...going to be named after we showcase the runners-up first. Because that's how I roll.
The question for all entrants was who Clara Oswin/Oswald is really and how she ended up in the Asylum of the Daleks. I noted that the most likely explanation was not necessarily the one that was going to win. It was very hard to choose - go with the funniest, or the nerdiest?
Points to Someguy for getting creative and doing a photo as his entry:
I love purely random humor, and I think sith92289 knew that:
she is batman and she becomes a dalek in a secret plan to secret plan to stop warner brothers from making a crappy justice league movie in a plan so complex that no mere mortal could understand it
prinnyraid was funny too, but in the end I thought picking this would do a disservice to people who really did spend time to come up with theories:
Clara Oswalt is really Jenna Louise Coleman and I am sure she got to the set of Asylum of the Daleks by some sort of motorized transportation
louieatrest put some thought into this one, which I'm not sure quite adds up for me but is nicely creative:
Someone is trying to change the future by removing people from the past. Clara comes up with an algorithm to use her temporal variants to replace the missing people until they can be restored...except they keep disappearing, and Clara is being stretched so thin that inevitably some of her temporal variants are dying. Her living brain cannot keep track of the algorithm (the values for its variables) with the past continuously changing, and since there are no time lords available, she inserts copies of her dead variants into Dalek bodies, the only other available being able to navigate the time streams, in order to keep track of who is missing, and preserving her present.
NewDil4EVER had a great geek-level answer, but didn't directly address the question at hand:
Victorian Clara was born on November 23rd, the same day the show first premiered, while the Modern Clara might have been born in 1989, specifically the end of the classic series: December 9th.
It's also interesting to know that Clara's mother died on April 5th, 2005, the same day the new series premiered on television. So, maybe the Doctor's return to the mind of British population has something to do with her mother's death. It was hinted that almost everyone's memories of the Doctor is slowly being forgotten, especially the Daleks, who are like personal relations to the show.
I believe that each Clara was born on a specific date on Doctor Who's history. So, maybe the Dalek Clara was born on May 1996 and since we have no specific date on when Asylum of the Daleks, we can assume it's in the not-too-distant future. Her denial of her new Dalek nature mirrors some of the fans who are devastated the TV movie's failure and escape through spin-off material, such as audio dramas and books.
So, I believe Clara is influenced by the BBC. Not directly, but whenever the BBC makes a critical decision for Doctor Who, something big happens to each Clara who exist in time and space. So, by the next November 23rd the Doctor visits, something unearthly and life-changing will happen to them. Can anybody say "The Fields of Trenzalore?"
EvilMonkeyPope used what we know so far about the 50th to posit what could be a simple solution:
Clara is not the same human appearing & dying in different points of time. She's actually multiple Zygon infiltrator agents using same human camoflage
starmanmatt should write for the show:
Clara is a Dalek trap, but not in any way that anyone has anticipated so far. Because Clara was not a human transformed into a Dalek who proved too strong-willed to be broken into the normal Dalek behavior. Clara was a Dalek who committed the most unthinkable crime in Dalek society - she became capable of empathy. This deviant Dalek actually developed such a sense of sympathy for it's captive that it BECAME the captive after her death/assimilation. When it became apparent what happened, The Dalek Emperor committed "Clara" to the Asylum and then embarked upon a plan to deal with several of the Daleks' worst enemies at once.
We know that many figures were involved in the Time War between the Time Lords and the Daleks but we don't know for certain that there were only two camps in that war. Supposing The Great Intelligence, which we know originally came from deep space, had fought The Daleks before?
To that end, the Daleks use their cloning and time-travel technology to locate the original Clara Oswin Oswald before her ship was captured by the Daleks and collect a DNA sample. They then arrange for clones of Clara to appear on Earth at key points coinciding with the activities of The Great Intelligence on Earth. And then they capture The Doctor and send him into the lion's den of their asylum, knowing what they know of him after years of conflict that The Doctor won't be able to stop himself from trying to rescue someone in need.... especially a cheery young woman.
The other thing The Daleks know about The Doctor is that he can't leave well enough alone when confronted with a good mystery. And the curiosity of an ordinary woman managing to resist being transformed into a Dalek will hook him like nothing else. After that, it's just a matter of trusting that The Doctor's natural ability to show up whenever something odd happens on Earth that would jeopardize the timeline would lead him to one of their clones.... and keep following that trail into the real trap.
A couple of similarly meta theories come from, respectively, hercubadger and ComradeDread1:
Clara is actually a character in some poorly written Fan Fiction authored by the TARDIS herself. Originally a pure Mary Sue, the TARDIS has so far attempted three rewrites of the story character. First, as a tragic "save me Doctor, I've turned into a Dalek!" scary SF character. Second, as a period piece after the TARDIS started watching Downton Abbey. Finally, as a more contemporary attempt to save on CGI budget for the eventual movie deal.
Due to some long term affect of the Time Vortex and over eager Tumblr commentators, the Clara character has developed a life of its own and now is trying to take over the place like poorly written fan fiction is so often prone to do.
The doctor believed that he could only regenerate 12 times, but he did not reckon upon the power of the internet and his obsessive fan base who continued to push for a new incarnation whenever the show runners tried to wrap up the series.
As time ground onward, a cult form. Within the cult, there were schisms as factions broke off over disagreements on who was the one, true Doctor and his most holy companion. The wars between Cult 10 and Cult 11 were particularly gruesome and involved a nuclear exchange which unfortunately claimed the life of the 62nd Doctor who was filming on location.
While the Cults called for a cease fire to convene a Holy Conclave and choose their own candidate to succeed the doctor, a producer of the show discovered a relic text from the Before Times, when the show was run by something called the BBC. In an act of defiance, he hired a candidate of his own choosing and readied the Tardis to send the 63rd doctor back to our time to warn the producers and end the show before the Cults overthrew the governments and destroyed the world.
He had tried to throw the Cult factions off by selecting the least likely candidate for the new Doctor, a woman. But the Cults had sprung from the Internet fan forums. As news spread, armies surrounded the studio chanting, "Rule 63... rule 63..." They breached the perimeter quickly. The producer was forced to sacrifice his life for the new Doctor, so she could escape.
Unfortunately, a cultist dedicated to proclaiming the Daleks the best Doctor Who villains, had sabotaged his homemade Tardis, sending it careening off to the Dalek Asylum, where it crash landed. The new Doctor had a significant knock on the noggin that erased her memories of future Britain (or Whovistan as it was then called.) As she emerged from the broken Tardis, she asked one of the local Daleks to clarify exactly who they were and where she was. The Dalek, broken and insane, did not understand her and thought she was introducing herself as Clara. The name stuck.
The winner after the jump...
I chose the winner based on the fact that the entry made me feel just like some of the Doctor's companions surely have - unable to tell if they're hearing a genuinely good theory, a put-on or insanity.
Everyone who's watching Doctor Who wants to know who Clara is and why she keeps on living even after she dies. She's like Rory, only much more in the dark. However, the answer might have been staring us in the fact all along.
You noticed that Clara's full name is Clara Oswin Oswald, right? Well, when you simplify it in initials, you discover that it's "C.O.O." Other than being a rhyming word for the "Who" in Doctor Who, it also gives a very good insight on what Clara is, even if she doesn't know it. Her behavior is similar to, and I'm not kidding here, pigeons.
Other than the fact pigeons hang around old people, they tend to be messengers. They're most famous for wars and the Clara seen in "Asylum of the Daleks" was supposed to send a message to the war-damaged Daleks, maybe some from the Time War!
Also, while we're doing the "Oswin" translation, pigeons were used a lot in the Bible, most notably the dove from Noah's Ark, but there's been one who appeared during the blessing of Christ. So, Clara can be both a blessing and a curse to the Doctor.
Add the fact that pigeons are intelligent and they influenced mankind for eons and you'll discover why Clara can't truly die. She may be the Impossible Girl, but she'll always be flying back to the Doctor one way or another.
Please email me to claim your prize. Good work, all.