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In the episode Utopia, Captain Jack rides on the outside of the Tardis as it travels to the end of the universe. The end result is that he is dead by the time they reach Utopia. As common as that is for Jack, a death is a death.

Now, in the Time of the Doctor, Clara tries to get back into the Tardis after it tries to leave her on Earth. She has the key in the door and she rides on the outside of the Tardis as it makes its way back to Trenzalore through the time vortex.

So, why did Jack die, yet Clara didn't?

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She's the impossible girl of course. The other options is that she lived because it wasn't as far of a trip. –  Xantec Aug 22 at 12:21

4 Answers 4

up vote 22 down vote accepted

The TARDIS was trying to shake off Capt. Jack, who himself is a Paradox (or something TARDISes don't like). That's why he ended up going all the way to the end of the universe.

On the other hand, the TARDIS tried to protect Clara when she remained outside the TARDIS on the trip back. The Doctor himself stated that because the TARDIS left the shields up (to protect Clara), it was 300 years late.

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I missed that quote from the Doctor. –  BBlake Aug 22 at 17:54
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And remember you can do this outside a TARDIS. –  Keavon Aug 23 at 3:52
    
Well, yeah, but it wasn't travelint through the time vortex at the time, was it? Only in space... –  tilley31 Aug 23 at 4:16

The doctor has an explanation for that. Upon arrival of the TARDIS with Clara he pokes her with his walking stick and asks "What are you doing here?". Clara then says "I was in space" to which the Doctor responds with

Well you were in the time vortex. She must have extended the force field. No wonder! No wonder she's late dragging you around!

So it was the TARDIS actively protecting Clara from dying.

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It was stated that she was why the Tardis was 300 years late. It took its time so it would not hurt her. Beyond that, I don't think it was specified.

The out of universe explanation is that they needed a way for her to get back after he had significantly aged. Him pushing her away and then her coming back against his wishes is the easiest way.

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Another reason maybe distance: Utopia is (on a time scale) much further away than Trenzalore (the furthest point in time possible after all). And she wasn't unharmed per se.

The TARDIS also must have protected Clara, so this is more likely to be the primary reason.

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