movies matter | criticism by maryann johanson
Thu Mar 10 2016, 06:08pm | 2 comments
I have seen quite a few comments around discussion boards which maintain that while Clara was a plot device in 7th season, she DID have a very consistent character development in the 8th and 9th. This always makes me very puzzled and feeling like I’ve completely failed to notice something essential, as I’m just not able to see it.
The issue with Clara was that although she was a mystery for 11 and the audience to mull over, her character was initially a welcomed change. She was kind, inquisitive, whilst at the same time being confident within herself and not overawed by the Doctor. It was a happy departure from the aggressive, ‘sassy’ behaviour permeating through Rose, Donna and Amy. However, once we discovered her mystery and switched to Doctor 12, they didn’t really know what to do with her. They made her arrogant and abrasive, and created a frostiness between her and the Doctor to the point where I wasn’t sure why they wanted to be in each other’s company anymore. This can be seen as character development or a reaction to the change in the status quo. But, they made both characters fairly unlikable. Season 9 softened the Doctor considerably and made him more relatable, but continued to make Clara more arrogant and selfish. There was supposed to be a similarity between the two, but actually swung both characters even further away from each other, to the point where season 9 Clara was unrecognisable from season 7 Clara, and not in an evolutionary natural way. When she eventually died (and inevitably resurrected) I felt neither happy or sad to either outcome. Essentially, I felt nothing anymore.
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