Get ready to Face the Raven!

I’m really excited for this one, even though I know it’s going to end rather dark, possibly with someone important dying, because a) I’m a Poe fan, and, well, Raven, b) the publicity stills of the “trap street” really look like Diagon Alley which is neat, c) Maisie Williams is back as Ashildr, d) raven, e) it’s written by a female scriptwriter with an impressive resume, and f) raven.

I do hope they manage to quote the poem in there.  It’s a lovely poem, one of many written as Edgar Allen Poe struggled with his grief over the loss of his young wife after such a brief marriage.  She’d contracted tuberculosis, which is hard enough to treat now but back then was often fatal.  “Lenore” was one of his pet names for her, and it crops up both in this poem and in others.  (Another was “Annabel Lee”, which of course is also the title of his final poem.)  If, as many have surmised, this is where Clara makes her exit, the poem could be very fitting for the grief our two-hearted hero will be enduring.  But we shall have to see……

If they do not use the poem, it will be an opportunity lost.  But what I’d really like them to do, someday, is to have an episode where we get to meet Edgar Allen Poe himself.  There is certainly plenty of pathos in his life, and he was a man intrigued deeply by the supernatural and the technological.  Could a trip in the TARDIS have inspired his wild but bizarrely prophetic prose-poem “Eureka”, in which he somehow jumps ahead a century and describes the expansion of spacetime as an explanation for Olber’s Paradox (which stated that if the Universe is infinite and static, it should have an infinite number of stars, which would make the sky brilliantly lit at all times, yet clearly the night sky is black).  And what about the curious riddle of Poe’s death?  He died in Baltimore, Maryland, but the strange thing is nobody knows why.  He disappeared one night, and then turned up a couple of nights later in strange clothes and with a ferocious fever.  He was barely conscious, and although he did cry out a few things, nobody could ever understand what any of it meant or whether he was merely hallucinating, and he died without ever regaining his faculties.  Theories have ranged from rabies to syphilis to alcoholism to meningitis to epilepsy and more, but since he was found in someone else’s clothing, someone else must have interacted with him during this time yet never spoke up.  And then there is the small matter of the Poe Toaster.  Nobody knows who started the tradition, or who carried it on, but someone appeared at Poe’s grave every year from 1949 to 2009 to drink a cognac toast to him and leave three roses.  Some have claimed to have been the Poe Toaster, but nobody really knows who it was, or why they did it, except that it was probably more than one person.

So there’s material there, is what I’m saying.  Get to it, Moffatt!


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