Uncle Josh Considers the Life and Times of Clara Oswald

Doctor Who is one of a few shows I actually watch these days, and for several years I’ve been happy with the latest companion Clara Oswald. I like Clara. I think she’s a great companion. I think she has the potential to be the Sarah Jane Smith of this generation. Of course, they’ve thrown that all away with Face the Raven, the 10th episode of series 9.
I will miss her. I don’t understand the anger with the character. Most of the criticisms fall under the “she has no character arc” banner. When we first met her, she was Souffle Girl, and then the Impossible Girl arc started, with two deaths for the character before we met the modern Clara. Yes, throughout the second half of Series 7 she was the mystery. As the franchise built up to the 50th anniversary they explained the Impossible Girl. It was a clever bit of writing.
Then they started a sort of franchise-wide reboot, moving Clara from Nanny to School Teacher at Coal Hill, just like the first companions. Other people complain that they wasted the character, I think the only waste was the “no, that’s not the question” back-and-forth the Doctor and Clara had in a few early series 8 episodes. We saw Clara fall in love with someone, and lose him.
Then, in many ways, Clara Oswald threw away her life, and it took four stories to watch the end result. Clara didn’t get a lot of screen time in Series 9. There was one episode where she didn’t even appear. Some people pointed out, rightly, that Coleman’s on-again-off-again contract for Series 9 didn’t help. Maybe the writers didn’t know what to do with her, and after ending her story, had to bring her back, had to deal with her, and decided to do it fatally.
To me, this is where they threw away the character. She could have stopped running with the Doctor during this season. She could could have had a scary moment where she had to decide on the lives of her class over the Doctor, and left the TARDIS. My dream ending for her was leaving the TARDIS to minister over the recovering cyborg of Danny Pink, but that was not to be. Killing her was a sad mistake, only because she had power to return.
Coleman, naturally, could return as any other variation of Clara, any time the Doctor is close to one of his previous adventures. It wouldn’t be the same though.
I look forward to the next companion, but I’m going to miss Clara.

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