Saturday, November 21, 2015

Doctor Who: Future Tension – Part Three

Hey there, Whovians! Welcome to I'm So Glad My Suffering Amuses You. I'm Dave-El and I'm a rapping, tapping on your chamber door. Today's Doctor Who post looks to the future.

As of this writing, no further word has been given nor any speculation made regarding the form of Series 10. My prediction is and still remains that Series 10 will be spread across 2016 and 2017. The confluence of circumstantial evidence is still too overwhelming to my mind to not lead to that outcome. I do not expect any official acknowledgement of such a status until Series 9 has completely aired. In fact, we may not get word on that until after the Christmas special.

There has been some hand-wringing over the long term prospects of Doctor Who. While it was announced some months ago that the BBC was committed to Doctor Who through at least 2020, recent downturns in ratings over in the UK have been cause for concern, if not outright alarm. But Doctor Who is still a major cash cow, particularly here in the United States. So the long term fate of the show still seems secure.

In the more short term….and by short term, I mean tonight, the speculation is that tonight’s new episode, Face the Raven, is the much dreaded and/or long awaited departure of Clara Oswald.

  1. In the trailer for this adventure, we see Clara saying goodbye to the Doctor and turning to face what appears to be a particularly fearsome fate.
  2. We know Jenna Coleman has left the series already.
  3. There has been a lot of foreshadowing of Clara’s eventual departure.
  4. The hints we’re getting from all this foreshadowing is Clara’s ultimate fate will not be a happy one. In fact, everyone is sure Clara Oswald is going to die.
  5. Apparently Clara is wearing an outfit in Face the Raven that Jenna is wearing on the cover of Doctor Who Magazine spotlighting her departure from the series.
  6. We know Clara is not in the next episode. In fact, no one is in the next episode except Peter Capaldi as the Doctor.

But there are several things to consider:

  1. Gloom and ominous portents have surrounded the departures of companions before. Rose Tyler’s farewell adventure begins with the narration, “This is the story of how I died.” She doesn’t really die; she’s alive and well on another world. But her name does appear on the roster of the presumed dead on this world. Dalek Kahn predicts one of the Doctor’s companions will die. That fate belongs to Donna Noble but only in the sense that the person she has become dies; she does not die a literal, physical death. While Amy and Rory do wind up dead at the end of Angels Take Manhattan, it’s after a long life spent together. So, Clara may indeed “die” but there will be a twist on that, I betcha.
  2. Do we really think that a significant event like the departure of a companion would be left to any writer other than the showrunner? Russell Davies brought Rose, Martha and Donna into the world of Doctor Who and he took them out. Likewise, Steven Moffat oversaw the arrival and the departure of Amy and Rory. Steven Moffat did not write Episode 10. Yes, there may be a something at the end that will make us think that Clara Oswald is gone. I mean, gone gone. But there will be another shoe to drop on that departure and that won’t happen until Episode 12….which Steven Moffat did write.  

Meanwhile, the departure of Jenna Coleman (and with her, Clara Oswald) leads to another basis for my prediction of Doctor Who Series 10 being spread over two years. There have been no announcements of someone cast to portray the Doctor’s next companion. For Doctor Who to go into production for a full Series 10 for 2016, that should’ve been a done deal by now. The fact that it hasn’t suggests that it’s not really a priority at the moment; there’s still time to take care of that if the production gets advanced into later in 2016.   And if that happens, Series 10 will have to be split because there will not sufficient time to create a complete Series 10 to be aired in 2016.

OK, that’s that for this post. Tonight, it’s time to Face the Raven.

Tomorrow, I will post my thoughts about that.

Until then, remember to be good to one another, both today and in the future.   

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