Season 9, Episode 11 of Doctor Who, “Heaven Sent,” gives us the Doctor in a way we’ve rarely seen him—alone. Yet he is never completely alone—not because of the creature that slowly stalks him through the castle, but because his continually fresh grief means that the memory of Clara is never far. Though the Doctor is without a companion, it is the idea of Clara that serves as his audience, instructor, and, ultimately, his conscience.
Nothing adds drama like including a Caledonian in the cast. While some of our favorite actresses on television hail from the Highlands, others were raised in the Scottish Lowlands. We can’t get enough of these talented lasses.
“Face the Raven” leaves us mourning the loss of another Doctor Who companion with the death of Clara Oswald. Though it had been announced that Jenna Coleman would be leaving Doctor Who in Season 9, closing out Clara Osgood’s chapter through death makes her departure stand out. “Face the Raven” is a strong episode not only because of the loss of companion Clara, but also because it’s grounded with the return of Rigsy and heightened with the appearance of Ashildr. It’s also fantastic because the Doctor (Peter Capaldi) changes into a maroon velvet jacket after the youth apparel he’s been wearing lately is destroyed during an adventure with Clara.
“The Zygon Inversion” was full of suspense and moral reflection, the things we love about Doctor Who. In “The Zygon Invasion,” the presidential plane had been shot down, leaving us to wonder how the Doctor and Osgood would survive. Though we know the Doctor must survive, it was still shocking to see the visage of Clara firing a bazooka towards the plane. “The Zygon Inversion” picks up here, showing us not only these events on the ground, but how the real Clara, trapped in the Zygon pod, comes to understand what’s going on through the mental link she has with the Zygon Bonnie who has taken on her form.
“The Zygon Invasion” gives us a classic Doctor Who incursion, generated from the Doctor’s attempt to resettle 20 million Zygons on Earth. What could possibly go wrong with such a plan? The Doctor (Peter Capaldi) and Clara Oswald (Jenna Coleman) once again join forces with Kate Lethbridge-Stewart (Jemma Redgrave) and UNIT. The return of a classic Doctor Who creature enhances the story, and the Zygons are formidable opponents.
The Doctor Who universe is vast and deep. Not only has the television series entertained generations of fans, but the world of Doctor Who includes novels, short stories, audio stories, comics, magazines, and stage plays. Now David Tennant and Catherine Tate are returning to the Whoniverse to reprise their roles as the Tenth Doctor and companion Donna Noble in a series of audio dramas. Brilliant! Continue reading
In Doctor Who’s “The Woman Who Lived” we discover what has become of Ashidr, “The Girl Who Died.” It’s 1651, 800 years after the Doctor saved her life, giving her immortality. As the centuries have passed she doesn’t remember her original name and her home village, but she has never forgotten the Doctor.
Doctor Who continues to bring us dramatic two-part episodes as Season 9 progresses. What’s interesting about the most recent pairing of “The Girl Who Died” and “The Woman Who Lived” is that “The Girl Who Died” is an exciting standalone episode with a sense of closure at the end. Season 9 of Doctor Who continues to be a very strong season, even if the fifth episode doesn’t quite stand up to the previous four.
The 4th episode of Doctor Who, “Before the Flood,” is the follow up to the cliffhanger episode “Under the Lake.” Both episodes were written by Toby Whithouse and directed by Daniel O’Hara. Doctor Who seems to be trying some slightly meta approaches: speaking directly to the audience; and using one of the characters as more than a fan girl, but as a representation of the audience.
Season 9 of Doctor Who continues to offer us new drama grounded in the tradition of classic Who. “Under the Lake” was written by Toby Whithouse and directed by Daniel O’Hara, who worked together on the series Being Human. “Under the Lake” provides us with a captivating cliffhanger as Doctor Who continues with the series of two-part stories expected in Season 9.