The Doctor Who 2012 Christmas Special, titled "The Snowmen," is going to have a lot to juggle. In addition to returning friends Vastra, Jenny and Strax, a post-Pond departure funk, and a holiday-themed storyline, the episode will also be introducing the Doctor's next companion, Clara (played by Jenna-Louise Coleman). Fans who have been following series 7 will remember that the actress made a surprise appearance in the season premiere, "Asylum of the Daleks," as marooned space traveler Oswin - leading to speculation regarding how exactly showrunner Steven Moffat intended to reintroduce Coleman and whether or not there is a connection between her two characters.
Now, thanks to a new piece of BBC marketing, fans should prepare for a fresh round of divisive Clara speculation.
The remainder of this article, and the trailer at the top of the page, contain MILD SPOILERS for the 2012 Doctor Who Christmas Special. If you are avoiding further Doctor Who holiday story info, turn away now. You have been warned!
Before we get into the spoiler, check out the 2012 Christmas Special poster below (click to enlarge):
Now, on to the spoiler. In the marketing video, Clara is clearly seen planting a kiss on the very surprised Doctor (at the 30 & 34 second mark, respectively). It might be easy to initially pass the kiss off as little more than a harmless holiday smooch
under the mistletoe but, for many fans, the sequence has already called-back memories of the especially awkward (and arguably annoying) elements of 10th Doctor companion, Martha Jones, whose attraction to the Time Lord was largely considered a off-putting storyline misfire.
Of course, plenty of companions had endured complicated feelings for the Doctor, ranging from physical attraction to hopeful romance but, unlike Rose Tyler for example (who's love for the Doctor was more nuanced and developed over time), Martha's attraction was introduced almost instantly and never evolved into a meaningful or believable element of the pair's friendship.
Moffat circumvented the issue entirely in seasons five and six with a clearly defined "Bestie" friendship between Amy and the Doctor that rarely strayed into anything more than casual flirtation. Well, except for the time Pond unsuccessfully attempted to initiate a one night stand (in the episode "Flesh and Stone").
Especially given that the Doctor is now married to River Song, fans have reason to take pause at Moffat's choice of a Doctor/Clara lip lock. Almost certainly the moment has been included as a forgettable piece of comedy but, given the state of the Doctor after the heavy-hearted Amy and Rory exit, plus typical pressure of introducing a new companion, there's no doubt the kiss could leave a bad taste in the mouths of fans who are still adjusting to post-Pond life (or anyone who would rather avoid another lovestruck companion).
That said, based on Coleman's fiery portrayal of Oswin, it's likely that Clara will share a similarly whimsical and impulsive personality - meaning that the new companion may simply drop the kiss and move on before the Doctor can even wipe the surprise off of his face.
We’ll know more when the Doctor Who 2012 Christmas Special, “The Snowmen,” premieres on December 25th at 9pm ET. In the meantime, check out our Doctor Who Viewing Guide: Tips, Suggestions & Complete Episode List!
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Doctor Who returns Tuesday, December 25, 9:00pm ET for the 2012 Doctor Who Christmas Special.