1. In the midseason premiere we were finally introduced to the version of Clara that will travel with the Doctor this season — and here’s what we found:
2. Girl can’t work her computer.
Apparently there is someone in 2013 who doesn’t know how to connect a laptop to Wi-Fi. I’ll wait for you to finish rolling your eyes. Really, Moffat? You’ve been hanging out with Aaron Sorkin too much. But calling the help line rings the Doctor, and the second he hears her say, “Run, you clever boy, and remember,” they’re off on an epic adventure. Also, if the woman in the shop who gave her the helpline number ISN’T River Song, I will eat my own fez.
Side note: The other major Moffat eyeroll moment of the episode? The monk crossing himself after the Doctor reveals he’s talking to a woman. Worse than evil spirits apparently.
3. She gets her legendary hacking skills via an almost upload to the Great Intelligence.
The Great Intelligence’s minions find clever minds for the GI to feast upon via an upload to a datacloud. Basically they hack people. In Clara’s case, they find her clever but lacking computer skills — apparently this is something she needs while being feasted on by a Big Bad that eats personalities via the internet? But of course, the Doctor (after the greatest fashion show in history) stops the upload of Clara to the datacloud before she’s fully integrated. He saves her and brings her back to her body with all those nice extras the GI’s minions stuffed in her head.
Side note: The Great Intelligence is this season’s Big Bad, and based on the mind hacking, personality uploading, and the extra bonus feature they seem to be adding onto their victims, I’m really excited to see a far more technological side of Doctor Who than we’ve seen before. The Doctor hacks now, hacking is cool.
4. And once she has those computer skills, it turns out that they’re just a tool she now knows how to use — she’s had the answer all along.
Her real strength — and what the Doctor seems to find most appealing about her (other than the mysterious woman/puzzle he can’t solve trope) — comes from understanding that at the end of the day, the people are what matter. “It’s about the people, not the security,” Clara says.
Not only does she bust out some incredibly frantic typing to hack the location of the Great Intelligence’s operations, but she does it by facial recognition — because, duh, of course, even brain-hacked evil minions have friends. Er, well, at least via social networks, anyway.
5. Every version of her cares, especially for children.
A governess in the Christmas episode, a nanny in this one. A friend of the family, Clara stayed with them after the kids’ mum died. What was supposed to be only a week before she went traveling around the world has turned into at least a year. And even though it seems like a completely thankless job and a waste of her youth, Clara is kind and patient with the kids. If there’s any sign that her and the Doctor will form a long-lasting friendship, then this is it. He can’t stand it when children cry either.
6. She’s amazed by the Doctor, but not impressed by him…
By not being swept off her feet by the Doctor (let’s all just take a moment to bask in the glory of the bigger on the inside/I am an alien conversation), she presents herself as somewhat of an equal. True, she might not have power over all of space and time, but she does have her own little world, her own tiny corner of the universe that she loves and feels responsible for. She has people that she cares about more than the dream of traveling. That’s something the Doctor desperately wishes he could say about himself. So when she turns down his offer to travel with him to look after her people, it only seems to validate her worthiness of all the TARDIS has to offer to Eleven.
Side note: My eternal creys at Eleven wearing Amy’s glasses. Also at the fact that she became a children’s author. And major points to the Doctor for processing and attempting to heal a very sore wound after the Ponds departed. He’s not attempting to compartmentalize Amy and Rory and shove them in the back of his mind, never to be thought of if he can help it. Instead he’s moving on without forgetting, which we all know he hasn’t done well in the past. Progress!
7. …which will undoubtedly lead to the most epic of broships.
Hands down, the best thing about Clara is that she and the Doctor seem primed for a very fun friendship — in a way we haven’t really seen since Ten and Donna. She’s cheeky, tough, brave in the face of certain danger, and seems just as interested as figuring out the Doctor as he is in figuring her out. The snogbox intrigues her, but not nearly as much as the man who pilots a spaceship and time machine but doesn’t know how to fly a plane. This is going to be an exciting journey.