctor all over time and space. And, if you watch a few episodes, you know just how harrowing that can be. We’ve seen several of the companions lying to their loved ones about who the Doctor is and where they go and what they do together. But, sooner of later, they end up fessing up and spilling the beans about the mad man in the blue box.
So, we find Clara dealing with this double life and not very well. It’s bad enough to be lying to your mum or your best friend, but Clara has to lie to the man she is becoming more and more involved with; a man that, as she has already seen, has a strong link to her future.
So, just when you think Clara may be the first to keep her secret and never reveal it to anybody, the inevitable collision happens. For the center of the story has nothing to do with a killer robot and time vortexes. No, this story is about a bizarre love triangle mixed with wibbly woobly, timey whimey stuff.
What we finally get to is the crux of the problem with Doctor since his Capaldi regeneration. He has been consistently jealous of any life Clara has had outside of the TARDIS, and especially out of HIS sight. He constantly brags about how amazing their adventures are. He’s even went as far to feel rather smug about how his ‘bank robbery’ in Time Heist trumps any ol’ date she could EVER have. No, there has definitely been a load of jealousy building up in the Doctor as it seems that they grow further and further apart. And yet, what started out in Deep Breath as horror and a denial of the ‘new’ Doctor has blossomed into a bold new relationship. But what is this ‘bold new relationship’ anyway?
Madame Vastra early on scolded Clara for judging him in his new form and how her relationship had been very shallow and based on physical appeal. She has since come to grips with it…well, sort of. Their relationship went from a near flirtatious romance to what I see as more of a father/daughter one. Now, only on Doctor Who can you have this type of tension and character growth and I applaud it. This has forced not only Capaldi, but Jenna Coleman, who plays Clara, and Samuel Anderson, who plays Danny Pink, to stretch themselves a bit and ramp up the actual acting! Clara has become a more deep character and Danny, well, as complex as they come. This is probably the best acting I’ve seen on Doctor Who in a while.
So, why the shift to a father/daughter relationship? Simple. As we experienced this new Doctor through Clara’s eyes in Deep Breath, we now experience through the Doctor’s eyes a Clara who is coming of age all on her own and about to step out of the TARDIS probably for good. This brings on a sort of empty TARDIS syndrome. The Doctor knows Clara is moving on soon and, to get all of us on board and ready for what we knew was inevitable, Moffat is playing this out through the sad eyes of the Doctor. Thus it becomes a single father struggling with the fact that his only daughter is about to leave the fold. He can feel it coming and fights it with everything he’s got. It was never more obvious than when he caught Clara with the Matt Smith look alike and act alike and got all giddy because ‘my girl has found someone like me’! And then we experience the horror when he learns the truth and he and Danny find themselves polar opposites and in a near shouting match early on.
He has already started tryouts for new companion; although I don’t think that will go anywhere and becomes just an exercise in futility and the Doctor’s not dealing properly with his ‘little girl growing up’. Will Clara move on? Most definitely. Will it be this season? Probably not. She may chose her exit at the end of the season in Death in Heaven. But I think, for now, Moffat is content to play on this tension within his new ‘power of three’ group. I also think we will see more and more of Danny in the TARDIS going on adventures as he doesn’t trust the Doctor. Funny how he summed the old Time Lord up so quickly, eh?
I’m also wondering what Missy and the ‘Nethersphere’ have to do with all of this if anything. More later Whovians. Hit me up with any of your theories and check out my ramblings at JACKEDUPTALES.COM