On the subject of Orson Pink…
In his apparent dismissal of Orson as Clara’s descendant, Moffat speculates that upon his death Clara kept in touch with Danny’s family, ultimately bequeathing the unarmed toy soldier to a young niece or nephew. It made me realize that we know nothing of Danny’s family. Mickey’s mum gets a mention in his very first episode, so it’s not just because he’s secondary. Moffat seems to have dropped the whole family aspect of the show that Russell began so beautifully.
Classic companions never had any family left behind. Tegan’s aunt and Nyssa’s father were killed as quickly as they appeared. Introducing Jackie, Mickey, and Pete – and later, Francine, Clive, Tish, Leo, Sylvia, Geoff, and Wilf – created a depth the show had never had before. It grounded the Doctor’s companions and made them real in a new way. Personally, I think it was a great choice.
Moffat, however, has let it go. Amy’s parents appear in two scenes and are otherwise hardly mentioned. Rory’s dad gets some screen time, but not until the very end of the Pond’s run as companions. Clara’s family is confusing. We know her mother is dead. Her father appeared in flashbacks in ‘The Rings of Akhaten,’ and in ‘Time of the Doctor’ with a pair of ill-defined female relatives – an aunt and a grandmother, supposedly. The elderly woman appearing briefly in ‘Dark Water’ may or may not be Clara’s grandmother. But with the exception of Brian Williams we get to know none of these people a fraction as well as we know Jackie or Tish or Wilf.
It’s a missing for me. I wonder if it explains why I don’t have the emotional attachment to Amy or Clara that I had for their predecessors. They’re characters more than they are people, while Rose, Martha, Donna, and even Mickey were people as much as they were characters.