WARNING! SPOILERS: This post contains spoilers and speculation for the Doctor Who series nine episode Face The Raven. We approach the finale of series nine with a whiff of judgment in the air. Face the Raven presents like the climactic scene in a courtroom drama. It is as if the Twelfth Doctor has stood trial throughout his run as we struggle to determine if he is a good man. How much responsibility does he bear for the chaos he leaves in his wake? How much does he owe to those he mentors and when does a duty of care become smothering and guiding become controlling? Do his companions mistakes count as his own? Clara was a troubled person from the beginning. The loss of her mother at a young age impacted her deeply and she reacted to that helplessness by trying to control everything around her. The senseless and random death of Danny Pink contributed to her feelings of despair. Clara and the Doctor understood each other on a deep level because they were both running away from their profound grief and headlong into reckless distraction. Face the Raven is a breaking point and while the Doctor may have provided transportation ultimately Clara falls into her own trap.
8. Misleading EvidenceThe concept of a trap street that turns out to be an actual physical place is a good one though the execution was a bit thin and misleading. There really wasnt any reason for the setting to be so reminiscent of Harry Potter however thats a minor quibble in an otherwise excellent beginning to the mystery of Rigsys tattoo. The idea of asylum is one that resonates across cultures and as writer Sarah Dollard points out there is no such thing as a completely safe place. That is the crux of this exploration of the Doctors tale. He is not a benign figure or a malevolent one. He may bestow a promise of protection but he cannot guarantee it. Clara is smart enough to know this but she chooses to see what she wants rather that what is really there. Her entire character arc is one of misdirection. She pretends to be what she is not and willfully disregards evidence to the contrary.