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Comic Book Review
Chaos descends upon the private Scottish school of Ravenscaur, as secrets sunk at the bottom of the bay are dragged into the light! The deepest mysteries of Ravenscaur are laid bare, as the Doctor and Clara discover what hidden dangers lurk in the caves beneath the cliffs! While the Doctor investigates reports of a Tunguska-style event that shattered the landscape decades previous, Clara unravels an establishment conspiracy that cuts to the country’s heart…!
Writer Robbie Morrison provides some characteristic fun with the Doctor during the second episode of Clara Oswald and the School of Death, by having the Time Lord attempting to impersonate a salty old sea dog and adopting a stuffed swordfish as a companion, which he names Sonny. According to the Doctor, Sonny has “a cutting intellect and a razor-sharp sense of humour”!
Meanwhile, Clara teams up with a couple of pupils who have so far escaped being indoctrinated into the strange cult of Ravenscaur – but not before she has contributed some sex appeal by being caught in the bath when the Doctor materialises in her bathroom. Despite her initial embarrassment, she still manages to be flirtatious by the end of the scene. This incident is not just for the purpose of titillation, though – Clara is decently covered by bubbles, and that bathtub is a set-up for next issue…
As in the sci-fi mini-series V, our heroes realise that the population of Raven’s Isle are really reptiles when, respectively, the Doctor accidentally removes part of the ‘mask’ of one of them, and Clara witnesses a revolting banquet of live animals. Elsewhere in the episode, forbidding headmistress Mrs Mariner echoes the “One of us” phrase that was used by the creepy schoolchildren in the previous episode, and enforces a no-sarcasm policy – much to the disappointment of Clara.
The conspiracy widens as it becomes apparent that the Prime Minister (Mr Claremont in this universe, rather than Mr Cameron) is involved. As rendered by Rachael Stott, Claremont resembles comedian / presenter Jimmy Carr – be afraid, be very afraid!
The plot also deepens – literally, as Clara and her new allies discover a hidden underground ecosystem. Stott introduces this with a beautiful full-page depiction of the subterranean world – the original black-and-white ink version of which can be seen at the end of this issue.