Six Smart Women Discussing Doctor Who

VerityEpisode96We may not be quite sure whether this is truly the end for Clara, but we all agree that “Face the Raven” is a fantastic story and a great Doctor Who debut by writer Sarah Dollard. Join Deb, Lynne, and Tansy as we evaluate character departures, discuss character motivation, and touch on Steven Moffat’s commitment issues. We examine Clara Oswald’s arc and try to determine whether she was running toward death or running from grief. We also discuss the themes of morality throughout Series 9 because, why not? (I think it’s safe to say we loved this one.)

What did you think of “Face the Raven”? Do you think Clara met a fitting end or did her death feel too slight or insignificant? Do you think Mayor Me is the other side of the Doctor’s morality or just a misguided villain? Let us know in the comments!


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Download or listen now (runtime 1:13:32) 

Comments on: "Ep 96 – Face the Ravenclaw" (22)

  1. terminuspodcast said:

    Sounds like Deb’s track goes out around the 25:22 mark. 😦

  2. Neil Ottenstein said:

    I understand that Clara’s death is consistent with her recklessness, but I really disliked how pointless it was. I especially didn’t like how the incomplete knowledge about the shadow made me feel that both Clara and the viewer were cheated.

    Considering that this hidden town has a zero tolerance death penalty justice system, I would think that Mayor Me should be due for her own justice. You just shouldn’t play games with the death penalty.

    I am looking forward to when Big Finish does some 11th or 12th Doctor stories with Clara.

    It would be interesting if the upcoming spinoff TV series does have those characters visit this hidden town at some point.

    • Neil Ottenstein said:

      Also wanted to mention here, the Big Finish subscriber 3rd Doctor special “A Home From Home” by Nick Wallace also covered the alien refugee situation.

  3. […] This week’s Verity! is out. I have not heard it yet, but I ASSUME they are all very excellent and correct about how great Face the Raven was. If not, I shake my head in fannish sadness at em. […]

  4. I spoiled myself thanks to Google News Aggregator on Saturday! For the life of me I couldn’t remember which actress spelled her last name with an e: Jenna or Olivia. I was trying to be an opportunist and tweet my blog post I wrote way back in 2012 when Jenna was introduced!

    So I knew what was coming, as hard as I tried to forget. I went to a Friendsgiving party, overate and came home in time to watch the BBC America broadcast.

    Definitely enjoyed watching it. Once I saw what was going to happen I was angry in an invested way. I thought the death was handled really well. Despite only seeing the youtube clip of Adric, I couldn’t stop thinking about him.

    All in all she had agency which was the top of my wishlist. I loved the dark!Doctor reaction and her talking the Time Lord down.

    Speaking of ‘spoilers’ that aren’t really spoilers: I wish I hadn’t seen that DWM cover! Because it’s in the back of my mind and I wish I could be in complete denial!

  5. Craig Gullen said:

    Hi Verity. The pub quiz you were talking about, I was actually there, participating in the pub quiz. It was a nice moment in the quiz, and you were right about the quiz. Even more embarrassing, the teams that beat them, was a team of one (a Facebook friend of mine) and a team of two.

    It was all in good fun, and a nice way to finish a Sunday

  6. My son just came back from college for the holiday. We just watched The Magician’s Apprentice. Looking at his greeting of Clara, when he hugs her, it really looks like he is certain she will be dying soon.

  7. raxxial said:

    I really don’t think enough people are raving about how this is the most impactful character deaths in Doctor Who since Adric (I was a lil boy when I first saw that in the early 90s and I am not ashamed to admit I cried hard).

  8. Good discussion, great episode of Doctor Who. A few thoughts:

    The Doctor dressed for the occasion. He changed into the purple velvet at the start of the episode (after the cold open) and I suspect that it was done so that he was not in those final scenes wearing a hoodie and t-shirt. Imagine them if the Doctor was in his casual mode. I have a suspicion that Peter Capaldi had input into that choice.

    That final scene of Clara’s was magnificent, and not only for her. The Doctor, often in the background, but always looking on with incredible sadness, love and perhaps grace. It was an astonishing performance that never got in the way of what Jenna Coleman was doing.

    Finally, half-arsed theory time: Ashildr is going to stick Clara in the stasis machine. Clara will come back in some way, but possibly ret-Donna’d. If you get my meaning.

  9. Katrina D said:

    Me/Ashildr said, in the highwayman story, that she had been a medieval queen. She seems to have returned to that era at least with medieval justice.

    Did anyone else see a raven, a contract, nefarious goings on and set ups and think “Black Guardian”? Or was it just me.

    I liked the idea of the chronolock, the idea that the person with the swirly marks can apply the lock, then it has one removal – either a cancellation or a transfer. Andonce the one move is done, the chronolock is either cancelled or (if transferred) the failsafe is transferred.

    As to a new companion, I think the wolfman alien would be very interesting

  10. Neil Ottenstein said:
  11. Hi ladies!
    We’re a couple hours away from the airing of “Heaven Sent,” so I may very soon be proven wrong about my little theories.

    Something Deb said struck me, and I’d like to take issue with it. She said something along the lines that Clara’s could face her death comforted by the fact that she was able to save Rigsy so that he could live out his days with his wife and child. Yes, that was certainly her intention. However, I feel that Clara’s death was just like Adric’s in that it was completely pointless.
    Adric left the safety of the escape shuttle, confident in his ability to solve the mathematical problem, steer the freighter off course, and save the planet Earth. But what Adric didn’t know was that the freighter had traveled backwards in time about 65 million years. It’s impact with Earth was an essential part of human history.
    Similarly, Mayor Me had no intention of killing Rigsy, so while he WAS in danger, the danger itself was relatively minimal. I’m not sure what Mayor Me’s backup plan would have been if the Doctor had not fallen for her ridiculously over-complicated trap, but she intended to spare Rigsy, one way or the other. So Clara did not actually “save” Rigsy. She just got in the way of Mayor Me’s plans.

    That being said, I wonder if Clara really IS dead or not? Remember the lamps that light up the streets are filled with Lurkworms. And Mayor Me explained that they alter the viewer’s perception so that we see what we EXPECT to see? Will that come into play here? I think it will, but I don’t see how it can save Clara.

    So was the cover of DWM a spoiler? I think all it spoiled was a dream sequence. I think that Jenna Coleman will be in episode 12 for a quick sequence of less than two minutes. Heck, maybe she’ll only be in it for a couple of seconds. Maybe the Doctor will see a woman in a diner who looks like Clara and then blink and realize that it wasn’t her, after all.

    I also thought that the name of the plot device, the “chronolock,” presented a possibility for overcoming it. No one can outrun the raven, though most try. The raven somehow always manages to strike at the exact moment that the chronolock hits zero. But what if someone were to cut that time short? What if someone ran AT the raven instead of running away from it? I suspect that would break the contract with the Quantum Shade.

    Last season, Clara became a pathological liar, and she learned absolutely nothing from it. In fact, she was STILL bragging about being “an incredible liar.” This season, Clara had a deathwish that was ultimately fulfilled. And the Doctor never did anything to try to steer her off of her course of self-destruction. I think that Moffat has no business being the show-runner for a family show. As adults, we can certainly deal with these issues and see how these are NOT personality traits that should be emulated. Children have a much harder time making that distinction. I’m not saying that Doctor Who should be a morality play. I’m saying that Moffat is introducing character storylines that need to be properly explored and explained.
    I would love to see Moffat writing an episode or two each season forever. But I think he has demonstrated that he should not be the showrunner.
    I saw a t-shirt today with Moffat’s face. And the caption read, “Don’t you think he looks tired?”

  12. Paul A. said:

    For those interested in such things, Blogtor Who’s interview with Sarah Dollard has some information about which parts of the episode were hers from the start, which parts came from suggestions from others, and which parts didn’t turn out quite how she’d envisioned them.

  13. Erika:

    The podcast version from the download link seems to cut out abruptly at 73 minutes. Will have to go back and try again with the direct play thingie, if spotty WiFi in my pottery studio will permit, but I thought you should know.

  14. Erika:

    The download version of the podcast seems to cut off at 73:32. Guess I’ll have to try the direct play link if the spotty WiFi in my studio permits, but I thought you should know.

    • Oops, sorry for the double post. Message went away while I was trying to correct my website. Mea culpas.

      • No worries. Web weirdness happens. 🙂

        I just tried playing the ep via the DL link, & it worked for me and didn’t cut out, so I’m thinking it was probably your connection that was the culprit. Thanks for the heads up anyway!

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