There are – horrors! – only three more days until the Doctor is reunited with
Kevin Bacon Clara Oswin and they get to fly around the universe for a bit.
Well, three days for you lot, anyway. I have to wait until next week and we’re back from our Easter break, during which time I will probably be prevented from watching Doctor Who on the grounds that my mother-in-law doesn’t care for it and their internet signal really doesn’t allow that much broadband hogging for private viewing on the iPlayer. No matter. I can stay spoiler-free (it will be a good excuse to curb my Guardian website addiction), at least for a couple of days.
Readers who were around last autumn will recall a series of posts I did during series seven about SEEMINGLY UNIMPORTANT THINGS THAT WILL TURN OUT TO BE HIGHLY SIGNIFICANT. Of course, none of them are. It’s just that Moffat’s renowned for giving us puzzles to solve – where Davies would just drop in as many references as he could, with as much subtlety as River Song’s attempts at seduction, Moffat prefers to tease his audience. There was the whole Other Doctor Sightings list throughout series five, and then the question of the Doctor’s apparent assassination that wasn’t – and even now he’s still giving out press releases saying that Sherlock cheated death because “there’s a clue that everyone’s missed”.
At the time I realised my attitude could bend in two directions: I could go on and on about how irritating this is, or I could get in on the act. If you want to play catch-up, have a look here:
There is no entry for ‘The Angels Take Manhattan’ because as an ending it’s fairly unambiguous. The same may not be said, of course, for ‘The Snowmen’, which kickstarts the new Mystery of the Series, namely who on earth is Clara Oswin?
So I went back through ‘The Snowmen’ this week and it turns out that there are, in fact, several OBVIOUS CLUES which will be considered below.
First: Madame Vastra’s conservatory.
Of course, in this still shot it looks like Vastra is using the ‘shhing’ technique that the Doctor used on Craig in ‘Closing Time’. But don’t think about that. Look at the flowers. They’re purple, right? And purple is an obvious gay colour, right? And Madame Vastra’s a lesbian, right? And Clara Oswin mentioned, in ‘Asylum’, “going through a phase”. This is a clear indication that she’s a regenerated version of Jenny, the wife of the Lizard Woman from the Dawn of Time.
But wait! It may not be that simple. Because look at this.
Notice the mole on Jenny’s cheek. And then remember this.
ANDY: How long did it take you to suss him out, then?
RIMMER: Ahh, I had him sussed right from the beginning.
ANDY: Really? You found the Captain’s message right away?!
RIMMER: [Taken aback] What Captain’s message?
ANDY: The one that’s hidden in the microdot in the ‘i’ in Rimmer’s swimming certificate. Well, that’s the clue, isn’t it? Rimmer having a swimming certificate and not being able to swim!
KRYTEN: That’s a clue?!
ANDY: It’s a blatant clue, isn’t it?
RIMMER: A blatant clue to what?
ANDY: A blatant clue to the truth behind Rimmer.
RIMMER: What truth?
ANDY: The truth to why he is such an insufferable prat.
Microdots. Moles. Jenny’s hiding something.
Maybe she’s hiding the fact that sailors and Jewish girls will figure in the next series.
If you haven’t seen Schindler’s List this one isn’t may have gone over your head, but the use of red here mirrors Spielberg’s epic and gives a clear indication that the Eleventh Doctor is off to finally get Hitler out of that cupboard. And then appear in an off-Broadway version of South Pacific. (Red also figures prominently in The Sixth Sense, which features a cupboard.)
But it all makes sense when you look at the Latimers’ front room.
Never mind the obvious borrowing of a name that has form in New Who. You’re thinking I’m going to talk about the red on the fireplace, aren’t you? Wrong. Look to your left, at the leopard coat on the chair. This is a clear and unambiguous reference to the imminent return of the Cheetah People from ‘Survival’, and Clara’s eventual unmasking as one of their number. So now you know.
Lastly, look at Clara’s earring.
It’s (roughly) circular, and an unbroken circle continues forever, which is how long Moffat’s planning on padding out this mystery. Or so it will seem.
Prove me wrong. I dare you!