In my past write-ups of this season’s Doctor Who episodes, I’ve said a couple of times that I believe the new companion, Clara, could be one of the most important ones, narratively speaking, of the entire series? Why? Whether you like the Ponds or not, the Doctor had a very unique relationship with them. Amy Pond was the first living soul the Doctor met in his latest regeneration, and he was a part of her life for very nearly the entirety of her life. Add in the fact that Amy and Rory were the parents of the Doctor’s “wife,” River Song, and it’s clear that the Ponds were incredibly important to the Eleventh Doctor, and their loss will likely be a serious blow to him. It will fall on the new companion to drag the Doctor out of his morass of guilt and help him to move on. In a new interview with Matt Smith, the Who lead offers some clues as to what the relationship will be like between the Doctor and Clara.
Speaking to the Mirror, Smith says that the Doctor’s relationship was unusual since he was traveling with a pair of companions who actually were a couple. He inevitably became a third wheel in some respects, albeit a third wheel that could drag you off to a spaceship filled with dinosaurs at a moment’s notice. “I was thinking about it the other day and Rory used to take care of Amy quite a lot, so the Doctor became a weird old grandfather,” says Smith. “He was ostracised in some way. So it is nice having a different dynamic.”
Smith also explained that this passing of the torch to a new companion is one of the things he loves about Doctor Who: “That is what is exciting about the show, you kind of get a first episode again. I think all these stories come to the end of their cycle.”
After actress Jenna-Louise Coleman put in a surprise appearance in Doctor Who’s seventh-season premiere, many fans have been curious to learn the nature of the Doctor’s new companion. After all, the producers had revealed that the new companion, Clara, would be introduced in the upcoming Christmas episode. But there she was in the premiere, and playing a character named Oswin. What the hell was going on here?
Figuring out the answer to that question should make for good television, and it will be interesting to see the Eleventh Doctor playing off a new companion. After all, new companions can change the dynamic of the series nearly as much as the introduction/regeneration of a new Doctor. (And if you want some potentially spoiler-y rumors about just what is up with Jenna-Louise Coleman’s different roles, click here.)