For reasons best known to itself, the BBC decided to rob tonight’s Doctor Who of much of its potential power by announcing beforehand that it was going to be the end of Clara’s time with the Doctor. Yes, we already knew Jenna Coleman was leaving, but, much like the other death I was spoiled for this week, knowing exactly when it was happening undermined the story somewhat, although, unlike the other big tv death I was spoiled for this week, the story wasn’t too great to begin with: old friend Rigsy is framed for murder by old irritant Ashildr – I despise Ashildr – who is now calling herself “Mayor Me” (just die already) and running an alien refugee camp like a totalitarian state.
It’s all a ruse to trap and punish the Doctor because this whining, wretched ingrate of an immortal still can’t see that the fault is with her not with him, so, as soon as the Girl Who Grumbled appears, everything goes to pot because she annoys me so much I can’t see straight. Which is a shame because “Face the Raven” really could have packed some punch, if I hadn’t been seething my way through it.
On the positive side, though, Jovian Wade’s Rigsy is very sweet and likeable, Jenna Coleman and Peter Capaldi are their usual excellent selves and there’s some pertinent commentary about not insulting the memory of lost loved ones with mindless revenge – particularly poignant in a week when social and every other kind of media has been awash with vile, vicious bigotry, blaming the most vulnerable for the very horrors they’re fleeing from.
I never liked Clara as the “Impossible Girl” when she was more puzzle than actual person, but, over the last couple of seasons, she became a proper companion and well-developed character in her own right, and I grew to like her very much, so I’m genuinely sorry to see her go. What it will do to a series that’s already struggling, I don’t know. I wish it could have been bloody Ashildr instead.