We’re in the long dark between seasons of Doctor Who at the moment, so there’s no a whole hell of a lot of information flowing about what we’ve got to look forward to in season eight just yet. As such, we’re left to fill out Who cravings with things like this. But hold on, it turns out Who boss Steven might have let slip some intriguing tidbits in a recent issue of Doctor Who Magazine, specifically with regards to something you may or may not have noticed in the last season of Doctor Who: that the TARDIS might not be entirely fond of the Doctor’s latest companion.
It’s a story element that was easily overshadowed by the larger arc of the season, especially since it was leading up to the 50th anniversary 1-2-3 of the Name, Day, and Time of the Doctor. But the TARDIS is alive, after all, and in fact the Doctor even had a (Hugo-winning) adventure with her in human form. In a very real way, she’s his original companion, the one who’s been there from the beginning and outlasted all the others. So why should the TARDIS mind Clara any more than she did all the ones who came before?
Well, as you might have noticed right around the time Clara stepped into the Doctor’s timeline, there’s something different about Clara. After all, she’s the Doctor’s “Impossible Girl.” Responding to a reader question in DWM, Moffat explains:
As the Type 40 bad girl made clear in ‘The Doctor’s Wife,’ she doesn’t like him bringing home strays. The TARDIS, as we know, likes to fire her pet Time Lord at interesting moments in history and watch the fireworks. Anyone less mad than the Doctor might have noticed by now the TARDIS navigation always works perfectly when the crisis demands, but never when he fancies lunch, or tea and biscuits at the Eye of Orion.
Now those pesky humans who keep following him home are usually content to stumble about, saying: ‘It’s bigger on the inside.’ and remain sufficiently in awe of the Police Box magic never to question it. But clever, sceptical, hard-to-impress Clara might just cause trouble.
It’s an interesting reminder about an aspect of the show that is easy to forget: the Doctor’s forays through time and space aren’t just down to spins of the Wheel of Random Adventure. That crafty old TARDIS has at least some control of where they wind up, otherwise how would the Doctor always seem to wind up exactly where he needs to be? (And wherever you go, there you are.) I love the notion of the TARDIS having a developed personality, even if it’s rarely revealed in any overt way, and it sounds like it might be an element Moffat plays to explore more in coming episodes.
Or, as that cheeky bastard Moffat puts it, “It’s almost like it’s all building to something… Oh! What’s this I’m writing today?” Very funny, you sadist. My sides, they’re splitting.
Naturally, we’ll just have to wait until the show returns before we’ll have any hope of getting a straight answer. Unless you’ve got your own TARDIS parked somewhere nearby, in which case let’s hope a ride to spoilertown, stat. For the rest of us, we’ve got at least several more months before Doctor Who returns. They haven’t announced an official premiere date yet, but it’s expected in the late summer or early fall. With a new Doctor at the wheel (Peter Capaldi) and a fresh set of regenerations under his collar, the Doctor’s got a hell of a lot of adventures yet to come.