Anonymous said: Do you think it’s less creepy for Clara to meet Danny as a young boy than for the Doctor to meet his future “love interests” as young girls? And do you think that Clara not telling Danny about how she knows his real name could be similar, and therefore as wrong, to Eleven not telling Clara the truth about her? Or is it different in some ways?
I’ve been thinking about this a lot since this question was submitted and I think the reason why I didn’t find this really creepy was because the story of a person meeting their future love interest as a child was done in a very different way when Clara met Danny.
When Amy, River, and Reinette met the Doctor as young children, the Doctor became an obsession for them. They remembered their encounter with him vividly and to various degrees became obsessed with him. Their lives completely revolve around the Doctor. Their stories are not about how they grew into the adults they would become, but about how they became obsessed with the Doctor and, when they were old enough, their childhood obsession became sexual attraction.
Danny’s story is very much not about how he grew up to be Clara’s romantic interest. It’s the story of how he grew up from being a child scared of monsters under the bed to a soldier; from a boy into a man. He can’t even remember Clara’s visit, and the only influence it has apparently had on his life (at least, that we know of yet) is that it in some way influenced his desire to become a soldier.
Now, both of them are in some way creepy. And I think the show has acknowledged this in some way. In “The Impossible Astronaut” River tells Rory:
When I first met the Doctor, a long, long time ago, he knew all about me. Think about that. An impressionable young girl and, suddenly this man just drops out of the sky and he’s clever and mad and wonderful, and knows every last thing about her. Imagine what that does to a girl.
And in “Listen” we saw Clara’s distressed reaction when she realized she had inadvertently influenced Danny’s life in such a profound way. In the script, this is how her reaction is described:
CLARA: closing her eyes in despair. This is so screwed up.
I think that it’s interesting for a show about time travel to explore what happens when you inadvertently influence someone you know when they are young, and to explore how messed up it is even when it is done unintentionally. Still, the story of Clara meeting Danny as a boy is the story about how she inadvertently influence him as a grown man, an experience he won’t remember. The story of the Doctor meeting Amy, River, and Reinette as children is the story about how the Doctor is so amazing that these girls grew up obsessed with him and made out with him as soon as they were sexually mature. And that’s creepy.