Sunday, November 22, 2015

Face the Raven




Okay, this post will seriously make no sense if you haven't watched the episode, because it's not a recap, it is just some things that are bugging me. So seriously, if you haven't watched it, GO AWAY AND WATCH IT NOW.


I knew going into the episode what was going to happen. BUT here's the weird thing. The episode is not written by Steven Moffat. Moffat is big about writing the pivotal episodes himself, and it seems quite weird to me that he would hand off a character death episode to another writer. He's co-written several episodes over the past two seasons, so it's not even like he would have had to write the whole episode himself. I just can't believe that he would be so busy doing other things that he would hand off Clara's last episode to someone else.

Secondly, to kill her off not in a finale (midseason or end of season) is weirdly anticlimatic for the longest running companion of NewWho.

The other issue still at stake is Orson Pink, time traveler, who is very clearly set up to be the descendant of Clara and Danny. If this is not explained before season 9 is ended, I shall be very, very ticked off (and I know I'm not alone in this).

Clara will be gone before Christmas. That's clear. But is she already out of the picture for good? Will there be any further appearances from her in the next two episodes? She doesn't even have to come back to life - it could be the Doctor popping back into her timeline to say 'goodbye' in a different way. Or her appearing in an afterlife vision the way River did. There are a lot of ways we could still see Clara again in the finale, and it really seems that we ought to get another glimpse of her before dropping the curtain forever.

I'm weirdly not sad about the death. I mean, it is time, for sure, but her dying would have been sadder if she a) hadn't died so many times before (I was far sadder the first two times even though I knew she was coming back) or b) was leaving anyone besides the Doctor behind (Capaldi has grown on me so much this year, but his face doesn't tug at my heartstrings the way Tennant's and Smiths did). She had no family, and she was essentially going to join Danny. Which, if you think about it, is why her dying is almost less sad than her being banned from ever seeing the Doctor again. She'd made him her only reason for living - something the Doctor pointed out over and over again in season 9.

Sadness - not getting more Doctor/Baby interaction
Happiness - Torchwood reference! (Retcon)
Intrigue - More Ashildr!
Questions - What the heck is going to happen next week??? Confession dial? Where is the Doctor? Who was blackmailing Ashildr? AHHHH!


Amanda said...

It just seems so weirdly "out of the blue". I mean, we as the viewers knew she was leaving. But it was just business as usual, gallivanting off on adventures and then BAM! Clara is dead. There was no build up, no sense of impending doom. The little bit of "Oh Clara, you're too risky" wasn't much of anything to speak of. If they had played her obsession with the Doctor a little more, or more fixated on the fact that he was the only thing she had to live for, then I think it would have been a little more emotional. But for all the 'you're my only hobby', she was no more obsessed with the Doctor than any other companion, I think. Less than Rose or Martha ever were. It did feel like a weird episode, and while I think it's a little tacky to bring back Clara AGAIN after we've killed her so many times... it would be just terrible exit writing to leave it like this.

Andy Hauge said...

I think that, unlike some companion departures (Rose and the Ponds come to mind), this one was deliberately not being written as a heartstring-tugger. Instead...I found it satisfying. Sad, obviously, but it was a good end--Clara putting her life in danger to save an innocent, and paying the price for it, instead of escaping yet another time. All in all, I think it was a good way for her to go, and I daresay I might even like it the best of all the nuWho companion departures, although Martha's is still pretty good.

You make some good points about loose ends. I do think that Clara will come back one way or the other, but WOW what a way to set the stage for a finale confrontation. I really like that--it's not often that we get to see The Doctor on his own. Even Eleven in the Christmas special had Handles. This seems really clearly setting up the Doctor to face his demons (whoever they may be) alone.

Some really interesting character development reminiscent of the Valeyard subplot from earlier Who, whether or not they intend to follow up on that. And I'm pretty sure it was the Time Lords who blackmailed Ashildr, given the way the metaplot is trending.