Warning: Possible minor spoilers ahead for S9.
In the craziness that has been the last few weeks, I’ve neglected to comment on the item from the Zygon pair that affected me the most: the death of Jac.
Jac – played by Jaye Griffiths – is not a major character. Kate’s second-in-command (or something) at UNIT, she appears in only a handful of episodes, all of them this season, and doesn’t get so much as a last name. She’s an older woman of color in a heavily youth-oriented and white-male show. She’s smart, serious, and a tiny bit sarcastic. She’s not Malcolm or Osgood or Captain Magambo; she’s nerdy but not fannish, she’s good at her job and takes it seriously, she has faith in the Doctor as well as in UNIT. She’s real, solid, and human, and I love her.
Her death passed without comment. Clara didn’t notice, being a Zygon, but even Kate failed to observe her absence. I on the other hand was very hurt. Most deaths in the Moffat era have little if any impact: Rory and Clara died many times, and River and Amy died without dying, and the Doctor’s death headlined many episodes; Danny died and came back and no one cared but Clara; Osgood died, poorly, and no one quite believed it, and it turns out rightly so. Moffat built up all these deaths and then took them away. Jac’s death was a throwaway, almost an afterthought, and yet somehow matters more than all these others combined.
I’ll miss you, Jac, and I hope the adventure was worthwhile.