Face The Raven

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    Miapatrick @miapatrick

    I really, really, really love the concept of an infinite lifespan and very finite memory. She can be a different person, guided by different memories and experiences. She would also be fairly easy to manipulate, like a slow moving silence effect.

    Is Clara really dead? I’m a little torn. I loved the performance in this, and it’s a pretty good death, in it’s way, coming about equally through her strengths and weaknesses.  It seems a little odd in its timing, and I don’t feel everything has been shown about Clara- the clothes Me was wearing, for example, in that photograph.

    I definitely have the feeling that it’s impossible to judge these episodes entirely until the end of the series. And yet the arc has been subtle, that is, I’m still not sure what it is…

    CountScarlioni @countscarlioni

    Is anyone else concerned about the Doctor’s ponderous performance in Face the Raven? The Doctor was given assorted, big clues that he was walking into a trap, that the events around Rigsy were about the Doctor, rather than the Doctor being in the street to solve a murder mystery against the clock. Clara explains to him about “trap street” and then he, apparently, just stumbles across Ashildr/Lady Me, of whom is he profoundly suspicious. The Doctor was also told everything in the street was fitted to his expectations so he was seeing to a degree what he wanted to see. Why didn’t the alarm bells go off in the Doctor’s head well before they did?

    Towards the end of the episode, the Doctor also appears stunned for chunks of time. The series started with a trap set by Davros, and before entering that the Doctor prepared his confession dial. Was the Doctor taken aback he was about to see Clara’s death rather than his own, or did he at some level know when he stepped out of the Tardis with Rigsy and Clara (prompted by Clara’s imploring look) that this was all going to turn out very badly? Did he assume he wasn’t going to win?

    There have been some fascinating and beautifully expressed postings, especially @avaris  in posting 47504. But, for me, there are still things about this episode like the Doctor’s performance that don’t feel right. Like @mudlark I’ve posted on the nature of Clara’s death compared to the street person’s death and the differences there also suggest things are somewhat awry.

    Agree with lots of other postings on Jenna Coleman’s performance. When  she’s been given material to really get her teeth into (which I don’t think has always been the case) she has been tremendous. Face the Raven and Listen strike me as her two best performances and she soared in both.

    bendubz11 @bendubz11

    @miapatrick Infinite life, finite memory, teenager, easy to manipulate, big ball of hormones and emotions, a rather convenient teleport bracelet, are you thinking what I’m thinking?

    Miapatrick @miapatrick

    I meant to say, one reason why I’m unsure about the Clara death is that Moffart is given a bit of a name for resurrections, and this might be the point where he went too far.

    I agree with @purofilion that Rigsby was a character easy to care about. He was clever, nice and interesting in his first episode, and now with added baby, clearly a good father (who’s other half rings him when the baby is screaming to calm it down.) That is more than enough to care about him.

    (Also, if @purofilion does read that, I really hope you’re alright, and that we’ll see you back soon.)


    Miapatrick @miapatrick

    @bendubz11- I wasn’t even thinking about the significance of the teleport bracelet, but I am now.

    Miapatrick @miapatrick

    I also meant to say (I am currently recovering from a motorbike ride and my brain, like my fingers, is still defrosting) that Clara’s death reminded me a little of Rita’s from The God Complex. ‘Let me be robbed of my faith in’ \I can’t quite remember the quote- private? Alone?

    SirClockFace @sirclockface

    @akhaten Welcome and thank you for sharing the video 🙂

    Did anyone else notice how, when Rigsy phoned them the dial was on 531 but when they got to the street it was 041…

    tommo @tommo

    @geoffers totally concur with your point about Clara’s departure being exclusive in the fact that she is the only companion so far (AG) to have actually died in the viewers true sense. or so we are being led to believe….

    bendubz11 @bendubz11

    @aclevername I’ve just noticed you haven’t been welcomed yet! So welcome, you probably already know how awesome this forum is if you’ve been a long time lurker, but I will tell you nevertheless. It’s awesome. and as I said to @akhaten earlier, it’s always nice seeing new faces, it was only at the start of this series that I was in your shoes!

    timetot @timetot

    Thanks @juniperfish – feeling very welcomed and enjoying hearing the ideas.

    lisa @lisa

    Regarding my previous post about Clara as a protector guardian by sacrificing
    herself she did say to the Doctor that by dying then “no one else would have
    have to suffer”.
    So yeah, she faced the Raven as the Clara version of the Doctor.
    But even if she doesn’t morph into something else I don’t think she died because she
    had some suicidal death wish. It was to my mind cause she just realized all along that she’d
    get caught eventually running with the Doctor, her addiction.
    Its just that in recent Who times dead isn’t dead. So, where did Clara’s soul end up?

    lisa @lisa

    How did Ashildr/Me know to say to the Doctor in ‘The Woman Who Lived’ that Clara
    would die on him and also! blow away like a puff of smoke? Now isn’t that a bit
    weird? Anachronisms!

    jphamlore @jphamlore

    For those who are asking for more of Clara’s story, what if it is in plain sight within Face the Raven and earlier Moffat (co)-written episodes?

    Note that the quantum shade demands souls.  From the visual effects associated with the exit of a black smoke to turn back into a raven, I conjecture the quantum shade extracts souls, captures souls.  The ability of souls to be extracted has precedence in the Moffat-written episode The Bells of Saint John.

    As I previously conjectured, Clara’s body might be dead, but her soul might be in a form of hell.

    As for why it is called a quantum shade, the “shade” part at least to me is a synonym for “ghost” or “spirit”.  From the Wikipedia entry on shade for example, one can read that this interpretation goes at least as far back as ancient Sumerian mythology where for most of the dead the underworld is a terrible dark place.  As for “quantum,” one possibility is the use of quantum in “quantum-locking”.

    Also chronolock has an established meaning which is not the same as a timed countdown device.  Chronolock can also refer to a state of being outside normal time and space.

    The use of a lock that fits a Tardis key and the demand for the Doctor’s confession dial indicate that the ones who made a deal with Ashildr are the Time Lords.  What do the Time Lords want?  Apparently they want to return to this physical universe.

    Now there is another brief mention of soul in an episode with a Moffat co-writer credit from just last season, Into the Dalek.

    DOCTOR: I saved your life, Rusty. Now I’m going to go one better. I’m going to save your soul.
    RUSTY: Daleks do not have souls.
    DOCTOR: Oh, no? Imagine if you did. What then, Rusty? What would happen then?

    Let us consider all the mentioning of the prophesied hybrid for this Series 9.  Let us consider how angry the Doctor will be with the Time Lords if he finds out they helped contribute to the death of Clara Oswald.  Let us consider that a solution has to be found for the Dalek – Time Lord conflict for the Time Lords to return.

    Is the Doctor about to sentence some of the Time Lords to have their souls be combined with the Daleks?  Could Clara Oswald have some future role to play with this hybrid?


    Starla @starla

    I haven’t read all the posts sorry (will do but my little boys are about and need their Mummy). I had a thought re. the regeneration energy Clara absorbed during the dalek ‘upgrade’ or whatever you want to call it in ep 2. Firstly, checking with you lot that she was in the dalek and did potentially absorb it? If so, my theory is that the little yellow glow we see in Face the Raven as the raven enters Clara’s body could possibly be this energy flashing or initiating (or something!). Probably way off track.  Lol.

    DrBen @drben

    I only skimmed the posts here, cuz I wanted to get my own thoughts down quickly.

    I loved this one, pretty much start to finish.  I fully disagree with those who say that Clara’s death was pointless or unnecessary.  Rather, Clara’s had a death wish since Danny died — that’s why she’s been acting so rashly, being so over-confident, taking so many risks.  She’s wanted to die all season, and didn’t realize it until now.  Finally all the risk-taking caught up to her, and she accepted it with aplomb and dignity.  It was beautifully written, shot, and acted.

    My 12-year-old son pointed out, however, that they missed a golden opportunity by not having Clara’s last line be “Run, you clever boy, and remember.”  Totally agree.

    And, actually, my only complaint (which is not the show’s fault) is the completely unavoidable spoilers everywhere.  Aside from the fact that it was widely announced that this would be Clara’s last season, I inadvertently saw several headlines earlier this week confirming that this was her swan song.  Why would you put that in the newspaper?!  So, because I knew that this episode would end with Clara’s death, it kind of removed the dramatic intensity of the moment.  Can you imagine how completely shattering it would have been if none of us had known she was going to die?  Wow.

    No bonkers theorizing from me this week – I’m inclined to take this one at face value, and I’m looking forward to what comes next.

    lisa @lisa


    I’ve been thinking about the white light also being significant. I want
    to think it has something to do with all the alien stuff Clara picked up thru
    her time with the Doctor. I wouldn’t be surprised to see something about this
    turn up in the future. It really seems like SM wanted to differentiate the
    way Clara was taken and the way the raven took the other victim. I think it has
    to be showing there was something special about her but the question is what?
    I’d love to see that it was the beginning of as you put it ‘initiating something’!

    DrBen @drben

    Oh, and also:  I liked how they treated Ashildr in this episode.  She was clearly playing with forces beyond her control, and her reaction when things got out of hand was great.  She was over-confident and it came back to bite her.

    james @jammiedodger

    can anyone please explain the theorizing behind the tarot cards what significance do they have and where does this come from ?

    I do feel like their are lots of questions still to be answered about Clara therefore i assume she will pop up at a later date possibly next week or week after

    I also feel as if Missy is behind this whole situation i believe she manipulated rigsby into calling clara somehow there’s a scene half way through were they talk about a woman giving rigsby the number for the doctor very much like how clara supposedly got the number

    i believe that claras death was pivotal too Missy plan such as her soul holds a key too procuring galiffrey or that she was far too jealous she got too spend so much time with him although in saying this missy said something along the lines of when the doctor feels like he’s going too lose he relies on his companions to help him prehaps the reasoning behind claras death was too ensure the doctor had no back up plan and too missy’s knowledge almost certainly lose?


    nerys @nerys


    Also when the raven entered Clara’s body, there was an intense light. There was no such light when the street person died.

    Thanks to your pointing this out, I made a point of looking for this on tonight’s rewatch and saw it, as well. I’m hoping it’s significant … much like the blue light was significant before Missy was supposedly vaporized (but we later learned that she had transported herself).

    @sirclockface I too noticed Clara’s and the Doctor’s wardrobe change, from the opening scene to when they met up with Rigsy. I was puzzled as to why they would have changed clothes, or even when they would have had time to do so. I wonder what significance, if any, there is to this detail.

    bendubz11 @bendubz11

    @drben see that’s where all the bonkerizing helped: I was so convinced all the rumours were just an elaborate misconception that the fact it wasn’t really surprised me

    geoffers @geoffers

    @sirclockface @nerys

    at the risk of pointing out the obvious, the change of clothes is probably just because they had nearly been eaten. the tattered and battered outfits from the last adventure simply wouldn’t do for the upcoming adventure…

    in other words, when you’re travelling in a time machine, there’s always time to look your best!

    : )


    ichabod @ichabod

    @serahni  Post 47463 — I’ve read that Dollard say there *was* a short scene between Clara’s collapse on the stones and the Doctor closing the outer door in which he demanded that Ashildr leave Rigsy his memory so that upon return to normal London, Rigsy can have Clara’s body looked after and her family and the school be informed about her death.  My guess would be that he brought her inside first.  Unfortunately, IMO, that scene was cut.  Maybe someday it will be restored — ?  Please . . . ?  BIG DAMN MISTAKE.  Meantime, we shouldn’t take that sudden cut as meaningful re the Doctor’s character or affections, so worry not.

    @bluesqueakpip  Most or all of your objections to the episode has been addressed at length in discussions at Den of Geek and Doctorwhotv, and these points have been settled to my satisfaction (and that of others) there.  It’s too late for me to take it all on now — *gotta* sleep — but if you check out their reviews of Raven and comments under the articles, that may throw some light on thorny issues.

    @jimthefish  @supernumerary  But I have to try a little on a couple of things: IMO, the cause of this death is twofold.  First, Clara taking the Doctor at his word back in Girl who Died: “I can do anything; but I’m not *supposed* to.”  She *has* seen him do remarkable things.  She takes the tattoo risk because she truly believes that if necessary, he *can* fix it.  Second, the Doctor himself brought this down on them both.  He didn’t just transgress the rules of time when he raised Ashildr from the dead.  He yelled a fierce and defiant challenge to the enforcers of time’s rule — the TLs themselves, I’d guess.  This is retaliation for *his* hybris not hers, and when he works that out, if he hasn’t already . . . . Clara is collateral damage in a war that *he* declared in resurrecting Ashildr.  And he knew something was coming — all those bleak stares at her.  But he couldn’t just leave her behind (“You’ve made yourself essential to me . . . you’ve given me a reason to (live, of course).”  So here she is, and due to a mistake of overconfidence (and maybe also a bit of a death wish), she got in the path of his feud via Ashildr as a pawn of (probably) the TLs.

    And no, her death isn’t too “small”.  She does, when she realizes that she’s trapped, step up and actually become the Doctor for her last moments — taking charge, accepting dire conditions that can’t be changed, thinking more of him than of herself and trying to end-run the fury that she knows will follow in order to keep him a healer, not a raging destroyer.  And she started by protecting *her* companion — Rigsy, from Flatline (so yeah, those who want a female Doctor just got her, and she was great).

    She’s calm, collected, no wailing or whining because that’s what she’s learned.  But she’s only human, not a grand figure like MissMaster or Davros, and as a mayfly, she gets a mayfly death, accidentally caught in wheels set in motion to trap the Doctor.  This set up and its wreck are way past Missy and Davros’ machinations, IMO; they couldn’t know what Clara would do.  It’s the TLs, guarding the rules of time as Ashildr guards the rules of Trap Street, for the good of all who set out to punish the Doctor, and have gotten Clara killed by mistake.  What makes it transcendent is the way she steps out to meet her death, not because she’s fearless (“let me be brave!”) but because she knows as well as he does that something like this has been in the works for some time, and would still be in the works if she were to avoid it.  So here it is, let’s do this thing.  And she does.

    @countscarlioni  The ripple the Doctor caused by breaking the rules in The Girl Who Died by saving Ashildr has now become the wave that has swept away the person he cares about the most. He’s made a big mistake and some of his anger at the end of the episode must be to do with that realization. 

    Agreed.  Both “Doctors” made big mistakes, but he made his first, in The Girl Who Died.  In fact, if he accepts Clara’s “order” that he not take revenge on whoever set this up, that leaves him no one to take revenge on but himself.  She should have thought of that, but under the circumstances . . .


    jphamlore @jphamlore

    @ichabod: The Doctor does have someone to take his revenge on, the only ones who know how to make a lock that fits his Tardis key and the only ones who know about a confession dial.   He’s going to take it out on the Time Lords, but unlike the Time War, he’s going to take account of the exact number of children on Gallifrey to save.

    ichabod @ichabod

    @bluesqueakpip  if Sarah Dollard has seriously written a script that says ‘Don’t try to be the Doctor, girls, you’ll only get yourself hurt. Your job is to be the companion,’ then she ought to be ashamed.

    Dollard has nothing to be ashamed of.  The message you see here would be, IMO, better stated this way: “Don’t try to be a powerful, quasi-immortal alien when you are actually a human being, no regenerations allowed; no amount of trying will make that alien and *any human being* physical equals.”  But I read it as, “Don’t believe everything your mentor tells you, and don’t think he or she will always be there to catch you if you fall.  Reach as high as you like, but don’t be careless about it — he has the margin to be cavalier with danger by virtue of his regenerations.  You don’t.”

    @hudsey @geronimo  Puro messaged me that she’s back in the bloody hospital again and backing off the forum because she’s not feeling too clear headed there and feels she kicked up some dust here that she shouldn’t have.

    Yes, the Doctor just stood there.  He saw the trap before she did — his face shows it; and shows that he knows he can’t prevent it.  He can’t make Clara pass the tattoo on to him or anyone else there (assuming it could be passed on twice) because Clara won’t willingly give it to them because of *her* mistake.  In that respect, they are all innocent (even Ashildr, in the sense that she was setting a trap for the Doctor, not for Clara — she greets Clara as a legend and shows no animosity towards her, and didn’t even actually kill Rigsy’s supposed victim, the Janus).  She has fatally over-reached herself, and why should someone else die instead because of that?  She’s called to BE “the Doctor” Clara in this story, and she steps up and does that, probably better than he would.

    @janetteb   there are still Claricles out there. I rather hope that the Doctor will keep running into them for a long time yet. 

    Oh, I hope not!  None of them will have experienced anything of S8 or 9 with him.  I think running across them would be incredibly painful for him, and baffling for them.

    @avaris  Good points, all.  Thanks for more to think about. #47504  And She did something The Doctor would definitely do, and was just unfortunate this was the one time that wouldn’t work. Because sometimes, once in a blue moon, but sometimes, The Doctor loses.  

    Yes.  Clara “forgot” about that, supporting those who think she’s had a covert death wish ever since Danny’s death.

    @mudlark  It seemed odd to me that, unless I missed something, the Doctor, having witnessed her death, went straight back inside to face Ashildr/Me.

    A scene between Clara’s death and the Doctor coming back in was in the script, but was cut, says Dollard.

    @tommo  despite her now legendary status as a companion who has saved the doctors life more times than any, the simpleness of her departure gives her character even more nuance.

    It was stressed, in fact: note the figures passing, paying no attention as Clara stops to face the Raven.  She’s the true modest hero, about to die but not calling attention to herself.  Just the Doctor, self-made and in command of herself, meeting her death.  While he watches — they chose, brilliantly IMO for Capaldi to stay in the background, still and obscured by darkness, so that Coleman has our attention in that scene, and even in the preceding scene.  He’s there as a helpless, mute witness, as we sometimes are as someone we love leaves us.  Gorgeous.

    He’ll have his turn next week, center of attention and a wreck himself.

    @pedant  she went out not with a bang, but with a whimper
    I’m pretty sure the jury is still out on that one.

    Not for this jury member!  She went out exactly as — was it Missy, or Ashildr? — predicted: “She’ll blow away like smoke.”  And yet she made that small, appropriately mayfly-scale death great, her own choice, made with her own courage.  I think perhaps the scream went silent because she could not take a breath to scream it with (the Shade hit her right in the diaphragm, from what I could see).  Perfect.  But then, it’s what I wanted most when we knew she would die.  Only better.

    Waterloo Station has a clock?  Clara, some time or other: “I was born under a clock”.

    @whisht  Now, the entry for the Hanged Man in the book I have is “A sacrifice must be made in order to gain something of great value”.  It is a voluntary sacrifice. The other thing this book says is “The notion of exchanging the mundane for the spiritual is the central theme of The Hanged Man.”

    Wow!  Thank you, Whisht!  That hits home, all right.

    @geoffers  there’s nothing he can do, and that’s the worst kind of defeat. looking on, helpless, constrained by an unknown power. in this instance (rare though it may be), he knows he can’t cheat death like he has so many other times…

    Yes — his only “power” here is to step into the street and watch *this* one die, to witness, and to have that scene burnt into his memory forever.

    jphamlore @jphamlore

    My bonkers speculation seems to be reinforced by what I have seen in Face the Raven. I was asked a few days ago why my theory some Gallifreyans, the children, would be reborn as ordinary humans. I now have my answer.

    The Gallifreyan children are the innocents and the Doctor knows their exact number from The Day of the Doctor. The Moment made him get a count. It would be interesting if the Doctor figures out a way for them to be reborn into people who have just died a too early death, their one regeneration.

    The adult Gallifreyans on the other hand, particularly the leaders, they will get a different fate. The Doctor does have someone to take his revenge on for the death of Clara, the only ones who know how to make a lock that fits his Tardis key and the only ones who know about a confession dial. He’s going to take it out on the adult Time Lords. Heaven help their souls.

    Because as it stands there is another group of beings who according to one of them, Rusty, do not at the moment have souls, the Daleks. The Time Lords wanted a longer life in this universe. They should be careful what they ask for, for they may be about to get a long long life inside Daleks, and we know what happens to old Daleks.

    ichabod @ichabod

    @lisa  How did Ashildr/Me know to say to the Doctor in ‘The Woman Who Lived’ that Clara would die on him and also! blow away like a puff of smoke?

    She meant that *any* human that she or the Doctor became fond of would, sooner or later, just die their little mayfly-death, blowing away like smoke and eventually forgotten in their long, long lives.  Not Clara specifically, so it wasn’t foreknowledge, just general advice.

    @jphamlore  He’s going to take it out on the Time Lords, but unlike the Time War, he’s going to take account of the exact number of children on Gallifrey to save.

    I’m not so sure (about vengeance on the TLs for Clara’s death, since she explicitly forbade him to go all vengeful god on whoever is behind the trap of Trap Street that inadvertantly got Clara killed.  More to say about that, but it better go on spoilers.

    jphamlore @jphamlore

    @ichabod: That’s why as i have said a tarot card that applies to the Doctor is The Devil:


    The Doctor is going to give everyone what they ask for, like he always does when he truly wants to punish someone.



    ichabod @ichabod

    @jphamore The Doctor is going to give everyone what they ask for, like he always does when he truly wants to punish someone.

    Hmm.  Could be; and this Doctor in full fury over Clara’s death could well become The Devil, or perhaps Death — the death of the old, blossoming of the new . . . the new being S10.

    Carrieanne @carrieanne

    I really loved this episode.  I’ve been anticipating Raven for a long time, it didn’t disappoint me at all.  This one had another instance of altered perception that we have discussed before.  The story within a story @blenkensothebrave talked about the episode Sleep no More.  Before that Clara was in a zygon pod in an altered reality. The theme of dreams and altered perception goes all the way back to Asylum of the Daleks in which she was converted into a dalek but didn’t realize it and created a dream world for herself rather than face the truth.  There was the psychic link dream in The Name of the Doctor with River and the others.  Almost forgot in Bells of St  John that Clara was uploaded by the Great Intelligence.  Part of me wonders is Clara even real?  Did the doctor dream all this?  Was he in a virtual reality by the time lords?  The Dalek rusty said the doctor was a good dalek during Into the Dalek.  What if the Doctor is the hybrid?  I don’t know?  So all this may have been preparation to become the hybrid?  I know that is a bonkers theory for sure!  However I can’t help wonder what you all think? Clara was the impossible girl, nothing about her ever made sense.  Last Christmas he said we can never for one second know if we are awake or dreaming. How far would this dream go back for him?  Quite a while, at least to Clara, but remember that Amelia Pond was a girl his enemies used one time to destroy him.  Amy viewed the doctor as a story from her childhood, Raggedy Man.  She wrote stories about him.  Maybe I just have a crazy imagination.  We kinda assumed Clara was the one in a dream, what if it was the doctor, and now he’s waking up.

    james @jammiedodger

    seriously anybody tarot cards ?


    Anonymous @

    Uh, guys, you don’t think Ashildr was being sarcastic about Waterloo Station?

    “…since Waterloo.”
    “The battle?”
    “No, the station.”

    It screams dry sarcasm, of course it’s the battle, like anyone would assume upon hearing Waterloo, she belittles him for it.

    lewis97 @lewis97

    The background of the Doctor Who website has been updated accordingly…

    Starla @starla

    @whisht “…that the lamps make you see what you think you ought to see.”

    Can the lamps make one see a death that they believe they ought to be seeing? I.e. The Doctor expects to see Clara die, therefore he sees her die… she’s facing away from him, he doesn’t see the light as the raven enters her body… okay, it’s late and I’m probably making no sense! Just a thought…

    Frobisher @frobisher

    @whisht @starla

    Hmmm, yes, those lamps. They were very carefully highlighted (no pun intended) and explained, weren’t they…

    Now, it could be that this is a key plot point regarding Clara’s death. Maybe she didn’t actually die as we think we saw her do. Maybe she is merely in stasis, or has regenerated (having been imbued with a bit of CapDoc’s regen mojo in The Witch’s Familiar).

    Or, it could be a nice way to hide the true identity of the refugees from the viewer (in and out of fiction), meaning that, like with the Osgoods, their true origin is obscured to ensure each individual is treated equally and without discrimination.

    Or, it could be a great way for the BBC to save money on “monster” costumes, and instead dip into the costume box marked “period drama”. I would totally understand this move, btw. We cannot expect unlimited budgets, after all, and I would rather the money be spent on other things of more importance/excitement.

    I will say I found the pose Clara adopted just as the raven strikes her rather interesting. It was rather reminiscent of the pose adopted by 10 and then by 11 as they regenerated (well, the start of 11’s rather atypical regen process). A hint? Or just the BBC/Jenna Coleman having some fun with us bonkers theorists? Who nose? Time will tell… but will time tell the truth?

    janetteB @janetteb

    Reading through all the comments and not much to add but a few remarks. I don’t think Clara had a “covert death wish”, as @ichabod and others have said. I think she was simply “careless of her life”. (quote from Bleak House) That carelessness often manifested as thrill seeking but in the end she measured her worth to others against Rigsy’s. He had a dependent, his child, she had none other than the Doctor. She was not seeking death but certainly undervalued her own life.

    The episode seemed to be the beginning of the story to be continued over the next two episodes with no real links to previous stories this season other than the establishing of Ashildr as a character. I suspect however the confession dial has a bigger part to play and I think it will circle back to the first episode. I really need to watch that again before formulating any theories regarding it. I did not really see the dial fully but it appeared closed.

    @jammiedodger, I am not really the one to help you as I know nothing at all about Tarot cards other than they make a nice bookshelf decoration but there has been an ongoing discussion this series about potential links between characters and events and tarot cards. I hope that helps. I think if you are really interested you will have to read back though the previous episode discussions.



    Bluesqueakpip @bluesqueakpip


    I suspect the scene was cut because it implies too strongly that Clara genuinely died in that alleyway.

    I think that while Sarah Dollard probably didn’t intend the reading, a script suggesting that a female companion is more fragile (more breakable) than a male Doctor and therefore should not have tried to be Doctor-like has Unfortunate Implications written all over it.

    I come from an era when I specifically, legally, couldn’t even apply for the career I wanted because my gender was too ‘fragile’ for such rough goings on. I know perfectly well that Steven Moffat doesn’t believe that – he’s the writer of River Song, and the creator of a female Master, for goodness sake! But (my opinion), they screwed up with this script.


    Losing a companion is always upsetting

    It’s particularly upsetting when one doesn’t like this incarnation of the Doctor.

    And I have tried to, God knows. Over damn near two series of the Capaldi Doctor, I have tried to like him. And I just don’t.

    I’ve liked Peter Capaldi very much in other parts, I intensely respect his acting ability, I appreciate that his reading of the Doctor is entirely valid. And I don’t like his Doctor. What’s kept me watching was the way he and Clara interacted as she tried to smooth over the social disaster that is the Capaldi Doctor. That, and the fact that there have been some good and even genuinely great stories in Series 8 and 9.

    But – honestly? If it turns out Clara died because she was some kind of collateral damage in a war between the Doctor and the Time Lords, then we’re looking at the prospect that the reason we haven’t heard anything about the next companion is because there isn’t a next companion. That Steven Moffat has decided to address the storyline RTD skated over: the idea that the Doctor, in taking people on board the TARDIS, makes them targets.

    And if the Doctor is making his companions targets, and he can’t protect them against that (as he couldn’t with Amy and Melody, and now couldn’t with Clara), he isn’t going to dare to have a companion. Until he finds a resolution to that problem.

    That would be a very interesting story-line; my personal problem with it is that it leaves me with the prospect of an entire series where I don’t like the main character and he’s not interacting with a regular character that I do like.

    Right now, I’m not even sure I want to watch next Saturday’s episode. 🙁

    Bluesqueakpip @bluesqueakpip


    having been imbued with a bit of CapDoc’s regen mojo in The Witch’s Familiar

    Nope, sorry. I checked that one out when other people started mentioning it – if you look carefully at the scene in Witch’s Familiar, you can see that Dalek Clara is the only Dalek not glowing with regeneration energy.

    Frobisher @frobisher


    Ah, fair dos. Did not know that.

    At the mo, I’m leaning towards Clara “Prime” truly being dead. I think the “regen” pose was just a little joke aimed at us fans – I’m sure the show’s producers know full well what us fans speculate about, and this may have been a small acknowledgement of that speculation.

    Juniperfish @juniperfish


    Ah that is tough for you. Different Docs for different folks, I guess. I didn’t realise you were sitting on that one!

    As @htpbdet resisted all my attempts to get him to like Smith’s Doctor, I realise it’s simply whether the actor’s interpretation of the character “works” for someone, or not. And sometimes things change in retrospect too – looking back, I am considerably less fond of Ten, than all the other Nu Who Docs.

    Hang in there – hopefully you’ll love whoever takes on the mantle after Capaldi. I highly doubt they’ll do a whole series without a companion on board, so there’ll be someone new for 2016 I’m sure. No consolation right now, if you are mourning Clara, I know.

    Big Finish audio are bringing out some good River Song adventures in the meantime, if that tickles your fancy. I must order them…

    Capaldi’s Doctor is a bit of a “social disaster” as you put it – I find it terribly endearing. But, I’m sure you’re not the only one who finds him harder going.

    As for next week, I’m pretty sure Clara’s story is not quite over yet.

    I’ve been wondering who, apart from the Time Lords/ Missy could have made that bargain with Ashildr. There were a couple of Judoon in Trap Street – Shadow Proclamation perchance?

    @jammiedodger  OK – quick summary of the tarot theory…

    @kharis first noticed that there might be a tarot motif running through this series. It’s most obvious in the first two episodes perhaps – the Magician (‘s apprentice) and then the upside-down pose Missy traps Clara in (Hanged Man). But it’s also pretty obvious in the Lion-alien and the Maiden in The Woman Who Lived (the Strength tarot card depicts a lion and a maiden).

    Now that Clara has (at least ostensibly) died “by raven”, that brings us back to the Hanged Man, insofar as that card is often associated with Odin, the Norse God, who hung on the world tree Ygdrassil for nine days and nights in order to gain access to the magical power of the runes.  Which suggests, perhaps, that Clara’s death has a significance beyond the random accident of dangerous adventure with the Doctor

    The tarot can be understood as the Fool’s journey through the major arcana (a spiritual journey towards greater understanding of self and the universe) and if we read the Doctor as the Fool, then the journey ends with The World card (although, in timey-wimey fashion, we haven’t been visiting the major arcana in order) so – ultimate grand theory – this tarot journey could be a portent for the Doctor’s eventually re-union with Gallifrey.

    If this theory has legs – we should expect The Lovers card to make an appearance at some point, as well as Judgement (some kind of judgement for the Doctor).


    Devilishrobby @devilishrobby

    @juniperfish lol great minds I had just started thinking who else bar the timelord and Missy “they” could be and the shadow proclamation and the fact that there were judoon marked as police officers on the trap street came to mind.


    tommo @tommo

    just remembered that the phrase cards made a little appearance again. loved that.

    Mirime @mirime

    I imagine he’ll be blaming himself for her demise given that he allowed her too much rope.

    @lisa maybe more than that. His couple of little chats with Clara about her needing a new hobby are somewhat similar to his telling O’Donnell to stay on the Tardis when he suspected her to be next to die in Before the Flood where he was accused of not trying hard enough. Did he try hard enough to stop Clara? Though it could be argued Clara wouldn’t be persuaded, he could have ultimately not given her a choice.

    blenkinsopthebrave @blenkinsopthebrave

    Sorry to hear that you have been having a hard time with this episode. You do sort of seem to be going through the classic 5 stages of grief–denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance. That’s not really a good place to be.

    Actually, I think the point you make about it all sounding like a story is a really good one. Whether it turns out to be true (and it may well) is perhaps less important than that it is a classic bonkers theory. Story-telling has run through all of Moffat’s Who–Amy’s Roman soldiers, etc, etc. And there is strong reason to suppose that it is the key to what is happening here as well.

    But I am not sure yet how it is playing out. I suspect that, as the first Doctor to emerge from a new cycle of regenerations granted by the Timelords, it is the Doctor’s story that is being continually rewritten, by…the Timelords?…by…?

    Not sure, but it might also tie into the way the Capaldi Doctor has evolved. Like you, I have had my reservations about the Capaldi Doctor. Last series in particular, it seemed to me that they just didn’t know what to do with him. Now, on one level “they” obviously means the writers. But when I say “they” I suddenly thought of Ashildr’s reference to the “they” that she had made the bargain with. Could the “they” in both cases be the writers of the show? I mean, how much more “meta” could you get?!

    Brain starting to swim. I think I better go and lie down!


    Mirime @mirime

    and the only ones who know about a confession dial.

    @jphamlore Davros also knows about the confession dial and expressed interest as to what the confession was.

    nerys @nerys


    In fact, if he accepts Clara’s “order” that he not take revenge on whoever set this up, that leaves him no one to take revenge on but himself.  She should have thought of that, but under the circumstances . . .

    I think she did think of that. When he asked her what the point of being a Doctor was, if he couldn’t heal her, Clara replied, “Heal yourself.”

    Mersey @mersey


    Your post sums up some of my reflections on Capaldi’s Doctor. I have rather ambiguous feelings towards him. I love him because he is the Doctor but he treats people not like the greatest mystery worth solving as it was for 11 but like otters. He should know by now that humans can be honest, heroic and goodhearted and give them credit for that.

    Whisht @whisht

    @frobisher @starla – yep!


    Seriously though, Frobisher I agree completely!

    @juniperfish – why the Lovers? Though Clara and Danny spring to mind, that could be a bit sentimental. Quickly flicking through the cards, might we get Judgement and The Star at the end?
    I think the Star is meant to represent hope (light after darkness).

    Not inconceivable he should point to a random star and go there just… well, just because that’s what he does.

    Whisht @whisht

    @bluesqueakpip – I don’t believe it!

    After all this time, plying us with your erudition, insights and humour, you go and reveal yourself to be *a troll!!!*

    Accusations of poor writing and sexism!
    And then:

    “I have tried to like him. And I just don’t.”
    “I’m not even sure I want to watch next Saturday’s episode.”

    You’ve played a very long game with us!


    nerys @nerys

    Capaldi’s Doctor seems more alien, less human-like than his new-era predecessors. He reminds me somewhat of Eccleston’s Doctor, but without the spontaneous bursts of joie de vivre that he, and also the Tennant and Smith Doctors, exhibited. So, even with nearly two seasons under our collective belt, I do still find it difficult to get a firm grasp on who he is. He seems almost reptilian at points … though I know that’s an odd way to describe someone’s demeanor. But that’s the word that first come to mind, for me.

    jphamlore @jphamlore

    Rigsy: The Doctor would never let you do this.

    Clara: Doctor 102 – never tell anyone your actual plan. He’ll have a tantrum when he finds out. And then, when we confront Ashildr, she’ll want to take the chronolock off just to shut him up.

    Clara died for her ignorance and stupidity. After all this time, she cannot honestly communicate with the Doctor when it is a life-and-death situation. She learned the wrong lesson. She is not the Doctor, but a companion. A companion is supposed to speak the truth and be herself / himself, not be a bad imitation of the Doctor lying for tactical purposes. That’s the Doctor’s job because he knows what he’s doing, while she doesn’t.

    Now I know what I am hoping for for the next companion.  I am hoping for someone who does not want to be the Doctor’s Mini-Me.  I am hoping for someone who retains their identity.  I am hoping for someone who will freely speak their mind to the Doctor.  That is I think someone the Doctor should be wanting as well.

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