Now I’m not really what you would call a huge fan of Doctor Who, its a fun series to watch and it has been really cool seeing a revival of TV series I watched when I was kid; but it’s not really high up on my must watch chart. I have though seen a lot of Doctor Who as my wife is a born-again Whovian and seen some pretty good episodes. Sadly this entire recent season of Doctor Who has been lacking something…
Is is Matt Smith? Not really, we are seeing him act his arse off in this series single handily carrying each episode through some amazing set pieces and generally owning each scene he is in. However we seem to be missing something with his latest companion Clara Oswin Oswald played by Jenna Louise-Colemon. The character seems to be a bit of blank and brings nothing more than a character for the Doctor to show off too in each episode. Is it the fault of the actor? Not really because she was pleasant surprise in Asylum of the Darleks and a perfect foil for the Doctor in the Snowmen. So… When she reappears in Bells of St John I was expecting something special and it turned out to be nothing; the mystery of what she was turned out be a typical slightly feisty companion who was important for the universe/Doctor.
Maybe the most important girl in the universe thing has been all played out with Amy Pond, and we were given no clues to just how important Clara is beyond the Doctor saying she was impossible once an episode. Maybe it was the writing and a series of disappointing episodes that didn’t quite deliver that Dr Who experience. What was missing?
I feel one of the problems in this last season has been the companion. No I am not hating on Jenna Louise, or really the character Clara because she had a very strong introduction and was intriguing. I feel she was mishandled in such a way no one watching cared what happened to her, no one connected to her the same way they did to other companions. She became nothing more than a litmus for the Doctor and after seven episodes her development seemed to be pure eye-candy. Crap… When you have a Neil Gaiman episode that was a little blah… You know you have problems.
So what could they have done with Clara to make her the focal point? How would I have written her?
The answer is simple…
I would have killed her.
Yes you read that right.
At the end of every episode or mid-point, maybe even at the beginning she should have died in such a way that was accidental and completely out of the Doctors control, much in the same way she was introduced to us. Killing her would make every reintroduction that much more special, would have made the Doctor that much more manic as he did all he could to keep her safe and failing each time. Making every time she appeared in his timeline that much more heart stopping. Making her totally impossible and completely screwing with the viewers heads as the Doctor slowly finds himself going insane and darker in his methods to keep her safe.
Imagine the roller-coaster each episode would have been then? How we would all be that much more emotionally invested in her as she died each week. As we saw Matt Smith’s Doctor get more and more extreme with his efforts to save her.
That way the ending of this season would be so much more important as the explanation of who she is and how she is important to the Doctor would make sense. Become a total gotcha moment and completely hook you into the next season.
Okay rant over… The last episode hit with John Hurt as The Doctor so now we have to see how that plays into the anniversary special. Let’s all hope for writing that really delivers, eh?