Clues abound in “The Bells of Saint John,” the midseason premiere of Doctor Who. They raise more questions than answers but at least one is possibly a huge spoiler about the prophecy of the Fields of Trenzalore (bottom).
The Doctor’s new companion, Clara Oswin Oswald (Jenna-Louise Coleman), has familiar ability to defy death. The Great Intelligence temporarily uploads Clara into its collective consciousness twice, which technically brings her death count to four. Do her deaths mirror the Doctor’s own deaths?
Clara Oswin Oswald
Her family name, Oswald, is the only constant:
- In “Asylum of the Daleks” she went by Oswin Oswald.
- In “The Snowmen” she went by Clara Oswin Oswald.
- In “The Bells of Saint John” she went by Clara Oswald and doesn’t recognize the name Oswin. She later adopts it as a nickname while patting herself on the back for hacking the Great Intelligence. “Clara Oswald for the win. Oswin!” she exclaims.
Oswald is an anagram of “was old.”
Commenter K-9 Mk.IV points out Oswald is an anagram of “also DW,” which could be a hint she’s the Twelfth Doctor.
Clara wears a necklace that resembles an angel or a fravashi. According to Zoroastrianism, an ancient Iranian religion, fravashi is a guardian spirit that sends souls into the material world to fight the battle of good versus evil. The necklace could be a hint that Clara is tool for some greater force.
One of the children Clara is looking after has a book titled Summer Falls by Amelia Williams AKA Amy Pond, the Doctor’s previous companion. In “The Snowmen” Clara convinced the Doctor to aid her by answering “Pond” in his one word test. Could Clara be related to Amy?
The child tells Clara that he’s on Chapter ten of the book.
“Eleven is the best. You’ll cry your eyes out,” she responds.
It’s clearly a reference to the Eleventh Doctor but is she talking about the loss of Amy and Rory or a future tragedy?
101 Places to See
Clara keeps a book titled 101 Places to See. The first page lists her ages starting at age 9, each is crossed out except for 24, which is presumably her current age. Missing are ages 16 and 23.
Clara would have been 16 in 2005, the year the Doctor Who reboot premiered. In the next episode “The Rings of Akhaten” her mother’s tombstone shows she died on March 5 2005, the day of the Nestene Consciousness invasion.
It reasonable to assume 23 is the day her father died, which would have been in 2012. The only event that occurred in 2012 was the Shakri invasion in “The Power of Three.” The Shakri were obsessed with the number 7, which is the years between 23 and 16.
Move over, 23 is a recurring number. November 23 is Clara’s birthday and the Anniversary of Doctor Who. It also could tie into the 23 enigma, the belief that most incidents and events are directly connected to the number 23.
The Doctor deduces that Clara hasn’t seen any of the places listed and she explains that she got sidetracked when her mother died and decided to stayed on as a nanny. He asks why there is a leaf in the book.
“That wasn’t a leaf. That was page one,” she explains to the Doctor, who is just as confused as us.
In “The Rings of Akhaten” it’s revealed the leaf is what brought together Clara’s parents. The leaf is sacrificed to stop an emotional vampire that feeds on stories.
Clara calls the Doctor on the TARDIS phone for tech support.
“The woman in the shop wrote it down,” Clara tells the Doctor. “It’s a help line isn’t it? She said it’s the best help line out there. In the universe she said.”
The unidentified woman could be one of the previous companions: Rose Tyler, Martha Jones, Donna Noble or Amy Pond all of which had access to a superphone, which is capable of communicating through time and space. It’s been announced that Billie Piper will return for the 50th Anniversary Special but Rose is supposedly still trapped in the parallel universe at this point in time. Amy is similarly trapped in past. Donna has been mind wiped. That just leaves Martha and of course River Song, who knows the TARDIS better than the Doctor himself.
Run You Clever Boy And Remember
Clara’s Wi-Fi password is RYCBAR123, which she has trouble remembering (an ongoing theme). She comes up with the mnemonic device “Run You Clever Boy And Remember,” which were her last words before she seemingly died in “Asylum of the Dalek” and “The Snowmen.”
Is Clara’s laptop wallpaper the Fields of Trenzalore?
In “The Wedding Of River Song,” Dorium Maldovar recounts the Silence prophecy, “On the Fields of Trenzalore, on the Fall of the Eleventh, when no living creature can speak falsely or fail to answer, a question will be asked. A question that must never ever be answered.”
Dorium warns the Doctor, “It’s all still waiting for you. The Fields of Trenzalore, the fall of the Eleventh, and the question. The first question. The question that must never be answered. Hidden in plain sight. The question you’ve been running from all your life. Doctor who? Doctor who? Doctor who?”
If the Doctor gets uploaded to Clara’s laptop, it would fulfill the prophecy. The Doctor would literally appear on the Fields of Trenzalore wallpaper. This would also explain the inability to speak falsely. Hacked humans are unable to resist commands, the Doctor demonstrates on Mahler by increasing his obedience.
On the other hand, the Doctor said he would only revealed his name for a very specific but unspecified reason.
“There’s only one reason I would ever tell anyone my name. There’s only one time I could,” he insists.
Assuming the rumors that Matt Smith is quitting are false, perhaps the fall of the Eleventh is literal. We could see Clara’s laptop fall, which could still be pretty bad if the Doctor is trapped inside of it.