“He hardly ever hears me but I’ve always been there.”
This line would have more resonance with me if Clara’s arc so far had been about her doing amazing things for the Doctor and him never noticing. Rather than Clara being sweet and often brave but not particularly special and the…
This has also been my general problem with the finale (and my problem with 7b as a whole). Jenna-Louise Coleman does an amazing job as Clara and makes her very likable - but there isn’t any character arc to her. Or even consistent character traits, really..
Your idea about making her a shy second companion sounds awesome. But it could even have been something as simple as making her afraid of death and having to overcome that in order to make that sacrifice at the end. To save not just the Doctor, of course, but the universe at large.
We already saw what could have been a glimpse of that sort of arc in Cold War, where she was initially gung-ho about volunteering to talk to the Ice Warrior but backed off and was scared when she saw the mutilated body of the dead crew member and noted, “It all became sort of.. real.”
Her conflict could have been that she wanted the travelling and the adventure but was scared of death - which could bring a lot of intricacies to the fact that the Doctor had seen her die twice before. Extra drama that could ensue there once Clara finds out about her “impossible girl” mystery (ideally revealed to her BEFORE the final episode). And of course when it’s revealed what she must do in order to save the Doctor in the finale, she resists. But then perhaps she sees all the stars going out, the people dying, and she finds her courage (maybe consoling herself with the Peter Pan quote “To die would be an awfully big adventure”) and fulfills her destiny.
It would be another story of the Doctor taking ordinary people and letting them become heroes. Which is, in my opinion, the story that Doctor Who is best at. :)
Yes! I love this idea. Imagine an entire DW season dealing with the theme of being afraid to die. I mean, so much of DW is about death anyway this would be such a great theme to explore and the show is capable of it.