A song (probably) called Clara was the one we were all concentrating on when the Doctor stumbled into a diner in the middle of the desert in Doctor Who series finale Hell Bent.
In lieu of words, the Doctor’s latest guitar riff was Clara’s heartfelt farewell message to her former travelling companion.
But there was another song, playing quietly in the background on the radio when the Doctor first walked in, that could be just as important…
It was Foxes’ sultry jazz version of Queen’s Don’t Stop Me Now, as first heard on the train in series eight episode Mummy on the Orient Express.
By the end of Hell Bent, when we realised that the now immortal Clara was free to roam the universe to her (non-beating) heart’s content, the connotations of the song were clear: “Don’t stop me now, I’m having such a good time, I’m having a ball.”
It’s a neat little reference, especially when you remember that the diner is actually Clara’s TARDIS, so the playlist is chosen by her. It’s her second musical message to the Doctor.
But could there be more to it than that?
Remember, Mummy on the Orient Express was the episode that immediately followed Kill the Moon, which ended with Clara angrily parting ways with the Doctor after he left her alone to make a decision that could have cost hundreds of thousands of lives.
And while many fans were unconvinced that she really was gone for good, showrunner Steven Moffat’s idea at the time was certainly that her return in Mummy would be a surprise, just as it was in Hell Bent.
The trip on the Orient Express was then pitched as a last hurrah for Clara and the Doctor, but by the end of the episode she had decided she wasn’t quite ready to give up her adventures in space and time – just like at the end of Hell Bent, when she jumps into her diner TARDIS with Ashildr and hurtles off into the unknown again.
Undeniable parallels – and on both occasions accompanied by those seemingly prophetic lyrics.
“Don’t stop me now, I’m having such a good time, I’m having a ball.”
“Don’t stop me now, if you want to have a good time, just give me a call…”
It’s as if the song is a reminder that Clara will never tire of her adventures, but also that, if and when the Doctor needs her – or when he regains his memory and just fancies meeting up for an adventure – all he needs to do is pick up the TARDIS telephone…