I think that many of the ones expecting the final episode of series 7, The name of the Doctor, were in some degree dissapointed about the way Steven Moffat has chosen to solve the Clara Oswald’s mystery. Last week, since the release of the last episode, Nightmare in Silver, a lot of ideas about her identity appeared: she was the Doctor and River Song’s daughter, she was a future incanation of the Doctor (the 12th or the 13th), she was some lost Time Lord from the old series (especially that Steven Moffat said that Clara and the Doctor have met many times in his past), etc. You can search for these ideas, unless you already had some of these them (or similar). But, eventually, the impossible girl was a regular human girl, as you all know – the Doctor studied her life closely.
But how she got to be that special? Not only for the Doctor, but for the entire Universe? Let me tell you, but for this I have to start with the beginning: a convict in the Victorian England told Madame Vastra that the Whispers have spoken about the greatest Doctor’s secret, the one he will take to the grave, and that it was found. Worried, Vastra and Jenny make a conference beyond space and time summoining Strax (left on vacantion), Clara Oswald from 2013, and River Song. The deceased River Song, the one saved by the Doctor as software in the Library’s database (the episodes Silence in the Library / Forest of the Dead). The general conclusion, just before being attacked by the new monsters (first time presented in this episode), the Whisperes, is that they have to get to Tranzelor.
Everyone return to his own reality: Vastra to Jenny’s dead body, Strax to the place he was spending his free weekend – they get captured by the Whisperers… and the Great Intelligence impersonated by the same doctor Simeon you could watch in the Christmas special episode. Or almost the same: the Great Inelligence used only his image. Probably you remember that Strax was a nurse at some point, he was recruted along with Vastra, Jenny, Dorian and many others to save Amy Pond and her daughter in the episode A good man goes to war. That knowledge help Strax to save Jenny, but they were of no use when all 3 of them are in danger to lose their lifes, several minutes later.
Clara, along with River Song’s ghost, returns home, meet the Doctor and she tells him about the conference, the message and the trip they have to make to Trenzalor. The expresion “to keep a secret to the grave” has a new meening: the Doctor’s grave is on Trenzalor, the Time Lords’ and their TARDIS-es planet-cemetery. Everybody dies, even the aliens with regenerative powers, and one of the problems about the time travels is that the travelers are put (sometimes) in the situation to visit their own grave. Hardly, Clara, the Doctor and the TARDIS get there, meet their friends and they are almost put to death in order to make the Time Lord to speak his name loudly in order to open his grave to all the visitors.
Do you really think that was a body inside? After the Doctor changed so many bodies during his long life in order to survice? I am letting you find out alone what was in the grave. I only can say that the Great Intelligence’s plan for revenge was to kill the Doctor in all the moments of his life, and the access to his remains was necessary for that action. To save the Doctor Clara accepts to break her being into millions of pieces all along the time and space – the entire Universe. She was always present in Doctor’s life, helping and saving him in ways he would never have suspected until now.
It was an excellent episode, showing the vulnerabilities of a man who’s name alone made entire armies to run away. River and Doctor’s love endures even after her death, and their story will continue further – it remains to watch it how. And John Hurt’s appearance in the end was sensational, he is that incarantion that will betray the name of the Doctor by taking tough decisions necessary to peace and sanity – probably of the entire Universe.
The next episode will be released in November 23drd, 50th anniversary from the release of the first episode of Doctor Who, and it’s created special for this. And, as it is said, it will be extraordinary.
Director: Saul Metzstein, writer and producer: Steven Moffat.
Cast: Matt Smith (The Doctor), Jenna-Louise Coleman (Clara Oswald), Richard E. Grant (The Great Intelligence), Samuel Irvine (Messenger Boy), Alex Kingston (River Song), Neve McIntosh (Madame Vastra), Dan Starkey (Strax), Catrin Stewart (Jenny Flint), Nasi Voutsas (Andro).