Tue
Apr 30 2013 6:00pm
Has An Incriminating Chair Solved the Doctor Who Clara Mystery?

Doctor Who Clara Oswin Mystery solved

A lot of Whovians around the net have noticed that Clara Oswin Oswald has something in common with a previous Doctor Who character we may have forgotten about!

Click below the link for a possible, totally speculative spoiler.

Is Clara actually Jenny, the Doctor’s manufactured daughter from the eponymous episode “The Doctor’s Daughter”?

An eagle-eyed Doctor Who fan recently noticed that the chair from Jenny’s shuttle at the end of that episode is the same as the chair in Clara’s crashed ship from “Asylum of the Daleks.”

Doctor Who Clara Oswin Mystery solved

Jenny was killed at the end of that episode, but then regenerated, unbeknownst to the Doctor. Here’s some for/against points regarding the theory.

For: Jenny regenerated into herself, so she basically didn’t regenerate, she just Healed After A While. Even though she has two hearts and Gallifreyan DNA.

Against: Why would Jenny regenerate into another woman?

For: Maybe she does if the damage is too great to heal.

For: And since she’s human with a dash of Time Lord and therefore an unknown entity, maybe when she regenerates into a new person she loses the memories from her previous incarnation.

Against: Clara’s died twice. Why would she forget the previous Clara memories if Jenny didn’t forget her memories from “The Doctor’s Daughter”?

Against: Also Clara got super super exploded in “Asylum of the Daleks,” to a point that not even the Doctor would regenerate from.

For: The chair! The chair is the same!

Against: They might be just re-using props.

For: The revelation that she’s the Doctor’s daughter would have a dramatic, emotional impact on the Doctor, which is what you want an overarching mystery like this to do.

Against: But it doesn’t make sense.

For: But you can handwave it with one line.

For: And it’s Doctor Who and Steven Moffat, so....


Ryan Britt is a longtime contributor to Tor.com and is really Jenny.

Chris Lough is the production manager of Tor.com is really Clara.

49 comments
Uncle Mikey
1. Uncle Mikey
Honestly, I'm almost positive this is nothing more than prop re-use without any intended linkage.
Uncle Mikey
2. 8th Doctor
You got a detail WAY off. Jenny had two hearts. It was a major plot point in 'The Doctor's Daughter' as what finally made the Doctor accept her as his child.
Uncle Mikey
3. Hammerlock
For: If she is, then she could be able to read "The History of the Time War" even if it was written in Gallifreyan.

It could also be why the TARDIS doesn't like her--jealousy.
Uncle Mikey
4. Psycho Bassist
"Why would Jenny regenerate into another woman?" How is that an argument against it being possible? The Doctor has regenerated into "another MAN" numerous times.
Uncle Mikey
5. rwerwe
Consider that Doctor Who and the BBC has a limited budget and has a history of reusing props and set pieces (the same deerstalker hat was used in Sherlock and Doctor Who, for example)... I think it's really just as simple as that.
Andrew Gray
6. madogvelkor
Probably just reusing a sci-fi looking chair from the prop department. For one thing, when Clara is in it the whole place is imaginary. And another, Clara dies and is reborn centuries apart, she doesn't regenerate. The Doctor has gone back and watched from the moment her parents met, to make sure she actually was born.
Uncle Mikey
7. Mugazoo
You know I suspected it could be the Doctor's daughter just cuz she is due for a remergance. So it does seem like a possibility, although it would be hard to shoe horn Clara into being the Doctor's daughter. Ultimately though, they need to bring back the Doctor's daughter . I loved her character and I've been wondering why they never brought her back. I bet if it's not her she will at least have something to do with Clara's mystery.
Uncle Mikey
8. Nicholas Winter
We saw in this episode that BBC and / or the Doctor Who props department never throws anything out so I go for Occams Razor: it's simply a matter of needing a chair and nothing more.
F Shelley
9. FSS
@8 i agree.

plus...ewww, clara kissed the doctor during the xmas special. Ewwwwwwww.
Alan Brown
10. AlanBrown
Prop reuse, nothing more, nothing less...
Alan Brown
11. AlanBrown
I'm afraid your hypothesis has not Clara-fied anything at all.
Brendon Roberts
12. saunterasmas
In a recent interview with Jenna she revealed that "Asylum of the Daleks" may have not been the first encounter with Clara and that we may have come across her earlier.

I think the chair may be of significance.

But I loathed "The Doctor's Daughter" and the character. So in my heart I hope this is wrong.
Uncle Mikey
13. AdultHuman
She's definitely family, I was pretty sure Jenny only had one heart though? Also in Rings of Akathen they sit beside one of those rhino creatures from the Jenny episode, is there a nod of acknowledgement?

I really hope we're all wrong with the 'She is somebody we know" guesses because it's just rehashing the River story.

I'm going with sentient humanoid Tardis today.
Uncle Mikey
14. phuzz
Didn't David Tennent marry the actress who played Jenny?
Sam
15. SJ
Wasn't Asylum of the Daleks filmed before they decided to use Clara as a companion (I thought they liked her so much that they decided to use her again). If so, it makes it unlikely that it is deliberate. Prop reuse seems likely.
Uncle Mikey
16. AdultHuman
Phuzz, Yes her married her and she's Peter Davison's daughter, most whovian family anywhere, unless the Baker's marry.
Michael Grosberg
17. Michael_GR
Con: In the beginning of _The Rings of Akhaten_ the Doctor spies after Clara's parents and ascertains that they are in fact her real parents, by seeing her as a baby. So she can't be Jenny. Future Clara and Victorian Clara might be clones of Companion Clara, but Companion Clara is (apparently) an all-natural human girl of unremarkable origin.
Uncle Mikey
18. James Moar
Companion Clara is (apparently) an all-natural human girl of unremarkable origin.

I think that'll turn out to be the truth -- there was a scene dedicated to the point in 'Hide', and a whole epiphany about it in 'Journey to the Centre of the TARDIS', which would seem a lot of weight to put on it if it were simply untrue. I'd guess that whatever causes the other Claras to exist is still in her future.
Sky Thibedeau
19. SkylarkThibedeau
I have to agree with @17. Like with River and Doc Brown you have to think 4th Dimensionally.
Uncle Mikey
20. narmitaj
Perhaps Clara is (and is going to be) the Tardis; that's why the Tardis has issues with her, recognising that Clara is the early inexperienced human form of herself. The Clara-personality has shown she can "be" machine-person, a Dalek, after all.

For this to work, at some point in Clara-the-human's future she would have to traverse time and space etc etc and get inserted into the Tardis personality circuits, or whatever it is it has, maybe during construction or some overhaul or trauma, or during that period of the Tardis's life when its chameleon circuit jammed in police box shape.
Noneo Yourbusiness
21. Longtimefan
Clara is Romana with amnesia. :)

Romana I took on the appearance of Princess Astra after the Key of Time story line finished. Romana II.

After coming back from E-Space (possibly) and becoming President of Gallifrey (possibly) she would have left Gallifrey before the Time War and perhaps become unaware of who she was and changed form to become a copy of Clara.

Therefore the Clara human has a birth and parents and all the things one can find. The Romana/Clara has taken on all the personality of Clara but has regenerative powers and having been on the Tardis before may have some conflict with the Tardis at a) having left and b) being a Time Lady who may i) attempt to take over the Tardis or ii) take the Doctors affections from the Tardis.

It makes perfect sense. LOL :)
Nicky Kay
22. NickyKV2
It would be quite nice if Clara turned out to be a re-embodiement of Kylie Minogue's soul from the Space Titanic Christmas special. I can't think of any reasons how that could come to pass, though.
Ashley Fox
23. A Fox
@11 *chuckle*

@12 could you provide a link please? Interesting...

Um, I dont know if someone else mentioned this, but there was mention of how she could read the book in the library....after she had the Gallifreyan Encyclopedia juice stuff pour on her. Wonder what other knowledge it gave her??
Uncle Mikey
24. Elizabeth226
@22 I like that theory better than the Jenny one. I didn't really like The Doctor's Daughter show very much and I don't think the character of Jenny was particulary likable. Astrid, on the other hand, is one of my favorite companion-could-have-beens, along with Madame de Pompadour and Joan Redfern.
Uncle Mikey
25. Megs
Re The TARDIS jealousy theory: I think the idea of the TARDIS not liking Clara for some unknown reason is fascinating, but I really dislike the idea that the TARDIS is jealous. The Doctor has had so many companions that it would be an about-face for it to be suddenly jealous of people who take his attention. And the implication that the TARDIS has a crush on/is in love with the Doctor is just obnoxious, and besides, it never had an issue with River.
Uncle Mikey
26. DN10
Um....slight quibble. Jenny is not part human. She is full Gallifreyan Time Lady. She was cloned 100% from the Doctor's DNA, meaning she is his daughter completely. No other genetic material. And yes, she definitely has two hearts. They made a big show of the moment when the Doctor hears her second heart beat.

But no, I don't think she's Jenny. I do wish Jenny would come back, even if it is a regenerated version. Although I will point out that Jenny didn't actually regenerate. She was healed by the terraforming gas. It's why the energy that came out of her mouth was partially green. But I just want the Doctor to know she's alive...
Miss Kai
28. wolfkit
Re-use of props can be explained logically as well in that the seat Jenny sat in was in the shuttle that she 'ran away' in and Dalek Clara was in part of a non-Dalek ship [from memory]. Could not both vessels have been manufactered by/used the same chair manufacturers?
Ashley Fox
29. A Fox
Continuum Comfort! The Inerior Inter-Galactic Manufacturers.

Specialising in cross species, cyber chic furniture since the 49thC.
Uncle Mikey
30. ShannonKM8
#8...The only problem with Occam's Razor in this scenario is, well...Occam never met Steven Moffat! If we've come to learn anything during Moffat's run it's that everything, EVERYTHING, he does is plotted and deliberate and....maddening!! The purpose of the chair may be nothing more than misdirect, with nothing of significance coming to pass, but, by golly, it did serve a purpose!
Rather than Occam, I propose Schrodenger's Cat, er, Chair, instead! In this moment, and until The Name of the Doctor, the chair exists as BOTH--a significant forshadowing of the return of the Doctor's Daughter, and/or the simple forgoing of any doctoring of the daughter's chair prior to reuse!
Brendon Roberts
31. saunterasmas
From tonights episode "The Crimson Horror", all the clues about a chair solving problems.

CHAIR
CHAIR
CHAIR
Jill Blank
32. blankties
First: I've not seen any of the 2nd half of this season, including "The Snowmen." My comments are pure conjecture with info related to the various Claras mainly coming from these pages. That said....
Perhaps Clara is a female regeneration of The Master.
It would explain why The Doctor feels a unique connection with Clara -- and why he doesn't fully feel he can trust her or her story. (Also, totally explain the "feelings" of the TARDIS toward Clara; "Idris" doesn't forgive and forget the past attempts to kill her Thief!)
I loved the scenes where 10 and the Master reminisced about their boyhood experiences on Gallifrey -- and how The Master ultimately chose 10 over Rassilon and crew. Best moments of this: the whole "who would I be without you?" realizations.
And it would pay homage to the saying, "Keep your friends close, and your enemies closer."
Just a thought; but it's growing on me.

PS: It would resolve the nagging question of whether Time Lords can change gender during regeneration (and effectively double the pool of "potential actors" whenever Matt Smith retires his sonic screwdriver).
Uncle Mikey
33. zky37
Sorry if this is somewhat OT (different theory) and/or if this has already been posted, but it crossed my mind...

M/b Clara isn't one past character revived or the next doctor or the personification of the show, the TARDIS, etc., or even a culmination of all the past companions.

What if Clara is a culmination of all the doctors 1-9? It would be an easy way to get out of having any of the previous doctors (other than 10--or perhaps even 10 if Tennant will be playing 10.2) in the 50th, and it would answer all of the callbacks to old doctors (it's almost as though there has been at least one for every doctor, chronologically, as we go thru Season 7).

There would have to be a perception filter hidden away somewhere, which prevents her from knowing who she is in each iteration, and #11's fascination with/affection for her makes sense. As much as we love him, the Doctor is, after all, something of a narscissist and he, himself, is the being he trusts most in the world.

I'm not sure what would happen to Clara (1-9) after the secret is revealed--how could she continue as a companion? So just a (possibly very silly) thought.

So, have at it, folks!
Uncle Mikey
34. River Song
Spoilers Sweetie .. Clara is the Doctor's sister ..
Alan Brown
35. AlanBrown
If Clara is the Doctor's sister, that means we have to go through the whole "ewww, gross, but he kissed her" thing like we did with Star Wars when we found out Luke and Leia were related. I hope you are wrong, River, because going through that once was enough...
Uncle Mikey
36. lauragordon
the chair isnt exactly the sam unless im not looking properly but the part of the chair just above claras shoulder isnt striped whereas all of jenny chair is im probably wrong but hey
Uncle Mikey
37. Time.Lady
#32, you blew my mind... Wow.
Never thought of it like that.. Sounds plausible.
Uncle Mikey
38. Time.Lady
I thought I heard rumors of The Master returning ... And it would definitely be a shock for fans to see that the newest incarnation is a Female.
Uncle Mikey
39. Donna's memory
I sincerely hope it's more than that AND it's only recycling props. It would be so disappointing if that's all the explanation we are going to get.
It's Moffat. And with him there is never ever a straight line from A to B.
Uncle Mikey
40. Eldergothfather
Probably one of the lamest of theories. Prop re-use is merely all it is. When Moffat, et.al., wants us to notice something it is hidden in plain site, e.g., the scarf at Clara's house, Clara's jumper, as a child, with two hearts, her reading Amy Pond's book...in this one case, it is simply a chair.
Doctor Who
41. DoctorWho
For: Steven Moffat said in an interview that River, The Doctor and Clara become a bit of a love triangle, but not in the way you'd expect... Could River just be jealous or something?
Uncle Mikey
42. JonathanMyers
I think Clara is the Doctor or she is his Granddaughter. Honestly think we will be looking at 50 years with a female incarnation of the Doctor.
Uncle Mikey
43. Doctor33
Clara’s died twice. Why would she forget the previous Clara memories if Jenny didn’t forget her memories from “The Doctor’s Daughter”?

Companion Clara is (apparently) an all-natural human girl of unremarkable origin.

Does she have a broken watch that she's never opened?
Uncle Mikey
44. zky37
@43: Isn't the Doctor wearing a pocket watch now?
Uncle Mikey
45. axel1_4all
In my opinion Clara is the main and dark secret component in manufacturing the soul/avatar of a TARDIS.
All the joy she instills in the doctor, smart and a puzzle i predict this could be a dark chapter in the time lords history unknown to him, one that may lead up to a awesome ending for this season.
Uncle Mikey
46. Stubble
Personally, I think Clara *is* the Doctor's daughter, just not the one that everyone is thinking.

1. "The Doctor's Daughter" is not a true daughter, but is more of a genetic twin.
2. The Doctor did not confirm that she was born an Oswin, but that she was raised at a very early age as an Oswin - living her full childhood with a stable and loving couple.
3. River knows a secrete concerning Clara that the Doctor does not.
4. The TARDIS doesn't like Clara, but could it simply be the same type of dislike that the Doctor had for Harkness: "I can't help it. I'm a Time Lord. It's instinct; it's in my guts. You're a fixed point in time and space; you're a fact. That's never meant to happen. Even the TARDIS reacted against you, tried to shake you off. Flew all the way to the end of the universe just to get rid of you." Clara was never meant to enter the Doctor's timeline in his tomb on Trenzalore. This makes her anathema, bete noire, something to be dreaded - and the TARDIS knows this.

Consider this instead. River Song is classified as human, even though she has tripple helix DNA. River Song as a child had a single heart (A Good Man Goes To War). Only after using up all her regenerative powers did we see any indication that she indeed had two hearts (Let's Kill Hitler - and this is still debatable, as it could easily be a prop mistake: http://media.tumblr.com/tumblr_m5o1baEoBC1qdf6rx.png).

So, what would be the genetic and physiological properties of a child born of a human with "Time Lord DNA" and an actual Time Lord?
Uncle Mikey
47. Milocricket
I do find interest in the fact that Clara was never shown being born, but shown being raised. She might have been adopted or found. I doubt it is a reincarnation of any sort, because scanners or the cybermen or someone would've noticed that she is different. When she is shown dying, she doesn't regenerate. I am interested what the next season will have in store though...
Uncle Mikey
48. Antonia Zenkevitch
"run you clever boy and remember me" Clara (lots of times)

"... and an awful lot of running to do" Jenny's final words. Donna, The Doctor and Jenny mentioned how much running the Time Lord and his Companions do several times in 'The Doctor's Daughter' episode. It was a shared joke between them.

Each time The Doctor regenerates he is different, memories and the emotions connected to them altered. We've also seen partial regeneration in the Doctor before.
Uncle Mikey
49. HOTts joy 23
wow I have read everything in this post. you guys are smart with all the clues you all are bring up. moffat is a wicked genius as we all know. he doesn't care if he rips our hearts out. but he does it so sly. this could just be prop reuse or he is giving us clues. like when David T had went to the Oods planet when he flower necklace. and he locked the tardis like a car he mention that he got married to a queen and regretted it. in the 50th anniversary he did get married to the queen. so moffat could be hinting something toward us.
Uncle Mikey
50. michael saylor
Someone needs to find Sherlock. He will get this figured out.

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