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Clara Oswin Oswald- true opinion so far


View Poll Results: How do you feel about Clara Oswin Oswald
You love her, the actress is great and the storyline intreagues 156 50.32%
Your not keen on the character, but the storyline is interesting 27 8.71%
You think the actress is doing a good job but character/storyline wise your left a bit cold 102 32.90%
You dislike Clara, the actress and the storyline 25 8.06%
Voters: 310. You can't vote on this poll right now - are you signed in?

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Old 06-05-2013, 09:47
Ancalagon
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Hi fellow Who fans.

Just wanted to ask you all, so I can get a general sense of Clara's popularity (or not).

I think Jenna Louise Coleman is a fantastic actress, she has shown her versatility in Playing Oswin and then Victorian Clara and then modern day Clara.

In Rings of Akhaten I thing she displayed amazing emotions.

Also I am curious to find out who she is and why she has lived so many times.

I am shocked when people say they dislike her- or don't like the story, so I thought a Poll on here would give me a better idea of peoples opinions so far
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Old 06-05-2013, 09:59
Ancalagon
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Old 06-05-2013, 09:59
So 3008
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I think she's great, however the order of my Clara preferences would be:

Oswin Oswald
Clara Oswin Oswald
Clara Oswald

So yeah, the one that appeared in a single episode is my favourite and the series regular is my least!
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Old 06-05-2013, 10:01
Muttley76
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I wish there was an option in between options 1 and 2, because essentially you've given three negative and only one positive option. I like her and am enjoying the storyline but wouldn't go so far as saying I love her and think the character is great.....
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Old 06-05-2013, 10:09
Ancalagon
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I wish there was an option in between options 1 and 2, because essentially you've given three negative and only one positive option. I like her and am enjoying the storyline but wouldn't go so far as saying I love her and think the character is great.....
Well I see what you saying- sorry- perhaps I should of added more options- but by Love- it can cover any kind of liking toward the character
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Old 06-05-2013, 10:09
bbll22
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I picked the 'You dislike Clara, the actress and the storyline ' as it was the closest to how I feel really.

I think the storyline is alright, could have been done a lot stronger to me - but then again I want the big series-arc approach and not the way it's being done here - too subtle at times and with only 2 eps of the series left, I don't feel there's enough momentum for that reveal as such...

Jenna is by far my main problem though. I've only liked her when she was Oswin, and on rewatches that performances gets on my nerves a bit now too. She annoyed the hell out of me as Victorian Clara while modern-day Clara is bland played really badly.

I don't think the writing is helping her, but to me she could be playing m-d Clara a lot better than she is. She has no chemistry with Matt and actually doesn't feel like a companion at all to me...

....Bring back Liz 10 for the companion right away I'm only kidding of course, or am I?
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Old 06-05-2013, 10:11
sheffielder
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I think the character is quite interesting but there are occasional moments of over-expressive acting (such as the face pulling and lip biting when the kids found the photos on the laptop) which put me off...
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Old 06-05-2013, 10:54
johnnysaucepn
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I think the character is quite interesting but there are occasional moments of over-expressive acting (such as the face pulling and lip biting when the kids found the photos on the laptop) which put me off...
Well, given that it was a comedy scene, a bit of exaggerated mugging is probably exactly what was called for.
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Old 06-05-2013, 11:09
Tassium
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JLC makes Freema Agyeman look Shakespearean in comparison. She apparently cannot do emotion, a slight flaw in an actor....

That girl who played Jenny in the Crimson Horror shows what a companion is all about.
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Old 06-05-2013, 11:19
GDK
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Have to say I also thought Catrin Stewart, who played Jenny in TCH, was acting her socks off! She was great. Expressive and reacting to the others in a very convincing way. Would have made a great companion.

Unlike JLC, sadly. None of the OP's options are a good match for my opinion. I'm just not finding JLC's performance at all convincing. It's odd because she was fine as Oswin and Victorian Clara. I just keep hoping for an in-story explanation.

The role is fine and the storyline is fine also.
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Old 06-05-2013, 11:23
rhynoGB
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Besides having met her a few times,i don't think current clara does anything worth shouting about..she's just there,the doctor taking a girl for a ride..she's alright i'd just like her to contribute not get captured every 5 minutes..

the actress is fine it's just that they haven't given her much to work with besides smile alot
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Old 06-05-2013, 11:26
Joe_Zel
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I like JLC which is surprising, I disliked her in Emmerdale and wasn't pleased about her casting but I think she's doing a great job.

Her characterisation and story leaves a lot to be desired though.
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Old 06-05-2013, 11:37
johnnysaucepn
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I don't know, the writers just can't win. For every complaint that the previous companion was too in-your-face, we get a complaint that the current one is too emotionally restrained. And for every complaint that the companion is too much the focus of an episode, there's someone else saying that the companion doesn't get enough to do. They've kept Clara's mystery in the background - in the Crimson Horror even lampshading the fact that they're not developing that arc yet. And equally, they are getting criticised that there's not enough arc progress, while other dislike the idea of a companion arc at all.

Clara is what she is. She's not bolshy like Amy or Donna, Martha probably is the closest - smart enough to keep the Doctor on his toes, eager to please and to do good.

If you can imagine how Martha was in comparison to the Tenth Doctor, I feel that Clara is the same, brought in line with Eleventh's personality.
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Old 06-05-2013, 11:38
Alicey
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At the moment she is all "mystery" and not enough "character".

The companion is supposed to be the main "heart and soul" of the show for me and at the moment she just seems like a plot device.
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Old 06-05-2013, 11:54
owlycherries
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Option 2 for me.

I like the storyline, I'm intrigued and very excited for the reveal of Clara.

However, my opinion of Clara isn't too good ... my problem is, I don't believe her character. Her personality, rather. She lacks any sort of depth, she's almost like a caricature of quirkness and jollyness and smugness and flirtiness. I don't know whether it's JLC herself, or her acting, or the way she's been told to act. I find it so sickly, so unlike the way a real human would act.

I can think of numerous examples of when she's acted unusually for the situation. Last week was particularly stand out for this. When she was standing in front of the door, trying to decide whether to push the button - she has the moment of "quirky" talking to herself, then she pushes it. She is immediately faced with a blast of fire, and she has time to stand there and make a little "quirky" comment to herself, before running. Then when she was being chased by the monsters, she doesn't seem anywhere near as scared as she should be - she just has a gentle jog away from them, having a little giggle along the way as she slows to look at the pool and telescope.

She seems so unbothered by it all. The only exception to this I can think of was in Hide, when she was commenting to the Doctor about how he sees everyone as ghosts.

I probably haven't explained that well, English was always my worst subject, but yeah. I can't warm to Clara. She doesn't feel like a real human to me. She lacks that depth and emotion. I can't relate to her at all, girl on girl. I find myself watching her and thinking: "Really Clara? Really?"
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Old 06-05-2013, 11:57
johnnysaucepn
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The companion is supposed to be the main "heart and soul" of the show for me and at the moment she just seems like a plot device.
I don't disagree that it's subtle, but I do like the character bits we've been given already, and how they contrast with other companions.

Unlike, say, Amy or Donna, or even Rose, she's much more cautious, not as adventurous. Whereas the Doctor often presents space-time travel as some kind of pleasure cruise, she seems motivated by the desire to do good and right wrongs. But does she play her hand too close to her chest? The Doctor seems to find it hard to read her, will her overestimate her confidence?

Edit: @owlycherries, excellent points. I guess I would sum up by saying I like what they seem to be trying with Clara, but I do worry that her characterisation has been inconsistent at best.

Like you said, she seems unfazed at some things, then we're told she's scared underneath. And we've seen her confess and break down in Cold War when the Doctor isn't around. But as you say, if that were the case then we'd see her terrified when she's on her own without the Doctor watching.

I suspect the problem is that they've had less time to introduce Clara, or at least introduce her to the trials of being a companion, so they've had to skip that and go straight to 'competence'. But it doesn't irritate me as much as it does some people, she's not passed my threshold of 'smart cockiness' just yet.
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Old 06-05-2013, 11:58
garbage456
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she is doing a good job but she isnt really being asked to do much.
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Old 06-05-2013, 12:06
bugloss
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i feel a bit sorry for her. having established there's a great mystery about her, we've seen no development of her story. She's just some kind of cipher behaving oddly
That may be the big secret of course

funny how Tegan got referenced*, and Clara looked a lot like Tegan

* unless the gobby Australian was Kylie Minogue
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Old 06-05-2013, 12:08
GDK
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There have been good moments, like in TRoA behind the TARDIS with the little girl, or when she really was scared in H, but so much reads as false to me.

My hopeful explanation is that Clara is not yet treating what's happening to her as real. It's all some kind of dream or fantasy or delusion to her. At times it's as if she believes she's in a story, acting out the good guy. As these stories go on it's getting harder for me to believe there'll be a convincing in-story resolution to the apparent poor acting. There needs to be some sort of proper confrontation between the Doctor and Clara which will lead to an emotional catharsis for Clara and her full acceptance of the reality with the Doctor.
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Old 06-05-2013, 12:43
owlycherries
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Have to say I also thought Catrin Stewart, who played Jenny in TCH, was acting her socks off! She was great. Expressive and reacting to the others in a very convincing way. Would have made a great companion.
Second this, I thought she was fantastic. Exactly the sort of person I want to see as companion.
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Old 06-05-2013, 13:15
Tassium
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JLC isn't a very good actor, but it's also true she is being given impossibly awful dialogue and stage actions to perform.

It possibly is all a plot device, a crazy thing to do if so.

You see the instant and natural interaction between The Doctor and Jenny (Crimson Horror) and then the stilted and distant Doctor/Clara stuff follows on and makes it seem even worse for what just took place with Jenny.
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Old 06-05-2013, 13:23
CD93
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There has been a rather remarkable divide between contrasting opinions on all aspects of the character / actress. I have sat patiently, waiting... but it's time to unleash the essay

The Story

"Why did we need another companion mystery? WHY?!?!?"

"It's a fascinating story and I'm really looking forward to the reveal."
After two years of Amy's Crack & Amy's Flesh, it was perhaps too hopeful to assume Steven Moffat's next companion would be an ordinary lass from Blackpool, whisked away in to his fantasy world with The Doctor.

Then Asylum of the Daleks aired and with the appearance of Oswin came immediate realisation that we were in for another mystery. But we rather lapped it up at the time, that's hard to deny. Who is Oswin? How did she get there? Will she be the companion? Is that how she dies? Is that the start of the story, or the end? Did she actually know The Doctor? What she there to save him? Had she had her memories erased from previous travels? Twitter exploded and tumblr had a field day...week... month... four months.

Then Victorian Clara came along and I think it was safe to say we were sceptical that she would survive the special. Set pictures all but ruled out anyone other than a contemporary Clara. It's a shame because Victorian Clara was so good for so many reasons - but more on that later. Three Claras. All with similar traits and unusual links. The creation of 'Oswin' as an Internet username. The Governess and the Nanny. Run you clever boy and remember... and so on and so forth.

My view: Personally, I'm torn. Now that we're in to the story, I'm excited to find out the truth. We're told that all will be revealed in the finale, so that's even better. I don't think it has done the series any favours - almost shoe-horned in to every episode - but it means that Clara should get a fresh start for the anniversary and Series 8.


The Writing

"Clara has been given nothing to do. She might as well not be there."

"Clara saves the day, again!"
So on the one hand we have a belief that Clara could be written out of some of these tales and nobody would have noticed. On the other, we have a comprehensive list of actions which one way or another led to Clara playing an integral role in the story's resolution or The Doctor's survival. But it's certainly seems inconsistent, especially in terms of intimate character moments.

In 'The Snowmen' Clara was described as being on the 'right side of feisty' and for the most part I think that was accurate. For her present-day return, she occasionally slips back to the other side. But in that one episode we saw more of Clara as a person with a life than we have in six episodes of Series 7 Part 2 - at least in my opinion.

Not everyone was a fan of RTD's family-building, but it sure helped to flesh out a character and gave the companion a home base of sorts. A means to ground them after a series of wild adventures through time. But we just haven't got that with Clara - and her job is to blame.

Even in 'The Snowmen' we didn't see any of her family. We got a taste of that in 'Rings' but beyond that, her father got a passing mention from The Doctor. But we're left with a disconnected character, whose glimpse of home life is watching over two children whose lives I have little interest in because in the space of one scene, they have annoyed me. Though, for the record, I'm looking forward to their involvement in 'Nightmare in Silver' just because of what it could mean for Clara.

Oddly enough, Neil Cross seems to have put the most effort in when writing for Clara - giving her little moments with other characters to exploit the dangerous curiosity and warm persona that was highlighted in the Christmas Special. Mark Gatiss primarily bounced her off other characters in Cold War & Crimson Horror, while Moffat's single 7b instalment moved too quickly to gauge an honest opinion. The poor girl couldn't finish a cup of tea without being thrown in to the TARDIS and on to a crashing plane.

Series 7 was billed as a series of big and bold blockbuster episodes. But this, in my opinion, was a mistake. It should have been kept to 7a. It worked a lot better when established characters could be placed in to these fast-paced, genre-exploiting tales. But when you're trying to introduce a new character and get the audience on-board, halfway through with little time to spare, that's a big ask... and I don't think it's working as well as it should. There are mumblings that Series 8 will return to a familiar format. So perhaps then, with a consistent run and the mystery resolved, there will be more time to round the character off. Series 8 could do for Clara, what 7a did for Rory.

My view: It needs to slow down. A new companion shouldn't be introduced at such a breakneck speed. 'The Eleventh Hour' took it's merry old time and somehow managed to form a solid bond between The Doctor and Amy at three different stages in her life. 'The Snowmen' showed how Clara pulled The Doctor out of the shadows and reignited his passion in exploring the universe and, you know, saving the day. All of that was undone and I so very wish it hadn't been because 'The Bells of Saint John' - while entertaining - wasn't the perfect companion introductory story.


The Character

"I think Clara is a wonderful character, a great companion and is a joy to watch."

"Clara is too unbelievable. She's smug, irritating and cold."
Matt had to keep up with her. That's what we were told by Moffat & Skinner when JLC was cast. So it wasn't hard to deduce the type of dialogue that would be fed between both leads - and it has arrived. One liners, gags, quirks & quips. Real conversations between The Doctor and Clara are few and far between and when they're delivered... someone hits a big friendly button. I think this is harming the character because it just adds to the disconnected feeling which may already be there as a result of the 'woman twice dead' mystery and the use of Clara as a cypher (in some eyes) in a number of scenes in a number of episodes. This is not helped, again, by a number of moments which don't quite ring true. The fireball in 'Journey' is one of the most stand-out of these recently. Why this was written and directed in the way it was... it was almost criminal.

"Now, Jenna." Said Mat King, "There's going to be a massive explosion soaring towards you... but don't worry, it's moving incredibly slowly and Clara really doesn't care. Just say the line and make your way down the corridor... we're going to throw in a few shots of TARDIS rooms on the way while these creatures chase you."

My view: It's a mixture of poor writing and poor direction which sadly has to reflect back on Clara. All of this seems very familiar and it's true. Amy is in there somewhere. So is River (they wanted Kate Winslet, don't you know). So is Sally Sparrow. So is Miss Evangelista. It's very same-y and I'm hoping to see so much more. Unfortunately there's only Victorian Clara and Oswin to compare with, and there are a number of remarks saying that those two characters were preferable. I would agree with them - Victorian in particular. She was adorable.

The Acting

"There is absolutely no chemistry between Matt and Jenna!"

"The chemistry between Matt and Jenna is immediately obvious!"

"Jenna is a fantastic actress and one of the best things to happen to the show in years!"

"Jenna can't act and is just annoying to watch."
I don't know if I've mentioned it, but I've paid great attention to JLC's slices of acting work over the years and in Clara, I'm not seeing most of it. But then, it falls back on the lack of grounding for the character. She's there to play up to Matt Smith's Doctor and is succeeding greatly in that regard. But it's those humany-wumany moments that I was so looking forward to when she was cast. There was that brilliant moment in 'The Snowmen' when Clara's eyes filled with tears upon seeing the TARDIS key and looked on in amazement as The Doctor paraded around the console. All of those Vimeo acting reels and tragic courtroom testimonies came flooding back... then they vanished out of the TARDIS doors along with the Ice Governess.

"OHHH SHE CAN'T SHOW EMOTIONS"

My view: Oh shush now.

Well I admit my views are much stronger than that... but I wouldn't want to become an inactive member now, would I?

Clara 'Oswin' Oswald can stay for as long as she likes as far as I'm concerned. But she needs chance to grow and develop and really shine. She needs the chance to have meaningful conversations. She needs to be more than the quick-fix, the comedy platform and the verbal sparring partner. I'm not blind to these faults. I've wanted this for so long that I need it to work. I want more from this character and I'll remain hopeful that a change in series format and the relinquishing of her mystery will provide this. Hell, I hope even the new Executive Producer & Script Editor can provide this.

Come on team, I know the real Clara is in there somewhere.

***

tl;dr

I voted Option 3. Though I personally changed the wording to 'I love the actress and she's doing a good job with what she has.'
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Old 06-05-2013, 13:23
TheSilentFez
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Could you add an option "meh- you are fairly ambivalent towards her".
I like her, but I can't really seem to warm to her. She's just there and doesn't seem to have much depth to her yet.
I much preferred her as Oswin Oswald in Asylum of the Daleks.
However, I am interested in finding out how she is the woman twice dead.
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Old 06-05-2013, 13:32
SilenceWillFall
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Could you add an option "meh- you are fairly ambivalent towards her".
I like her, but I can't really seem to warm to her. She's just there and doesn't seem to have much depth to her yet.
I much preferred her as Oswin Oswald in Asylum of the Daleks.
However, I am interested in finding out how she is the woman twice dead.
I second this. Oswin seemed like a more interesting character to me than modern day Clara, so modern day Clara has me a bit dissapointed, though she doesn't bother me or anything.
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Old 06-05-2013, 13:41
Corwin
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Even in 'The Snowmen' we didn't see any of her family.
We met her Uncle, whose pub she worked in.


Ok, he wasn't actually specified as her Uncle within the episode but the credits stated he was.



Overall I've not got any real complaints about Clara but Ideally I would have preferred either Oswin or Victorian Clara as the main companion just so we had something different to a 21st Century companion.
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