Courtney Woods was a Coal Hill School student.
When she was a Year 10 pupil, Courtney was taught by Clara Oswald and Danny Pink. (TV: Listen, Kill the Moon) She was infamously known as a "disruptive influence" and took great pride in her insolence. (TV: The Caretaker) On her first day as a teacher, Clara threatened to kick all of the students out of school, only for Courtney to challenge her threat. (TV: Deep Breath) She later told Clara she couldn't focus on her work because Clara's face was "too wide". (TV: Listen)
In 2013, Courtney said Clara was smiling weird, noting her overwhelming happiness. Clara took her class outdoors to learn about tardigrades and promised Courtney she'd make her "love weird today". Once they got settled on the grass, she instructed them to look up at the sky for ten seconds, then to shut their eyes, count to five, open them again and tell her what they saw. During this class, Courtney lied about getting hay fever. (PROSE: Normality)
When the Twelfth Doctor was working undercover as Coal Hill's new caretaker, Courtney went to fetch some paper towels from him and saw a light coming out of his TARDIS. He initially deflected her questions about the box, but later showed her the capabilities of his ship. He took her into space, but the experience was too much for Courtney, who proceeded to throw up in his TARDIS. (TV: The Caretaker)
According to Clara, at some point the Doctor had told Courtney that she "wasn't special". This apparently prompted Courtney to increase her disruptive behaviour, including stealing the Doctor's psychic paper and using it as a fake ID. Clara implored the Doctor to tell Courtney that she was indeed special. His interpretation of this was to take Courtney and Clara for an adventure on the Moon in 2049, where Courtney could be the first woman on it. As it became clear that the Moon was really an egg about to hatch, Courtney strongly advocated for not killing the emerging creature. This led to her and Clara saving Earth from the results of making the wrong choice. The Doctor claimed to Clara that Courtney would eventually "bizarrely" become President of the United States, meeting a man named Blinovitch. (TV: Kill the Moon) This was suggested again in a post-it on Clara's flat. (TV: Dark Water)
Clara considered Courtney cleverer than a lot of her classmates, but she was bored in school, and so lacked direction and passion. She considered her life to be "dead-boring", as nothing weird or strange ever happened to her — except having Clara as a teacher. (PROSE: Normality)
Behind the scenes
- According to Peter Harness, Courtney was originally called "Emma".
- In the script of Deep Breath, Courtney was described as "the toughest looking" member of her class and as having a "mocking, insolent face." The script of Into the Dalek referred to her as "the girl from Episode 6," possibly implying that the character was originally conceived to appear in the sixth episode of that season, The Caretaker and was then seeded into other episodes.