Face The Raven

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  • #47846
    Frobisher @frobisher

    @sirclockface

    In the beginning of S9E2 Missy tells Clara about the time when the doctor was alone with a teleport bracelet in a castle-type and in the snippet he was wearing a white shirt with a red velvet long coat. At the end of ‘Face the Raven’ the doctor was teleported to a castle-type place with only a teleport bracelet and was wearing a white shirt with a red velvet long coat.

    Now that sounds good. I recall the images of Missy’s tale being in black and white though. Am I misremembering (as I often do)? It sounds like a lead on the order of the episodes though…

    #47847
    Frobisher @frobisher

    @lewis97

    Now we’re talking! Trouser analysis! With pictures! Thanks for putting that together. 🙂

    I shall have to ponder this further, as well as the Doctor’s hair length(s).

    #47849
    Arbutus @arbutus

    I never did get around to commenting on this episode, and I see that much of the conversation has now moved over to the spoilers thread, which I have been avoiding. But I liked the episode, and I found Clara’s death pretty moving. Like a few others, I wish that it had been a bit more meaningful (as in dying to save someone etc.), but it was perfectly logical as storytelling, in terms of Clara’s character arc. I thought the underlying notion of trap streets was great fun, and excellently brought to life.

    The character of the Doctor was beautifully defined throughout the episode… The scene where he saw Rigsy’s daughter and seemingly fell in love: “Did you make this human?… She’s brilliant.” Rigsy’s instant understanding that the Doctor calling him by name could only be bad: “Don’t use my name… Call me Local Knowledge.” His beautifully underplayed horror and sadness that the moment he had been dreading had arrived, and the initially uncontrolled fury that he unleashed on Ashildr, only to reign it in almost to nothing after Clara’s last words to him. The writing was fabulous and Capaldi’s performance was flawless.

    I don’t think it was in any way obvious that Clara’s plan wouldn’t have worked, even on rewatch. I listened to what the alien told her and it didn’t really contain any clues– “You can pass it on, but you can’t cheat it” suggests that Clara could also pass it on. Also, she would have no way of knowing that passing it on meant Ashildr lost control of it. So I really didn’t think that Clara died due to stupidity, or even too much faith in the Doctor, as she believed that Ashildr could save her at any time.

    The difference between “staying” and “running” was definitely pointed out to us, so that when Clara decided to “face the raven”, I was waiting for something different to happen, for her not to die but perhaps to transform in some cool way. I suppose it’s possible that this might still happen. I liked that Danny got a second shot at dying, to make it more meaningful… Will Clara get one too? Also, we’ve had all these references to Clara in pods, so it’s hard to imagine that she wasn’t put in one again, given that there was a handy stasis pod right there! And the “hybrid” theme has not yet paid off, so I’m guessing that Clara’s story hasn’t been completely told.

    I’m really looking forward to next week, I’d forgotten about the “all Capaldi all the time” episode we were promised. As I could watch him all day, I’m definitely up for it. As for what’s awaiting the Doctor, I’m hoping that the people guessing “Time Lords/Gallifrey” are correct. I can see that it might well be Missy and the Daleks, based on our last glimpse of them, but for me, that would be dramatically a bit boring. Missy was a big reveal at the finale of Series 8, but would be anticlimactic this time round. I’m hoping that the ending of The Witch’s Familiar was more to set up a later reappearance in the old fashioned “Yes, Doctor, I survived!” manner.  🙂

    #47850
    SirClockFace @sirclockface

    So in the preview for the next episode we see this shadow:

    Look familiar:

    #47851

    @sirclockface

    That’s technically (BBC Approved) spoiler.

    #47852
    Arbutus @arbutus

    I have read some interesting discussion here on the portrayal of Clara in this episode, and the suggestion that her fate suggests that the female companion can’t be too much like the male Doctor. Truly, this wasn’t my take at all. The Doctor said something like, “I’m less breakable than you”, and clearly it’s true. He is a Time Lord, Clara is human. How many times has the Doctor had to regenerate because he took one risk too many, or because he sacrificed his life for someone else’s? Because of regeneration, he could get away with that behaviour. Clara couldn’t, and the Doctor tried throughout the series to warn her of that. He was clearly worried all along that she was taking risks incompatible with her humanity.

    @avaris said “Both, the Doctor and Clara have the duty of care towards their companion.  It reminds me of the Parting of the Ways which Ninth sacrifice himself to save Rose.  Her death also resembles Tenth dying for Wilf.” Others have pointed out that it was no coincidence that this story hung upon Rigsy, Clara’s companion from Flatline, where Clara became the Doctor, and the Doctor ominously said that that wasn’t necessarily a good thing. He was right.

    Ever since the Doctor’s regeneration and expression of his need of her, Clara has been leaning this way. I think that losing Danny rather glued it in for her. Perhaps if he had lived, she could have moved on from the Doctor, as Amy did. Because Amy showed the same risk-taking tendency at times, but there was always Rory. But she tried living her human life without Danny and it clearly didn’t work for her. So off she went, becoming increasingly Doctor-like, and having to ask the Doctor more and more often, “Can you fix this?” Until, finally, he couldn’t.

    And having been through the bitter loss, she can now tell the Doctor, as Danny told her, that he must live on. She tells him, “Be a Doctor”, and in doing so, saves him one last time.

    #47853
    Arbutus @arbutus

    I like the notion that we are being shown the series in the order that it occurred for Clara but not the order that it occurred for the Doctor. That would make a rather interesting arc, and a reminder of the timey-wimeyness of the Doctor’s life that we haven’t seen since the 50th.

    @nerys     Regarding a companionless Doctor: For myself, I think it would be interesting to spend a while seeing the Doctor through the eyes of a series of people to whom he is new, who don’t know him as intimately as Clara did, who are seeing him with fresh eyes. There has been a tendency on the show for the new companion to have an initial short adjustment and then just fit in effortlessly, with loyalties and attachment somewhat built-in. It might be fun to see some distrust, some uncertainty. And also, frankly, a series of temporary companions could bring a little needed (in my view, anyway) diversity to the companion job. Men, aliens, women over the age of thirty? But frankly, I don’t hold out much hope for it.

    @ichabod   I have a tendency to create coherence for myself even where it’s lacking.    So do I! I suspect that many of us who tend to enjoy the show more or less uncritically are the same. That’s why glitches in the plotting or narrative logic bother me less than inconsistencies in character.

    #47854
    bendubz11 @bendubz11

    @sirclockface I hope you’re correct, it would definitely make sense to me if Heaven is the story Missy is on about to Clara in Familiar, but I thought that the teleport bracelet was left behind. I think this calls for a rewatch!

    #47855
    bendubz11 @bendubz11

    @arbutus are you suggesting something similar to the mini series of specials Tennant had just before regeneration, just as a full series? Because that could be very interesting.

    #47856
    blenkinsopthebrave @blenkinsopthebrave

    @bendubz11, @sirclockface

    The teleport bracelet worn by the Doctor in Missy’s story in The Witch’s Familiar is totally different from the one he is trapped by in Face the Raven. And while he teleports in Face the Raven, the portable transporter is left behind.

    Sorry to put the kibosh on a bonkers theory…

    #47860
    Starla @starla

    <p style=”text-align: left;”>@lewis97 Wow! What a trouserific effort! I googled some pics last night, but as i am on my phone i found it difficult to collate anything. Still not sure of the meaning/relevance but it’s very interesting nonetheless.</p>

    #47861
    lisa @lisa

    @sirclockface

     

    Very nice observation !   Might fit nicely too

    #47862
    tommo @tommo

    @arbutus – ashildr herself may fit this criteria no….?

    It might be fun to see some distrust, some uncertainty.

     

    #47863
    Juniperfish @juniperfish

    @lewis97 Good trousering!

    The check trousers remind me of the second doctor and the long red coat in Face the Raven reminds me of the third Doctor.

    I wonder if, because this Doctor has been given a new set of regenerations by the Time Lords, he’s revisiting his first incarnations of the previous cycle.

    The Tarot card journey can, as well as being the Fool’s journey through the inner and outer universe, be seen as the cycle of the Doctor’s regenerations? He’s cycling back through his journey as he approaches his home-world?

    It’s not entirely tenuous – we did see the image of the First Doctor’s face on the safe in The Zygon Inversion.

     

    #47864
    ichabod @ichabod

    @akhaten  For want of a nail, a shoe was lost . . . well, why not?

    @starla Remember how there was talk (please forgive me if this is a spoiler!!) a while ago about the importance of what pants the Doctor is wearing… 

    Oh, your theory is pants!

    Quote P.C – “There are some specific trouser things that happen for specific reasons”…

    Well, in *that* case . . . welcome, the PC fashion show!  I want to kiss it to death!

    @mersey She was running from her past just like the Doctor. The last think that was left to her was the Doctor and her unshaken faith in him. But Doctor couldn’t help her and that faith eventually brought her death. For a moment I even thought that it was the Doctor who ruined her life but it was Missy.

    Yes, it was Missy IMO too, when you come right down to it: back to Missy’s comment to her in TWF about the Doctor winning because he goes into a fight assuming he can handle anything > Clara getting too reckless for her own good > doing something that the Doctor *can’t* “handle” this time > her death, accepted as one of those consequences the Moffat-haters whine about (actions on the show have no consequences that matter).

    @lewis97  Love the pics and the trouser parade — thank you!  What a nice (and weird) way to reprise memories of S9 so far.

     

    #47865
    Starla @starla

    @ichabod Oh, I was dearly hoping someone would call my theory pants!  Hehe! 😊

    #47866
    ichabod @ichabod

    @frobisher  Now we’re talking! Trouser analysis!

    Oh, that theory is rather pants.  (Did I use it correctly?)

    @arbutus  The character of the Doctor was beautifully defined throughout the episode… The scene where he saw Rigsy’s daughter and seemingly fell in love: “Did you make this human?… She’s brilliant.” Rigsy’s instant understanding that the Doctor calling him by name could only be bad: “Don’t use my name

    Yes, thoroughly gorgeous throughout; I thought “she’s brilliant” was him seeing a bit about her through his (very occasional) telepathic abilities, and was lovely.  The “use my name” bit went by very fast, and I didn’t get what Rigsy’s problem was with being called Rigsy by the Doctor.  Help?  And Rigsy’s “Wait, WHAT?!!!” when he heard the Doctor say Rigsy was going to die was wonderfully done — loved that moment!

    @frobisher  Now we’re talking! Trouser analysis!

    That theory is pants.  (Did I use it correctly?)

    @arbutus  The character of the Doctor was beautifully defined throughout the episode… The scene where he saw Rigsy’s daughter and seemingly fell in love: “Did you make this human?… She’s brilliant.” Rigsy’s instant understanding that the Doctor calling him by name could only be bad: “Don’t use my name

    Yes, thoroughly gorgeous throughout; I thought “she’s brilliant” was him seeing a bit about her through his (very occasional) telepathic abilities, and was lovely.  The “use my name” bit went by very fast, and I didn’t get what Rigsy’s problem was with being called Rigsy by the Doctor.  Help?  And Rigsy’s “Wait, WHAT?!!!” when he heard the Doctor say Rigsy was going to die was wonderfully done — loved that moment!

    I also agree that Clara’s working theory was a good one, not stupid at all (Moffat stresses this in a comment piece on the episode), and only “reckless” in that she made up her mind too fast, without asking enough questions — but hey, there was this fairly rapid countdown going on, there were good reasons for urgency; and haste, as we all know, makes waste . . . in the gangland meaning of the word.

    Also, we’ve had all these references to Clara in pods, so it’s hard to imagine that she wasn’t put in one again, given that there was a handy stasis pod right there!

    Well, it’s an out if they want to revisit this later to bring her back — because they cut the missing scene, of the Doctor carrying her body back inside and putting her on the bed in the bedroom, and staying with her a moment, and instructing Rigsy to make the necessary arrangements.  We see him just coming out of the room and closing the door.  Then the Doctor gets teleported; and I don’t think Rigsy would think to use the pod — he’s not a tech, he’s an artist — and Ashildr knows that death by Raven is permanent, so she wouldn’t bother even if she knows how to use it.

    This missing scene is now making me not just annoyed (that they cut it), but really worried, because they might have cut it to leave themselves just such a retrofit — a potentially horrible idea, to my mind, undercutting and making basically ridiculous not just Clara’s “final” death but the Doctor’s devastation because of it.  Damn.

    And having been through the bitter loss, she can now tell the Doctor, as Danny told her, that he must live on. She tells him, “Be a Doctor”, and in doing so, saves him one last time.

    Love the rest of this comment, @arbutus — I didn’t see the through connection from Flatline and his line about her being a good Doctor was very troubling to him.  And “Be a Doctor” here is all the more affecting because she’s *trying* to save him one last time — but if he melts down after this, he might have to get to being the Doctor again the long way round . . . through the fire and brimstone of revenge, first.  Hmm.  That would give him something to feel guilty about later, taking the place of having destroyed Gallifrey to end the Time War.  And it would also make his speech about carrying pain in Zygon Inversion *refreshed* in a way — losing Clara for good and wreaking some havoc because of it, before recovering into doctor-mode and remorse for his vengeance, would add a properly heavy load of guilt of just the kind he was talking about to Kate and Bonnie.

    But have they dared to do that, or is it a step too far into darkness for their “youth audience” remit?

    {Me: I have a tendency to create coherence for myself even where it’s lacking.} So do I! I suspect that many of us who tend to enjoy the show more or less uncritically are the same. That’s why glitches in the plotting or narrative logic bother me less than inconsistencies in character.

    The show, by its underlying complexity, invites the kind of theorizing we revel in here; and I think being invited into the creative process this way (even if only at the level of making theoretical connections) does tend to compromise us as critics.  Brilliant ploy by Moffat!  Well, no; but it’s what happens when the banquet laid before us is so rich.

    @juniperfish  The Tarot card journey can, as well as being the Fool’s journey through the inner and outer universe, be seen as the cycle of the Doctor’s regenerations? He’s cycling back through his journey as he approaches his home-world?

    I like this, must chew on it some more.  Capaldi did say, of the “specific trouser things” that they happen for a reason . . .

    #47867
    bendubz11 @bendubz11

    @sirclockface @blenkinsopthebrave I just rewatched the start to Familiar and I think I might have something. Yes it’s a different teleport bracelet, and yes CapDoc does not keep his when he leaves the trap street. However, he also uses the Sonic. And there is that pod that looks decidedly like it should be on the Enterprise.
    My theory is that we get a bit of a bootstrap paradox. The Veil attacks CapDoc, CapDoc, using the Sonic, harnesses that power to fuel a teleportation pod, arrives in Gallifrey, where Missy pre-S8 is, though he doesn’t know that and it isn’t revealed until S10. Word of how CapDoc survived reaches Missy, she creates teleport bracelet, which gives CapDoc the idea for his escape in Heaven Sent.

    #47868
    lisa @lisa

    @ichabod

    My bonkers theory is that the next companion should be brilliant baby!  He already

    invited her onto the Tardis and admitted she is distracting (but in a good way)

    Although,  well- ok  maybe not the very next one.  I also like the idea of Rigsy

     

    BTW- Gave the name of a very good Deli in LA to Lizzy          🙂

     

    #47869

    That Moffat is such a fucking hack! Stealing from Buffy again!

    #47870
    ichabod @ichabod

    @bendubz11  Damn it, my head is spinning OFF, and it’s your fault.

    @lisa  Let’s hear it for the brilliant baby!  Only Rigsy and her mom might have a thing or two to say about that . . .

    @pedant  That Moffat is such a fucking hack! Stealing from Buffy again!

    You know of a better place to steal from?!

    #47871
    Arbutus @arbutus

    @ichabod       I think that Rigsy’s concern came from the fact that the Doctor had never, ever called him by name before, and to do so now would indicate that something was very wrong. He preferred the dismissive nicknames to actual concern on the Doctor’s part.

    I definitely agree that I wouldn’t want to see Clara’s ending undermined. But I do wonder, about the trail of pods that the series has followed, and also the hybrid and immortality references. What I’m actually wondering is not whether Clara might survive, but whether she might be changed somehow, as Danny was. She could never come back and be Clara again, so the Doctor’s loss would still stand. But the pods could be coincidental, and the hybrid theme could resolve in any number of ways unrelated to Clara.

    #47872
    ichabod @ichabod

    @abutus  whether she might be changed somehow, as Danny was. She could never come back and be Clara again, so the Doctor’s loss would still stand.

    That would be fine — unlikely, though, which has its good and bad sides . . .

    #47873
    blenkinsopthebrave @blenkinsopthebrave

    @bendubz11

    Like @ichabod, my brain is having a lot of trouble processing yyour idea. Indeed, after reading your post 3 times, my brain seems to resemble an Escher drawing. Even wine isn’t helping!

     

    #47876
    bendubz11 @bendubz11

    @ichabod @blenkinsopthebrave I’ll post a reformatted version over on BBC Approved, just realised I think stuff concerning the next time trailer counts as a spoiler, doesn’t it?

    #47882
    Carrieanne @carrieanne

    I rewatched some episodes of this season last night and I noticed the outfits outlined by @lewis97( i had to go way back up to get your name lol) My personal guess is that Under the Lake/Before the flood are where Clara’s journey begins this year with the doctor, although we saw TMA/TWF as the premiere.  Clara was so calm when Missy asked “How’s your boyfriend, still incredibly dead?” However in Under the Lake when the doctor tries talking to her about getting another boyfriend or a hobby she tears up. The pain was fresher for her.  Something is definitely out of sync with the doctor and Clara’s timeline.  What does that mean for the story though is another question.  A way for the doctor to get ahead of events somehow or to work out a way out of it all, I don’t know.

    #47887
    Carrieanne @carrieanne

    @lewis97 actually in the prologue the doctor is wearing the same outfit as the tank scene and the rest of TMA/TWF only at the beginning with young Davros is he wearing the polka dot/black shirt.  Even when he goes back to save him the outfit is as in the rest of the episode.  The next time he wears the black dot shirt is in UTL/BTF.  One other thing I want to mention is when we see the holograms of the Doctor and Clara in those two episodes they sort of flashed a bit when they were turning off?  I noticed the aliens on the trap street also did that.  I know it’s supposed to be the filter but it looks the same and why would they not just see the aliens clearly rather than static like? Ashildr also showed the doctor a work around for the filter, she hit or pinched him, perhaps from that point he could see things we couldn’t?

    #47891
    nerys @nerys

    Well, drat. Unbeknownst to me, hubby has deleted our earliest TVR recordings of this season, so I can’t test out @bendubz11‘s pants theory. Feeling rather annoyed right now, as I was looking forward to revisiting those episodes.

    #47892
    bendubz11 @bendubz11

    @nerys not my theory, I think it’s @frobisher‘s though I’m not certain

    #47893
    nerys @nerys

    Oops, sorry about the misattribution!

    #47894
    bendubz11 @bendubz11

    Oh I’m honoured you thought it was mine, it’s brilliant bonkerising

    #47895
    nerys @nerys

    Then you’re welcome, LOL!

    #47897
    jphamlore @jphamlore

    Here is my quibble of the episode, because I think on this forum there should always be room for criticism.

    I am really curious how someone who is not that into Doctor Who would interpret what happened to Clara in the context of how other stories are presented in TV or movies. When I try and step back and just watch Face the Raven without prior assumptions, every single detail seems to be a portrayal of Clara Oswald’s soul being taken by something similar to the Devil for possible eternal torment in some form of hell unless she is eventually rescued.

    The Doctor himself says:

    The Doctor: It’s called a Quantum Shade. It’s kind of a spirit. Once it’s bound to a victim, you could flee across all of time and all of the universe, it would still find you.

    “Shade” is a synonym for “spirit.” We have a being that can pursue one anywhere.

    Later Ashildr says:

    Ashildr: She can’t. Clara, I made a contract with the Shade when I put the chronolock on Rigsy. I promised it a soul and only I can break that contract. When you took it from him, you changed the terms. You cut me out of the deal.

    With “contract” we have an explicit analog to making contracts with the Devil on pain of forfeiture of one’s soul, “soul” also being mentioned. Clara even agreed to this deal, although she did not read the fine print.

    Perusing Sarah Dollard’s interview

    http://www.thegallifreytimes.co.uk/2015/11/exclusive-spoiler-filled-interview-with.html

    and reviews of Face the Raven, I am outraged over Clara’s end being called a “death”. What is depicted is her soul is taken away for possibly eternal torment in some sort of hell. Why can’t creators in this day and age own what they have depicted with pride so that it is easier for the next creator to expand the limits of creative freedom even further in this medium? Why do reviewers fail to make the most obvious connections just because the conclusions might be a bit uncomfortable. Very bad, long-experienced, and painful ends often happen to very good people.

    And this bad faith interpretation I feel has consequences for when creators try to depict some socially useful message. Too often I see creators trying to have it both ways, claiming that what was depicted on the screen supported whatever message is politically correct at the time without that being the case. And it is wrong.

    Because in the end good only triumphs when it can be done in the open with pride, as has been seen with other recent movements.

    #47903
    nerys @nerys

    OK, thanks to @lisa I was able to do a bit of reviewing and come up with at least some support for the “pants” theory. Now, the difficulty is that this Doctor is so often shot from above the waist, and even when we see a full view of the Doctor, sometimes the lighting is so dim that it’s hard to get the details of the pants he is wearing. However, here’s my very simplistic on the Doctor’s attire this season:

    Dark red coat, white dress shirt – Episode 2, “The Witch’s Familiar” (black-and-white prologue with Missy describing to Clara an event from the Doctor’s past); Episode 10, “Face the Raven”

    Dark jacket with red lining, dark hoodie sweater, dark pointelle/openwork knit sweater, dark pants (solid or pattern?) –Episode 1, “The Magician’s Apprentice” (opening scene with young Davros); Episodes 3-4, “Under the Lake”/”After the Flood”; Episodes 7-8, “The Zygon Invasion”/”The Zygon Inversion”; Episode 9, “Sleep No More”

    Dark jacket with red lining, dark hoodie sweater, dark pointelle/openwork knit sweater, dark pants with plaid pattern –Episode 5, “The Woman Who Lived” (dark plaid pants are definitely in his closing scene with Clara, the only one in which she appears; hard to tell from the rest of the episode if the Doctor’s pants are a solid dark, or have that same plaid pattern)

    Dark jacket with red lining, dark hoodie sweater, white T-shirt, dark pants with plaid pattern – Episode 1, “The Magician’s Apprentice” (after opening scene with young Davros); Episode 2, “The Witch’s Familiar” (including closing scene when the Doctor returns to young Davros); Episode 5, “The Girl Who Died”

    Dark jacket with red lining, dark hoodie sweater, black T-shirt, dark pants – Here’s the one sort of odd anomaly; this T-shirt appears only in the opening scene of “Face the Raven” and looks to have some sort of red and grayish pattern on the front. Is it something that got splashed on him (their clothes are filthy from whatever they just escaped from), or a pattern printed on the T-shirt? Significance?

    One other detail: The Doctor’s hair is noticeably longer in “The Woman Who Lived” and “The Zygon Inversion/Invasion” than in the rest of the episodes. Bad continuity with Capaldi’s hairdresser, or more significant than that? Something to do with “remembering in the wrong direction”?

    Now, you brighter folks who are less trapped by a linear mind than I … make of that what you will.

    #47904
    Anonymous @

    @jphamlore

    Interesting idea. I interpreted it as death but I can understand that possibly, it wasn’t. Are we on board, everyone, that Clara is in some eternal hellfire?

    Personally, that is an interpretation but not necessarily fact? 😉 Who nose? 🙂

    Surely, she could be in some peaceful place? If this quantum shade is what it says it is then we don’t necessarily know where Clara is taken? However, like a lot of believers of this sort, it’s possible that it believes its own PR, as it were. I would countenance strongly against presuming this is some grisly beginning of spiritual desiccation of a young woman who has only achieved good. Those who believe in an after  life also understand that God is prime over the universe and the devil, such as it may be, has no  dominion over humankind unless they deliberately choose to desecrate the Holy Spirit.

    Only then are they allegedly marked for some eternal damnation although the reading of this part of the Bible in Hebrew has elicited some changes in interpretation where “damned” means removed from the spiritual nourishment and presence of Christ – far from the typical archetype of a medieval hell. Of course, religion is an issue personal to many people and I wouldn’t wish to demean anyone with my comments above -they remain as comments only.

    With respect to the interview, I might suggest that Dollard would be uncomfortable owning this notion for reasons expressed by @ichabod wherein the BBC might lose tolerance for SM’s unusual style and colour.

    I just re-watched this episode and didn’t feel that it was expressly stated beyond one comment that this contract involved a soul -yes, it was stated by the mayor that “they wanted a soul” but that could be interpreted as a “death” -for with other species and on other planets ‘soul’ could be the closest word to ‘death’ ; a parallel or familiar word such as “the only water in the forest is the river” as the words pond or creek did not exist. For some, the loss of soul and death are the same.

    In this episode, what I did discover (and I don’t have access to a piano or tuning fork) was that Clara’s theme was inverted and re-composed in contrary motion and then orchestrated symphonically which I thought was a beautiful aspect to the episode as smaller themes with less symphonic overtures are favoured in Who.

    The slo-mo, something I find over- used in certain films, was slight, subtle  and meticulously handled  -much like the composition of the entire episode.

    But yes,  @jphamlore a good critique is always welcome. 🙂 I guess without it we are mere automatons.

    Puro and Son

    #47906
    Anonymous @

    @nerys

    Puro here. I agree with you -this is a remarkable pattern you’ve picked up on. I tried ( and failed!) to do the same in last year’s episodes based on a) hair b) t-shirts. In the end I couldn’t pull a thread correctly and gave up and had a gin and tonic instead. I do hope others can interpret your wonderful list further. It makes great sense. I really don’t think continuity has been a problem in the last few years -it is something both SM and Gattis have spoken about regularly.

    @jphamlore Could you explain why it is outrageous for you? Do you feel the writers and the script editors should have been more upfront about why they chose the word ‘soul’? If that is your concern, I do share it to some extent. Thank you for picking up on it.

    The Hybrid Puro

    #47907
    nerys @nerys

    Wonderful observations, @jphamlore and @puroandson. Continuing on in the “soul” vein (I haven’t yet made up my mind as to whether Ashildr/Mayor Me’s comment was meant to be taken literally or figuratively), the Doctor did go ballistic in a previous episode, with regard to not allowing people their natural deaths. I believe that was part of his rant to the Fisher King in “Before the Flood” … correct?

    #47908
    ichabod @ichabod

    @arbutus   I think that Rigsy’s concern came from the fact that the Doctor had never, ever called him by name before, and to do so now would indicate that something was very wrong. He preferred the dismissive nicknames to actual concern on the Doctor’s part

    Right, thanks!

    @jphamlore  With “contract” we have an explicit analog to making contracts with the Devil on pain of forfeiture of one’s soul, “soul” also being mentioned. Clara even agreed to this deal, although she did not read the fine print.

    I don’t recall Clara being presented with Ashildr’s contract to read, though; was she?  I thought the deal itself was explained by Ashildr, without addressing the issue of the implications of the tattoo transfer beyond the obvious illustration of that we saw with the first Raven death.  Unless you mean that Clara agreed to take Rigsy’s tattoo — but that was her idea and Rigse had to be persuaded, and there was no actual contract, just her plan.

    I don’t think Ashildr’s contract is with the Devil; it’s with someone who wants the Doctor delivered captured and delivered, and I’m a lot more inclined to read that as the TLs, with some more pragmatic, plottish ends in mind.  The show has never acknowledged the God/Heaven/Hell/Devil concept before, so far as I know, so just don’t think there’s enough substance to support this explanation.  I’m also wondering why Clara, of all people, would be allowed to languish in any sort of Hell after her Raven death, if the existence of a Devil implies the existence of a God.  Surely her course would have been diverted by a benevolent deity onto an upward course, if we’re going by the idea that sould get sent where they belong straightaway, rather than being tucked away somewhere until Judgment Day determines their ultimate fate.

    I’m strictly an outsider on Christianity, mind you, so bear with me if I’m way of the mark here and making myself ridiculous.

     

    #47909
    Arbutus @arbutus

    @jphamlore  @puroandson  @nerys

    More and more, I think that death and it’s various opposites are an ongoing theme. There was the Fisher King stealing people’s deaths. There were all those abandoned Daleks that were apparently living on in some sort of undying agony. There is of course Ashildr, made immortal by the Doctor (and I wonder what happened to her immortal highwayman friend?). Even the Sandmen could be seen that way, as rather than dying, Rasmussen became a Sandman (a hybrid, in fact). So could Osgood, as theoretically, as long as there are always two of her, she could go on and on. As Nerys said, the Doctor was outraged that the Fisher King denied people their deaths, but he himself stole Ashildr’s. So I wonder, has someone stolen Clara’s? As I suggested earlier, I don’t think she’s still alive, but she may not be dead, either?

    #47915
    Anonymous @

    @ichabod @jphamlore

    I’m also wondering why Clara, of all people, would be allowed to languish in any sort of Hell after her Raven death, if the existence of a Devil implies the existence of a God.  Surely her course would have been diverted by a benevolent deity onto an upward course…

    yes I like this particular version of how one could read Clara’s ultimate destiny. I don’t think there was an “explicit contract” that Clara was aware of  -although don’t they say that ignorance of the law is no excuse for breaking it? 🙂 Certainly the Mayor was in league with someone and that could well be….someone “plottish” as you suggested!

    PuroandSon

     

    #47920
    Juniperfish @juniperfish

    @jphamlore

    I didn’t see an unequivocal reading from the text of Face the Raven that Clara’s soul had been taken for torment by the quantum shade? Your reading is a valid interpretation, but not explicit text. We are left to wonder what the shade actually “does” with souls – consumes/ feasts on them was my sense. But I think perhaps you are working off the titles of the next episodes – so, to be continued in BBC approved spoilers?

    Certainly, in Moff’s Who we have very explicitly seen that souls/ essences could be understood as “software” – the Doctor uploaded River to CAL in the Library, when her body died in the electricity connection needed to “save” the people there. Those people had been uploaded to CAL to rescue them from the Vashta Nerada. However, it was never explained satisfactorily how the people saved to the library data core regained their bodies, given that we saw the Vashta Nerada consume bodies to the bone. It seemed to be possible, to undo this paradox, to upload soul and body to CAL, but that wasn’t possible for River, as her body died before that could be achieved.

    At Trenzalore, the Doctor referred to dead River as “an echo”. She seemed, however, to be capable of having incorporeal adventures i.e. not simply being frozen at the point she was uploaded to CAL. So her “software soul” was capable of continuing to evolve.

    Missy was also, in Series 8, harvesting the dead via some sort of upload mechanism for her cyberman army. In Dark Water and Death in Heaven, she seems (using the cyber pollen) to reanimate the dead, which included their skeletons and their consciousness. They remain dead, as Danny Pink was, but zombiefied, in a cyber sort of way.

    In other words, the connection between the soul and the body, and the nature of the soul under Moffat are not clearly explicated (nor will it be, I am sure – why be definitive when you can play with such a deep mystery) but they are strongly present. The soul is likened to computer software – a rather mechanistic perspective (as opposed to a religious one).

    It would be very interesting to hear the Doctor’s take on the nature of the soul, as he is (in Nu Who) apt to use the word. But perhaps he is just using language he knows humans will understand.

     

     

    #47921

    @juniperfish

    Yes, I think Moffat is using the same caution as Whedon did in not being too specific about what a “soul” is and how it can be handled. @jphamlore‘s analysis, I think, is a massive over-reading of the evidence presented thus far.

    On another matter, it has just occurred to me (JF – ta for the seed corn of thought) that Clara’s confrontation with Missy in the Canaries was very much a Chekhov’s Gun. She went toe-to-toe with Missy – having said to Kate that the Doctor was not needed – and was quickly and thoroughly humbled.

    But she did not pick up the lesson. When the Gods give you a warning like that, you can be pretty sure that Nemesis has taken wing nearby and failure to take heed will have inevitable consequences.

    #47924
    nerys @nerys

    @puroandson Thanks, I was picking up on an idea posted by others (@bendubz11, @frobisher, @bobbyfat, @starla, etc.), so it’s hardly an original thought. I just decided to go through each episode and see what of the Doctor’s wardrobe I could see. But whoa, I should have given my post more of a read before hitting the “submit” button. Several typos and words left out! (I have a bad habit of doing that. I can’t think of the word I’m looking for, so I keep going, thinking I will come back and insert the word after I recall. And then I forget to do it!)

    #47925
    Frobisher @frobisher

    @nerys

    Being a Brit, I am finding the “pants” theory rather amusing, as pants are a rather more intimate garment for us. However, it is strangely appropriate, seeing as we have indeed had some information regarding the Doctor’s undergarments of choice this series – according to The Zygon Invasion they have question marks on them! 🙂

    However, nice work above on detailing the Doc’s wardrobe. I have no great insights to add yet (I am still cogitating and ruminating). I could not, however, resist the urge to discuss pants, a topic often overlooked in sci-fi.

    #47926
    Bluesqueakpip @bluesqueakpip

    @juniperfish

    However, it was never explained satisfactorily how the people saved to the library data core regained their bodies, given that we saw the Vashta Nerada consume bodies to the bone

    The people who could regain their bodies were the ones who (like Donna) were trying to teleport out at the moment the Vashta Nerada attacked them. That suggests that Steven Moffat was using the ‘teleport as transmitter of information’ kind of SF teleport, rather than the one which physically splits up your body into little quantum bits and sends it down a wormhole (etc.) to its destination.

    CAL had the outgoing information from the teleport, which would normally be transmitted to the destination and then used to reconstruct the body. Since she was also in charge of the incoming teleport information, she could treat the recorded outgoing info as if it were incoming, and so use the teleport to reconstruct everyone. They were ‘saved’ – but the amount of information that needed to be stored must have overloaded her.

    What Missy’s Nethersphere and the Library have in common seems to be a Moffatian idea that if the Whoniverse ‘soul’ isn’t kept alive in a virtual reality, or given an Auton/other artificial version, the ‘soul’ reacts to the death of its body by doing whatever Whoniverse souls do upon death. Presumably, you couldn’t then bring the body back to life, or reconstruct it. Whatever you had wouldn’t be the ‘real’ person.

    Which is kind of interesting – he’s invented an SF/Fantasy intensive care ward for the soul.

    #47927
    nerys @nerys

    In my “pants” post (@frobisher yes, it is a funny reference), I should have typed Episode 6 (not 5) here:

    Dark jacket with red lining, dark hoodie sweater, dark pointelle/openwork knit sweater, dark pants with plaid pattern – Episode 6, “The Woman Who Lived” (dark plaid pants are definitely in his closing scene with Clara, the only one in which she appears; hard to tell from the rest of the episode if the Doctor’s pants are a solid dark, or have that same plaid pattern)

    #47937
    Carrieanne @carrieanne

    Since you guys brought up the Nethersphere with Missy, how exactly was she able to be in the Nethersphere?  She wasn’t dead as were the other souls, and Seb was an interface I believe she called it.  Also random thought when the Doctor decided to save Ashildr he said  something like if anyone has a problem with it …to hell with them and now he’s, although the episode is called “Heaven Sent” one could argue he’s actually in a sort of hell.

    #47938
    Carrieanne @carrieanne

    Also in The Girl Who died when they defeat the Mire, the Doctor says that’s what happens when you view reality through technology. What I’m wondering if that has anything to do with his sonic glasses, and the reason he has them?

    #47940
    Juniperfish @juniperfish

    @bluesqueakpip

    It’s a pretty impressive technology, being able to import body and soul into a database, but yes, it makes sense that CAL was on the fritz because she couldn’t handle all the data at once.

    I still wish River could escape from there – I really think the Doctor “saving” her to a post-death prison, however filled with literature, was a dubious decision.

    @pedant

    Although the text has been hitting us over the head with Clara becoming Doctor-ish as a bit of a problem, I don’t think the fault, if there is fault, for her death (if it is her death) lies with her.

    She managed to persuade three incarnations of the Doctor not to press the big red button and commit genocide on a planetary scale. She changed the history of the Time War and she knows it. If, as a result, this particular companion has an assessment of her capabilities which one might call reckless, it’s hardly surprising.

    #47942
    Mudlark @mudlark

    @carrieanne

    Since you guys brought up the Nethersphere with Missy, how exactly was she able to be in the Nethersphere?

    For what it’s worth, the way I read it was that, since the Nethersphere was a virtual reality generated by the Gallifreyan hard drive slice, Missy within it was an avatar of herself, uploaded in the same way as the minds/souls of the dead had been. Her physical self remained in the physical world, whether in the dimension of the mausoleum, or outside it in London.  Presumably Missy would have had some means of remaining in contact with and controlling her avatar throughout.

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