Doctor Who News Jenna Louise Coleman as Clara Oswin in Doctor Who: Asylum of the Daleks

Published on September 2nd, 2012 | by Christian Cawley

Who Are You, Clara?

Jenna Louise Coleman as Clara Oswin in Doctor Who: Asylum of the Daleks

We saw her trapped, we saw her die. But just who is Oswin, and how can she possibly turn out to be the Doctor’s new companion after THAT?

[spoiler ]

Well, we’re not 100% certain right now, but some sort of timey-wimey explanation is no doubt involved. But to help us try to come to terms with what was a massive curveball – the presence of Jenna-Louise Coleman in Asylum of the Daleks – the BBC’s official Doctor Who website has provided some images of the attractive actress.

It was all very cleverly produced, leaving us to wonder just how recently the episode was completed – after all, no other actors physically interacted with Coleman. Nevertheless, it was one aspect of a smashing episode, one that will be tough to forget![/spoiler]

If you enjoyed, liked or disliked Asylum of the Daleks, don’t forget to vote in our poll, and keep an eye out for our review later today!


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About the Author


A long-term Doctor Who fan, Christian grew up watching the show and has early memories of the Graham Williams era. His favourite stories are Inferno, The Seeds of Doom and Human Nature (although The Empty Child, Blink and Utopia all come close). When he’s not bossing around the news team, Christian is a freelance writer specialising in mobile technology and domestic computing, and enjoys classic rock, cooking and spending time in the countryside with his wife and young children. You can find him on Twitter, Facebook and Google+.

27 Responses to Who Are You, Clara?

  1. avatar Esterath says:

    Maybe the Doctor goes back in time before Clara went th join the Alaska ands show her the stars because he feels guilty?

  2. avatar Gruff says:

    Yeah, considered that but then timey whimey – wouldn’t that mean she wouldn’t get on the Alaska and Asylum wouldn’t happen? So Ponds not back together and Daleks still know of the Doctor

    • avatar netdragon says:

      You’re thinking too linearly. Just because something is stopped on one timeline, doesn’t mean it is stopped on all of them.

  3. avatar Matt says:

    As her first ep proper is set in the past, perhaps it will be a distant ancestor??

  4. avatar Philip Bates says:

    From all the reviews and comments I’ve read, EVERYONE adores Jenna already. She’s already simply fantastic.

    Thing is, she said that joining the Alaska mission was her first trip into space – so maybe if the Doctor picks her up before, she’ll be forced to forget her travels with him, similar to Donna…?

    Oh, and the Doctor never actually saw her lovely face – so surely he wouldn’t know her when he sees her again?

  5. avatar bryan simcott says:

    Maybe they just payed Jenna Louise to pop up as an extra in a few episodes for xmas and next year and she sint the new companion after all .

    After all the bluff,lies and half lies, false spoilers and fake rumours it could happen

    especially as she was a fairly unknown quantity before this episode of Who. So she wouldnt be too expensive to hire for a few spare episodes and not even film her just have her pop up for the rumor mill.

    After Asylum i wouldnt put anything past Moffat and the Team Well dotn them for an excellent episode and getting the secrets to stay dormant until needed

    • especially as she was a fairly unknown quantity before this episode of Who.

      A leading role in two major British soap operas doesn’t exactly make her “an unknown quality”…

  6. avatar Annie says:

    Count me as someone who does not “adore her already.” I really really disliked the actress in Asylum of the Daleks. I hope she is better as a companion.

  7. avatar castellanspandrel says:

    Remember that the Dalek Nanogene thingy causes the victim to lose her memory before becoming a Dalek. Hence why Oswin wouldn’t remember the Dr in Asylum.

    Of course, he’d have to keep his knowledge of her fate to himself when they meet again, earlier in her timestream.

  8. avatar castellanspandrel says:

    But Batesy makes a good point too about the Dr not seeing her face in Asylum. But he would remember her name.

    • avatar Philip Bates says:

      Good thinking, uh, “Spandry”… ;)

  9. avatar Gruff says:

    All good points…

    My first thoughts this morning were the they cast JLC for Asylum not knowing if they would then cast her for the new companion. Once they decided to give her the companion gig too, they had to really keep it under wraps. Then SM has done one of his big reveal becomes even bigger reveal becomes on-going plot things with the season.

    I personally hope we now don’t see Oswin again and like Martha the new character will have some link to, but not actually be, the original character that was played by the same actress. To keep her coming back like Kovarian would be a bit annoying and would really spoil the great use of the character within Asylum and the end of the Amy/Rory period.

    Something that really has never happened in nu-Who is the overlap of multi-companions. I can kind of see the point when they have a dynamic to keep up between Companion A and/or Companions A & B with the Doctor. To me though it sometimes helped when they added another crew member to the great ship TARDIS, then the leaving wasn’t laboured over 6-12 months of press-speculation before if actually happened.

    Asylum really was like watching a true classic Dalek story for the first time – in my eyes. Not quite Genesis, more Remembrance/Power/Day and definitely not Victory/Evolution.

    • As there was no physical interaction between Jenna-Louise and the other actors, I think it’s a safe bet her scenes were recorded after she was cast

      • avatar Francis cave says:

        Couluseful run that past me again? I can’t see how her scenes could have been recorded in any way other than after she was cast. I am I just being dim?

  10. avatar Jon Roberts says:

    Could just be her twin sister, that would make sense.

  11. avatar Steve says:

    As the Dr teleported straight into the Tardis, I reckon dalek Clara hacked the beam, tagged along and is on board. The daleks have made humanoid robots before, maybe she’s in the tech bay cobbling together a new cyborg body to live in?
    Or keep her as a dalek for the whole series, that’d be fun!

    • avatar Simon Spencer says:

      I like that idea as a possibility. I’d even like Darla to come back, as it’s clear she has a sense of humour; a quality Daleks (even hybrids) shouldn’t have.

      However, the story might be a lot simpler (and boring) than that – “Clara Oswin” might be her ancestor, just as Gwenyth was the ancestor of Gwen Cooper, who inherited her physical form.

  12. avatar Nick says:

    Ah, but did we see Oswin? We just saw the visual representation of the thought processeses of the ‘converted’ Dalek. The entity that is now the Dalek thought it was Oswin but this need not necessarily have been the case. It’s mind may have been manipulated earlier (by the Doctor & his new companion in a later episode?) to ensure the Dalek would turn the force field off?

  13. avatar Simon M says:

    After 2010′s Victory episode, how does the Dalek Parlement exist? The Asylum concept makes sense as this could always have been even before, during and after a time war. However, a ship full of RTD daleks and new Moffat daleks doesnt seen feasable even if you take in account the timey-whimey factor.

    Last time there were only 5 new daleks in existance. Nothing wrong with unanswered questions but this is something that should be explained. Maybe that will come…..

  14. avatar TonyS says:

    Unless I am missing something, I believe that the name Clara comes from one instance of it having been heard. That being the case, “Clara” may not be the companion’s name at all. It may have been the Doctor (or whoever) asking “Clara?”- in other words, “is that clear?”. Just a thought…

    • Possible.

      But given the number of people that have heard this dialogue, unlikely. Unless it’s his new “Geronimo”…?

      • avatar TonyS says:

        I agree it’s unlikely. Not completely impossible though…

      • avatar TonyS says:

        I read somewhere about a scen where her full name is shown. Doesn’t do a lot for my theory, really :(

  15. avatar daniel says:

    No one has denied Clara tho…

    My theory…

    5 Jenna Louise’s (blimey theres an image)

    Nina (could it be the Moff is an even dirtier boy than that gag!)

    just a theory

  16. avatar Amy says:

    I’m wondering if everyone was just wrong. It was never officially released that Clara Oswin was the name of the new companion, was it? It was just rumors. Maybe everyone just got it wrong and the new companion’s name is actually Oswin Oswald.
    Other options could be that she is her twin sister. I’m rather partial to the idea that she is, somehow, Jenny, the Doctor’s Daughter. Anyone else notice that the seat she was sitting in on the Alaska is the same chair in the ship Jenny used to get away after she regenerated. And everyone has been very coy about questions if Jenny is coming back or not.
    Soooo…..I guess we’ll just have to wait and see. Considering it was not even leaked that Oswin was going to be appearing in the Asylum episode, they obviously have not lost their touch in keeping secrets from us. It probably will be something totally left field from what we are all thinking it is, LOL. :)

  17. avatar Dana says:


    I’m beginning to see why Steven Moffat remains perpetually annoyed.

    OK. So we saw the Doctor talking with this young lady all throughout the episode. So I think we assumed something we shouldn’t have assumed–that he saw her face, at any point during the episode.

    Well, he didn’t. They were speaking over intercom. And when he got to her, physically, she was a Dalek. Look Ma, no face!

    Even if he had seen her, the first time he met River was the last day of her life. Is it such a stretch that something like this would happen again? It’s the nature of time travel.

    What *I* want to know is how he’ll know it’s her. Or whether it’ll be “her” at all. What if it’s a relative, like with Martha and her cousin? Who knows?

  18. avatar CastellanSpandrel says:

    AZIRAPHALE: “He’d recognise her voice too. One assumes she tinkered with the systems to replicate her human voice; if it had been the dalek voice, she wouldn’t have got very far with coaxing the Doctor in.”

    -Neat. And it answers a question I posed on another thread, thanks. I put it down to the Dalek having a telepathic field, but I prefer your idea.

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