Clara’s Mysterious Phone Call: A Theory

Guest contributor Camille Bunko shares a finale theory.


When we sit down to watch an episode penned by Steven Moffat – especially if it’s a series finale – we expect it to be full of paradoxes and constant time travel and otherwise complicated timey-wimeyness. Throughout the entire Matt Smith era no arcs have been tied together or revelations made without some sort of extreme use of the TARDIS’ remarkable ability to time travel; I think that’s why I personally found it so surprising when I realised that the events of Dark Water (mostly) happened in a straight line and, most importantly, in the right order.

…or did they?

Anyone who’s tried to examine Mr Moffat’s writing style knows that he’s notorious for holding back part of the story, or at least twisting an assumption that the entire audience has made; classic examples include the “dead Doctor” in Utah actually being the Tesselecta, to the revelation that the War Doctor didn’t actually destroy Gallifrey but in fact saved it. So, would it really be surprising if he was holding back something massive in the latest episode that challenges all of our previous assumptions?

If you readily have access to Dark Water, I highly recommend you go back and watch the opening scene where Clara calls Danny. It doesn’t really make much sense, does it? Why did Clara need to speak to Danny so urgently that she couldn’t even say hello to him? Why was she so desperate to tell him that she loved him if he was going to meet up with her in a few minutes? Obviously it’s safe to assume that this will become clear in the next episode, so I want to put forward a theory – I think the entire scene with the phone call happened after the events of the episode.

dark-water-promo-pics-(7)So basically, here’s what I think really happened, in the correct order. Clara is waiting for Danny – wherever they originally arranged to meet – when someone delivers the tragic news that he was hit by a car. She suddenly wishes that she’d told him the whole truth about her travels with the Doctor, and most importantly that she really, really did love him. A memorial service is held, and Clara is yet to visit the scene of his death; she hasn’t worked up the courage yet. When she eventually does, she stands in the middle of the road, looks over at the tribute board, and wishes she could have been there with him.

Back at home, Clara’s grandmother offers some kind words and tries to convince her granddaughter to let go of her loss. The impossible girl has other plans, however, and summons the Doctor. Threatening him with the TARDIS keys, she demands that the time lord goes back in time and saves Danny. They then visit 3W and on the story goes…

clara-post-it-lyingLater on – exactly when will probably be revealed in Death in Heaven – Clara finds a way of going back in time to the day Danny died; maybe the Doctor took her there, or maybe she got there another way altogether. This time she’s not going to try and save him, she just wants to talk to him. She decides to be truthful about everything she did, so she writes a load of post-its reminding her of all the things she hasn’t told him. Realising how little time she has, she quickly calls him and tells him to “shut up” so she has as much time as possible to talk; her words are said with urgency, because she doesn’t know how much time she has. First and foremost, she wants to tell him that she loves him – not like it’s automatic, not like it’s how you end the phone call, but like she really means it.

Suddenly, the phone goes dead, and upon talking to the woman who picked up Danny’s phone on the street Clara realises something; the phone call is probably what caused him to get hit in the first place. She drops her phone in shock and runs straight to the scene of the crime – she, of course, knows exactly where it is – and sees the ambulance taking Danny away.

Even with this theory, questions still remain unanswered. Why did Clara say “you are the last person who’s ever going to hear me say that”? (It’s pretty easy to guess, but it would take another article to properly speculate on). And, perhaps most importantly, does Danny Pink really die?

I guess we’ll just have to wait and see.