“I’m your governess’ gentleman friend and we were just upstairs……kissing”...offers the usually shy and non-sexual Eleventh Doctor to Clara’s employer, Captain Latimer, in The Snowmen. Following quickly on the heels of the playful kiss between him and the puppet, Mr. Punch… and just prior to Clara making him “blush” with her passionate lip-lock, the audience sees that the Doctor and Clara clearly have a thing going on. When he takes her into the TARDIS and says “this is me… giving in,” his mood is jubilant and he is openly smitten.
And then, she dies in Victorian England.
Whilst figuring out she is 'impossible', the Doctor withdraws to 13th Century Cumbria to reflect on her presence and place in his life. Clearly, this is the woman the universe created for him and he sets off to understand this beautiful gift. In a cyclical world, the mystery and the devotion still work.
When reconnected in modern-day London (with or without help from Missy), we see a nervous Doctor as a last Centurion guarding his love. Moffat flips the classic Shakespearean balcony scene on its head, allowing Clara to become the hero. "Well then...I'll have to come to you." Juliet leaving the balcony to claim Romeo? That is so "cool, chin boy."
The Doctor then whisks Clara away on an adventure through time and space - they ride a motorbike, save children, fight Gods, save submarines, hunt ghosts, journey into the center of the TARDIS, save more children and survive a cyber-attack. For the Doctor, Clara is “the only mystery left worth solving", she is his "impossible girl", she affects the outcome of his timeline and even the destiny of Gallifrey itself! The preview for The Name Of The Doctor includes an internal monologue by each, both claiming the other is their perfect partner.
During The Time Of The Doctor, Clara begs the Time Lords to "love him", as she clearly does, and so Eleven regenerates. The Tenth Doctor/Rose hologram good-bye scene is now an Eleventh Doctor/Clara reaching towards each other moment as she pleads, “please don’t change." Dropping his stoicism at the last minute, Eleven reaches back only to suddenly regenerate into Twelve.
Horrifyingly quick, and with her Doctor gone, Clara is us - the audience lost in a spinning TARDIS with a stranger. Though series eight eventually drew them closer, it was only after Twelve throws their intimacy away in Deep Breath. In a rather harsh “remove the band-aid quickly” move he informs Clara that “I am not your boyfriend.” To her credit, she looks nonplussed (After all, she’d just defended herself to Vastra regarding the same issue.) But was she?
Clara: I never thought you were.
The Doctor: I never said it was your mistake.
The unfinished love story could still have a happy ending. I would dearly love to see Twelve take Clara to live out her days with Eleven. Yep, I'd let her be with Smith's Doctor in a time somewhere before his finale, maybe in his years on Trenzalore. It's possible, after all Capaldi was in the 50th, and it's Doctor Who - time can be rewritten.
So here it is... a whole series later and I'm still longing for the past! Why? Simple. Coleman and Smith, together, have a magnificent presence, and their full potential is still unrealized. If I could create a plot line, I'd love Twelve to sacrifice his best friend and rejoin her with Eleven. Then just like the creatures in Hide and Time Heist, these two star-crossed loves would be left quietly and blissfully somewhere together forever.
I guess my longing for a happy ending for Eleven and Clara is no different from those who wanted one for Ten and Rose. They had one, kind of, so it can happen. I long for it to happen. And I ask.... can I be the only one who feels this way?
Risk adverse, Stacy would never even enter the TARDIS, but admires those who do. Happily watching and writing from the distance of Indiana, USA. She enjoys writing and discussing her observations and critiques.