Companions past and present

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    janetteB @janetteb

    It might well turn out to be Rose who gives Clara the telephone number. I think if Clara turns out to be the Doctor’s granddaughter it will be as a result of his union with River Song and not as a relation of Susan’s. I do hope that at some point AG Who will address the question of “what became of Susan”. I don’t necessarily think or want that to happen in the anniversary though it would be a nice past reference. I think of all the assistants Susan raises the most questions because she is identified as his granddaughter and because she is one of the first assistants. I suspect that AG viewers are more likely to know of Susan than say Polly or Zoe or even Tegan or Mel.

    I don’t think having the Doctor start travelling with another granddaughter need feel like “a lazy remake” at all @Shazzbot. Given Moffat’s writing and imagination at play it will probably work very differently to the original. As @htpbdet says, “it’s the way it plays out that matters.”

    @bluesqueakpip the two Davids, Ellie and Susan do have remarkable resemblances in those photos. I don’t think there will turn out to be any relationship though. I am still wondering just what became of Clara’s mother however and it did seem to be rather a screaming coincidence that the Maitland children’s mother died just when Clara turned up in their life. (I don’t quite recall the line about when exactly she died.) I think the possibility that the children she nannies are time lord children has been raised before. Maybe every Claricle is caring for Time Lord children seeded on earth to save them from the Time Lock and maybe that has not yet happened. It is possible that Clara, in the time vortex intervenes to save the children, hence she is scattered through time as a nanny. Which takes me back to Clara being an ordinary girl until she steps into the Doctor’s Time stream and is splintered and not River’s child. I do love nurturing contrary theories.





    Nick @nick

    @janetteb @Shazzbot @bluesqueakpip @htpbdet @Madscientist72 @osakahatter

    As much as I like the idea that each Claraicle is guarding a hidden TimeLord child (anything is possible after all), I thought each Claraicle came into existence to halt/negate some form of GI interference in the Doctor’s timeline ? Do we then have to postulate that there are two different types on Claraicle ? Whilst each Claraicle was created when Clara prime entered the Doctor’s timeline as a voluntary action on her part, would even the Doctor at his most indifferent actually accept a second use for each Claraicle ? (even assuming it was a voluntary self less act). If the doctor has indeed saved some/all TimeLord Children from the Destruction of Gallifrey, we have to assume either Hurt Doctor did it or D10 and D11 will do it with the help (or not) Hurt Doctor during the Anniversary show (Christmas special perhaps).

    The Davids/Susan/Ellie photos are indeed remarkably similar – both in style and appearance. You have to think SM et al have done this deliberately (of course it doesn’t mean it isn’t a red herring to catch Eagle Eyed Bluesqueakpip out 🙂 ).

    Although a Doctor 11/River offspring is possible, it does seem a big stretch to me that this child is Ellie or Ellie’s mum. I think even SM with his love of convoluted story lines would think this is a stretch too far. This doesn’t seem like the right sort of character story arc for Clara.  In any case, The Doctor would have to be pretty delinquent not to know one of his own direct relations when he meets her.

    Actually, why not postulate that Ellie is the original David/Susan’s offspring in the first place and that she was saved by D8, Hurt Doctor or Susan herself ? That actually makes as much sense as the Doctor/River child idea. The only downside I can see is that almost all the casual AG Who viewers (not fans) have a limited to no idea who Susan is in the first place.

    I can currently think there of five credible ideas for how Clara get’s the Tardis’ phone number in the shop:

    1. The mystery woman (Doctor’s mother or whatever she is)
    2. River herself
    3. Rose. I’m not actually sure how this would work, but I suppose there’s a possibility that Rose could have done it on one of her visits to London with D10 after she meets Clara in the anniversary show. I agree none of the other companions seem likely options;
    4. Susan herself (a bit out there, but why not ? I agree its hard to work out how though) and
    5. Clara herself

    Actually I suppose the mystery women could actually be Susan. Personally I think River is currently the most likely candidate.


    Bluesqueakpip @bluesqueakpip


    Personally I think River is currently the most likely candidate.

    River is probably the least likely candidate, because Clara met River in the Conference call – and didn’t say: ‘We’ve met before. You gave me the Doctor’s phone number.’

    Currently, I’ve filed it as an oblique reference to the character of Sarah Jane Smith. The Maitlands seem to live reasonably close to Bannerman Road; if we later see a picture of Sarah Jane it will be a way of establishing that – while the actress who played her died – the character didn’t.

    Clara, btw, is almost certainly named after Elisabeth Clara Heath-Sladen, who played Sarah Jane Smith.

    OsakaHatter @osakahatter

    @nick – I’m not sure that every Claraicle is looking after hidden TimeLord children because for each to have that instinct to hunt them out, she’d presumably have had to have considered that prior to jumping in the time stream (and how do you find chameleon arched kids?) – more likely just a few of them (the 2 in the Snowmen, maybe the Maitland kids) that could have been placed where it was known they’d come under Clara’s care.  This could possibly be done by the Doctor and Clara, knowing that there was already a Claraicle there who would look after them, so it’s not creating another Clariacle for another use, it’s using a resource that’s already there.

    Possibly rather than TimeLord children, they’re the children of Chameleon Arched TimeLadies? Could explain what’s happened to the mothers?

    Nick @nick


    Ok that’s a fair point, but she was given the number before the “conference call” and there can be no guarantee that Clara would actually remember exactly who gave her the number of an IT support line even if she met her later on (I wouldn’t – would you ? in the circumstances).

    I think River is the most likely candidate as she had knowledge of the Doctor’s timeline and ability and reason to put Clara onto the right path. I agree its hard to quite fit this into what we see of River’s time line, but we do know River has met several versions of the Doctor and is possible she has met Peter Capaldi Doctor before she met David Tennant Doctor at the Library.

    In my opinion, the problem with Rose or Sarah-Jane (or any companion actually) doing it is that you have to invent a scenario whereby they get knowledge of exactly who Clara is and her future role with D11 subsequent to their own time travelling with the Doctor and then go back to 2012 (?) London, search Clara out and then be in the right place at the right time.

    Of course SM is quite capable of having the Doctor leave a message for an ex-companion to do this for him, but its a pretty convoluted explanation. It would actually be easier for the Doctor to arrange this directly himself (future female Doctor anyone ?) or he could of course just have convinced (conditioned might be a better word) the shop worker to give that number to Clara when she meets her.

    Its just as easy I think for a 70+ something year old future Clara to hand herself the number which is why I don’t think you can  rule that possibility out, although its a long shot. And No I doubt think you would automatically recognize a 50+ older version of yourself if you met either. I think, hmm she looks a bit like my mum or dad would be what most of us would think 🙂 .

    The problem with this sort of theorizing, is that you can explain most things if you put your mind to it, which I admit is why I prefer to read than write !

    Thanks for the info on Clara’s name origin. I didn’t know that Any idea where Oswin or Oswald comes from ?



    Nick @nick


    Hi there. My idea was a bit less subtle than that. My thinking was that once in the time line, Clara volunteers to look after all of the TimeLord Children for the Doctor, therefore creating two types of Claraicle (which I thought to be unlikely, which is why I like but doubt the idea that  timelord children are involved at all). Using your idea, the Doctor only need place each timelord child in a location where an existing GI nullifying Claraicle already exists. That works better as an idea for sure and fits into the idea that D10 and D11 combined redeem Hurt Doctor’s “not in the name of the Doctor” act [whatever it turns out to be].


    Anonymous @


    Is there anything to support the notion that Dalek Clara survived the destruction of the Asylum?

    Not that I know of, but then it’s not my theory.


     I do hope that at some point AG Who will address the question of “what became of Susan”. I don’t necessarily think or want that to happen in the anniversary though it would be a nice past reference.

    I think that, if Clara turns out to be part of the Doctor’s family, reuniting with the missing members of the family (Susan, Jenny, River [?]) may be part of series 8’s arc.

    I am still wondering just what became of Clara’s mother however and it did seem to be rather a screaming coincidence that the Maitland children’s mother died just when Clara turned up in their life.

    Clara is death to mothers? Clara the Mother-killer!


    Actually I suppose the mystery women could actually be Susan.

    I would think that, if it had been Susan, Clara would have remarked on the resembalce to Ellie at some point. For example, in this exchange:

    CLARA: Woman in the shop wrote it down. It’s the helpline, isn’t it? She said it was the best helpline out there. In the universe, she said.

    DOCTOR: What woman? Who was she?

    CLARA: I dunno, the woman in the shop. So why isn’t there internet? Shouldn’t it just sort of… be there?

    Clara’s response would become something like:

    CLARA: I dunno, the woman in the shop. The one who looked like my mum. So why isn’t there internet? Shouldn’t it just sort of… be there?

    I’m leaning towards Rose for this one, with another version of Clara herself as the runner-up.


    Anonymous @


    I would think that, if it [mystery woman in shop with helpline number] had been Susan, Clara would have remarked on the resembalce to Ellie at some point.

    Yes, but, no, but … often times ‘similarity in appearance’ is something other people notice, not us.  Because we know the person’s face so well.  A simple ‘they’re both brunette and reasonably pretty and vaguely resemble each other’ wouldn’t work for Clara who, even though she hasn’t seen her mother’s face in years [alive] has certainly looked at extant photographs of her, probably a lot, so her mother’s actual face is burned on her memory.

    rosetyler @rosetyler

    My favorite companion is (obviously) Rose Tyler. (I have only watched up to season 4 episode 4.) While Martha and Donna both left the doctor for family, she went traveling for around 3 Earth years. She didn’t care what her family said about The Doctor, she loved to travel with him. She is to my opinion the best companion. I have read descriptions of future episodes and it says Billie Piper in Journeys End season 4. I cannot wait until I get to that episode so I can see Rose again. You see her in the first episode of the 4th season and I couldn’t have been happier. I miss Rose on the show.

    TardisBlue @tardisblue

    @nick, @bluesqueakpip

    Re: name of the Eleventh’s current companion, Clara Oswin Oswald

    I agree with @bluesqueakpip that “Clara” is very likely a tribute to Lis Sladen, the actress who played Sarah Jane Smith (companion to 3 and 4, also appearing on episode with 10, and on spin-off children’s series “The Sarah Jane Adventures.” She died of cancer, far too soon, a few years back.

    Clara as a girl’s name means light, bright. It, as well as Oswin and Oswald, has some association with God.

    There are many subtle references to the TV show Doctor Who’s history in anticipation of the 50th anniversary. The first show was originally scheduled for broadcast on the day that American President John F. Kennedy was killed by Lee Harvey Oswald. That date, November 23, 1963, is shown on a gravestone (hers? her mother’s? I forget which ATM).

    There’s been a bunch of theorizing about the meaning of her name. Here’s a link to one discussion where the meaning of each name and some possible cryptographic references are discussed:


    Whisht @whisht

    hmm, lurking and dipping in at the mo due to…. well, stuff.

    anyway, I think (for what its worth) that Rose gave Clara the number in the shop; that Clara sees an illustration of Rose in the History of the Time War (“so that’s who…”), and that Rose and Doc10 will be intersecting with at least tBoSJ, but maybe other episodes too.

    I will not let it lie*, that there is an unnecessary tyre screech when they’re in the cafe in tBoSJ!!


    *until I am proven wrong as I have been by so many things….

    oh, and I think that Clara as carer for TimeLordKiddies is insane. Not bonkers, but clearly indubitably insane.

    Well done!


    Anonymous @

    Hello @whisht – I sincerely hope your ‘well, stuff’ is dealt with soon, and you’ll be back here more regularly.

    oh, and I think that Clara as carer for TimeLordKiddies is insane. Not bonkers, but clearly indubitably insane.

    Well done!

    *curtseys* Why, thank you sir.  😀

    And maybe that tyre screech is one of Moffat’s loose ends to be tied up … or maybe, it was there inadvertantly whilst the scene was filmed, and the sound mixing guys/gals were told to leave it in the final cut because Moffat simply knew that you, Whisht, would be slowly going so insane by bewilderment as to its meaning that you’d eventually think ‘Clara as fob-watched Time Lord children Nanny’ was a real possibility.  😆

    Nick @nick


    Thanks. Interesting, but I don’t know if it wise to take the name that seriously, although you never know. I can see 23/11/63 and the use of Oswin/Oswald as being a piece of a school boy humour quite easily.


    thommck @thommck

    @whist re:

    I think (for what its worth) that Rose gave Clara the number in the shop; that Clara sees an illustration of Rose in the History of the Time War (“so that’s who…”), and that Rose and Doc10 will be intersecting with at least tBoSJ, but maybe other episodes too.

    That’s an interesting thought but gets me starting to think about paradoxes, or rather how the events from The Name of the Doctor will affect what we have already seen on screen

    If it is Rose that Clara saw in the shop, and Time war book, surely that would mean that Doctor 11 would have known that he saw Rose again in the future. Therefore, he wouldn’t be that worried about the events going on in TNotD because he would know (from reading/writing the book) that Rose was part of it, and presumably know how she got there. Could the book be a living document written by the Tardis? Perhaps it is made of Psychic paper so will show different things to different people.

    I’m not sure if that makes sense, I could ramble on more but not sure it would be of any value!

    Anonymous @

    @thommck – “Could the [Time War] book be a living document written by the Tardis? Perhaps it is made of Psychic paper so will show different things to different people.

    I think that’s the first time that’s been posited here (but I’m probably wrong on that point; please correct me!), and it’s a very good theory.  Most debate has been centred on who wrote the book, between the Doctor and River as the two most likely candidates.  But surely the Tardis is even more likely?

    I’m just trying to wrap my head around how that could physically work, and this is where the idea of psychic paper is ideal.  I have always hoped we’d come back to the Tardis’ library in future episodes (for a lot of reasons; there are a lot of interesting things in there we only caught a quick glimpse of in JttCotT), and that Time War book feels to me like it has to feature again, perhaps in the 50th.  It would be very interesting indeed if the next person we see looking at it comes away with quite a different impression of what’s ‘written’ in there.  For example, the Hurt Doctor … ?

    Nick @nick

    @thommck @Shazzbot @whisht

    The problem I have with the Rose idea is that she’s supposed to be stuck in a different universe, which means that she has to find out while travelling with D10 (how !) or can now do something even the Doctor/Tardis can’t. In her previous return from the alt universe, the barriers were supposed to have been weaken due to Darkness falling (the Dalek universe destroying weapon) having been used.

    In theory D11 already knows he met Rose with D10 (D10 presumably remembers meeting D11 – more on that in the next paragraph), but unless the Book of the Time War includes what happens in the anniversary show (and therefore D11 already knows ?), then it was written in D9 (?), D10 and D11’s past either by the Tardis/D9 or by the Hurt Doctor (or ANO).

    To make things worse since D10 (with the Hurt Doctor and possibly D8 and D9) are in the anniversary show, D11 must remember what D10/Hurt Doctor remembers happened anyway (including what D11 did). That’s one big paradox anyway. So long it isn’t decided by SM to be a fixed point, presumably D11 is free to change his actions based on D10s memory of the events anyway (another potential paradox).

    In theory (mine anyway) any history book will automatically change (or disappear) if you change the past anyway (as history has changed). So you have to postulate that since the book is in temporal grace, outside time, in the Tardis it ought to remain unchanged even if the events themselves are altered. Therefore there ought to be at least two editions of the History of the TimeWar  although they could be in the same book as different alternatives. I suppose the book could be written on psychic paper but that would mean you would read what you wanted to see most rather than what actually happened wouldn’t it ? One nasty thought just popped into my head regarding on the book (and the Library itself). Since the its a timelord “book” wouldn’t it need to access timelord memories stored in the Matrix (on Gallifrey or in the Tardis ?) to be complied in the first place ?

    One last thought before my brain explodes (again) is that since Hurt Doctor is the Doctor physically (but not in name/action) then why didn’t Clara see him anyway since she saw the rest of his personal timeline [including the future probably]. You have to think that the GI couldn’t see HurtD either (or he/it would have attacked Hurt as well). This, I think, implies NONE of Hurt Doctor’s life/actions are recorded in the Doctors timeline (even though the Doctor remembers who he is/was and that he is part of the same personality). Another paradox ?

    @bluesqueakpip or @Madscientist72 probably (I hope) have a theory or two which explains this which I can take as an aspirin 🙂 . I’m off for a coffee.



    Bluesqueakpip @bluesqueakpip


    there can be no guarantee that Clara would actually remember exactly who gave her the number of an IT support line even if she met her later on (I wouldn’t – would you ? in the circumstances).

    The person who gave you the number of an IT line? Maybe not. But even in real life, I suspect you’d probably remember the woman who gave you the number that turned out to be that of an alien in a police box. Especially when you meet her again in equally strange circumstances, and then discover she’s pretty chatty for a dead person.

    So, sorry, unless River was wearing a burka, I reckon she’s definitely the least likely suspect. Now Clara’s met her, the audience would throw stuff at the screen if Clara ‘recognises’ her several episodes later – after patently not knowing who the heck River was.

    To be honest, Rose is the most likely; after all, she’s contacted present Companions before. Sarah Jane is also a good possibility – she has Mr Smith to search historical photos for the Doctor, so could well recognise Clara as a future Companion.

    An older Claricle is a distinct possibility; if it’s a much older Clara, Clara either has access to time travel right into her old age or has met a Weeping Angel. I doubt the Weeping Angel; I really don’t think they’re going to get rid of Clara that way immediately after using it for Amy and Rory. Access to time travel isn’t impossible, and it would certainly imply an interesting future storyline.

    The Doctor’s Mum? Could be, if they’ve booked Claire Bloom again.

    There are two possible reasons for the GI not interacting with the Hurt Doctor. One: he’s in the time-lock, and the time lock applies within the time-line itself just as much as it applies to anything else. Two: if the GI wants to make the Doctor suffer, why change the actions of the Hurt Doctor? Those actions already make the Doctor suffer. And Three: the Hurt Doctor was imprisoned in the time-line, and the last three series have been one giant three act play about the escape of Doctor Zero.


    thommck @thommck

    @nick I think you managed to articulate a bit better what was unravelling and re-ravelling in my head!
    It’s given me an idea for the Hurt Doctor, I’ll put it here (sorry @shazzbot) as I’m staying away from the 50th thread in fear of spoilers but I can move it if you like!

    Q. How can the Hurt Doctor not be known by Clara and the G.I.?
    A. He was never part of the Doctor’s timeline! The Time war, according to an early AG episode, wasn’t on the radar of less evolved species (Humans/Sontarans etc.). Could this mean it happened “outside” of time or in a pocket/bubble universe? If you are fighting over a pot of honey it makes sense not to have the fight in the actual honey pot!

    So, this means Doctor 8 regenerated into Hurt “outside” time who then regenerated into Doctor 9 before he could get back in to time. That kind of explains why he is in the Doctor’s personal timeline/memories but not in the actual timeline of the universe

    Anonymous @

    @thommck @MadScientist72

    Thom, my Topic Dalek eyestalk gave up and joined a yoga class.  😀  So many things are merging across this Companions thread and the Next Doctor thread, with talk of the 50th wrapped through it all like writing in a stick of rock,  that it’s no longer possible to say ‘this comment/conversation would be better here, or there.’  My only concern now is the fracturing of conversation whilst we all zoom back and forth between all those threads.

    MadS posited ages ago that since we never saw the 8th Doctor regenerate, it could be possible that 9 is actually just an older version of 8. Whilst that theory plays havoc with Doctor numbering from then on out, I’ve thought that would be quite interesting for Moffat to do (albeit unlikely).

    It appears that many people on this forum have assumed that the 50th will involve the Time War and it’s through that conflict that the Hurt Doctor lost his claim to the title ‘Doctor’.  Which means, he must be between 8 and 9; or else, an earlier number who catapulted into the Time War – which still plays havoc with Doctor numbering, although this theory affects far more Doctors’ numbers and for that reason I think even more unlikely.  Or a later number, but that raises the whole regen limit/Valeyard bogeyman again.  {sigh}

    So, Thom, back to your 8 – Hurt – 9 regen theory, which addresses what I think is probably the most likely order of things:

    Doctor 8 regenerated into Hurt “outside” time who then regenerated into Doctor 9 before he could get back in to time.  That kind of explains why he is in the Doctor’s personal timeline/memories but not in the actual timeline of the universe

    But … is the Hurt Doctor outside the timeline of the universe?  He’s hidden away in the 2.something percent of the Doctor’s mind that the Cyber Controller couldn’t reach.  Does that constitute being outside the universe’s timeline?

    I’m not being argumentative, I just want to understand your theory better.

    Whisht @whisht

    ah, ok, @thommck, @shazzbot, @nick….

    In terms of Rose giving the number to Clara, I guess I’m simply thinking Doc10 (or metacrisisDoc) and Rose “simply” jump into Doc 11’s fractured time-scar (rather than just Clara jumping out of it, however she does that).

    If they can jump ‘in’, then sequentially, they do this after Doc 11 has jumped into his own scar and so none of the “he’d have known that already” would happen.

    But there’s nothing, zilch, zero to suggest that they can jump in, other than me reading the whole casting stuff and thinking well, I wonder how they manage that….

    …and thinking was I the only viewer to hear unrelated tyre screeches in tBoSJ that could easily have been dubbed out?

    and did I just say “zero”?


    Nick @nick


    Sorry I’m not sure I can buy into that theory quite yet :). Even if D10 and Rose went to Trezalore and entered the tomb and then his timeline (after D11 and Clara) then I can’t see why D11 still doesn’t remember doing it in the past. He therefore still ought to remember everything which happens in the anniversary show (before it happens to D11). I can’t see how the sequence of entering his own timeline should make a difference to his own memories.

    In my opinion, the problem with D10 entering his own timeline (as well as D11) is that D10 ought to become aware of his future and could seeing what happened to him (and D11) decide that he rather didn’t like the way it turned out and act to change his own future. His last words before regeneration made it clear it was too soon for D10. Most likely knowledge of his future would play on his mind until he snapped and acted to make it different. I think that’s the biggest single reason why the timelords prohibited meeting your future self (and if SM decided it could be a fixed point and the universe would end as well).

    I think this is also a problem with D11 entering his own timeline. However, with the Hurt Doctor, he’s actually (probably)the 12th incarnation (and knows it) and he has already met (one possible ?) Doctor 13, and there’s a lot less he can do about it. Of course if the tomb is his real final one, then he ought to be aware of Doc PC and the others. We may or may not get an explanation for this.


    Nick @nick


    Running with your argument, then I agree Clara ought to have said something along the lines of “you’re familiar” at the beginning of the physic conference call, but I don’t think that’s necessarily definitive. Do we even know they could see each other (as opposed to feel their presence) ?

    Assuming it isn’t River (or the Claire Bloom character) then if it is Rose, then how do you explain how this is possible ? Real Rose is trapped in the alternative universe with the Human-Doctor. Although the anniversary show happened in her past, just why would she act post Journey’s End (assuming D11 or Clara told her the exact time date place) and assuming human-Doctor could build a device to break through the to the real universe (the Torchwood device was able to do this pre Turn Left as the universe was on the point of destruction). The possibility is that Rose acts sometime before Army of Ghosts to pass on this message. Why would Clara or D11 (or D10 having been asked by D11) ask her to do this ?

    For me, it doesn’t seem to fit into the Impossible girl/born to save the Doctor theme for Clara. Not because it couldn’t happen, but because everything Clara is before she enters the Doctors timeline appears to have been pre-destined (might I say planned ?). For example, lets say Amy had entered the Doctor’s timeline instead at Trenzalore (something I can easily envisage she would have done if she’d been there) – would Amy (or any other companion) say she’d been born to save the Doctor ? So why has SM chosen that phraseology ?

    When Clara says “run you clever boy…and remember”, I keep hearing River’s voice in the first part of the sentence. I couldn’t find any reference to River describing the Doctor as a clever boy (although I seem to recall she did ?), but River certainly used the word “run” in reference to her and D11’s journeys together (and of course River’s run).

    And then there is also this – In the Name of the Doctor, River is linked to Clara psychically. As she goes back to the library she says (thank you wiki quotes):

    • River: There’s only one way I’d accept. If you ever loved me, say it like you’re going to come back
    • The Doctor: Well then. See you around, Professor River Song
    • River: Till the next time, Doctor
    • The Doctor: Don’t wait up
    • River: Oh, and there’s one more thing
    • The Doctor: Isn’t there always?
    • River: I was mentally linked with Clara. If she’s really dead, then how can I still be here?
    • The Doctor: Okay. How?
    • River: Spoilers! Goodbye, sweetie.

    Then there is the symbolism. River was (lets say) born to kill the Doctor, whilst Clara is born to save the Doctor. In this they are a sort of mirror image of each other. The more I think about things given what I’ve read from the many contributors here, the more obvious it seems to become that SM has deliberately created this narrative symbolism between River and Clara and D11 journeys and that there he has a deeper (as yet unrevealed) concept at work here. Roll on November (but more likely series 8).

    I haven’t read (that I recall) anyone linking River and Clara in this way here (or elsewhere), but if they have then I apologise for not referencing them here.


    Anonymous @

    @nick – I moved your last comment, and my reply to it, to The Next Doctor thread, since neither of us mentioned companions.

    Bluesqueakpip @bluesqueakpip


    Running with your argument, then I agree Clara ought to have said something along the lines of “you’re familiar” at the beginning of the physic conference call, but I don’t think that’s necessarily definitive. Do we even know they could see each other (as opposed to feel their presence) ?

    I’m beginning to wonder if you actually watch the show? Because quite often your arguments seem to depend on having nipped out for a cup of tea in the middle of the episode.

    Talking about cups of tea, while making a cup of tea Clara says:

    So who was she, then? The woman with the space hair.

    If you can explain to me how she knew that River has ‘space hair’ without seeing her…

    I think ‘the woman in the shop’ is a piece of smoked fish. It’s a mystery placed enticingly within the episode, and we’re meant to chew it over. But it’s not really a mystery at all: just another stable time loop. Clara was given the Doctor’s phone number so that she could contact the Doctor – because the person giving it to her knew that was the way she’d first contacted the Doctor.

    The only reason I don’t think it’s River is because Clara’s now met her; if she meets Rose without recognising her as ‘Woman in Shop’ I will likewise cross her off my list. But whether it’s Rose or it’s River, the person would be interchangeable within the event. They are both time travellers who can easily travel back in time to give her that number. The only thing either of them need is for Clara to tell them what they did.

    Given that the 50th Anniversary is probably going to be watched by people who have only watched the Christmas Specials, they’re going to need to demonstrate concepts like ‘stable time loop’ and ‘your future is fixed if you know about it’ within the Special. The woman in the shop, I think, might well be an example.

    Clara sees, say, Rose – and goes “you’re the woman who gave me the phone number!” Either the Tennant Doctor or the Smith Doctor explains that – now Clara’s told her that – Rose has to go and do it. Recap of ‘if you know your future, it is fixed’ for the audience’, simultaneously with the idea of a stable time loop.

    If it’s the Doctor’s Mum, otoh, it is a genuine mystery. Because that means the whole ‘Impossible Girl’ thing is some kind of long range plan.

    Nick @nick


    No I’ve watched them. Since I live in Dubai, its quite late at night when I’m back in the UK usually months later and I freely admit to not picking up much of the detail as I have the sound low so as not to wake up my wife who isn’t interested in the show in the slightest. Not ideal conditions for remembering throw away one liners for me anyway.

    I’m the first to admit that out friend Steven M can write in what he wants to as who the women in the shop is (or not at all or course). I have argued for River because I can see she has the means (I think), motive, ability and reason for her to put Clara and the Doctor in touch with each other right then (and not anytime in all of the previous regenerations) because she has enough future knowledge to know its time for this to happen. You suggest a reasonably convincing reason why it couldn’t have been River, but I’ve yet to read a specific reason why it must be X as opposed to Y because….

    As to whether its critical or not, I agree it depends on how integral it is to SM’s plot arc resolution. The person may or may not be inter-changeable in that case and the explanation may be simple (eg please do this for me) or not.  I recall reading that SM himself say that he began thinking about the anniversary show 2 years ago (presumably 2011 around the time of season 6) so I’d venture a guess that the beginnings of the impossible girl arc go back at least that far.



    Bluesqueakpip @bluesqueakpip

    freely admit to not picking up much of the detail

    @nick – okay, but honestly – it does make playing this game with you a bit like trying to play a game of chess with someone who hasn’t spotted that their bishop is missing. 😉


    thommck @thommck

    I found this interview with Jenna Coleman talking a bit about Clara –

    She talks about the 50th, what it was like meeting Rose, & the Christmas Special but doesn’t really give away anything.

    Unless she also shares Moff’s rule#1 she makes it sound like the xmas special is very much going to be about Matt so I guess that would mean no regen in the 50th.

    She also gives this juicy quote

    Did John Hurt eat Nando’s also?
    No, John wasn’t into Nando’s.

    TardisBlue @tardisblue

    @nick re: meaning of Clara Oswin Oswald

    I’d posted above that the meanings (derivation) of these names reference light and God. You replied:

    “Interesting, but I don’t know if it wise to take the name that seriously, although you never know.”

    Moffat has a masters in English, taught English for several years before becoming a scriptwriter, and has a father who was a head teacher.

    I think his arcs have examined the deification of the Doctor and frequently show how the Doctor or circumstances are now moving him away from being such an exaulted, heroic figure. One can have a perfectly fine time watching a Who episode without looking at its story and script as one would read and examine a novel for a critical essay. But there are several levels of depth in each of his stories, and I’m particularly interested in seeing how the God/NotGod dichotomy plays out.

    First, a look at the source material about the names

    Behind the Name: Meaning, Origin and History has this to say:

    For Clara. Feminine form of the name Clarus, which was borne by a few early saints. The feminine form was popularized by the 13th-century Saint Clare of Assisi (called Chiara in Italian), a friend and follower of Saint Francis, who left her wealthy family to found the order of nuns known as the Poor Clares. As an English name it has been in use since the Middle Ages, originally in the form Feminine form of the Late Latin name Clarus which meant “clear, bright, famous”. The Clare, though the Latinate spelling Clara became more popular in the 19th century.”

    For Oswin. “From the Old English elements os “god” and wine “friend”. Saint Oswin was a 7th-century king of Northumbria. After the Norman conquest this name was used less, and it died out after the 14th century. It was briefly revived in the 19th century.”

    For Oswald: “Derived from the Old English elements os “god” and weald “rule”. Saint Oswald was a king of Northumbria who introduced Christianity to northeast England in the 7th century before being killed in battle. There was also an Old Norse cognate Ásvaldr in use in England, being borne by the 10th-century Saint Oswald of Worcester, who was of Danish ancestry. Though the name had died out by the end of the Middle Ages, it was revived in the 19th century.”

    The last couple of seasons under Moffat have seen a lot of references to how some peoples view the Doctor as a God. A Good Man Goes to War is one example. Even River, who calls the Doctor out on being too big and too important and on straying dangerously away from the meaning of doctor as healer — yes, even River who has no trouble speaking truth to power tells her daughter Amy how hard it is to be in love with an ageless god (or words to that effect) in The Angels Take Manhattan.

    The Doctor has been doing what he can to dispel this deification and hero worship (for instance, in The God Complex, he tells Amy that he is just a madman in a box, not the Raggedy Man Amelia worshiped and waited for his return.) The Rings of Akhaten depicts a world trying to appease a sleeping, angry god by songs of praise and sacrifice. The Doctor fails to appease its voracious appetite. Clara, offering up her leaf of days unlived because of her mother’s premature death, succeeds in feeding the parasitic sun-like creature enough stories that it explodes.

    So, it’s unlikely that Moffat’s Doctor will become a “God.” And very likely that the 50th and the Christmas special will continue with the de-deification of the Doctor. As @phaseshift (and maybe others?) pointed out in a response to one of my earlier posts, Moffat’s been stripping away some of the myths and mystique which have built up around the Doctor over the last 50 years.

    Even so, I like the idea that Clara Oswin Oswald represents. at some archetypical, Joseph-Campbellesque level, a being of light, a friend of God, and an example of God’s power. I am descended from a long line of teachers, after all. Just giving that grey matter a little bit of an extra workout.

    TardisBlue (who hopes her memory of essential plot points and dialogue is adequate enough to support what I’ve just said — @bluesqueakpip., our fact and quote checker extrodinaire.)

    Anonymous @

    @tardisblue, @nick

    If you think back to New Earth, the Face of Boe called the Doctor “the lonely god”, so Clara being “god’s friend” makes perfect sense. As far as Oswald goes, it could also translate as “God’s woods”, possibly a reference to the Gamma Forests? If so, it could indicate some sort of deeper connection with River Song, since her name is the Gammanese translation of “Melody Pond” (“the only water in the forest is the river”).


    Anonymous @

    @tardisblue – my Grammar Dalek eyestalk started quivering at this in your post:

    even River who has no trouble speaking truth to power tells her daughter Amy

    Ooops!  😀

    I don’t imagine Steven Moffat creates any character names without a whole lot of thought – considering how intricately plotted his stories and overall arc(s) are, haphazardly throwing together a name for The Impossible Girl seems unlikely.  Your research on each of Clara’s three names seems to show ‘god’s light’, ‘god’s friend’, ‘god’s power’.  (@MadScientist72, ‘woods’ is also a possiblility for ‘wald’,  and certainly has relevance to the Gamma Forest, but doesn’t fit the sequence so neatly.)

    Yes, ‘the lonely god’ trope does go back to before SM’s reign as showrunner as @MadScientist72 points out.  I do hope that is stamped out as we progress past the 50th, as I’ve said elsewhere.  Have a Time Lord or two inconveniently show up for tea, have multiple companions, show the Doctor’s fallibility every now and again, whatever it takes to stop the Doctor ascending to ‘lonely god’-ness.  Or getting all existentially angsty about being seen as a god.  Please.


    Anonymous @

    Loving the theory on Clara’s name but it could just be a tribute to Liz Sladen and with tongue planted firmly in cheek I present this ‘evidence’.

    Clara’s mom’s name – Ellie (shortened form of Elizabeth), Clara, as has been pointed out before was Liz’s middle name and then, for ‘Sladen’ we have DELSA (anagram of SLADE) which was written on an, erm, ‘N’-velope.


    TardisBlue @tardisblue


    The Grammar Dalek, working outside of its job description mind you, took exception to my writing

    even River who has no trouble speaking truth to power tells her daughter Amy

    1) As you said, Ooops! Indeed. I should have put that part in the Spoilers thread. 😀
    2) You know the urban legend that the Amish/Mennonite/insert-your-favorite-earnest-religious-group-here *intentionally* made one mistake in everything they made — because the only thing perfect was God. Wish I could claim to have messed up the Pond family tree on purpose. It would have been soooo cool, given the Godliness of the post.
    3) But how do we know for sure that River *wasn’t* Amy’s mother? River’s whole life has been lived out of order. We’ve seen River being born (Impossible Astronaut) but we haven’t seen Amy’s birth. *wink*




    works for me. 😀


    stevethewhistle @steve-thorp


    You have reminded me of a person who recently wrote a letter to the Dalesman Magazine saying that his/her descendants had worked in the Swaledale lead mines in the 19th century.

    Anonymous @

    @ TardisBlue

    Re 2): I believe the “intentional mistake” is actually a Muslim thing.

    Re 1 + 3): We saw Amy’s mom at Amy & Rory’s wedding at the End of The Big Bang, so we know it’s not River. Since we already know Amy is River’s mom, having River also be Amy’s wuld turn their family tree into a donut.

    TardisBlue @tardisblue


    In truth, I was mortified by @Shazzbot‘s discovery of my innocent mistake, so I attempted to cover up my shame by a feeble attempt at humor. Even the best of humor can be hard to convey with only the printed word … mine apparently failed somewhat spectacularly. I’d actually considered writing “my mother/my daughter, my mother/my daughter,” but I wasn’t sure if enough people would get the reference to the movie Chinatown.

    That’s interesting about “intentional mistake” as an Islamic practice. I hadn’t heard that before. All I know is that has said it’s an urban legend when it comes to old American quilts. Although even then, an individual quilter or artist could have purposefully made a mistake as an expression of their religious faith.

    @nick, cool.


    Bluesqueakpip @bluesqueakpip

    @MadScientist72 and @tardisblue

    Yeah, it’s in Islamic geometric art that you find the tradition of the deliberate mistake; especially North African art. Other religious traditions are the exact opposite – the final version of a sefer Torah scroll, for example, must have no mistakes whatsoever.

    I have no idea whatsoever how to make this on-topic, so I’m not even going to try. 🙂

    Classroom teachers, of course, only ever make deliberate mistakes … and a house point to Gryffindor for spotting it!


    Anonymous @

    @bluesqueakpip – am I Gryffindor, then? @tardisblue was right, Grammar Dalek moved out of its remit on that one.  But surely there can’t be a Gryffindor Dalek?  It would have to self-exterminate due to the cognitive dissonance.  🙂  And I’m not a cat, I don’t have 9 lives.

    Bluesqueakpip @bluesqueakpip

    @Shazzbot – I don’t think Daleks can go to Hogwarts. Even Slytherin wouldn’t take them; Slytherin may be a bunch of sneaky bar stewards, but some of them did end up fighting against You-Know-Who.

    Which would be the equivalent of a Dalek fighting on the Doctor’s side. 🙂

    Bahain @bahain

    I have a question about the new series companions, do Martha and Rose have a descriptive name like the others?

    Clara = The Impossible Girl

    Amy = The Girl Who Waited

    Rory = The Last Centurian

    Donna = The Doctor Donna

    Martha = ?

    Rose = ?

    Bluesqueakpip @bluesqueakpip

    @bahain – try tapping ‘Rose Doctor Who nickname’ into Google Search (other search engines are available).


    Whisht @whisht

    Or @bahain maybe try a few funny suggestions…?

    TwistedGlory @twistedglory

    Favorite companians: River Song.I love her she was just so bad ass and egnimatic.Amy Pond.I loved her from the begining.She was just this little girl who believed in the Doctor even when others refused. And when she travels with him she always goes against his orders to try to save his life.She was very brave Donna Noble.I liked how she was never afraid to get under the Doctors skin and talk back. She was outspoken and upfront,one of the reasons why i liked her.Rory Williams.He was such a caring soul.And i expecially love how much he loved Amy.He waited 2000 years guarding pandorico that contain Amy in it.He protected her.Also the fact that he always tried.He knew he wasnt strong and powerful but that didnt stop him from fighting back. Jack Harkness.Im probably the only one who actually favors him. But come on he is captain Jack Harkness.I love his characters agenda as this little heartthrob always hitting on someone.Gotta love him.:)

    Least favorite companians: Rose tyler. Dont get me wrong i ship her and ten anytime but i didnt really see the point in her except in bad wolf when she destroyed the daleks. Also she was a little clingy.  Martha Jones.She was snotty.I dont know what actually happened. I used to like her but then she started to get clingy with the doctor and i was just done.

    donjuan @donjuan

    in this episode river song said she was connected to clara. well i just watched the forest of the dead where we meet river the first time. in the computer simulation in that episode everyone has 2 kids one girl and one boy and they all look the same. well at the end of the episode river is in the computer simulation and she has 3 kids. the 2 that always where in the simulation and one other. a girl with dark hair. it makes me wonder if that is her real daughter and somehow she i in there with her. you know since she was all split up in the doctors time stream. and if she is rivers daughter the she is the doctors too. let me know what you think.

    donjuan @donjuan

    never mind my earlier post

    With the hard drive repaired by the Doctor, Charlotte can give the team a comfortable home. River takes care of Charlotte and Donna and Lee’s children, telling them the story of the Doctor. In the real world, the Doctor and Donna take off, but before they do, the Doctor tries opening the TARDIS doors with a snap of his fingers and is able to do so.

    Thenerdi21 @thenerdi21

    Hey Everyone. I am brand new to this and Fanboy radio is brand new to Doctor Who. In his most recent post, he  writes about his feelings of  Doctor 10 and season 2.  Let us know what you think. 

    UNITgirl @unitgirl

    Hi all, new here.

    My favourite companion was always the Brigadier (actually, I used to watch Dr Who in the early 70s  because of the gorgeous guy in uniform, not because of the Time Lord).

    (I know that there’s an issue around the Brigadier being a ‘companion’ or not, but if he isn’t – where to post?)

    Anonymous @

    Finally, the whole shebang on companion interviews in the Guardian

    (warning: video starts playing automatically)

    The printed interviews will be in tomorrow’s edition of the Guardian.

    Dorium.Maldovar @dorium-maldovar-2

    My favourite companion is Rose, Martha, Amy and River they’re just fantastic!!!

    MTVCatfishUK @mtvcatfishuk

    What if the Doctor met his new companion online?

    Could he trust that she was who she claimed to be?

    We are looking for people who are in online relationships but are yet to meet face to face!

    Are you suspicious of your online partner’s profile? Or are you hiding something and want the chance to come clean and finally meet?

    If this sounds like you or someone you know, we want to hear from you. Email us:

    ScaryB @scaryb

    @mtvcatfishuk Dunno about relationships, but I have a sneaking suspicion that most people on this forum may not look like their avatars 😉 (I of course am most definitely a 6ft+ furry robotic monster 😀 Or a stone statue – depending if you’re blinking or not)

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