47 Days of Doctor Who–Day #32: Best Companion Departure Scene

Welcome to Day 32 of my 47-day series about the revival version of Doctor Who (2005-present). I’ve come up with 47 topics / questions to answer, all of them basically positive and upbeat about the program. Each day (or as often as I can actually write these–so far so good!) I’ll pick one of them at random (using this convenient random number generator) and then write up an answer.

Why 47? It’s my favorite number.
Why Doctor Who? It’s my favorite show.
Why the modern day Doctor Who only? Simply because I remember it better.
Why only positive stuff? Because really, I write enough snark.

So, today, we spin the Random Number Generator, and it lands on 17, which means
today’s topic is

“Best Companion Departure Scene”

Over the years of Doctor Who, a highlight of the show’s format is seeing what has lead each companion to leave the Doctor.  In fact, I did a whole post about this here.

Since the inception of the new series, companions have often had more than one departure scene, both because of the fact that they keep reappearing, and because of the way the companions home lives are more part of the show then they used to be.  Martha, for example, left the Doctor in The Last of the Time Lords, and then again in The Doctor’s Daughter, and then sort of again in Journey’s End.  Amy & Rory, similarly, left the Doctor at the end of The God Complex, and then again more permanently in The Angels Take Manhattan.

But the best such scene?  Well, that is easy.

Clara Oswald, Face the Raven

I’ve commented on this before, but the scene prior to Clara’s death in Face the Raven is a highlight of the series for its writing and acting.

The story is about how Clara has foolishly put herself in danger in a way that makes her death inevitable, with no one being able to help her.  The situation is a little contrived, but once we get there, Sarah Dollard’s dialogue is very affecting, and Peter Capaldi & Jenna Coleman’s performances top notch.

It starts with the Doctor threatening to unleash the full power of his Time Lord fury upon those whom he blames for this happening.  Someone protests, saying that this isn’t what the Doctor would do.  His reply is icy cold:

Doctor:  The Doctor is no longer here!  You are stuck with me.  And I will end you, and everything you love.

It’s too much for Clara.  She insists the Doctor stop, and she resolves to face her death, which she acknowledges is due to her own arrogance, as bravely as she can.  Before she goes, she turns to the Doctor and asks for a promise and issues a command:

Clara:  Now, you listen to me.  You’re going to be alone now, and you’re very bad at that.  You’re going to be furious and you’re going to be sad, but listen to me.  Don’t let this change you…whatever happens next, wherever she is sending you, I know what you’re capable of.  You don’t be a Warrior.  Promise me.  Be a Doctor.

Doctor:  What’s the point of being a Doctor if I can’t cure you?

Clara:  Heal yourself.  You have to.  You can’t let this turn you into a monster.  So, I’m not asking for a promise, I’m giving you an order.  You will not insult my memory.  There will be no revenge.  I will die, and no one else, here or anywhere, will suffer.

Doctor:  What about me?

Clara:  If there was something I could do about that, I would.  I guess we’re both just going to have to be brave.

It’s good stuff, and the best companion departure scene the revival series has brought us, beating out the runner-up, Rose, and also the 2nd Clara departure scene just two episodes later.

Click here for a master list for this series.

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