Face the Raven
Doctor Who Logo 'Face the Raven'
(Story Code 9.10)

by Sarah Dollard
The Twelfth Doctor and Clara

“There have always been rumours. Stories passed from traveller to traveller, mutterings about secret streets, secret pockets of alien life right here on Earth…” – The Doctor

The Doctor and Clara return to the TARDIS after their latest adventure - she having saved him from marrying a giant sentient plant-thing - when to their surprise the ship’s phone rings. It is an emergency call from their old friend Rigsy, who needs their help with a tattoo that has mysteriously appeared on his neck – a tattoo that is somehow counting down… Materialising the TARDIS in Rigsy’s flat, the Doctor and Clara meet his baby daughter and then examine the tattoo on the back of his neck, watching as it changes from ‘533’ to ‘532’. Rigsy tells has a total blank on the day before: according to his wife he missed work and came home at midnight, but he has no recollection of where he had been. The Doctor urges Rigsy into the TARDIS and subjects the young man to a thorough scan, while Clara checks Rigsy’s phone and finds that the last day has been completely wiped from the device. The Doctor discovers that not only has Rigsy been in contact with aliens, he has also been treated with the amnesiac drug, Retcon; the Time Lord tries his best to tactfully break the news that Rigsy is going to die – and when this fails he gets talked into helping save him. Landing the TARDIS outside the British Library, the Time Lord explaining to his two friends that he believes Rigsy has been in one of the city’s secret hidden streets, which are rumoured to be populated by aliens. Together they access the library’s map room and obtain some old maps of the city to help in locating a real ‘Trap Street’, fake streets put on maps by cartographers as a means to deal with copyright infringements. The Doctor materialises the TARDIS above the streets of London, gliding the ship over the city while Clara hangs from the doorway and uses the sonic sunglasses to scan the area below; it’s a very dangerous plan, and as the ship rocks about the Doctor and Rigsy are disturbed to see the fun Clara is having, even when she almost falls from her precarious position. The hidden streets are designed to make people’s eyes avoid them, so the trio are looking for the areas of the city where the sonic shades recorded Clara’s eyes skating over. Identifying three such areas on the map, the Doctor, Clara and Rigsy split up to investigate, each counting their steps as they walk the streets to find places so unremarkable that people just pass them by without noticing. Clara eventually finds one such place, located behind a café; once she meets up with the Doctor and Rigsy, Clara goes back to the TARDIS to get all the Doctor’s ‘annoying stuff’ to use as a distraction that will allow them to see the streets; however, Clara notices that the TARDIS has recovered the data Rigsy’s on phone, so she takes the device back with her instead. On learning that he received a call from a blocked number yesterday, Rigsy has a flashback - a woman’s body, dropping his phone and being confronted by aliens disguised as people - a distraction that allows him to see the hidden street right next to him. Seeing it too, the Doctor, and Clara enter the narrow street with Rigsy, whose tattoo now shows just fifty minutes remaining; unfortunately the trio set off an alarm, which freezes their feet in place. Two men, Kabel and Rump, appear and demand to know why the visitors are seeking sanctuary; Risgy sees the men’s forms flitting back and forth between human and alien. An old acquaintance of the Doctor and Clara’s arrives: Ashildr, now calling herself Mayor Me, and escorted by two policemen who are in reality Judoon. Me has an extravagant, moving tattoo on her neck – it was she who put the tattoo on Rigsy, as a punishment for his crime, and she gave him a countdown to let him say goodbye to his family before his death sentence is carried out. Mayor Me shows her visitors around the hidden street, noting that some of the residents are old enemies of the Doctor, seeking asylum. As the party walk down the street, the inhabitants shout accusations of murder at Rigsy. Me explains to the Doctor how the lurkworms in the streetlights generate a telepathic field that make people see the inhabitants as normal beings; now that he knows how it works the Doctor can see two people nearby for what they truly are: an Ood and a Cyberman. Me describes how she brokered a truce amongst her people, which allows everyone to live in peace, no matter who they are; she also recounts how Rigsy was found standing over the dead body of one of the residents, a two-faced woman named Anah – but, as the Doctor notes, this doesn’t mean he was the killer… Mayor Me shows the Doctor, Clara and Rigsy the body of Anah, suspended in an electronic cage ready for burial. The Doctor observes that Anah is a Janus, an alien psychic with one face that looks into the future, another into the past. After Me leaves, the Doctor considers how Rigsy was drawn in by the phone call and set up for murder – the real killer is still out on the street. Hearing a commotion outside, the Doctor, Clara and Rigsy see a man also condemned to death by Me, for stealing medical rations for his wife. When Me refuses to remove the ‘chronolock’, insisting that her rules keep her people safe, the man’s wife offers to take the tattoo instead; but her husband won’t let her, and instead he runs for his life. Me made her deadly deal with an alien Quantum Shade, which takes the form of a raven; Me’s tattoo turns to smoke and melds with the Raven, which pursues the fleeing man through the streets. As its victim’s time finally runs out, the Raven flies into the man’s body, stealing his soul and then emerging as black smoke from the victim’s lifeless mouth. With the death sentence carried out, the tattoo returns to Me’s neck. Me allows the Doctor the chance to prove Rigsy’s innocence, but he must convince the residents, not the Quantum Shade. While Rigsy phones his wife and daughter, the Doctor and Clara split up to track down the murderer. As the Doctor questions the residents, Clara tells Rigsy her risky plan: she will take his tattoo from him, believing that it will not kill her because she is under Me’s official protection, a loophole that will give them time to find the real killer; Rigsy reluctantly agrees – and at a touch his tattoo transfers to Clara’s neck, its countdown now at 033… Unaware of this turn of events, the Doctor questions Kabel and learns that when Rigsy was captured he asked Me to call the Doctor for help. The Time Lord takes this news to Clara and Rigsy, noting that Me lied to them. Clara recalls seeing another two-faced alien, Anah’s son, and together they pay him a visit at home; however, they discover that the boy is really a girl, her gender kept secret by her mother because only female Janus are psychic. The Doctor believes Me is up to something bad, but Anahson cannot tell him what because the Time Lord’s past and future is too confused for her to read, but she does know that Rigsy is innocent. The Doctor deduces that Me couldn’t call him directly, so she used Rigsy to create a mystery that would draw him to her instead; he also recalls that the Janus burn their dead – so why did Me say Anah was being returned to her family? The Doctor checks the cage’s controls and finds that the device is actually a stasis pod – Anah is still alive! When Rigsy finds a keyhole on the inside of the machine, the Doctor realises that Me wants him to use his TARDIS key to open the pod - and to Clara’s dismay he does just that. Anah is released into her daughter’s arms, but when the Doctor pulls out his arm he now has a metal bracelet locked around it. Her plan fulfilled, Me returns, with the explanation that she was instructed by a mysterious ‘they’ to put a teleport bracelet on the Doctor, to send him away from Earth and the people she protects. Me confiscates the Doctor’s confession dial and goes to remove Rigsy tattoo, only to learn that Clara now has it. While the Doctor is furious at Clara’s reckless behaviour, Me is horrified: she cannot remove the tattoo from Clara because she has changed the terms of Me’s deal with the Quantum Shade. [In the street outside, the Raven takes flight…] The Doctor threatens to expose the street and rain hell on Me for the rest of her life unless she save Clara, but Me is powerless. Knowing that her time is almost over, Clara calms the Doctor, wanting her last memory of him to be a good one; she also tells Rigsy not to feel guilty – she made her sacrifice willingly. As the street clock chimes Clara makes the Doctor promise not to take his revenge on Me, to be a Doctor not a warrior; then, after a farewell hug with her best friend, Clara steps outside and bravely faces the oncoming Raven. As the Doctor watches helplessly, the bird flies into Clara’s body and then emerges from her mouth as black smoke; her soul taken, Clara’s lifeless form falls to the ground, while the shade coalesces into the Raven and flies away… The Doctor is devastated, and as Me activates the teleport bracelet he warns her to stay away from him. Then the Doctor disappears in a blaze of white light, and he bracelet clatters to the ground…

Some time later, Rigsy finishes graffiti-ing the abandoned TARDIS as a shrine to Clara…


Peter Capaldi (The Doctor), Jenna Coleman (Clara), Jovian Wade (Rigsy), Maisie Williams (Ashildr [Me]), Naomi Ackie (Jen), Simon Manyonda (Kabel), Simon Paisley Day (Rump), Letitia Wright (Anahson), Robin Soans (Chronolock Guy),Angela Clerkin (Alien Woman), Caroline Boulton (Habrian Woman), Jenny Lee (Elderly Woman)

Directed by Justin Molotnikov
Produced by Nikki Wilson
Executive Producers Steven Moffat and Brian Minchin
A BBC Wales production


TX (BBC 1 & BBC 1 HD):
21st November 2015 @ 8.10 pm


Notes:
*Featuring the Twelfth Doctor, Clara and Rigsy

*Part one of a three-part story
*Working title: 'Trap Street'