Face the Raven: The Fact File
The read through for Face the Raven took place on Thursday, 28 May, 2015 and the shoot started on 8 June, wrapping later that month on 25 June.
The adventure sees the return of Joivan Wade as Rigsy, the graffiti artist last seen in Flatline. In that episode the Doctor called him ‘Local Knowledge’, a name he resurrects in Face the Raven.
Maisie Williams reprises her role as Ashildr / Me in episode 10. Last seen in The Woman Who Lived, we glimpse a flashback of that adventure when we see her on Clara’s phone.
There are more familiar faces on the trap street… The Doctor identifies 27 different types of species in Ashildr’s haven and amongst them we see races including Sontarans, Cybermen, Judoon, Ood and the Silurians.
Face the Raven also features the Doctor’s Confession Dial, first seen in The Magician’s Apprentice and the cards used in Under the Lake which help the Time Lord say the right thing in tricky situations!
The episode had the working title, ‘Trap Street’.
The Janus is an aptly named species. In ancient Roman mythology, Janus was the god of beginnings and changes/transitions, usually depicted as having two faces as he was peering into both the future and the past.
The raven has long been associated with death and in fiction is often used a portent of disaster. In Doctor Who, the Black Guardian’s headwear included what appeared to be a representation of a raven but on a lighter note, in The Day of the Doctor it was suggested that the ravens ‘guarding’ the Tower of London were actually robots!
And talking of symbolism… Face the Raven is the first adventure where the Doctor wears the red jacket he sports after the pre-title sequence. It could be coincidence, of course, but red often symbolises fury or death, two elements which play a crucial role at the close of the episode.
‘Your reign of terror will end with the sight of the first crying child, and you know it!’ Clara’s line echoes Amy’s question to the Eleventh Doctor in The Beast Below: ‘You never interfere in the affairs of other peoples or planets, unless there’s children crying?’ In that instance he replied with a simple, ‘Yes,’ emphasising his inability to stand by as kids suffer. Similarly, Clara’s plea, ‘You don’t be a warrior! Promise me! Be a doctor!’ recalls her words in The Day of the Doctor: ‘We've got enough warriors… Be a doctor!’