Doctor Who: Clara Oswald WILL be back for the Christmas special

The Children in Need Christmas preview showed that Clara Oswald and Jenna Coleman have at least one more journey in the Tardis to take

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“Clara. I want you to step inside the Tardis. I don’t want you to talk. I want you to do as I ask. Please.”

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With those words, Peter Capaldi’s Doctor confirms what we hoped but were still not quite sure of following the Doctor Who series eight finale: it’s not all over for Clara Oswald.

The Children in Need Christmas special preview during Friday night’s Children in Need revealed that Clara will indeed return for Doctor Who, if only for the sake of closure.

Father Christmas – good old Saint Nick Frost himself – meets Clara on a rooftop in the two-minute clip, and chastises her after she says she stopped believing in “fairy stories”.

The Doctor, brusque and demanding as usual, appears, ordering her to get into the Tardis. He then gives Father Christmas a hard stare, adding, “I know what this is, I know what’s happening and I know what’s at stake.”

Clara is back where she belongs with the Doctor – at least for now.

The series eight finale saw them part with an awkward goodbye hug; at that moment she thought that the Doctor had found Gallifrey, and the Doctor thought Clara would return to a happy life with Danny Pink.

Two bitter, painful misunderstandings.

That might have been that, except for the first glimpse of Nick Frost as Father Christmas right at the end of the episode, when he pops his head round the door of the Tardis and says, “We need to get this sorted, and quickly. She’s not alright, you know, and neither are you.”

Now we know that things will indeed be “sorted” between Clara and the Doctor, although perhaps not in the way we expected. The clip last night painted Saint Nick in a far more sinister light, and it felt like there was a concealed threat in his promise to help the Doctor: “I promise that before this Christmas Day is done you will be glad of my help… Be sure to save some room for a tangerine Doctor.”

Capaldi’s smart aleck response shows there’s quite a bit of tension between the man in the blue box and the man in the red coat.

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“Nobody likes the tangerines.”