Face the Raven was the tenth episode of series 9 of Doctor Who. It was written by Sarah Dollard, directed by Justin Molotnikov and featured Peter Capaldi as the Twelfth Doctor and Jenna Coleman as Clara Oswald.
This story showed the unrestrained fury of the Doctor when the lives of his companions are severely threatened; something that has not been shown since A Good Man Goes to War.
Significantly, the climax of this episode marked the death of companion Clara Oswald. The situation that led to her demise dealt with the consequences of what happens when a companion starts thinking and acting too much like the Doctor, jeopardising herself by imitating his self-sacrificial actions. Clara had been shown to act more recklessly throughout this season, ever since the death of her boyfriend, Danny Pink, in the previous series.
The Doctor having to face the loss of Clara would set the stage for the final two stories of Series 9. Upon discovering the root cause of the events that led up to her demise, the Doctor would shift into a quiet but insurmountable fury, seeking answers and justice for his companion.
In Hell Bent, it is later revealed that the events of the episode happened because of Rassilon; with the mad Time Lord fearing the coming of the Hybrid, and believing that the Doctor would have the knowledge of it, he forced Me to set up this entire situation to draw in the Doctor and have him tortured for information.
The Doctor and Clara enter the TARDIS after an adventure when they get a call from Rigsy, who said that a mysterious tattoo has appeared on the back of his neck and is counting down to zero. They arrive at his flat finding out he has a fiancee and a newborn daughter. He tells them he has no idea on how the tattoo got there and that he doesn't remember any events from the previous twenty-four hours. His mobile phone's screen is cracked and Clara can't find any evidence of any activity. The Doctor scans him and discovers that Rigsy has been in contact with alien life and that he will die when the countdown gets to zero.
The Doctor and Clara attempt to help him by trying to piece together his movements over the last twenty-four hours. Looking at maps of London in the Great British Library to find where Rigsy may have been, Clara mentions something called a “trap street”; a street invented by map makers to catch people who would copy their maps without giving the proper credit. They search for the street, finding it when Rigsy drops his phone and begins to remember what happened.
Entering the alley that contains the street, they find that it is occupied by "refugees" of various aliens species who appear human to each other by use of a telepathic field. Soon, they encounter Ashildr, who is “Mayor Me” of the street. She explains that the street is a refugee camp and that Rigsy is being sentenced to death for killing Anah, a two-faced Janus female. He had been retconned and given time to say goodbye to family. She also reveals that the tattoo is a chronolock that leads a Quantum Shade, which appears normally as a raven, to find him at the predetermined time; killing the victim when the countdown gets to zero. The Doctor and Clara believe that Rigsy did not kill Anah and has been framed for the murder. Me allows them to investigate the case and to convince everyone that he did not commit the crime so that the truce in the street is at peace and there will be no rivalry.
Later, a man had a chronolock on the neck for stealing medical rations and his wife tells him to pass it on to her. Ashildr announces that she can remove the chronolock, but she will not as peace on the street must remain absolute. The man is soon killed by the raven, and Clara soon learns that she can do this to Rigsy as she has absolute protection over herself from being in danger. Clara takes Rigsy's chronolock and she has now got the tattoo counting down on her. When asking questions to others, The Doctor discovers that Rigsy tried to call the Doctor when he had found out he was in the trap street and believes Me was trying to get him to come here. Clara also discovers that everyone except Anahson, the "son" of Anah, was looking at Rigsy in a different way to everyone else. The Doctor and Clara find out she is really a girl and is dressed up as a boy to stay safe and to hide her ability to find the past and future in someone. She tells them that Me had made up a mystery to bring them here. They all go to where Anah's body is and find out she is alive and put inside a stasis chamber and can be only unlocked by the TARDIS key. When he opens it, his wrist is trapped and a teleport bracelet is wrapped around his arm. Me arrives and tells them that the Doctor is to be teleported away to keep peace on the street. Me asks for his confession dial and what it is before she activates it. When she goes to remove the chronolock from Rigsy, they discover Clara has it and that she cannot take it off her. Me had arranged to use the chronolock on Rigsy and that she would not kill him or anyone. Clara broke that contract by accepting the chronolock from Rigsy and Me can not take it off her. She is stunned and horrified at this, protesting that she never meant to harm anyone and Clara is doomed to die.
The Doctor is furious with Me and threatens to unleash hell on her for all of time unless she saves Clara. Me tries to calm herself by pointing out the Doctor wouldn't do such a thing. However, the Doctor furiously yells "The Doctor is not here! You are dealing with me!", showing him about to abandon his name just like his Time War incarnation. Clara is horrified by the Doctor's anger and tries to calm him down. She makes him promise that he will not harm anyone who will come in his way of this and will not take revenge on what has happened, reminding him why he became the Doctor. As the Doctor starts to speak, Clara silences him with a hug, telling him that everything he is about to say she already knows. Clara touches the Doctor's face in sadness, who in turn tenderly kisses her hand. When the chronolock counts down to zero, Clara goes outside to face the raven. The Doctor follows and watches her from afar. She stands there waiting for the raven and asks herself to be brave. The raven strikes Clara, causing her to scream in pain. The black mist of the Quantum Shade comes out of her mouth, and she drops to the ground. The Doctor returns inside and tells Me that what Clara had said was not to save him, but to save the Mayor. He says that he will do what he can to follow Clara's wishes, but advises her to stay out of his way, saying that the universe can be a small place when he's angered. He is soon transported away.
Sometime later, Rigsy is seen putting the finishing touches on his latest bit of graffiti- a mural dedicated to Clara on the front entrance of the now empty TARDIS. He then walks away, leaving the abandoned TARDIS with no Clara and no Doctor.
- The Doctor - Peter Capaldi
- Clara - Jenna Coleman
- Ashildr - Maisie Williams
- Rigsy - Joivan Wade
- Jen - Naomi Ackie
- Kabel - Simon Manyonda
- Rump - Simon Paisley Day
- Anahson - Letitia Wright
- Chronolock Guy - Robin Soans
- Alien Woman - Angela Clerkin
- Habrian Woman - Caroline Boulton
- Elderly Woman - Jenny Lee
|Executive Producers Steven Moffat and Brian Minchin|
|Director of Photography|
Andy Pryor CDG
| Special Effects|
Original theme music by Ron Grainer
• Titles by BBC Wales Graphics
• With thanks to the BBC National Orchestra of Wales
|Not every person who worked on this adventure was credited. The absence of a credit for a position doesn't necessarily mean the job wasn't required. The information above is based solely on observations of the actual end credits of the episodes as broadcast, and does not relay information from IMDB or other sources.|
- The Doctor and Clara visited the "second most beautiful garden in all of time and space", where Clara saved the Doctor from marrying a "giant sentient plant thing".
- The Doctor threatens Me to save Clara, saying that he will bring UNIT, the Zygons, the Daleks, and the Cybermen down on her trap street.
- An 80's Classics Volume 3 poster is seen.
- Ashildr mentions she had been in the trap street "since Waterloo." The Doctor believes she is referring to the Battle of Waterloo. However, she corrects him, saying that she meant the Waterloo station.
- The Doctor mentions UNIT.
- A shop on the trap street is called Roskilly's.
- The shop BOSS and a Café Zest advert is seen, as well as Brew Dog and Queens Vaults.
- Ashildr uses a teleport bracelet to transport the Doctor away from the trap street.
- The Doctor, Clara and Rigsy visit the Great British Library and its Map Room.
- Clara references a cartographer's way of making maps.
- The signs of Park Street and West End are seen.
- Janus are seen.
- The trap street uses a misdirection circuit. Ashildr says that this is actually the light from the lurkworms.
- A Quantum Shade is seen.
- The Doctor mentions the Zygons, Daleks and Cybermen.
- A Silurian lives in the trap street.
- A creature tries to eat Clara.
- This is the first story to feature the Twelfth Doctor in a burgundy velvet version of his signature navy blue Crombie coat, similar to the coat he was first seen wearing during TV: The Day of the Doctor. From now on, the Doctor will wear velvet coats on a regular basis.
- In the credits, the word "Oods" is used to denote more than one Ood, rather than the established "Ood", as used in TV: The Impossible Planet.
- In one scene, there is a poster with a diagram of a flux capacitor, a direct reference to Back to the Future. It is accompanied by writings in Aurebesh, the main alphabet used in the Star Wars franchise. This writing spells out "Delorean", the car used in the Back to the Future franchise.
- This marks the first Doctor Who episode to have a post-credits scene. Previously, Death in Heaven had a mid-credits scene, but this is the first to have a post-credits one.
- Sometime between the filming of The Woman Who Lived and Face the Raven, Maisie Williams got a nose piercing, which meant that between the 17th century and the late 2010s, Ashildr got her nose pierced (despite her established healing factor).
- Rigsy's portrait of Clara that adorns the TARDIS doors in the post-credit sequence is based upon a publicity photograph of Jenna Coleman used to promote her appearances at science fiction conventions.
- Clara becomes the first ongoing, longterm companion to die on screen since Adric in TV: Earthshock. Circumstances in a later episode do not undo the fact her final death is depicted.
- Intersection of Park and Westgate streets, Cardiff, where the pub Clara passes, the office building outside which the Doctor, Clara and Rigsy rendezvous (which is actually Cardiff University, revealed in an enhanced airing of the episode on BBC America entitled The Doctor's Notes on 27 February 2016), and even the gap leading to the trap street are all located.
- The arrangement of Clara's hair changes noticeably between shots while she gives her farewell to the Doctor (in one shot her ears are visible, the next not, for example). And when she enters the street her hair is noticeably fuller than it was a moment earlier.
- The Doctor and Clara reunite with Rigsy, (TV: Flatline) and Me. (TV: The Girl Who Died / The Woman Who Lived)
- The Doctor and Clara find that Rigsy's memory of the last 24 hours have been wiped or "retconned". The retcon drug was frequently used by Torchwood Three. (TV: Everything Changes et al) The Doctor previously suggested to Me that, being a fellow immortal, she would cross paths with Captain Jack Harkness one day. (TV: The Woman Who Lived)
- Me considers the trap street to be a more favourable way of housing aliens on Earth as opposed to the settling of the Zygons. (TV: The Zygon Invasion / The Zygon Inversion)
- Me asks for and receives the Doctor's confession dial. (TV: The Magician's Apprentice / The Witch's Familiar)
- The Doctor takes out his Apology cue cards. (TV: Under the Lake)
- Ashildr asks what the confession dial is, to which the Doctor said "in your terms my Last Will and Testament". Clara and Missy had the same conversation. (TV: The Magician's Apprentice)
- Clara compares her coming sacrifice to that of Danny Pink. (TV: Death in Heaven)
- The Doctor uses his sonic sunglasses. (TV: The Magician's Apprentice et.al.)
- The TARDIS telephone rings. (TV: Aliens of London et al.) The Doctor no longer needs to access the phone located on the exterior of the TARDIS (TV: Time Heist, Dark Water, et al) and he has finally gotten around to wiring it back into the console (TV: The Time of the Doctor).
- Clara tells the Doctor to "heal himself". This is reminiscent of the Eighth Doctor's final words: "Physician, heal thyself". (TV: The Night of the Doctor)
- Clara asks the Doctor to be "a Doctor" and not "a warrior". She said something similar to the Eleventh Doctor when convincing him not to detonate the Moment. (TV: The Day of the Doctor)
- Clara hangs outside of the TARDIS in order to find the mysterious cause of Rigsy's tattoo. The Eleventh Doctor once hung completely on the side of the TARDIS after falling out while being transported by UNIT to the Tower of London (with Clara leaning out the doors to watch). Like the Doctor, Clara seems to thoroughly enjoy the thrill of the experience. (TV: The Day of the Doctor)
- Clara says the Doctor lost track of Ashildr in the 1800s. (TV: The Woman Who Lived)
- Ashildr reminds the Doctor of her way of letting him know she was doing well. (TV: The Woman Who Lived)
- Clara says she loves Jane Austen (in what way she leaves it to Rigsy to decide). Clara previously taught classes about her and stated Jane was a great kisser. (TV: The Caretaker, The Magician's Apprentice)
- Rigsy tells the Doctor in anger and fear to call him anything except his actual name, suggesting "pudding-brain". The Doctor had a habit of using the term about humans, (TV: Deep Breath et.al.) which Rigsy remembers. (TV: Flatline)
- Clara tells the Doctor that his "reign of terror" will end at the sight of the "first crying child", noting his need to be kind when children are sad (TV: The Beast Below, The Day of the Doctor, The Girl Who Died)
- Once again, the Doctor is cut off before he is able to express his feelings to a beloved companion; this time, due to Clara telling him she already knows what he's going to say. (TV: Doomsday) Clara, for her part, refrains from making a certain statement - which would have been appropriate even in a platonic context - that she once promised Danny she'd never say again (TV: Death in Heaven).
- The Doctor has previously had to deal with dangerous countdowns. (TV: 42, Flesh and Stone)
- Several alien species previously encountered by the Doctor are seen in the street:
- Rigsy paints a mural on the TARDIS. This isn't the first time it has been graffitied (TV: Aliens of London) nor the first time someone has painted it in the Doctor's absence. (TV: The Happiness Patrol)
- The Doctor is annoyed at Clara for apparently messing up a visit to an alien world, forcing the two to scramble to deal with the situation. (PROSE: Shroud of Sorrow)
- Clara's willingness to dive head-first into danger and the Doctor's concern about this is referenced (TV: The Bells of Saint John, et al).
Home video releases
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