Doctor Who: Season 9: Episode 10:Save The Raven by Sarah Dollard

November 21, 2015 | By | Reply More

As usual with these examination of ‘Doctor Who’ stories shortly after transmission, if you haven’t seen them, I’ll try not to give away too many unintentional spoilers, although I will give a quick resume of the plot. Much of the analysis will be about it so feel suitably warned.

This is really a weird opener to a two-parter. I have no choice but to give some plot details as I put this story together because some things aren’t as they are laid out. There are a lot of ideas laid into the story but essentially it looks like a trap to catch the Doctor but you’ll only realise that when you watch it. Rigsy has been infected with a quantum shadow that looks like a tattoo but not know how which is on a countdown to his death and contacts the Doctor and Clara for help. Quite how he could spot the number on the back of his neck isn’t actually explained although before their arrival there is also a diminishing number on his wrist but he doesn’t show them that.

DWSaveTheRaven-1

Anyway, there is a trap street in London that will make you miscount your steps when you try to find it. I wonder how many Who fans will start searching London for it. Watch for anyone counting as they walk in future. Mind you, as you’re Who fans, you may be watching yourself counting for them.

This particular trap street conceals an alien refugee centre with Ashildr (actress Maisie Williams) aka Lady Me or just Me now as its judge. The Doctor refuses to help unless Clara’s safety is guaranteed which Me does. It is determined because Rigsy was seen over the dead Janus woman that he did it and was…er…inked. Unseen by the Doctor, Clara uses the knowledge that someone else can take the quantum shadow and spare Rigsy. Figuring she’s safe, Clara thinks it will give more time to solve the murder mystery.

DWSaveTheRaven-03

Enough. You’ll have to watch what happens next even though it’s a revealed mystery as to what happens nest.

Saying that, there is another odd contradiction is we see someone else put to death for stealing drugs and yet Me says that death is rare on this street. Seems a very absolute thing. Anything deemed criminal and you get a death sentence.

DWSaveTheRaven-2

A lot of this story is build-up with the Doctor ultimately looking helpless to do anything. I do wonder on the number of levels shown in this story that we’re not seeing everything, after all, we don’t see what the Doctor does for a couple scenes. So we don’t know how surprised he is at some of the things I haven’t told you about. One thing for sure, I don’t think he’ll have Me as a companion.

The story itself is very atmospheric although there is no explanation as to why these aliens, the Doctor recognises 27 species all disguised as humans. When you consider that this street is hidden from humans, you have to wonder why do that other than to conserve budget but it isn’t as the induced image was seen to vanish on occasion. It raises a question as to why would war-like cybermen or sontarans want refugee status? There are far too many unanswered questions and no likelihood the answers will appear next week. I’m loathe to speculate without knowing what happens next.

An exemplary display of acting by Peter Capaldi and Jenna Coleman but to say any more.

Finally, in an interview this week, Peter Capaldi reveals how cash-strapped ‘Doctor Who’ is. I wonder if having to do more episodes for the same amount of money is part of the reason and why he wants a shorter season next year. Just thinking aloud.

GF Willmetts

21 November 2015

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Category: Doctor Who, TV

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About the Author ()

Geoff Willmetts has been editor at SFCrowsnest for some 15 plus years now, showing a versatility and knowledge in not only Science Fiction, but also the sciences and arts, all of which has been displayed here through editorials, reviews, articles and stories. With the latter, he has been running a short story series under the title of ‘Psi-Kicks’ If you want to contribute to SFCrowsnest, read the guidelines and show him what you can do. If it isn’t usable, he spends as much time telling you what the problems is as he would with material he accepts. This is largely how he got called an Uncle, as in Dutch Uncle. He’s not actually Dutch but hails from the west country in the UK.

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