4YE’s Year In Review: How Whouffaldi Became Canon on Doctor Who

Credit: BBC
Credit: BBC

Series 9 of Doctor Who will go down in the show’s history as the time everyone stopped pretending the Doctor and Clara weren’t in love. The BBC was behind it. Steven Moffat and his team of writers were shouting it loud for the people in the back. Jenna Coleman continued to captain that ship like a queen. Even the biggest holdout, Peter Capaldi, got into the spirit. I’ve said before that the Whouffaldi relationship was canon. I stand by that. Series 9 serves as complete confirmation.

What am I talking about? Where’s my proof, you ask? Right here. (spoilers ahead if you haven’t seen all of Series 9!)

Pretty Woman

This moment came about halfway through the series premiere and it was like the starter pistol for all of the shippy goodness and heartache that would follow. For anyone protesting that “Pretty Woman” could’ve also referred to Missy, the Doctor makes it clear to Clara that it was for her. “Did you see me?” she asks. “When do I not see you?” he answers. Also, it’s in the script.


He’s a hugger

Remember when the Twelfth Doctor wasn’t a hugger? Hahaha me either. Because look at him! The best part is he even initiated some hugs in Series 9. When a character who was previously opposed to physical affection changes his attitude, it means something is in the air. Like love.





The hand holding

Remember when the Twelfth Doctor was like “I’m not very good with the holding hands thingy. I will hold Clara’s hand…”? Me too. He held her hand through all of “Last Christmas” and basically didn’t let go through Series 9. It was at times adorable, sweet, and heartbreaking but that’s pretty much the way with the Doctor. 






Morning breath

A lot of moments shippers see as romantic or at least as “not platonic” between the Doctor and Clara are brushed off by non-shippers. Friends also love each other. Fathers and daughters would also go to great lengths for one another. True. But you know who doesn’t joke about morning breath and kissing? Platonic friends. Also, fathers and daughters. I hope.


Heart eyes and flirting

Honestly these two time traveling dorks were out of control when it came to their pure adoration for one another. Clara especially, blessed with Jenna Coleman’s exceptionally expressive eyes, practically gazed at the Doctor. But he had his moments too, particularly in the Under the Lake/Before the Flood two-parter.








“If you love me in any way, you’ll come back.”

And then he did. The Doctor leaves no doubt whether he loves Clara Oswald. Interestingly, this is the first time the actual word “love” has been used by either the Doctor or Clara in a conversation together about themselves. His response? “I’ll come back for you. I swear.” He told Bennett he was changing history for Clara. Everything he did was to keep his promise to her. And before the end of Series 9, he would go even further.


“Don’t Run. Stay with me.”

Everything about Clara’s goodbye in “Face the Raven” was emotional. But nothing came close to the final moments. She places her hand on the Doctor’s cheek, looks at him for what she thinks will be the last time, and says goodbye. He doesn’t say it back. Instead, he tenderly takes her hand and kisses it. Then he looks at her with the most mournful, loving expression ever. 

Fun fact: None of those actions are in the Face the Raven script. So until it’s confirmed otherwise, it’s safe to assume Jenna Coleman and Peter Capaldi added it themselves.


The Doctor spent 4.5 billion years punching a wall in order to save Clara

There is no doubt about this. He tells her the hybrid never mattered except as a bargaining chip. He wasn’t worried about giving out information on the hybrid because it was dangerous. He was worried he’d lose any leverage he had over the Time Lords. And he needed that leverage to find a way to save Clara. It took him 4.5 billion years in his own personal hell but he did it. Because that’s how much he cares for her. 


His last request is to see her smile

How intense was their love? Universe ending kind of intense. It turns out the Doctor and Clara’s mutual devotion and willingness to risk the universe for one another makes them a dangerous pair. They both understand they need to part. A memory wipe is the best solution available to them and it’s the Doctor who ends up forgetting. In the final moments, he asks her to smile one last time. That’s what he wants to be his last image of her.


Does it need saying? 

We’ve heard the Doctor and Clara confess their feelings a couple of times but never properly. She said “I love you” but he didn’t know it was to him (even though it was). His, “Do you think I care for you so little that betraying me would make a difference?” was confirmed by Moffat as an “I love you.” But in the Cloisters the camera pans away as they have an important conversation. The words shared are for them alone. And honestly, in your heart of hearts, what else could you possibly think they’re saying except how much they love one another?



“You must really like her”


All of Skaro is at his command and wants just one thing


“You trust me, don’t you Clara?”


He survived 4.5 billion years by thinking about Clara Oswald 


The Doctor comforts Clara


Clara comforts the Doctor


She knows


Stephanie Coats
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