The great intelligence fought the doctor. It gathered thousands of the best of human minds - healthy and functional, for many years. It traversed the universe and was able by guile and cunning to bring the doctor to Trenzalore, and to enter his time-stream. It was the "magnum opus" of defeat of the doctor at every point in his time-lord timeline. In a way it was meant to convert the entirety of space-time into darkness.

But the great intelligence was a survivor. It was regularly about living to fight another day. It did not have problems casting off chaff to achieve the long-term goal. Victory and not suicide was the long-term goal.

And also, Clara entered the time-stream after the intelligence had been broken into echoes and fragments. River said what happens when one enters the time-stream.

It is likely that the super-human "great intelligence" had as its opus not only the defeat of the doctor, but its continued post-doctor eminence in the transformed dark universe.

And also, Clara entered the time-stream and displaced the great intelligence.

If the great intelligence had an exit strategy for the time-stream, one that increased its capabilities, then Clara to some degree fell into that trajectory, and displaced it. She was not only in the asylum of the daleks, but imbued with an intelligence that transcended the intelligence of both the doctor and the daleks. Why would a fraction of her have more than the sum of her? Mathematics doesn't work that way. When you cut a pie in multiple pieces (pie-ces) then each part is less than the whole. When you take apart a watch, each gear and spring has less function than the whole, not more. When you take a finite human apart - why would there be parts with more function than the whole?

What if the smart one was the great intelligence? It was, wasn't it - smart? Did it pave the way - only to be bumped out of the roller-coaster at the last second by Clara?

So is Clara, especially rescued from the time-stream by the time-lord, still "merely" human? Is she super-human? Did the great intelligence build "cheats" to make itself supremely powerful, only to have Clara displace it from its throne, and unknowingly take on some part of those attributes herself?

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    The great intelligence did expect to die. He actually states as such
    – user46509
    Aug 4, 2015 at 6:14
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    “When you cut a pie in multiple pieces (pie-ces) then each part is less than the whole.” The pie isn’t the pie. It’s the recipe. Aug 4, 2015 at 8:54
  • It presumes she doesn't remember. She knows that she doesn't know where she is. Her post-timestream self has the ability to detect gaps in the memory. She doesn't necessarily "not remember". She can't possibly un-puzzle his time-stream, he can't even do that. The she-that-is-before-entry is a product of her having entered the time-stream. A mote of dust in her mind/consciousness/self might make an infinite number of loops from clara-the-girl to clara-enters-timestream to clara-the-girl. She is transformed by the process - therefore infinite capability for transformation? Aug 4, 2015 at 14:51

2 Answers 2


You're misinterpreting Clara being "split". The whole process didn't split her into multiple entities all with their own part of her intelligence or anything like that.

It essentially allowed multiple copies of her to exist at different points in time and space. It's a bit like Rose meeting herself in Father's Day, just simultaneously.

There are still many open questions, though. For example not all copies of Clara seem to actively influence our seek out the Doctor.

In Snowmen and "Asylum of the Daleks* she played clueless, while she directly approached the Doctor in some of the flashbacks we've seen.

Another question still unanswered is their escape from the time stream, unless I've missed something.

  • Even a copy is not greater than the original. There is less than or equal to the original amount of information there, plus or minus noise. Iterated copies get worse and worse, not better and better. Her genius was beyond both the doctor and the dalek race. If the great intelligence were in that position, he would use it to take rulership of the dalek race, and make "intensive care" his elite guard by destroying the "predator". Aug 4, 2015 at 11:09
  • How can you know that? We are talking about time travel and someone altering the timeline of a time lord. Who is to say that the copies have to be lesser or incomplete? Each Clara serves its purpose. As far as we know, none of them are exact duplicates of Clara, but each had aspects of her personality and the information, consciously or subconsciously, to keep the Doctor safe. They are not necessarily flawed copies, they might just be "built" to accomplish their tasks, and nothing more.
    – Zoneman
    Aug 5, 2015 at 5:01
  • @EngrStudent Technically you just said the copy is equal to the original, plus or minus, and that plus would make copy > original. Which makes sense, because you can make edits when you make a copy.
    – user31178
    Aug 22, 2015 at 14:11

no she is not super-human.the great intelligence placed copies of it's self within the doctors timeline ,altering how things take place .the asylum is a good example with the darlik having this "great intelligence" within itself it knows what the doctor is going to do (knowing your every victory making them your every defeat)and can alter the out come ,defeating the doctor all across his timeline. The great intelligence is then killed ,as even itself points out as well as river song. Oswin goes in correcting it (note that the great intelligence is dead so she is not stopped and that somewhat anything that had entered the time stream would have amended it since it goes where the great intelligence goes ).oswin having been to all places of the timeline goes to a place in the timeline to die as it was .the current doctor then goes in saves her before she dies .

interesting thing to note is that oswin's thoughts when she is in him ,is somewhat what is(the doctor) is ."i don't know where i am," when does the doctor ever really know where/when ,with the tardis the way it is he spends most of he's 'life going where ever with the flow. "it's like i'm breaking into a million pieces and there is only one thing i remember" with the doctor it's very deep and not often displayed ,but ask him who he is and out of him being a million things ("warrior ,the oncoming storm ,a friend ,a good man ,the one who did ... , a hero ",all things the great intelligence states in this episode)out of the million things he is ,he answers "the doctor" a bit like someone answering "i am me" ,but with one thing different ,one thing to remember , a promise. "i have to save ,the doctor" i wrote it with a comma so it's easy to spot .that is the promise .being the doctor means "to save".

if that is who he is ,then knowledge may make him not want to be who he is and/or what he is.if the great intelligence dislodges oswin's ideals the doctor will be without the intention to save and merely be a timelord but not the doctor ,then add the knowledge of what he is and you get ,john hurts doctor (or at least how he is in this episode) . a timelord in pain and heartache of what he has done and will do ,the doctor destroyed.

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    This post is quite unreadable. Could you try improving the formatting? Thanks Aug 16, 2015 at 3:45

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