That question, obviously, is Doctor… Who?! Not, it seems, who is Clara Oswin Oswald? Yes, everyone’s got an idea, an inkling, a slight notion, mad ramblings, scribblings in a notepad or the phrase, ‘we’ll have to wait and see’ cemented in their brains. But a few air their views, and one such person is Gabe Newell, podcaster (is that a word?) for Nerdist.com.
His idea, based a lot on the workings of the Dalek Asylum, has caused a bit of a stir, with some saying it’s too confusing to think about, others claiming it makes perfect sense, most saying it’s almost definitely possibly incorrect and others sticking by the notion that Clara is either Romana or, failing that, the Rani. Gabe says:
I have a theory about Oswin. So… how do they bring Oswin back? So she keeps saying, ‘Remember me, remember me’… and he’s taken his watch off, so the nanophages are working on him. So that’s what she’s doing… she’s actually inserting herself into the nanophages, so she can be brought back later.
To be fair, his theory is confusing, might make perfect sense, also doesn’t make sense at all, is definitely possibly incorrect and Clara could be Romana or the Rani. Everybody in Doctor Who might be the Rani. Even Bernard Cribbins.
So let’s pick this theory apart like the good Whovians we are.
The ‘watch’ in question is probably the wristband the Doctor wore in Asylum of the Daleks, which stopped him, Amy and Rory turning into slaves of the Daleks. Now, if you recall, he surrendered his when Amy’s was stolen. The ‘nanophages,’ I presume, is the nanoloud, which transformed anyone in the Asylum into the plant’s defensive stystems.
Oswin was a genius, so Gabe’s theory is that, somehow, she planted herself in the nanocloud, which the Doctor is affected by, and so she’s brought back to life every time he remembers her.
Why this might be right: Moffat likes this sort of explanation. It’s clever and spacey-wacey, and he has previous with both the nanogenes (The Empty Child/ The Doctor Dances) and memory (The Big Bang; The Snowmen and the Silence).
Why this might not be right: for much of The Snowmen, the Doctor doesn’t make the link between Clara and Soufflé Girl. Also, how could she have planted herself into nanogenes? And how could this help? Furthermore, at the very end of The Snowmen, we see a presumably-modern-day Clara in the graveyard, sans the Doctor – so how would this work?
So c’mon. Give us your theories. I quite like the ‘Clara as Scaroth, last of the Jagaroth’ one, but would Steven Moffat really reuse this idea, when he knows a vast amount of the audience will have seen City of Death?