The Clara Problem

Last year, I talked about The Moffat Problem.  I still sort of have the same problems with his writing as I did last year.  He does still focus more on the “emotional” side of each story rather than the “logical” side.  But he does seem to have taken a step back from the stories that feel too big and important.  This last season felt about as laid back as Season 5.   Sure, important things happened, but they didn’t feel too huge to overshadow the overarching story itself.  However, I think he took a bit too far a step in the wrong direction.  And it all has to do with my most disliked companion of all New Who (yes, even more disliked than Rose), Clara. I’m just going to come right out and say it.  Clara is an awful character.  She’s full of herself, controlling, manipulative, and selfish.  And the worse part is, we’re supposed to find all of this endearing in some way.  None of her traits are ever seen as a bad thing by anyone.  The worst thing she does is lie to her boyfriend and even then he doesn’t make it seem like it’s that big of a deal.

Another big problem I have with her is that she is a total Mary Sue for Steven Moffat.  Think of it this way:  Clara became the most important character in the Doctor’s life.  In Name of the Doctor, she literally re-wrote history so that every single important moment in the Doctor’s life only happened because of her.  She always saved the Doctor.  Without her, the Doctor would be nothing according to this new timeline.  I’m almost certain that this is the way Moffat sees himself as the current show runner.

I’m simply not okay with this.  Making Clara be the “end all, be all” for the Doctor feels like a slap in the face to 50+ years of a show’s history.  It also makes the Doctor seem like he can’t handle himself in basically any of his incarnations.  He always needed the help of this one woman who kept popping up.  It made him seem weak in all the wrong ways, like he couldn’t make any decisions at all for himself.  I know it seems like I’m whining that one of my favorite characters ever is “flawed.”  I’m not.  Flaws, done in the right way, are a fantastic way of making a character feel well rounded.  The problem here is it makes him seem like a child that has to be guided in order to make the right choices.  And, although the Doctor can definitely be immature and makes mistakes, making him seem like he always needed Clara by his side feels like a disservice to not only the Doctor but all his other companions as well.

Season 8 was pretty good.  Hell, I’d go so far as to say it’s one of the best since Season 5 (still my favorite one so far).  It had good stories and we got to know a new Doctor.  However, we didn’t get to know him enough.  See, all season long, we haven’t been focusing on this new Doctor.  Instead, we’ve been focusing on Clara as she tries to balance her life of adventure with her normal life.  The Doctor should have been the focus this season. He was new.  He was different.  We wanted to see how he would compare to the other Doctors.  But he wasn’t the focus of his opening season.  No, instead we simply HAD to see Clara, we HAD to follow her love life, we HAD to have Clara try to keep her life in order.  Why?  Because there’s nobody more important than Clara.

I may have overreacted a bit, though.  Rose was a bitch and had almost all the same problems Clara had.  But you know what Rose had that Clara doesn’t?  A PERSONALITY.  Clara is a blank slate.  Sometimes she makes a bad decision, but she’s never truly reprimanded for it.  At worst, she cries for a bit until someone hugs her and tells her it’s okay.  She’s boring because we don’t care about her problems.  She got in the way of a season that should have been about exploring a new Doctor.

I’m sure not everyone will agree with my opinions on this matter.  I’ve seen people who really love Clara and would hate to see her go.  However, I’m truly hoping that the rumors are true and the Christmas episode will be her last.  Not that I dislike Jenna Coleman.  She’s great in the role, she emotes well, and she is very pretty.  I just hate Clara.  And if she does end up staying for a bit longer, I hope Moffat injects some kind of personality into the role.


2 thoughts on “The Clara Problem

  1. She is unequivocally a Mary Sue. The whole season fell flat because the writing was always centered around her instead of the Doctor. Let’s hope the next companion/Doctor relationship is an improvement.

  2. Pingback: Thoughts on Doctor Who: Series 8 | Laura's Honest Ramblings

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