Just because my pretty has face turned your head…
The boss. Yep, that’s me! I am the boss!
You can’t see me, can you? You look at me and you can’t see. Do you have any idea what that’s like? I’m not on the phone, I’m right here. Standing in front of you. Please just… just see me.
That’s what I’m talking about. That is a WOMAN!
If The Doctor is still The Doctor, he will have my back. I’m right aren’t I? God please please say I’m right.
he came back for me
That line. I know it was divisive for the Doctor to declare he isn’t Clara’s boyfriend for a number of reasons. When I first read that he would tell Clara this, I kind of rolled my eyes in my head, because for as pro-Moffat as I am (and trust me, I really, really am), he tends to overuse the words “boyfriend” and “flirting” sometimes.
To be honest, as soon as Capaldi said, Clara, I’m not your boyfriend… I never said it was your mistake - I fell in love with that idea. Capaldi’s delivery of it was just so… sad. Wistful. And I thought it was a really beautiful way to end an era - not Eleven’s era, but the nuWho era thus far. Because with Nine, I think to a certain extent he thought “Wow, okay, Rose really loves me.” She gave him the kind of support he needed coming off of the Time War. From there, he transformed into a slightly younger, very handsome Doctor with Ten, who was quite charming. Rose loved him, but that hurt her in the end. Then there was Martha, who had a crush on him. She learned a valuable lesson on how incredible she was by traveling with him, but because of her and her own inner strength, not because of the Doctor. Still, I think it would be fair to say that for a time, her unrequited love for him hurt her quite a lot. Donna’s friendship with the Doctor made her lose her memory of the amazing things she saw and did. More pain. Rory and Amy’s family ties with the Doctor made them lose their daughter. Indirectly his fault, more hurt ensued. Not to mention their loss, the loss of a couple he adopted as family, hurt him so deeply he barely wanted to continue on. River’s love for the Doctor hurt her time and time again, and there was nothing he could do to change it. It has been this never-ending cycle of people getting close to the Doctor and subsequently having more difficult, painful lives, even if they love traveling with him. Or perhaps, because they love traveling with him.
I think for a time, the Doctor entertained the idea that he could have a lasting relationship with a companion. Not even romantic, but just in a general sense. His youthful look made it easier to become a crush, a friend or family member to his young friends. And we’ve seen him criticize himself for this in recent years: the Dream Lord questioned if his very young companions could actually be considered his friends (The old man prefers the company of the young, does he not?) and in The God Complex, he likened his offer of space and time to companions like offering candy to children - it’s irresponsible on his end, because obviously they’ll go with him, not understanding the consequences, and he allows it to happen.
His admittance that it was a mistake to let himself believe he could be Clara’s boyfriend is a culmination of all of these relationships, not just his love for Clara. For a very long time, he let himself believe he could have a lasting place in his young friends’ lives, even while acknowledging his old age, his alienness and his role as their old wizard travel guide (which I feel he did quite a lot particularly as Eleven). By telling Clara he’s not her boyfriend, he closed this chapter of his life. This goes off of the War Doctor’s question in The Day of the Doctor, of why Ten and Eleven felt the need to be so silly. It also goes off of Vastra’s claim that the Doctor tried to look young for acceptance (which again, I didn’t buy at first). This stems from Nine and Rose’s dynamic at the beginning of nuWho - it shaped the way he interacted with his companions for a long time, but now the dynamic is going back to something perhaps more fitting for a thousands-year-old Time Lord and a human young woman. Because he still wants that companionship, as usual, because he knows it’s important to have someone to balance him out. But he’s also at a more mature point in his life, where he can have a fondness for his companion without letting things get too close. His last few incarnations loved a lot and in return, lost a lot and hurt a lot of people. I think Twelve is going to be much more careful with his emotions, because he realizes the consequences.
This is very long-winded and rambley. I apologize. Short version: I loved this line. A lot.
The Snowmen / Deep Breath
The wind bites now and the world is grey and I am alone here.
the doctor needs us
you more than anyone