“The Mummy on the Orient Express” made me mad. Hello, my name is Tori, I’m a huge Whovian, and I am MAD. Last week, we had what I’d call one of the finest definitive Clara moments in her telling the Doctor essentially to shove it, and this week we get… Clara on a train? I was all prepared for a Clara-free bottle episode about a mummy (with the obligatory “Are you my Mummy?” jokes as only Who fans can make them in reference to “The Empty Child” from Eccleston’s era), and instead I’m left nothing short of baffled at Clara’s presence in the episode. By all means, she should have been off galavanting with boyfriend Danny, not tagging along on yet another awesome trip with the Doctor and his epic eyebrows.
Have you seen the episode yet? As Nine would say, “Fantastic!”, because there are spoilers from here on out.
So, why was Clara on the train? Apparently, she felt that it was her duty to give the Doctor one “last hurrah” with her. Now, I can’t tell if she’s really arrogant or really daft. The fact that she couldn’t leave it at “you go a long way away” with a Tardis door slam to the face and insists the Doctor take her for one fancy night out suggests arrogance. However, later in the episode during a chat with one of the passengers–who had just lost her Gran to the mummy on board that only the dying can see–points out that really she’s just dumb. The lady points out that of course you can leave a friend with a door slam! Plenty of sensible people do just that! But no, not Clara. I’m almost done defending the poor girl from all the Clara haters, due heavily to this episode alone.
I won’t get into the nitty gritty of the mummy, because it’s pretty innocuous overall. Dead soldier trying to recharge the batteries keeping him… not alive, I suppose, rather more just “undead”. It has to drain the life energy of the weakest passengers to do so. Weakness apparently is defined either by the little computer thingie keeping the mummy going, or by the mummy itself, we’re never quite told, or having any illness at all, physical or mental. Obviously, the Doctor figures the whole thing out, saves the rest of the passengers, and accidentally blows up the train trying to figure out who the “Gus” computer person is that orchestrated the whole thing (we never find out, by the way). Still no “Promised Land” or mysterious Missy. Blah. Moving on.
Finally, back in the Tardis, safe and sound, Clara is just about ready to give the Doctor the heave-ho and be on her merry way with boyfriend Pink. She tells him so on the phone, just as she’s ready to exit… when she and Danny exchange their first “I love you”s. Surprise! Suddenly she’s all “Psych!” and decides to stick around and travel anyway. What the heck, Clara?!?! Even the Doctor is taken aback by her sudden change of heart. Not that he minds, of course, but he mentions it. I feel like this makes her fabulous performance at the end of “Kill the Moon” pointless. Sure, she thinks the Doctor tends to be heartless, but no matter! She’ll stick around anyway!
Clara, I liked you until right then. You have officially lost me. Long live “Doctor Donna” in this Whovian’s book.
In summary: Mummy was cool, kind of creepy. Doctor wins, yay! Clara is wishy-washy. The end.