The writers are totally abusing Jenna-Lousie Colman/Clara. I think she could be (or could have been) my very favorite companion, but they've all designed plots that completely ignore her strengths. The nice thing is that they've never written her badly, but they don't utilize her well at all. I don't think anyone disagrees that Clara is at her best when she's WITH the doctor, and the two of them are bantering back and forth. This has been an age old leitmotif in the show, however, I think the Jenna does this better than ANY previous companion (and I've seen every existing episode). Some are tougher (Ace), some are more dominant (Amy, Romana), some are sweeter (Jo Grants), Jenna/Clara's strength is in the toe-to-toe banter. Yet, the writers insist that in practically every episode, she's stolen away or the two get separated and spend the bulk of the episode apart, unable to play to this strength.
Some may say that this is always been a common theme, but really, it's not THAT common. Yes, there is the occasional "save the princess" episode, and from time to time, the two end up on opposite sides of a wall, banding together with different allies. But I have to say that after seeing the entire series, old and new, it was far less than 50%, and so far this season is pushing 90%. Even when they are together, The Doctor and Clara are given very little "alone time," in which to play out their parts. By-in-large, Clara spends much of her time trapped: dying (Snowmen), paralyzed (Rings of Akoten), comatose (Bells of Saint John), in another dimension (both Hide & Journey to the Center of the Tardis), or held hostage (Cold War).
It's a weird problem, because the writers ARE writing her well, but they keep creating plots in which they can't utilize her. Not surprising that I think the person who wrote her the best was Niel Gaimen. Sure, his episode was flawed and heavily criticized by fans for his obnoxious children and Swiss cheese of plot, both which I felt were only minor problems in overall enjoyable episode.
God I hope they make up for it with some fun episode before Matt leaves. I've started thinking of Clara as sort of an unromantic girlfriend to the Doctor... a girlfriend turned best buddy, or best buddy turned girlfriend. I could totally hear her saying, "yeah, I'm the Doctor's girlfriend, what of it?" or "The Doctor, yeah, he's my best friend and room mate, we used to date but we're better as friends." It's sort of the opposite relationship from Rose & The Doctor... incredibly romantic but somehow emotionally isolated. Eleven and Clara just have that wonderful spark... not really romantic, but magical all the same. Too bad the writers are completely drowning it.