The following contains spoilers. Anyone who has not seen Doctor Who, Season 9, Episode 10, “Face the Raven”, then skip this right now. Or don’t, but be prepared to be spoiled.
In the premiere episode of Capaldi’s Doctor, he said, “I’ve lived for over two thousand years, and not all of them have been good.” In fact, some of them have been down-right tragic. In those two thousand years, The Doctor has had roughly 54 companions (the count varies, depending on who is arguing the point). Of those, five had died before the events of “Face the Raven”. And now we add Clara Osbourne to that list.
To be honest, I’m someone who had grown tired of Clara’s character. I loved her as the Impossible Girl, helping to clear up the Doctor’s timelines of all of his regenerations. But once Smith became Capaldi, I thought she was a bit rough on the Doctor during season 8, and while some of the things she accused him of were on the money, many more were not.
“You walk our earth, Doctor, you breathe our air. You make us your friend, and that is your moon too and you can damn well help us when we need it!”
But isn’t he always? Unfair assessment, Clara. I was looking forward to her leaving the show in Season 8, but then at the last minute, Jenna Coleman signed on to Season 9. When I heard this would be her last, I was pretty excited, and spent several hours geeking out on who would be the next companion. I had really hoped it would be Perkins, the Orient’s engineer in Season 8’s “Mummy on the Orient Express (my favorite episode from 8). But I didn’t want her to go out like this. I think Adric’s and Donna’s death were likely the hardest on the Doctor (I know, Donna didn’t die, but one could argue that removing her memory of her time in the TARDIS killed a part of her), but losing Clara has to be particularly rough, especially on the heels of losing Amy and Rory. It’ll be interesting to see where this takes the Doctor, and how he’ll react to taking on a new companion, but he will and the sooner, the better. As River Song put it, “What matters is this… Don’t travel alone.” And she’s right, the Doctor loses his humanity when he spends too much time by himself.
And speaking of River, while Moffet kicked us in the balls with the death of Clara, he’s also giving us a tremendous gift in the Christmas special this year when River returns! When Capaldi was first announced as the new Doctor, I immediately said that he would be River’s Doctor, so I can’t wait to see if when they meet in December, does she already know him, or will she be meeting him for the first time. Who knows?