"Doctor Who," the "Journey To The Centre Of The TARDIS” and 5 Reasons Why Clara Will Be the Next Doctor

By C. Robert Dimitri | TV | May 1, 2013 | Comments ()

By C. Robert Dimitri | TV | May 1, 2013 |

A clue leaked this week about the nature of Clara. According to Jenna-Louise Coleman, "All I can say is that Clara hasn't just met the Doctor three times before." Is she River Song? Susan? Rose? Romana? The Rani? The Doctor's mother? His original wife? The Internet is awash with theories. I still don't understand how we reconcile "her" dying twice, if all these selves are truly the same in some way. If she's a Time Lady, there wasn't a regeneration involved. She looked the same each time. I expect there will be some crazy logic to justify what has taken place, and as such, I'll offer you my own crackpot, terribly unlikely theory.

Jenna-Louise Coleman will be the next Doctor starting next season, and I have managed to convince myself that this is entirely possible. Here are my reasons:

1) As she is already in the cast as a companion, it would be a clever way to disguise the regeneration. It would seem impossible to keep the revelation of a change in Doctor concealed in the Internet age, but perhaps the aim is to pull off a true surprise.

2) Jenna-Louise Coleman is signed for next season. Correct me if I'm wrong, but the same announcement for Matt Smith has yet to be made, and not long ago a term of three seasons was mentioned as a natural length of service for the role of The Doctor by either Smith or Moffat. I would be willing to believe Smith's statement that he would like to play the role as long as possible, but perhaps that is a smokescreen.

3) She's fantastic at the speedy tech talk, but in her role as "Clara" that has only been exploited in two episodes thus far.

4) The reveal of The Doctor's name was referenced as heralding "the fall of the eleventh." We're supposedly going to deal with The Doctor's name in just a few episodes. Maybe it's time to move from Eleven to Twelve.

5) Suppose The Doctor meets great danger at the Fields of Trenzalore, as that prophecy states. His identity is revealed. What might be an effective way to escape trouble? He coudl switch genders and assume the appearance of his companion. (There is precedent in Doctor Who lore for a Time Lord or Time Lady to choose an appearance in a voluntary regeneration.)

I don't know what the multiple Claras mean. Perhaps they are some sort of trail of bread crumbs left by The Doctor with the help of River Song to ensure his own survival. Granted, it's troubling that two of the Claras seem to have died in the course of this plan. They would be a message to himself of how he can survive what is to take place in his future. If The Doctor did regenerate into her appearance, we would lose Clara the companion, but at this point she is not extremely developed or specific.

If I were betting, I would probably guess that Clara (or whatever her actual identity is) is a blood relation of The Doctor, what with the references to his history and the promise of his name, which easily could be tied to his family. Still, the idea of Jenna-Louise Coleman as Twelve appeals to me more. Thanks for entertaining my flight of fancy.


Classic Doctor Who Bonus:

This week I checked out the third serial in the entirety of the series, William Hartnell's "The Edge Of Destruction." This episode had much in common with this week's new episode, as The Doctor, Susan, Ian, and Barbara are trapped in the TARDIS after a malfunction. The TARDIS exerts influence over their behavior in an attempt to lead them to the problem at hand, turning them suspicious toward each other and dangerous. Particularly striking is The Doctor's accusation of an attempt by Barbara and Ian to steal the TARDIS from him, which happens after he drugs them. Susan threateningly brandishes a pair of scissors in the episode too.

This was the first episode to establish the TARDIS as a living presence, although an explanation for exactly how and why it influenced its passengers is left untold. That makes it a notable signpost in the program's history, and I recommend this one for a good example of the very old days of classic Who, even if it shows the signs of age in style.

C. Robert Dimitri would spend more time than any companion in the TARDIS's pool if given the opportunity.

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