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Doctor Who: Who Is Clara Oswald?

Clara Oswald: Doctor Who's witty and adventurous companion, exploring themes of identity, bravery, and the complexities of time travel.

Clara Oswald is a key character in the popular TV show Doctor Who. She is known as the “Impossible Girl” because of her mysterious and complicated relationship with the Doctor. Portrayed by Jenna Coleman, Clara plays an essential role in several significant episodes, becoming one of the Doctor’s closest companions.

Introduced during the 11th Doctor’s era, Clara continues into the 12th Doctor’s storyline. Her character adds depth to the series, balancing curiosity, bravery, and compassion. Clara’s influence on the Doctor’s character is profound, often challenging and pushing him to make important decisions.

Clara’s relationships with other characters, both human and alien, enrich the narrative of the show. She interacts with familiar faces and new friends, creating memorable moments in Doctor Who history. This dynamic character has left a lasting impact on fans and the series alike.

Key Takeaways

  • Clara Oswald is the “Impossible Girl” in Doctor Who.
  • She has a significant influence on the Doctor and the show’s storyline.
  • Portrayed by Jenna Coleman, Clara leaves a lasting impact on the series.

Who Is Clara Oswald?

Clara Oswald, played by Jenna Coleman, is a companion in the television series Doctor Who. She first appeared in 2012 and helped the Eleventh and Twelfth Doctors.

Who Is Clara Oswald?
(Image Credit: BBC)

Clara is a school teacher from Blackpool. She is known for her adventurous spirit and clever thinking.

The character’s full name is Clara Oswin Oswald. Her story involves mysterious elements, including multiple versions of herself appearing through time.

Key Traits

  • Brave: Clara frequently faces danger fearlessly.
  • Clever: Often outsmarts enemies and solves complex problems.
  • Compassionate: Shows deep care for the Doctor and his other companions.

Important Episodes

  • “Asylum of the Daleks”: Clara’s first appearance.
  • “The Name of the Doctor”: Revealed as the “Impossible Girl”.
  • “The Day of the Doctor”: Key role in saving Gallifrey.
  • “Face the Raven”: Her emotional departure episode.


  • The Eleventh Doctor: Played by Matt Smith. She shares a playful and adventurous bond with him.
  • The Twelfth Doctor: Portrayed by Peter Capaldi. Their relationship is more complex and evolves over time.

In her adventures, Clara learns much about the universe and herself. She leaves a lasting impression both on the Doctor and the fans.

Portrayal by Jenna Coleman

Jenna Coleman first appeared as Clara Oswald in Doctor Who in 2012. She brought energy and complexity to the character. Clara quickly became a fan favourite thanks to Coleman’s performance.

Coleman’s portrayal was praised for its depth. She conveyed Clara’s intelligence and bravery effectively. Fans and critics alike appreciated the layers she added to the role.

Clara had a strong emotional arc. Coleman managed to show Clara’s growth and struggles. This made the character relatable and engaging.

Doctor Who often involves time travel and complex storylines. Coleman handled these challenges with skill. Her ability to adapt to different situations stood out.

Jenna Coleman starred alongside several Doctors. She had great chemistry with Matt Smith, Peter Capaldi, and others. This helped in creating memorable episodes.

Below is a table of key episodes featuring Jenna Coleman as Clara Oswald:

Episode TitleDoctorAir Date
“The Snowmen”Matt SmithDec 2012
“The Day of the Doctor”Matt SmithNov 2013
“Deep Breath”Peter CapaldiAug 2014
“Face the Raven”Peter CapaldiNov 2015
“Twice Upon a Time”Peter CapaldiDec 2017

Coleman’s portrayal left a lasting impression. She remains one of the standout companions in Doctor Who history.

Narrative Arc

Clara Oswald’s character spans multiple storylines, from her mysterious beginnings as “The Impossible Girl” to her adventures with The Doctor and eventually her departure. Each phase of her journey offers vital insights into her growth and relationship with The Doctor.

Introduction to Clara Oswald

Clara Oswald first appears in the “Doctor Who” series as a curious and resourceful character. She works as a nanny and later as a school teacher. Her intelligence and bravery quickly make her an important part of The Doctor’s life. Audiences are introduced to her charm and wit, which set the stage for her deeper involvement in the series. Clara’s early interactions with The Doctor hint at her future significance.

The Impossible Girl

Clara is often referred to as “The Impossible Girl” due to her multiple appearances throughout time. She exists in various timelines, always helping The Doctor at crucial moments. This mystery intrigues The Doctor and viewers alike. Her existence across different times is eventually explained by a sacrificial leap into The Doctor’s timeline to save him. This act cements her as a pivotal figure in the Doctor’s universe.

Travels with The Doctor

Clara travels extensively with The Doctor, experiencing many adventures. They visit different planets, encounter various alien species, and face numerous dangers. Clara’s quick thinking and bravery help her to navigate these challenges. Her relationship with The Doctor deepens, marked by mutual respect and care. Clara’s growth is evident as she takes on more responsibilities and becomes more autonomous during their journeys.

Clara’s Departure

Clara’s time with The Doctor comes to a dramatic end in an episode called “Face the Raven”. She takes a bold step that leads to her death. However, thanks to The Doctor, she avoids her ultimate fate, suspending her in a moment of time. She continues her adventures in the TARDIS with Ashildr (also known as Me) in a non-linear fashion. Her departure leaves a lasting impact on The Doctor and fans of the series.

Significant Episodes

Clara Oswald, portrayed by Jenna Coleman, has a memorable journey through various important episodes in Doctor Who. Her character evolves significantly in each, impacting the storyline deeply.

Debut in ‘Asylum of the Daleks’

Clara first appears in “Asylum of the Daleks“. Here, she is introduced as Oswin Oswald, a clever and resourceful character trapped in a Dalek asylum. Clara helps the Doctor and his companions escape.

Her intelligence and bravery stand out in this episode, even though she turns out to be a genius trapped inside a Dalek shell. This twist intrigues the Doctor, setting the stage for her future encounters with him.

The Name of The Doctor

In “The Name of The Doctor“, Clara’s true importance begins to unfold. The episode reveals that she is the “Impossible Girl”. She sacrifices herself by entering the Doctor’s timestream to save him from the Great Intelligence.

This act scatters versions of her across the Doctor’s life, ensuring he survives various critical moments. Her role is crucial, showing her dedication and bravery.

The Day of The Doctor

The Day of The Doctor” features Clara during the 50th-anniversary special. Clara supports the Doctor in making a significant decision regarding the Time War. She helps him decide to save Gallifrey rather than destroy it.

Her influence is profound, aiding in one of the most significant decisions in the Doctor’s life. This episode showcases her trust in the Doctor and their strong bond.

The Time of The Doctor

In “The Time of The Doctor“, Clara’s role is pivotal once again. She helps the Eleventh Doctor face his final battle and transition into his next regeneration. Clara is there to support him during this challenging time.

She is emotionally involved and shows great loyalty. Her presence provides the Doctor with emotional stability, highlighting their strong relationship.

Death in Heaven

Death in Heaven” is a significant episode where Clara faces the Cybermen and the Master (Missy). She pretends to be the Doctor to trick the Cybermen, showing her bravery and quick thinking.

Clara also deals with the loss of her boyfriend, Danny Pink, which deeply affects her. Her emotional strength and resilience come through strongly in this episode.

Face the Raven

Face the Raven” marks a crucial and tragic moment in Clara’s storyline. She takes responsibility for a deadly act that leads to her death. Clara’s sense of responsibility and bravery are highlighted here.

She faces her end with courage, reinforcing her determined character. This episode is a poignant moment in her arc, marking a turning point for the Doctor as well.

Hell Bent

In “Hell Bent“, Clara is brought back by the Doctor from her moment of death. This episode explores their deep bond as the Doctor goes to great lengths to save her, even risking the laws of time.

Clara is ultimately left in a unique state between life and death, travelling with Ashildr in a stolen TARDIS. This ending is fitting for her adventurous spirit, emphasising her lasting impact on the Doctor’s life.

Reception and Legacy

Clara Oswald is a well-loved character in Doctor Who. She first appeared in 2012 and quickly gained a following.

Some fans praise her for her bravery and intelligence. She often assists the Doctor with tough decisions and daring adventures. Jenna Coleman’s performance as Clara received significant acclaim.

Critics have mixed opinions. Some appreciate her growth across the series, while others feel her storylines are inconsistent. Despite this, Clara remains a notable companion.

Awards and Nominations:

  • National Television Awards: Multiple nominations for Jenna Coleman.
  • TV Choice Awards: Best Actress nomination.

The character also left an impact outside the show. Clara influenced various Doctor Who merchandise, including action figures and novels. She is often featured in fan art and fan fiction.

Clara’s legacy extends to her role in promoting strong female characters on television. Many viewers found her inspiring and relatable.

Influence on The Doctor’s Character

Clara Oswald had a big impact on The Doctor. She constantly challenged him. She made him question his choices.

Clara often questioned The Doctor’s morals. This pushed him to rethink his actions. They had many serious conversations about right and wrong.

Their bond was strong. Clara was there for The Doctor in tough times. This emotional support helped shape his decisions.

Clara also encouraged The Doctor to show more empathy. She inspired him to care deeply about others. This changed how he approached problems and people.

Together, they faced many dangers. Clara’s bravery influenced The Doctor’s courage. They trusted each other completely.

The Doctor valued Clara’s opinion. She often acted as his moral compass. Her wisdom and insights guided him.

In many ways, Clara made The Doctor a better person. She brought out some of his best qualities. She left a lasting mark on him.

Relationships with Other Characters

The Doctor
Clara Oswald has a close and complex relationship with the Doctor. They share many adventures, and she helps him understand humanity. Clara shows great loyalty and trust towards the Doctor.

Danny Pink
Clara’s relationship with Danny Pink is romantic and emotional. She meets him at Coal Hill School, where they both work. Their connection is deep, and Danny’s death greatly affects Clara.

Missy (The Master)
Missy, also known as the Master, has a complicated relationship with Clara. Missy manipulates situations involving Clara, creating tension but also respect between them.

Ashildr (Me)
Clara and Ashildr, who later calls herself “Me,” share a unique bond. Their interactions are marked by mutual respect and understanding of their respective roles.

The Daleks
Clara encounters the Daleks several times. Her bravery and determination are evident as she faces one of the Doctor’s oldest enemies.

River Song
Clara and River Song have brief interactions. Each respects the other’s intelligence and capability, adding depth to Clara’s role in the Doctor’s life.

While not a person, Clara forms a special bond with the TARDIS. She understands and communicates with it uniquely, highlighting her importance in the Doctor’s journey.

Cultural Impact

Clara Oswald is a significant figure in the world of science fiction. She holds a special place in popular culture due to her role in Doctor Who.

Doctor Who fans admire Clara for her bravery and intelligence. She inspires viewers with her memorable quotes and actions. Her character adds depth to the series, making it more relatable to a broad audience.

Clara has influenced character development in other shows. Writers and creators draw inspiration from her traits. She is often cited as a strong example of a well-rounded, complex character.

Clara’s fashion sense also gained attention. Her outfits are frequently discussed and emulated by fans. Cosplayers enjoy recreating her looks at conventions and events.

Social media buzzes with discussions about Clara. Fans share fan art, stories, and theories about her adventures. This engagement helps keep the Doctor Who community vibrant and active.

Frequently Asked Questions

This section addresses common questions about Clara Oswald’s role, her significance, and key moments in her storyline.

Why is Clara referred to as the ‘Impossible Girl’?

Clara Oswald is called the “Impossible Girl” because she appears at different points in time and space. Each version of her has the same identity, which puzzles the Doctor.

What events lead to the demise of Clara Oswald?

Clara meets her end due to a risky plan involving a Raven that can kill with a touch. Her attempt to save someone else ultimately leads to her own tragic fate.

Who portrays Clara Oswald in the series?

Clara Oswald is played by actress Jenna Coleman. She brings the character to life with her engaging performance.

What is the significance of Clara Oswald in Doctor Who?

Clara Oswald holds a special place in the series. Her connection with multiple versions of the Doctor and her roles in key storylines make her essential.

Does Clara betray the Doctor at any point in the series?

Clara does deceive the Doctor on a few occasions, usually to protect him or serve a greater good. These actions often test their trust but are driven by noble intentions.

Is the character of Clara Oswald immortal?

Clara Oswald is not immortal in the traditional sense. After her demise, she is taken from her final moments, allowed to travel, but with the knowledge that she must return eventually.


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