DOCTOR WHO Redux: The Mystery of ‘The Name of The Doctor’

There is no greater mystery in DOCTOR WHO than the name of The Doctor (Matt Smith).  That is until The Doctor met Clara Oswald (Jenna Louise Coleman) – “The  Impossible Girl” who kept dying on him.  As the show’s seventh season comes to an end this Saturday, fans are going to be wondering which of the two massive mysteries will DOCTOR WHO answer.  Given the unlikelihood that a show that has been on for over 50 years would choose to reveal it’s grand mystery as to The Doctor’s identity, it is more likely that we will instead find out how it is possible for Clara Oswald to keep popping up in The Doctor’s life.   But it will be a shame if they do for it has provided a grand mystery for the past season.  
From the minute Jenna Louise Coleman popped up on screen as the mysterious Oswin in “Asylum of the Daleks,” we knew something significant was going on.  Our brains told us that she was destined to be The Doctor’s next companion, but then Oswin died.  Then when Jenna appeared in the annual Christmas episode, “The Snowman” as Clara, we just knew she was around to stay this time – particularly after Amy and Rory’s tragic departure in “The Angels Take Manhattan.”  Yet, we were wrong again – and we wept giant tears along with The Doctor over Clara’s lifeless body.  That blasted girl had the audacity to die twice.  And so the hunt was on.
Thus, we were breathless with glee watching The Doctor unknowingly encounter Clara as a young child in prequel to “The Bells of Saint John” and even more ecstatic when he heard her voice in at the beginning of “The Bells of Saint John.”  The time had finally come and we would find out why Clara had died twice before.  Yet in great agonizing fashion, the seventh season rolled right along with nary a clue as to the answer of why Clara had been destined to have died twice before and whether she was on the cusp of dying yet again.  These past seven episode were instead tantalizing teasers as to the mystery of “The Impossible Girl.”  Our brains and emotions raced right along with The Doctor as he fervently tried to keep Clara safe and out of harm’s way.  Nary a Spoonhead, Ice Warrior, parasite, molten creature, ancient leeches, or wayward Cyberman was going to get in The Doctor’s way.  It made for an grand adventure spanning the course of the entire season.  The sassy Ms. Oswald seemed perfectly normal, and had we not seen her live two entirely different lives, we would have been none the wiser.  Yet we had; and like The Doctor, the mystery keep tugging on our brains ‘til we felt as if we may also go a bit mad. 
Yet as The Doctor and the audience were struggling to fathom the mystery of Clara, Clara had her own mystery to unravel.  One of the few companions to try to look a bit deeper into who The Doctor actually was, Clara’s curiosity was insatiable.  In her mind, everyone had a name and the name of The Doctor was just the perfect mystery for her to solve.  Quite by accident she discovered it in a book in the episode “Journey To The Centre of the TARDIS,” but that precious discovery was washed away when time reset itself at the end of the episode.  But just because time reset does not mean that Clara forgot that she really wanted to know the name of The Doctor.  For surely he must have a name – why hide it?
In a massively big tease, executive producer Steven Moffat entitled the finale episode of this season “The Name of The Doctor.”  That coupled with the spoilerish slip  announcing that Alex Kingston would be back to reprise her role as River Song, the heightened expectations have begun to reach a frenzy.  Would the show actually tell us his name – after all these years?  And if we do get a name, what does it mean that The Doctor kept it hidden for nearly a millennium?  What power does a name wield? For Time Lords it just may give someone the power of them?  But what is the true answer?
We are just dying of curiosity to find out.  But if forced to choose between the two burning mysteries, The Doctor’s name and the reason that Clara is “The Impossible Girl,” which shall weigh out?
To see which is answered and which remains for another day, be sure to tune in for the seventh season finale of DOCTOR WHO on Saturday, May 18th at 8PM on BBC America (Space in Canada).

Tiffany Vogt is the Senior West Coast Editor, contributing as a columnist and entertainment reporter to She has a great love for television and firmly believes that entertainment is a world of wondrous adventures that deserves to be shared and explored – she invites you to join her. Please feel free to contact Tiffany at or follow her at on Twitter (@TVWatchtower).