Sunday, 22 November 2015

Doctor Who - Face The Raven

Clara - no sign of Harry Potter
A bit out of character for me, but a couple of quick observations on this morning's (tonight's in the UK... I watched on a BBC1 stream) episode of that most unpredictable and inconsistent of British sci-fi series, Doctor Who.

Derivative? Remember Diagon Alley from the Harry Potter franchise? Imitation, so they say, is the sincerest form of flattery. Down into a hidden street of London goes the Doctor, Clara and... well, let's not trespass too far into a "spoiler alert". I'll only say that I'll be counting my steps next time I'm in Auckland's Queen Street.

James McGrath regularly finds faith-based themes in Doctor Who. With this episode, yet to air in New Zealand and the US (though it won't be far off), he should really knock himself out. Substitutionary atonement anyone? Maybe even a reprise of the old Protestant dichotomy (not very soundly based) between the supposedly rigid demands of Old Testament-style law and compassion.

But don't expect a satisfying resolution. Maybe next week, or the week after. This is 3-part story.

Interviewed yesterday on Graham Norton's BBC chat show, Peter Capaldi was giving nothing much away, except to say that the show would be "sad" and confirming that this would be Clara's swan song as the Doctor's companion.

And yes, this episode pulled out all the stops to take the viewers on an emotional ride from something akin to an extreme sports rush (Clara hanging out of the Tardis above London on an adrenaline high) to the final denouement.

Who's the Doctor's new sidekick? Capaldi wouldn't tell Norton, and even after seeing the show we still don't know. Next week?

I'm looking forward to James' analysis.

(If you're outside the UK and have yet to catch Face the Raven, there's a "spoiler alert" article at Digital Spy.)


  1. All in an attempt to betray Dr. Who -- The Veil wants him and what's an immortal to do (particularly if her memory isn't that stellar).

    But then, those of us exposed to Armstrongism are familiar with betrayal by those we trusted to 'take care of us' not realizing that our job was to take care of them to allow them to live the lives of rich and powerful despots -- the very picture of The Man in the High Castle.

    Sorry to say though, it was time for Clara to go (overdue since the passing of Mr. Pink). Maybe we'll find the new companion in the Dr. Who Christmas Special.

  2. Here's hoping you caught Missy, the Time Lady on Gotham last week: Instead of making life miserable for Dr. Who, she was making life for Jim Gordon miserable. It was an hilarious inside joke which most people could not have appreciated....

  3. I am thinking that the new companion is going to be Ashildr

  4. Hmmm... well, I finally saw the referenced episode "Face the Raven". Now, I would have to agree with Black Ops. It seems VERY unlikely that The Doctor would ever trust Ashildr in any way.

  5. Now this is weird, all jokes aside – this is the second time today that I found this blog when searching for two totally different things. Has anyone else ever done that?