Okay, so this is just mindless speculation. But a thought I expressed in Saturday’s Ten Thoughts About Doctor Who got a surprising blast in my inbox, so may be worth repeating and expanding upon.
The Magician’s Apprentice sees the Doctor missing, having issues a last will and testament, a Time Lord confession, He is found by Clara, The Master and UNIT in medieval Britain undergoing a midlife crisis. What happened between the Christmas episode and now?
Here’s the theory. In some unseen adventure with Clara, she dies, as a direct result of travelling with the Doctor. It sends him doolally, he seeks meditation and fails very badly at it. He sees Clara, in her timeline before her death and suddenly becomes a hugger. His flash suit has gone, he now wears a hoodie and sunglasses, he is a Grim Reaper.
And suddenly the Doctor is beset by dilemmas about changing history and the impact it could have, and starts crossing his timeline like rarely before. He returns to Davros as a boy to impart the idea of mercy, so that the Clara Dalek would be able to say the word. In The Witch’s Familiar, he also finds the concept of Clara dying at the gunstalk of a Dalek impossible – it means that history has changed.
In Under The Lake and Before The Flood we see ghosts, their eyes mirroring the Doctor’s sunglasses. Again, he time travels within the story, even doubling back on himself once, as the idea of changing time and history emerge again. The Doctor gives himself the idea of Clara dying, becoming a ghost, which spurs him to find a way to fudge it with holograms.
And now in The Girl Who Died, Clara goes to Valhalla, again something the Doctor finds totally unacceptable. He realises that he chose his face, as he is the Doctor who saves people. Can he save Clara, as well as Ashildr? He changes history so that she lives forever, will he be able to change Clara’s history as easily? Who else could that second healing device be used upon?
Is Clara really the Girl Who Died? Could she end up being the Woman Who Lived? Will the Doctor find a way?
The final series titles are Sleep No More, Face The Raven, Heaven Sent and Hell Bound… the penultimate of which will be “the first episode of Doctor Who to feature only the Doctor, without any companions or guest actors.”
We’ve been led to believe the Doctor is facing his own death. Could it be Clara’s instead? Is this his confession?
Capaldi’s Doctor is King Lear. Clara is Cordelia. And Lear trying to hold on to his daughter for as long as possible, knowing she’s already lost.
Mindless speculation…. feel free to add your own corroboration or refutation in the comments below.
Say, I wonder if “Class” is actually what the spinoff series is going to be called. What if it is, instead, “Clara”?