It’s been a long wait for Doctor Who fans since the 2012 Christmas Special “The Snowman,” which introduced the mystery of Clara Oswald, played by Jenna Louise-Coleman. Indeed, Matt Smith’s portrayal of The Doctor returns Saturday with “The Bells of St. John,” which sees The Doctor back in action in a big way following the events of the first half of the season, when his longtime companions Amy Pond and Rory Williams disappeared from his life.
To give viewers a better idea of what to expect from the latter half of Season 7, showrunner Steven Moffat joined press for a conference call to discuss the upcoming midseason premiere, the villainous Spoonheads, the structure of a Doctor Who adventure, the return of the Ice Warriors and — of course — the introduction of Jenna Louise-Coleman as The Doctor’s new companion.
“Doctor Who is more the story, in a way, about the companion,” Moffat said. “It’s her take on The Doctor, it’s her adventure she goes on with the Doctor. It’s a story that you tell because the companion, the other character, changes more than the Doctor ever does. What Jenna in particular brings, she has a speed and wit and unimpressed quality that makes the Doctor dance a bit harder, he works a little harder with Clara. Clara is a little bit of a reach — obviously, secretly devoted to him — but a little harder to impress. She’s tough, she’s fast and she’s hard to impress exactly in the way the Doctor generally speaking doesn’t like, but he’s absolutely devoted to Clara. That’s very much driven by Jenna’s particular style. It’s a very, very fast, snappy style. She’s a beautiful girl, but there’s a toughness in that face of someone who could be a real adversary if she wants to be.”
Moffat has been teasing Clara’s arrival for some time, first with Louise-Coleman’s appearance in “Asylum of the Daleks” and later on in “The Snowmen,” but even as the show moves on from fan-favorite companion Amy Pond, the showrunner still draws parallels between Clara and Amy. A recent online prologue for “The Bells of St. John” saw the Doctor interact with a young Clara Oswald, much in the same manner he first met Amy.