Doctor Who's "The Name of the Doctor" digitally adds Clara Oswald to historic episodes of the show, but which adventures does she appear in? Dubbed "The Impossible Girl," the Doctor took Clara as his assistant out of pure intrigue, having met multiple versions of her throughout time and space. Matt Smith's Eleventh Doctor first found Clara making souffles inside a Dalek, then later as a nanny in the 19th century, before bumping into the original Clara in his favorite companion hunting ground, modern day Britain.
The mystery was solved in season 7's finale episode, "The Name of the Doctor." The Great Intelligence hatches a scheme to access the Doctor's grave on Trenzalore, knowing that the tomb contains the Doctor's own personal time stream. Seeking revenge for their past battles, Richard E. Grant's villain takes advantage of an incapacitated Doctor and enters the stream in order to personally unpick all of the good deeds the Time Lord performed throughout history. Recognizing the gravity of this situation, Clara bravely follows the Intelligence through time to ensure that the Doctor's heroics live on.
What follows is a brief fan-pleasing montage of various iterations of Clara encountering Doctors from across Doctor Who's 50 year history, digitally adding her to footage from past episodes. In order to cover up the cracks of this endeavor, the scenes whiz past at some pace and it's difficult to determine exactly where each scene is mined from. In order of appearance, Clara can be found:
- "The Name of the Doctor" includes a scene in which Clara advises the very first Doctor to pick a different TARDIS. Although this interaction is constructed anew, it does incorporate altered footage from William Hartnell story, "The Aztecs."
- Watching over David Tennant's Tenth Doctor in "Silence In The Library"/"Forest Of The Dead." It's possible that Clara guided River Song into sacrificing herself so that the Doctor could live, or maybe she simply saved him from being eaten by the Vashta Nerada.
- Clara is seen searching for the Sixth Doctor, as played by Colin Baker, in the TARDIS. This clip is not taken from one of Doctor Who's 1980s adventures.
- The moment where Clara is seen stalking the Fourth Doctor is taken from "The Invasion of Time," in which Tom Baker's character helps fend off a Sontaran invasion of Gallifrey. There are many ways in which Clara could've helped in this episode, and if the Sontaran mission had succeeded, the whole fabric of Doctor Who would've changed.
- Clara seemingly helps the Seventh Doctor in "Dragonfire." Sylvester McCoy is left hanging from a crevice by his umbrella. Glitz helped the Doctor down in this episode, but perhaps Clara showed him the way?
- Jon Pertwee's Third Doctor is seen driving his famous car, Bessie right past Clara. This scene is taken from "The Five Doctors," one of Doctor Who's most famous episodes and a landmark episode in which its no surprise Clara would have a hand. The villain in this multi-Doctor story is none other than megalomaniac Time Lord, Borusa.
- An extremely short shot highlights the Eighth Doctor rushing past Clara. This isn't taken directly from the Doctor Who TV movie, and since the scene comes straight from the previous one (with Clara in the same outfit), is "The Name of the Doctor" implying Eight's involvement in "The Five Doctors"?
- This blends directly into another chance meeting, this time with the Second Doctor, recognizable by his mammoth fur coat. With most of Patrick Troughton's adventures filmed in black and white, this footage is new. Once again, this scene is taken from "The Five Doctors," but the background is altered from an English field to, seemingly, the U.S.
- Finally, Clara is looking over Peter Davison's Fifth Doctor while he is trapped inside Gallifrey's Matrix data network in "Arc of Infinity." In this episode, the Doctor is executed but saved by being transferred to the Matrix (not that one). It's perhaps implied in this scene that Clara was responsible for the rescue.
Although some fans did feel that season 7's long-running "Impossible Girl" arc and the Trenzalore mystery were somewhat convoluted, there's no argument that this montage was a neat way of honoring Doctor Who history and recognizing the work of past Doctors in the modern series.
Doctor Who season 12 premieres in 2020 on BBC and BBC America.