Doctor Who, Season 9, Episode 10 (Face The Raven).
************************MAJOR SPOILERS AHEAD************************
Doctor Who has a history of memorable companion exits, and Face The Raven may have definitely topped it off. If there isn’t a time-travelling cop-out in the upcoming two remaining episodes of Season Nine, we’ve just said goodbye to Clara Oswald for the last time.
What made Clara’s character most interesting was the fact that she begun as a bland character. In truth, she wasn’t interesting – yet just a plot element for Season Seven’s arch of “The Impossible Girl”. Since then she’s developed to be the Doctor’s anchor. He begun to trust her, care for her and she likewise would do the same. By the end, Clara went beyond just looking after the Doctor but then becoming the Doctor. So by continuously adopting the Doctor’s traits, her life was bound to end with a heartbreak.
Audience’s are reminded in the beginning of the episode that Clara is addicted to the thrill of an adventure. She boasts about saving the Doctor from another ludicrous situation and later applauds almost dropping out of the TARDIS above the London skyline. Whilst these reminders are in-your-face, they’re important elements in the episode which lead to Clara’s demise.
The plot itself is slightly muddled. Other than the perfect beginning and perfect ending, the established murder mystery and guest characters was less than exciting or memorable. Had it been any other episode, this would’ve been a more alarming issue, however as the main intention of the episode was to set-up Clara’s death, it can be excused.
Unfortunately Maisie Williams is therefore underplayed in the midst of this plot. Ashildr (or Me) continues her role as the Doctor’s villainous friend, yet is just a catalyst for the final sequences rather than having a noteworthy appearance. Despite how brilliant the character was in previous episodes The Girl Who Died / The Woman Who Lived, Ashildr’s character was not further developed in the episode.
Peter Capaldi and Jenna Louise Coleman are however arguably given their best lines in their Doctor Who career, and the performances manage to match it. Of course this was most apparent in the final sequences as Clara realises she’s destined to die.
You’re going to be alone now, and you’re very bad at that. You’re going to be furious and you’re going to be sad – but listen to me. Don’t let this change you” … “I Know what you’re capable of.”
It’s the emergence of the Doctor’s ferocity which stood out the most. Capaldi’s anger as he threatened Ashildr to find a loop-hole was enticing and escalated the intensity of the situation. What’s even more interesting is how Clara manages to convey Danny Pinks nobility when it came to death. Honestly, it’s been a while since Doctor Who had a truly emotionally scarring moment, so these sequences were oddly refreshing.
So now Doctor Who Season Nine has two remaining episodes as the Doctor is emotionally weak, alone and sent away. The Doctor is also furious at Ashildr, whom has the potential to become one of Doctor Who‘s best villain yet. Now the stakes are high – and with the hinted confession dial plot and the Dalek-TimeLord hybrid, it’ll be time for the Doctor to Face The Raven.