Doctor Who, series 9, episode 10 – Face the raven

How do you get the Doctor into a trap? Don’t forget that he is a Lord of Time with a TARDIS, a time travel with a technology, intelligence and determination not quite usual, a being that made entire armies with the mention of his name, a being that saved Earth and the entire Univers countless times. You know the show and the character, I don’t have to give you examples and explanations about that.

The answer to that question is simple: you show him a challenge, a mystery, something to make him be so focus he can not stay away. And Rigsy’s tattoo and the death sentence that came with it are motifs good enough to start searching hidden streets of London. Something that will remind you about Harry Potter’s adventures (but with more technology, of course, because it’s a science-fiction show not a fantasy series of movies with a lot of magic), not only because of the access but also the population.

And Ashildr runs with iron hand one of the hidden streets, a sanctuary for anyone who needs to hide from the exterior world. A lot of different species live there, united by the desire to be safe and the execution style for the people that does not obey the rules. Rigsy, the intruder, was sentenced to death because of the acuzation of killing someone, they thought he broke one of the most important rules of the small society living in the street. Doctor and Clara tries to find out what really happened. They did find out, but they could not avoid the trap nor the effects of their actions: it’s not a secret that Clara started to act like the Doctor, and in time she was transformed in something like him. A person addicted to the Time Lord life style, but more less resistant than the original. And it was quite obvious that sooner or later she would start to be reckless, to start making mistakes, even that kind of mistakes whom effects can not be undone. No matter how good are someones intentions, some times you die because of them.

And Clara Oswald dies because of something stupid, a mistake that she did taking Rigsy’s tattoo. It’s not entirely accidental, it’s rather a conclusion to a behavior that was building up in the last episode, especially after Danny Pink’s death, and because of that you may not feel her disappearance in the same way as Amy and Rory’s departure. The ending is emotional, with an unleashed Doctor and a Clara wanting a good death, in the same style as the death of the man she loved.

There are good chances to watch Jenna Coleman in other episodes of the show: from one point of view she is the girl that scattered all over the Doctor’s life in order to help and save him – why shouldn’t other versions of her appear and do the same things in the future, or to offer a different conclusion to the character. Maybe something to explain the life of Orson Pink, Danny Pink’s and Clara’s grandson?

On the other hand, Clara’s first appearance was entirely unexpected, sooner that all the fans were expecting to appear (we have known for some time about the Pond-Williams departure). The Clara’s character was surrounded in mystery from the beginning. Her departure, facing the raven, was also expected, but it’s the final? Who and what would stop her appearance one more time, the Clara we all know and watched in action, in order to offer a different ending to the character? It’s a rhetorical question, you don’t need to answer, but if it made you think a bit it’s excellent.

I won’t tell you how the episode unfold, it’s to action packed and there are too many details to be mentioned – I will let you discover yourself the story. Especially that you will have to wait for the next episode in order to get your own conclusion about facing the raven (a moment you will want to watch once or twice again).

Directed by Justin Molotnikov, written by Sarah Dollard. Cast: Peter Capaldi (The Doctor), Jenna Coleman (Clara), Joivan Wade (Rigsy), Maisie Williams (Ashildr), Simon Manyonda (Kabel), Simon Paisley Day (Rump), Letitia Wright (Anahson), Robin Soans (Chronolock Guy), Angela Clerkin (Alien woman), Caroline Boulton (Habrian woman), Jenny Lee (Elderly woman), Naomi Ackie (Jen).

Next time on Doctor Who is Heaven Sent, the eleventh episode of Series 9, written by Steven Moffat. It premieres Saturday 28 November, 8:05pm to 9pm on BBC One.

Trapped in a world unlike any other he has seen, the Doctor faces the greatest challenge of his many lives. One final test. And he must face it alone. Pursued by the fearsome creature known only as the Veil, he must attempt the impossible. If he makes it through, Gallifrey is waiting…

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