9.10. Face The Raven

Series 9 - 2015 - 2016

Writer: Sarah Dollard
Produced by: Nikki Wilson
Director: Justin Molotnikov
Music: Murray Gold


The Doctor and Clara enter the TARDIS after escaping from the second most beautiful garden in all of space and time after Clara saved the Doctor from having to marry a sentient plant thing. Their mood becomes more sombre after the TARDIS telephone rings. Clara had given Rigsy the number for emergencies. And he has an emergency. When he woke up he had a tattoo. The Doctor is not impressed, until Rigsy says the tattoo is counting down to something.

The TARDIS materialises in Rigsy's flat, and the Doctor and Clara are introduced to his baby daughter. Rigsy shows the Doctor his tattoo on the back of his neck. The Doctor calls it boring until he sees it change as it counts down. Rigsy says he has no memory of the previous day. Inside the TARDIS Rigsy is scanned, and Rigsy swears his phone screen had not been cracked. The scan reveal Rigsy has had significant contact with alien life-forms and has been retconned (an amnesia drug).  The scan also reveals that Rigsy is destined to die.

This leaves the Doctor 526 minutes to stop the countdown. The Doctor takes Clara and Rigsy to the British Museum to look at maps of London to find hidden streets. Clara tells him about trap streets that were fake streets that cartographers used to prevent copying. Using a different tactic the Doctor flies the TARDIS over London whilst Clara, using the sonic glasses, looks at the streets below. A trap street has a misdirection circuit that stops a person from focussing, and the sonic glasses pick up the areas Clara could not focus on.

Looking round London they come across an alley sandwiched between two buildings that leads into an old fashioned looking street. There they find aliens disguised as humans. The aliens think the Doctor is there to seek sanctuary, and are concerned the Doctor isn't using the proper protocol. The Doctor is told the street is a refugee camp, run by Mayor Me - Ashildr. The Doctor wants to know who is in control of the Quantum Shade which is the cause of Rigsy's tattoo. When Rigsy reveals his face the aliens turn hostile, accusing Rigsy of murder.

Ashildr reveals it is she that is controls the Quantum Shade, and when asked offers to show the Doctor what happened on the previous day. When the Doctor wants assurances about their safety she gives a guarantee of safety to Clara. Ashildr tells the Doctor the street has a strict no violence policy. Any, and all, crimes committed in the street are punished by death. Inside a building Ashildr shows the Doctor, Clara, and Rigsy, the suspended body of Anah, a Janus , that Rigsy is accused of killing. Anah fled slavery with her son. The Doctor had hoped it had been a daughter, as they share a psychic connection with the mother.

Outside is a man condemned for stealing. His Chronolock countdown has reached two minutes. His wife asks the man for the Chronolock to be transferred to her. He refuses, and two minutes later the Doctor, Clara, and Rigsy watch as the Quantum Shade takes the form of a black Raven and flies through the man.  There is some doubt about Rigsy's guilt. Ashildr tells the Doctor that she does not wish to punish the innocent, and tells the Doctor that he can question anyone to find the truth.

As the Doctor and Clara split up Clara asks Rump about the Chronolock. He tells her that it one way to survive it is for someone to volunteer to take it from them - like the man's wife had tried to do. Clara takes Rigsy to one side and offers to take his Chronolock. Rigsy has a small daughter to consider, and Clara doesn't want her growing up without a father. Also, Clara is under the protection of Ashildr, so logically cannot be harmed. Rigsy reluctantly agrees and when Clara touches the tattoo the Chronolock is transferred.

The Doctor learns more about Anah, and the fact that when he was discovered Rigsy had asked Ashildr to call the Doctor. The Doctor suspects Rigsy was framed for the crime so he would be called by Rigsy. Clara takes them to see Anah's son. Everyone acts weird around Rigsy apart from Aha's son. Only it's Anah's daughter, dressed as a boy to protect her. She tells them that Ashildr is afraid of someone, and that Ashildr knew the Doctor could never resist a mystery.

Think about a comment Ashildr said they return to the room containing the body of Anah. The Doctor is suspicious about the technology. He finds that Anah is not actually dead. When the Doctor uses the TARDIS key to release Anah a teleport bracelet is attached to his wrist. When Ashildr appears she says she made a deal to keep the streets safe, and that meant handing over the Doctor, his TARDIS key, and his confession dial.

As Rigsy is innocent Ashildr is prepared to release the Chronolock. Only it's been transferred to Clara. This means Ashildr is powerless to stop the countdown, even after the Doctor threatens her. Clara has no option but to face the raven. Clara goes into the street to face the raven, and the Doctor watches, unable to prevent her death.

Ashildr tells the Doctor she is sorry. As she activates the teleport the Doctor gives her a warning to stay out of his way. It's a very small universe when the Doctor is angry with you.

Regular Cast

  • Clara Oswald: Jenna Coleman

Guest Cast

  • Ashildr: Maisie Williams
  • Rigsy: Joivan Wade
  • Jen: Naomi Ackie
  • Kabel: Simon Manyonda
  • Rump: Simon Paisley Day
  • Anhason: Letitia Wright
  • Chronolock Guy: Robin Soans
  • Alien Woman: Angela Clerkin
  • Habarian Woman: Caroline Boulton
  • Elderly Woman: Jenny Lee

Original broadcast on the BBC

Channel Title Date Viewers Rating
BBC 1 (HD) 10. Face The Raven Saturday, November 21, 2015 8:10 PM - 9:00 PM 6.05M 84

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