Doctor Who – Face The Raven

The extremely untimely reviews continue! Today it’s the ridic fab Face The Raven, which I watched UNSPOILERED originally, but am a bit scared now I know exactly what’s coming. OH CLARA.

  • For the first time in the history of New Who, nay, Doctor Who, I can say A WOMAN WRITER!! for the second time in a season. This, folks, is a high-water mark, TWO women writing in the same season!* And the pressure is off for Sarah Dollard as she only has to represent a mere half of the entire female population, hurrah!!
  • Srsly though, I am bloody delighted that two more women have now written for Doctor Who, thrilled that I consider both their stories to be top-notch adventures, and I shall be more than a little irritated if they don’t both come back.
  • But if this remains the highwater mark, I shall be bloody annoyed. It is, frankly, embarrassing that the best show on British telly can’t do better when it comes to not excluding women from the writing team.
  • I remember being partic excited about Dollard because she has a fabulous list of credits in genre telly AND she wrote for Neighbours! Neighbours!! One of my quests this Gallifrey One is to find out if she ever wrote lines for Susan Kennedy.
  • Oh, so much happy and too much smug in this opening scene = FEELINGS OF DREAD.
  • I quite like it when the TARDIS phone rings, shusht.
  • Yay, Rigsy! I foolishly believed twould be happy romp of an ep when I first heard he was coming back.
  • I hope Clara gives out the Doctor’s number to basically everyone she meets.
  • Oooh, I remember feeling a wee shiver of glee at glee at the tattoo countdown. Mysterious countdowns are the win.
  • Except in Lost. And I never even watched Lost. But I accidently picked up on that.
  • OH RIGSY HAS A BABY. It’s nice seeing him all happy and stuff…apart from the scary countdown tattoo.
  • “Bring the new human.” Eeeee!! :D:D
  • Oh, it is a bit great the Clara and Doctor investigations agency, they should so have been detectives for a bit, with hats and stuff, it would have been smashing.
  • Oh, retcon. I LOVE A TORCHWOOD REF. (That was sarcasm.)
  • AHHHH! Capaldi’s face as he decides, yes, he *will* save Rigsy, somehow, even though it is imposs. OH. HE IS AMAZING. PLS DON’T LEAVE. EVER.
  • The whole thing abt hidden streets in bloody London. I roll my eyes, even though I think it is probs actually good. BUT LONDON. LONDON URBAN FANTASY. My bias against, it is VAST. I barely felt it here, cause Doctor Who, but still.
  • This TARDIS search with Clara hanging out the TARDIS…oh, Clara. It’s nice though that watching the first time the annoying smug felt fiiine, cause CONFIDENCE IN WRITING that it would actually be addressed as Not Awesome. And now I know it is! So it’s even a bit better.
  • I do get freaked out by that thing where you don’t see a thing until you see it. It happens a lot in Lego building, or searching for bounty hunter probes in a gaming game I play and it’s a bit freaky how something is MISSING until it isn’t.
  • The idea of alien sanctuaries on Earth for the people fallling between the cracks of all the invasions and such is quite great, and it’s something twould be well worth revisiting.
  • Me!! Oh, Ashildr, you were the surprise star of the season. I love how every ep I get to be more in love with the character, and Maisie Williams, omg.  I would never have believed if you’d told me beforehand just how good she’d be this whole season.
  • I love her forgetting, and her ease with forgetting her own life, and oh, the way she has so naturally become the Doctor’s peer. And the way she reflects him, and he her, is different from Missy and River and Ohila, and to a lesser extent Clara. (And the way the past two seasons have just casually built up the number of peers the Doctor has in the universe, almost entirely women too, is wonderful.)
  • When the Doctor and Me fall into banter it makes me sad that isn’t just the whole ep. DAMMIT PLOT.
  • The best thing abt Me this ep is she really is so ambiguous. The first watch is best in this respect, where it’s impossible to know whose side she’s on, to what extent, and how in control of the situation she actually is.
  • OH. “I guarantee the safety of Clara Oswald.”
  • The trap street also looks great, smashing set.
  • Re giving oneself titles, Mayer me, the Doctor: “something to live up to.”
  • Ravens, luck worms – I am NOT TUTTING at the urban London fantasy-ness of it all. That noise you here is YOUR IMAGINATION.
  • (It is quite lovely really – if I pretend it’s Edinburgh, my eyes make little stars.)
  • It’s also great what Me has decided to do with her life at this point, and how successful she’s been at it. And yet, despite the altruism, and even knowing what’s happened and why, she remains a little frightening, a little awe-inspiring.
  • OH RIGSY. The bit where he is all “what if I did do it, and wandered in and freaked out?” is just a little bit heartbreaking but also makes me love him more.
  • Me orders an execution. Now, I’d be interested in seeing a panel discussing law and order on the trap street, with  UK and American panellists and seeing if there was any cultural dissonance. In the UK, pro-death penalty puts you in the political extreme – you’re untrustworthy, violent, aggressive, lacking sense or reason – so the viewing audience will tend to view Me’s actions here as unjust. But balanced against that is the unique situation of the street, all the different species, and normally highly belligerent races, the high price to the common good when one party thieves, the price they will all pay if the street falls into violence that could occur if citizens feel justice has not been done, and the extreme risk to all if they’re discovered by humanity – balanced against all that, is what she’s doing still wrong? (Yes, in my view, the death penalty, even here, with a party admitting guilt, and committing the crime in the full knowledge of the law, and indeed, getting to keep, as it were, the profits of that crime (his wife’s health) – it’s still wrong, still immoral.) But how much of that holds, and is it still such a tricky question, when your government still holds it’s right and legal for them to execute their own citizens?
  • THE DOCTOR’S FACE IS PERFECT, CLARA.
  • The continuity music is killing me (in a good way, yo) as Clara gets an explanation for how the chronologue thingie can be passed on, but not cheated.
  • Ahhhh! This scene is so different now! It was fiiiiine the first time, sort of. Now it’s omg, omg, OH CLARA, you have learned so much and more than enough to be A TERRIBLE DANGER TO YOURSELF.
  • Ah, the cawing of the raven afterwards! It’s so quite a lot more scary when you knnnnnoooooww.
  • I do ship Clara with Jane Austen a bit now, yes.
  • This season’s also done some smashing low-key things with gender, just casually in the background. Missy was back, and we saw a Time Lord change gender with regeneration, and Me as a wee girl never fell right as a girl or boy, then was quite comfortable pretending to be a man or woman, depending on what the situation needed, and here an alien is living as a boy for protection, and the Doctor might once have been a little girl, but wasn’t, and it’s all just so unfanfareish, part of the landscape, this normalising of gender identifications that can be complex, and fluid, and not two neat little boxes, which is lovely.
  • Ha! So caught up in mystery investigation (that I ALREADY KNOW) forgot about the inevitable argh that is SO CLOSE NOW.
  • Oooh, the reveal of “she’s alive!” still great.
  • Teleport bracelet!! Only sad it doesn’t look like a Blake’s 7 one.
  • So much packed in, can’t believe still ten minutes to go, including ANGUISH. ARGH.
  • Oh, Me and the Doctor’s faces at the chronologue reveal. Omg, I LOVE THEM BOTH.
  • And Clara. OH JENNA COLEMAN.
  • I LIKE THAT IT IS BASICALLY MAGIC LEGALESE THAT’S DONE THIS. Yay, contract law!
  • I thought Me would have to sacrifice herself to save Clara the first time…and then I got very BOO NO at the Doctor’s threats and grandstanding and bleh, and then Clara tells him to STFU, and it was great. “Your reign of terror will end with the first crying child and you know it.” SUCH GOOD LINE AND TRUTH.
  • Everything about Clara here is perfect.
  • Shoot, might be crying again. “You shouldn’t have to ask.” Oh, her last minutes are so magic, and I love how she is defeated by her one fatal flaw like a proper heroic hero of ye olden tales.
  • DO NOT CALL THIS A FRIDGING. Female characters dying at the culmination of their hero arc isn’t a fridging.  Ripley dies because she’s a hero. Buffy dies because she’s a hero. Clara dies because she’s a hero.
  • OH THAT KISS ON THE HAND.
  • “This is as brave as I know how to be.” *Clara goes to face the raven* “Let me be brave.” *BROKEN*
  • Yeah, am a mess again. Even knowing it’s not quite the end, this is still her death.
  • And then..and then….WHERE HAS HE GONE?? I was wanting with ALL MY HEART GALLIFREY. AND IT WILL BE. SOON.
  • OH, RIGSY’S TARDIS GRAFITTI.
  • I GIVE THAT TEN OUT OF TEN SQUAWKING RAVENS. IT WAS AMAZE. I CAN’T EVEN THINK OF ANYTHING TO CRIT REALLY AT ALL. WELL DONE DOCTOR WHO.
  • Onwards to…Heaven Sent, ra!

*No, Paula Moore doesn’t count for reasons that you know PERFECTLY WELL, if you’re yelling “what about season twenty-two??” at me.

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One thought on “Doctor Who – Face The Raven

  1. Katherine Jay says:

    Until I saw Heaven Sent, this was going to be my “best episode of the season” vote. It was so wonderful. All the themes of Clara’s story coming together to be the reason she died. It felt so final at this point, too, and I was actually okay with this being her death because it felt right and “Let me be brave” was such a gorgeous ending.

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