WARNING! SPOILER ALERT!
Welcome back to the tenth Doctor Who Review, where I recap the week’s episode and give some thoughts and opinions on it. Please do not read if you have not seen this week’s episode. There are major spoilers ahead. You have been warned.
Title: Face the Raven
Writer: Sarah Dollard
While I (and the rest of the Doctor Who loving world) have known for a while now that this was going to be Clara/Jenna Coleman’s last season as the Doctor’s companion, I didn’t realise it was going to be this episode until she made the switch with Rigsy. Then I knew. It should have been obvious, though, with a title that involved with word ‘raven’. Also, I believe Peter Capaldi may have let something slip earlier in the week, though I didn’t see it anywhere.
Another episode that starts with the Doctor and Clara getting back from an adventure that we don’t (and probably never will) see, Face the Raven sees the reappearance of Rigsy, the graffiti artist from last season. Apparently Clara had given him the TARDIS phone number, and he calls them because there’s a number tattooed on his neck which is counting down. The Doctor and Clara come running/flying/moving through time and space to London, and then begin their search for a hidden street, after Rigsy says he doesn’t remember what happened the day before.
Enter Ashildr (Maisie Williams), whom we met a few episode ago, and who the Doctor saved…and who is now living forever. Mayor Me, as she is now called, is in control of the street, a place where alien life forms can come and seek refuge in the heart of London, hidden under a sort of clocking gismo that makes them appear as humans. There’s at least one Cyberman there, an Ood, and many more monsters that we’ve seen throughout the years on DW. According to Ashildr/Mayor Me, Rigsy killed one of the people living on the street, and though it’s not convincing, there needs to be justice.
The tattoo on Rigsy’s neck, it turns out, is a count down for when the Raven on the street will come after you and you will die. Clara, being Clara, takes the tattoo from Risgy (coz you can do that), in the hopes that they will work it all out before anyone has to die, and so Rigsy can get home to his wife and child. Then they discover that the woman Risgy supposedly killed is actually still alive, and it was all just a huge plot to try and get the Doctor to where Mayor Me could get him.
The Doctor frees the woman and then boom! He has a teleportation bracelet on, and Me is going to send him somewhere far far away. But then it comes to light that Clara has the tattoo, which, when it was on Rigsy, Me could have taken off, but now she can’t. Clara is going to die. But before she does, she tells the Doctor not to be a warrior, then she walks out into the street to face the raven. And then with a bit of screaming, Clara Oswold, the Impossible Girl, is gone. The Doctor is teleported away to an unknown place in time and space, and the ‘To Be Continued’ words rise into the screen. Dun dun DUN!
That’s the episode in short, though, not adding too many details.
Okay, so it took 10 episodes, but I finally found one that I really enjoyed. I really loved this episode. And I promise you it wasn’t just because Clara finally died (a moment’s silence for another companion gone). I loved the hidden street in England’s biggest city idea, and how Ashildr/Me turned up again. I really like her. I feel like she’s sort of like River Song (but not as cool…man, I miss River!), a character that’s going to be popping up every now and then. So far she’s been in 3 episodes, and I wonder where her character will go – will she continue into the next season too?
When it comes to Clara’s death, it was an odd thing. There hasn’t been a death of a companion in the recent/modern seasons at all (Rose was plonked in another parallel universe, Martha works for UNIT, Donna forgot, Amy and Rory got sucked into the past by Weeping Angels), so in that sense is was very dramatic. I love the way she talks about Jane Austen, like the two of them are best buds, and this great connection that was made on the BBC America’s post about this
“In a moment of beautiful synchronicity (and wordplay), the Clara that we first meet (called Oswin) dies in what the Daleks call an asylum because it houses Daleks who have become mentally unstable. The final Clara we meet dies in a place that provides asylum: a safe place for refugees.”
Kinda cool, right? No doubt Clara will appear in some way in the following few episodes as the 9th season comes to a close (in fact there’s a portrait of her in the trailer for next week’s episode), and while I can’t believe we’re already up to episode 11 (where does the time go?!) I’m looking forward to next week’s episode. Hopefully it be as awesome as this week’s was.