River Song Almost Borrowed Clara's Face on 'Doctor Who'

Doctor Who Wiki/Fanpop

The Doctor’s identity theft problem might be a universal Time Lord consistency.

A roundup of “fascinating facts” about Doctor Who from Radio Times revealed that Jenna Coleman, the actor behind mystery companion extraordinaire Clara Oswald, once auditioned for the role of a young River Song. Obviously, she didn’t get the part. But Mels — childhood best friend to Amy and Rory Pond who would eventually regenerate into the better-known River during Doctor Who season 6’s “Let’s Kill Hitler,” and the character whom Coleman auditioned for — was minor compared to Clara. Clearly, Coleman got a good deal.

Apparently, Coleman’s grandmother (a massive Who fan) was “devastated” she didn’t get the role. Casting her granddaughter as Clara must have been a nice surprise.

But if Coleman had been cast as Mels — rather than the part going to the brilliant Nina Toussaint-White — then it certainly would have continued the theory that Time Lords are identity thieves. Fans have been pointing out that the Doctor (and other Time Lords) aren’t technically very creative when creating their new looks. Other than always choosing the face of a relatively attractive white male, the Doctor also likes to choose faces he’s already seen before.


Since River and the Doctor’s timelines were reversed and screwy thanks to multiple paradoxes, it begs the question: have Doctor Who audiences seen every single one of River’s regenerations? And, if they haven’t, then there’s a second question: did one of those regenerations use the Doctor’s companion Clara as inspiration?

It would be quite the steal. And it’s easy to imagine that the Doctor might have met up with a Clara-fied River. Think of his reaction to this change-up. And it would explain why Matt Smith was quick to point out Clara as his girlfriend with his wife, River, in the room — maybe River was once used to looking like Clara.