Remember the Thompson Twins’ “Doctor, Doctor?”
DISCLAIMER: I am not a Whovian, just a fan with a theory.
I have this theory that Clara Oswald is one of the Doctor’s future regenerations but she doesn’t know it yet. It’s like when the Master was first introduced to the new series in “Utopia” (Season 3 Episode 12) as the kind and gentle Professor Yana or when the Doctor turned himself to human to hide from the Family of Blood in “Human Nature” and “The Family of Blood” (Season 3 Episodes 9 and 10). In these episodes the Doctor and the Master were completely unaware of who they had been. Their former identities were stripped away and sealed in pocket watches protected by “perception filters” that rendered the watches inconsequential. The watches were in plain sight but the Doctor and the Master paid them no attention. I can’t help thinking that Clara has a pocket watch too.
Charlie at Emergency Awesome begins his review of this fall’s Doctor Who season finale with a discussion of “Doctor Oswald.” It’s the lie Clara tells when she is confronted by a Cyberman. She rambles, “Clara Oswald is a cover story, a disguise, there is no Clara Oswald,” before the camera closes in on her face and she coyly reveals, “I am the Doctor.” I’m not as easily dissuaded as Charlie. It’s too easy to dismiss her choice of words as desperate banter spoken to confuse the Cyberman threatening her. I am steadfast in my belief that Clara’s declaration is a part of some “grand master plot” that might just mock us for not noticing that a female Doctor has been right in front of our eyes all along.
If the Master is now the Mistress, it does not seem as incredulous a leap of faith to believe in a “Doctor Oswald.” We’ve already been given a DoctorDonna. In “Journey’s End” (Season 4 Episode 14), when Donna Noble, the Doctor’s companion at the time, is infused with the Doctor’s mind, the DoctorDonna is born. Regrettably, she dies too soon. I would like to have watched the adventures of the DoctorDonna. Donna Noble remains one of my favorite companions. She was the only companion of the Tenth Doctor that wasn’t written as a potential love interest. She was written as his sassy friend and in many aspects his equal.
Donna would have gotten the Twelfth Doctor to bring Danny Pink back without the type of coercion that Clara used. At the start of “Dark Water,” Clara and the Doctor are inside of an active volcano. She threatens to throw the TARDIS’ keys into boiling lava, if the Doctor does not acquiesce and bring her boyfriend, Danny, back from the dead. In “The Fires of Pompeii” (Season 4 Episode 3), the Doctor is in a similar situation. Vesuvius has erupted and Donna begs the Doctor to alter the fixed point in time and rescue just one family. He does.
The fact that Peter Capaldi was one of the main characters in the story and is now playing the Twelfth Doctor adds an intriguing level of speculation.
Reading the speculation that occurs every time a new Doctor is ready to be cast, I sometimes imagine a story in the show where there are multiple “Doctors” from various ethnic and cultural backgrounds coming together to save the traditional Doctor and the universe, under the leadership of Doctor Oswald or the DoctorDonna. In “The Next Doctor” an accident during a Cyberman conversion causes a man in Victorian London to believe he is the Doctor. He goes as far as to create a Victorian version of the TARDIS — “Tethered Aerial Release Developed In Style.” I’ve imagined a story arc where a similar accident causes others across the ethnic and cultural divide.
What do you think? How feasible is my theory?