(I posted this to my Facebook, and it has led to some interesting interactions with fellow DW fans. Though I have ZERO interest in debating the subject, I thought I'd share it here in the interest of sharing a positive feeling about a topic I feel has been too often maligned: Clara.)
I just watched the season finale of Doctor Who, and loved it. Now, I have read innumerable comments online these past few years about how much certain fans hate the character of Clara. These remarks have baffled me; I think she's a great character, full of courage, wit, and emotional depth, and I will miss her. Frankly, the next companion really has his/her work cut out for him/her, because the dynamic that developed between Peter Capaldi's Twelfth Doctor and Clara was delightful (particularly her attempts to gently coach him into being nicer without shaming him for being naturally acerbic). I'm not sure why some viewers have hated her so much, though these sentiments echoed those expressed when Rose, and later Amy were the Doctor's companions: that their episodes were too much about the companion, and not enough about the Doctor.
I guess I was introduced to Doctor Who at just the right time, because to me, Doctor Who's best periods have ALWAYS let the companion share the spotlight with the Doctor. When I discovered Doctor Who, Sarah Jane Smith was his companion, and that woman played sidekick to NOBODY; she was later replaced by the lethal Leela, who was arguably the most dangerous and defiant person ever to travel with the Doctor, and her ruthless simplicity was a great dramatic counterpoint to the Doctor's intellectual pacifism. After Leela came Romana, another Time Lord ("Time Lady," I guess) and every bit the Doctor's intellectual equal in both her onscreen incarnations. The Fifth Doctor's companions shared a great deal of screentime, and their interactions as a group were arguably the highlights of an otherwise sketchy period for the show from which emerged only a few truly strong stories. And the Seventh Doctor's companion Ace became the first companion to serve as the center of a complex, overarching narrative that played out over two seasons, making her the prototype for the modern Doctor Who companion: a character who isn't there just for the Doctor to have someone to explain things to (Liz, Jo), or to handle the action scenes (Ian, Steven, Ben), or to look pretty (Polly, Peri), but characters worth watching in their own right.
The best companions bring something to the show. They enrich the narrative. Clara did that.
When it comes to a response to a fictional character, a person's opinion can't really be "wrong;" there's no accounting for taste, and such things are totally subjective. I just can't see any REASONING behind hating characters like Clara, so it has to simply be a matter of "This isn't what I want from a companion." Which, while a legitimate feeling (though it strikes me as a little short-sighted), isn't worth years of incessant complaints on message boards and comment threads.
Anyway, so long, Clara Oswald. I thought you were AWESOME.