Revisiting Clara's Best Doctor Who Moments

Monday, 07 December 2015 - 1:12PM
Monday, 07 December 2015 - 1:12PM
Revisiting Clara's Best Doctor Who Moments
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After what was perhaps the best companion exit yet, we're left with fond memories of Clara's adventures with the Doctor…

Possible spoilers ahead! (Click to reveal)

.....but we're also left wondering what new adventures she'll get up to in the future.  Clara has always been a bit of a hero, which is what eventually resulted in the tragic end to her travels with the Doctor when she made a very Doctor-like decision but paid the price for being human. Now that Clara has officially bowed out here's a recap of her best moments as a companion.

6. Cold War

In "Cold War", Clara faces her fears and confronts the murderous Ice Warrior reminding him of the value of every life and convincing him to show mercy and call off the missiles. Clara has a knack for bringing out the humanity in others- especially those who are not human. She recognizes that such a quality can be universal, and simply by being her brave and compassionate self Clara has saved countless lives by never giving up hope or faith in others. Clara stands for the same things that the Doctor stands for, as well as what we've come to expect from the show. It's the little heroic moments like these that stand out the most in Clara's time as a companion.  


5. Nightmare in Silver

"Nightmare in Silver" sees Clara in command of a platoon, doing what she has to do to protect the people she cares about, all while trying not to lose sight of the bigger picture. Clara isn't fearless but she doesn't let her fear stop her. Like the Third Doctor said, "Courage isn't just a matter of not being frightened, you know. It's being afraid and doing what you have to do anyway". This episode also featured a particularity badass moment where Clara attempts to bash a Cyberman with a mace. It doesn't work, but she didn't have any other options so instead she prepared to go down swinging. That sort of bravery, leadership, and resourcefulness is what we came to expect from the Impossible Girl as the show progressed.

4. The Snowmen

The episode that really sold me on Clara as a companion was "The Snowmen", and to this day it's probably my favorite Christmas special. At this point, Clara had never met the Doctor before, but she immediately saw his kindness and humanity even when he was at his lowest point. Her unwavering curiosity and determination to protect those in her care draws Clara to the Doctor like a magnet, and we never looked back. Madame Vastra explains to her that, although he was once a "savior of worlds", he has chosen to retreat from the world after suffering considerable losses. When asked to respond with a single word to sum up the Doctor's state of mind, Clara chose "man", showing a clarity and insightfulness that many companions lacked. Clara isn't taken in by his God-like status as a savior of worlds, an alien that "stands above this world". Clara's understanding of the Doctor's weaknesses and faults helped her keep the Doctor grounded even as they traveled among the stars.  

3. Flatline

In "Flatline" Clara got her moment in spotlight as she took over the Doctor's reigns for an entire episode, saving the day in the process. While the Doctor is trapped in a miniaturized TARDIS, Clara finds herself faced with the task of saving the world by herself, while also charged with looking after a group of people along the way. She succeeds by making compromises, lying, and not always stopping to explain what's going on to the rest of the group. Sound familiar?

This is one of the pivotal moments where we see how much like the Doctor Clara has become. Her quick thinking prevails, but she loses members of her group along the way. By the end she seems fine with accepting that although some people died, she still saved the world so, "on balance", she did well. Clara is clearly well-suited to the role of the Doctor, and prides herself on being an exceptional liar. When Clara checks in with the Doctor about "lying to make them feel better, to give them hope" he sees his own flaws and skewed morality reflected in her.  He admits that she was an "exceptional" Doctor, but when she asks how "good" she was he comments that "Goodness had nothing to do with it".


2. The Name of the Doctor

No list of Clara's shining moments would be complete without her sacrifice in "The Name of the Doctor". Clara decided to sacrifice herself to save the Doctor, scattering different versions of herself throughout his timeline simply because she believed that he was worth saving. It wasn't a grand romantic gesture, there was no teary goodbye, she just did what she had to do in order to do what was best for the universe. Clara's compassion paired with her clear grasp of the bigger picture was part of what made her such an important influence in the Doctor's life.
Seeing the different versions of Clara dispersed throughout the Doctor's timeline made for an especially memorable Doctor Who moment. A moment is up there with the best in the show's long, long history.  

1. Hell Bent

In the season finale "Hell Bent" Clara gets the fairy-tale ending she deserved. Doctor Who fans have come to expect the show to be a light in dark times, with a focus on hope rather than the tragic realities that can come to pass. That's part of the reason that Clara's death left a bit of a bitter taste in the mouths of her fans. But Clara had become more and more like the Doctor as the series progressed-and she almost ended up paying the price for it. Luckily, all is made good by the time the finale came round. Clara steals a TARDIS of her own and flies off with Ashildr/Me to traverse the universe all while hurtling toward her inevitable death… the long way round, of course.
Clara might have made her exit from the show, but that isn't the end of her story- even if it's the last we'll hear of it. In an ending befitting the Impossible Girl, Clara flies off into the unknown, living between heartbeats. The Impossible Girl herself sums it up perfectly:
"I blew into this world on a leaf. I'm still blowing. I don't think I'll ever land."
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