Doctor Who faces the Raven, Clara Oswald at her finest
In all that is great and good in the Doctor Who universe, don’t read this article if you haven’t seen this season’s episode of “Doctor Who” called ‘Face the Raven.’ This week’s episode is part one of two, offering a terrific scene between the Doctor and Clara that long-time fans won’t want to miss. If you plan on watching it, go ahead and get on with it already.
While the entirety of the episode created some of the best scenes to-date this season, it’s the closing act of the storyline that will have everyone talking this week. There’s no need to elaborate, Clara doesn’t survive tonight’s story. We all knew that Clara’s days as the companion were numbered but tonight probably shocked a lot of fans around the world.
It was already confirmed by Jenna Coleman and the BBC that this would be Coleman’s last season as the steadfast companion to the Doctor. Knowing that, even if she is reincarnated or saved posthumously at this point, this will most likely be end of her travels. As far as closing moments go, Clara’s finale may have been a little abrupt for such a fan-favorite but there is a small chance that her story isn’t exactly over at this point.
What made the ending especially heartbreaking was that Clara faced her death as a simple consequence of poor judgement, not as valiant sacrifice (though in a way that is how it began). The circumstances leading up to the demise of Clara were simple missteps. Just one of Clara’s half-baked plans without the Doctor’s input that goes horribly wrong.
For the Clara fans out there, her sudden-death may have come as a surprise. I’m sure by the end of the episode there were many fans out there that felt Clara deserved more than her ‘ravenous’ death allowed but her story could go on for at least another episode.
One strand of hope for Clara’s fans to hold onto is that this week’s episode wasn’t written by Steven Moffat, who normally pens the closing moments for each of the major character arcs. Instead, this episode was written by Sarah Dollard, one of the newer writers to the series, which means that Moffat may have a few twists planned for the continuation of the story in the next week’s episode. Even if this is the end of Clara’s journey, it was a terrifically written story and just what the series needed after the bizarre POV shots of the previous episode.
If you weren’t holding back tears during Jenna Coleman’s last encounter with Peter Capaldi, the BBC also released a few short clips of the episode after the episode aired. Among the spoilers and plot-details that were released, the BBC also released a short interview with Coleman, where she talks about her time with her two Doctors (Matt Smith and Peter Capaldi). It’s a touching refection of her relationship with Capaldi (which on a personal note has quickly become one of my all-time favorites) and you can checkout that short interview clip below.
The final moments of the episode centered around the Doctor’s final moments with Clara, beautifully performed by Coleman and Capaldi with Maisie Williams as ‘Me’ also appearing in the episode. Over the last year Capaldi has always seemed to be a more intense Doctor (when he in’t playing guitar) and the idea of this Doctor ‘losing it’ over the death of his companion is a really intriguing plot-point that I hope is pushed further along in next week’s episode.
We won’t know for sure if Clara is absolutely gone at this point but as of right now her death was a short but fitting end to the impossible girl as we have grown to love her. With the season finale just a few weeks away and the Christmas episode featuring River Song quickly approaching, Whovians will have a lot of new content and plot-details to discuss as we wait for the new companion to arrive.