A British publication has compiled an extremely detailed and informative History of the Companions.
Ever season since the relaunch, we've seen a couple of high-quality infographs about the show as the previous timelines desperately required an update. The one from CableTV was the best of season six, and I hope that they update it with information from season seven, as the time-line style works really well tracking each episode.
In the meantime this new one fromThe Mirror, which, while not very time-oriented, certainly has its own appeal, such as photos of every companion, along with some interesting data about the more conspicuous characters and actors.
The information at the bottom is a little outdated already, of course. Current fans of the show have known for some time now the new companion for the Doctor would be a girl named ‘Clara’ played by Jenna-Louise Coleman. We also were aware that she would be introduced in this year’s holiday episode set in Victorian London.
Well, the actress already appeared on the show as Oswin in episode one of the new season, and as the series progresses, it becomes increasingly clear that she will not get to adventure with anyone. This also cannot be a mixed up timeline in which this is her final fate and dealing with the Doctor is in her past, because she does not know the Doctor at the beginning of the episode.
Despite these inconsistencies, it’s difficult to think that these two characters have nothing to do with one another. It would be odd - not unheard of, but odd - for them to have two different characters played by the same actor in one series, even if one is only a single-episode support role.
It's so difficult, in fact, that many, including IMDB are referring to the character as Clair Oswin, despite this not being confirmed as canon by anyone official. Showrunner Steven Moffatt is certainly not talking about the characters as if they are the same. He responded to the surprise turn-up of the actor as if it were a small joke played on the audience, rather than an early appearance of a central character.
Whatever is going on, we'll figure it out in December. Meanwhile, and more importantly, we have to hope that the introduction of this new character will help bring back a less juvenile attitude for the Doctor. We've gotten a couple years of him acting like a child that the Ponds have to rein in, and while it worked for a time, I'm glad that phase is likely finally be over. With Clara he can go back to being the mysterious traveling genius we all know and love.
The second half of the season begins in the new year, but in between we'll have that holiday episode. An exact airing date has not yet been announced, but in the past the Doctor Who holiday episodes have shown very near Christmas Day, if not on the holiday itself.