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Face The Raven (Doctor Who 9.10)

Well. Looking back on the episode, I can't really seem to remember much actually happening, but I enjoyed it so it can't be all bad. There were some bits of the narrative that didn't seem to make much sense, like an emotionless Cyberman running scared from the raven, and the whole thing that Clara's death seemed to hinge on a contract and everyone just accepted there was nothing they could do about it, which is something neither Clara nor the Doctor ever do normally, but as with most of the rest of this season, it made me feel, and that's what I watch DW for.

Great acting in the goodbye sequence. Not sure if I really believe Clara's actually dead, but it was believable enough that I actually did feel a tear or two pricking, and I really didn't expect to, because I've found it hard to warm to Clara, however much I've tried. Nice to see her actually get a chance to shine in this episode, though, after being sidelined through a lot of this season (okay, Jenna Coleman got a chance to shine in the Zygon Inversion, but Clara herself was frozen out of a lot of it).

As an aside, this season, I do feel I've got to know Clara a lot better, and have certainly come to see the 'control freak' side that it was announced she had in Deep Breath but which then seemed (to me) to come out of nowhere. The reckless side (the other side of her god (or Doctor?) complex) has also been well built up so that this ending certainly felt like you could see it coming. I appreciate that. Although, mention of a chronolock in a previous episode would have seemed a sensible move to make the whole thing more believable here.

This death, though, did seem particularly small-scale considering what a massive impact Clara has had on the Doctor's life, i.e. both stepping into his timeline to save him throughout all of time, and then helping him not destroy Gallifrey. On the other hand, her death here is clearly going to have a massive impact on the Doctor too, since presumably the next two episodes are going to be about how the Doctor reacts to it, so perhaps in that respect it is big enough? It was certainly enough for me, but somehow it's not what I thought would be big enough for Steven Moffat…

Regarding Ashildr, I'm quite amused by the idea, after her self-proclaimed mission of picking up the Doctor's pieces, of her hiding away in Diagon Alley (was it ever actually named?) for most of the period in which he's been most present on Earth – there have, surely, been a lot of pieces to pick up through the latter half of the 20th century and beyond! Obviously, from a writer's perspective, this allows one to explain why she hasn't been spotted before clearing up after, say, Torchwood One, but from a character POV it doesn't make a lot of sense…

Final note: I really liked this review for its thoughts on Clara and her storyline: http://www.avclub.com/tvclub/doctor-who-faces-raven-and-heartbreak-ensues-228803

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