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Clara Oswin Oswald: Who’s That Girl?

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Guest contributor Simon Franklin gives his thoughts on the Clara/Oswin mystery.

Clara Oswin Oswald is her name… but that’s all we really know other than her love of soufflés, and telling the Doctor to: “Run, you clever boy…and remember.” But what does she want him to remember? Her? There’s no chance he’s going to forget her at all! Not now.

It all began innocently enough when the Doctor came into contact with a young girl who had a love of opera and soufflés and had been trapped on the Dalek Asylum planet in her spaceship for a whole year… where did she get the milk? She didn’t. The whole thing had been a scenario in her head so she didn’t have to come to terms with the fact that she had been transformed into a Dalek – one of Moffat’s cruellest, craziest and most surprising plot twists so far (the clues were there all along though, upon a re-watch). Especially considering the Doctor was still travelling with Amy and Rory at the time. A cross-over of companions was not expected and Jenna’s early appearance shocked us all and raised many questions, most of which feed into my theory and also have quite logical answers.

One of the most obvious questions was:

How did Oswin’s voice sound human through the intercom?

Well, she was a genius. She hacked into everything, opened doors, saved the day and even made the whole entire Dalek species, the Doctor’s most dangerous enemy, forget who he is. With that in mind, surely it would be simple enough for Oswin to have hacked into the comms system to make her own voice be heard, further proving her resistance and determination to stay human.

Other questions have arisen in that:

Is Oswin the same girl who appears in “The Snowmen”?

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Or is she just a relative from the future? Perhaps Oswin Oswald is a traditional family name passed down quite frequently, perhaps all are curious, cheeky girls with an affinity for soufflés and flirting… or perhaps these similarities are far more complex than just a coincidence. I think it is clear now that Oswin IS the same person with separate lives throughout time.

The Snowmen contained a few small clues and no real answers; it only confused us even more by killing her for a second time. But it also gave us something very, very gleamingly obvious: The Great Intelligence. This was wonderful because of the little nod to the classic series and the fact that the Doctor sent the Great Intelligence to 1967 to the London Underground, knowing he would defeat it there…or so I assume.

But there’s more than that. Clara cried, as did the rest of the family, but it did focus more on Clara’s tears, and the snow turned to tears. This possibly leads us assume that Clara is linked, somehow, to the Great Intelligence. Perhaps she is a puppet like Simeon? But, if she was the Intelligence, or at least controlled by it or linked to it, think back to the Asylum of the Daleks. Oswin was a genius. She could control everything. That could explain that.

“Is Oswin evil?”

I hear you ask…well, unfortunately, it’s beginning to look that way to me. The Doctor became withdrawn and reclusive after Amy and Rory’s departure. He seemed to have vowed he would never take on another companion for fear of the heartbreak when they leave him. But then Oswin swoops in, takes him by surprise and caters to his curiosity. She has his attention instantly and he even gives her a key to the TARDIS – something he very rarely does. Why? Why would he trust her so suddenly? Because she’s interesting and because he’s figured out something about her. When she mentions soufflés and asks if there’s a kitchen in the TARDIS, I think he clicks, although it’s completely confirmed when he stands over her grave, that this is THE same girl he met in the Asylum.

Now, Oswin Oswald has had two appearances so far. Both times The Question has been asked.

“Silence will fall when the question is asked… On the Fields of Trenzalore, at the Fall of the Eleventh, when no creature can speak falsely or fail to answer, a question will be asked. A question that must never be answered… Doctor Who?”

Once she wiped the Daleks memories so they asked “DOCTOR WHO?” and then again when she poked her head through the top of the cab in the Snowmen, asking it herself. This might not seem such a big deal. After all, everyone asks “Doctor Who?” Now, this storyline of Trenzalore is clearly approaching at a rapid speed and Clara will obviously be the companion for that. I think she’s going to keep forcing the question to be asked and be a huge part of that storyline, whether she means to or not.

All in all, I think it’s quite safe to say that Moffat has done it again. He’s introduced us to an impossible, fascinating, exciting woman with so many layers of which we have only seen the surface so far. Here’s to looking forward to getting to know Clara and to the Doctor’s adventures with her for better or worse, as he speeds towards that terrifying day where the question will be asked.

Step back in time...

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