By Daniel Schwartz
Contributing Guest Reviewer
Waning: SPOILERS BELOW
Usually, defining moments on Doctor Who such as regeneration and the loss of a companion are met with much expectation and fanfare and take place during the season finale. Face the Raven breaks this trend as The Doctor’s long-time companion Clara Oswald is seemingly killed while trying to save Rigsey from an alien death sentence. Having been executed by the Raven, Clara “dies” for the second time this season (The Magician’s Apprentice) and breaks the collective hearts of Whovians everywhere.
Creating a 3-part finale for the first time since Harold Saxon resided at 10 Downing Street, Stephen Moffat gives fans a great setup for the next episode (Heaven Sent) and a fitting send off to a long-running and integral companion.
It is no secret that Clara has been a very divisive companion in her time with the 11th and 12th Doctor. Many fans have been upset by the level of influence she was given over The Doctor’s past, while others love her spunky and Doctor-esque personality. From taking Rigsey’s death sentence to gleefully dangling from the TARDIS, Clara’s range of personality and character were clearly on display for her final appearance.
While it was good to see Maise Williams’ character again, her appearance does feel a bit forced as The Doctor and Clara discover that she is the “Mayor” of a hidden alien street in the heart of London. In a plot device that was already used once this season, she is working with sinister alien forces, this time to trap The Doctor and transport him to locations unknown. Because The Doctor threatens her before being teleported away, it is unclear if she will cross The Doctor’s path again before returning to her other show in Westeros.
Overall, this was a very entertaining episode with huge ramifications for The Doctor and the rest of the season, leading up to the conclusion of the finale with the episodes Heaven Sent and Hell Bent.
Rating 4 out of 5.