It is time for a new incarnation of The Doctor and with that comes the questions of his companion. With the exodus of Matt Smith, who played the 11th Doctor, the writers bring in new blood in the form of Peter Capaldi. While there is a new Doctor, our companion has not changed. Some fans have been unhappy with the current companion played by Jenna Coleman but perhaps this new Doctor will be able to give the viewers a different perception of the character.
Jenna Coleman’s character, Clara Oswald, became the companion during the middle of the last season. While the Doctor is essentially the same character, who has regenerated with a new appearance and new quirks to his personality, the companions come and go. Clara made her first appearance during the premiere of season seven as Oswin Oswald and at the time her character was well received. Many thought she would make a great complement to the Doctor.
Once Clara came on stage as the companion however, the story seemed to change. Instead of being a witty sidekick for the Doctor, she became more of a mystery. Her story became a riddle that needed to be solved. What the viewers had come to love about the Doctor and his sidekick was not what they were getting.
As the story continued over the course of the season, the writers of the show unraveled more and more of the mystery until even the character admitted that her story was over. Clara’s story is not over and she is still the Doctor’s companion. With this new regeneration of the Doctor, the audience may get a chance to see this character reach her full potential. As viewers continue to watch the new chemistry emerge between the 12th Doctor and Clara, maybe the writers will allow her a chance to really be the companion versus another show mystery.
When looking back at the past season, it is unfair to judge Clara based on those individuals who had traveled with the Doctor before. Her character was a mystery to be solved. Rather than being given a chance to prove her ability to travel with the Doctor and offer him the wit, charm and basic morality that previous companions offered, she was actually forced to show that she could survive what was thrown her way.
Every companion has a different personality and some seem to come into their own as they travel with the Doctor. Now is the time for Jenna Coleman’s character to come into her own. Now that the Doctor is no longer played by a man who appears young and like a possible love interest, it is time for Clara to become the character viewers expect to see. Even if the rumors are true and she is departing at some point during the season, now is the time for Clara to show who she is as an independent and strong companion to the Doctor.
This latest regeneration may have been exactly what Clara needed to make her character whole. This is a chance for Clara to come full circle and show the viewers what they saw when she played Oswin Oswald. A character that is strong, with charm and a wittiness that easily matches the Doctor. The new Doctor may be just what this particular companion needed.