The companion is a staple to the Doctor Who series. Though some Doctor Who outings have made do without them or have given us temporary stand-ins, the (surprisingly always) young, attractive girl from London who flies away with the madman in a box, is as crucial to Doctor Who as the monsters are.
The companions have ranged from the great (such as the Ponds) to the… well… Martha. But have they final done it? Have they struck gold with Clara?
Each companion has had some sort of story arc to them. Rose was the Bad Wolf, Martha was the woman who walked the earth (it doesn’t bode that well that I had to look that up), Donna was the most important woman in all of creation and Amy was the girl who waited. Yet, all of these stories usually take a while to develop, or even begin. Bad Wolf came and went, walking the earth just happened, being the most important woman wasn’t relevant until it was time to for her to leave and the girl who waited, well that’s more a title than a story.
But Clara? From the very beginning, we were, and still are, hooked. She is the woman twice dead, she is, in The Doctor’s words, “impossible”. We were given the mystery right from the start. A perplexing, interesting mystery that we get to watch unravel episode by episode, rather than having it all thrown at us at the end.
In a universe as vast, free and often logic-less as Doctor Who’s, the answer could literally be anything. It breeds speculation, it breeds discussion, it breeds love for Clara and, most importantly, interest in the show.
However, Clara’s mystery isn’t the only thing that pulls you in. In many ways she’s the perfect partner to The Doctor. She’s intelligent, witty, and feisty but crucially, a character in her own right. She doesn’t hang on The Doctor’s every word and speaks her mind freely. She is an independent, well-rounded character. One that, dare I say, can stand shoulder to shoulder with The Doctor Who himself.
Oh and she listens too. In Doctor Who, that is a trait much rarer than you’d think.
But of course, her character would amount to nothing if the actress was, to put it bluntly, crap. But my goodness has Jenna Louise Coleman risen to the challenge.
When Matt Smith took over from David Tennant, I though replacing him would be an impossible task. But it seems all it took was fish fingers and custard, as ten minutes into The Eleventh Hour, Tennant was a distant memory. But what took Matt Smith a few episodes to cement, Clara did almost instantly. Her appearance in Asylum of the Daleks was surprising yet most certainty welcome and The Snowmen put her firmly in the spotlight, a place she clearly belongs.
That’s not to say that previous companions, mainly Amy, weren’t portrayed well because they were. But I don’t feel like Jenna is performing. I don’t see an actress, I just see Clara from credits to credits. Now that is an achievement.
Needless to say, I’m in love with Clara. Her performance is top-notch, her character is fantastic and her story is riveting. Clara isn’t just one of the greatest companions; she’s one of the most important. She marks the evolution of the companion. Jenna Louise Coleman isn’t just filling a void and this time, the companion isn’t just along for the ride. She is the talking point of the show, a reason to watch the show; she is “the only mystery worth solving”.
This article was first posted on April 22, 2013