Having penned two of the best episodes of Series 8, Jamie Mathieson returns to Doctor Who once again with a lighter but meaningful story The Girl Who Died, and I am here to pick out 10 of my favourite bits.
10. Imagination Beats The Villains
All of the people who were moaning about the ‘dragon’ looking fake can now stop as it was indeed fake! Having Ashildr use her imagination to defeat the Mire was not only a great way to use her character but it was also inspired and I think it is a great lesson to children about how important their imaginations are.
9. Clara Oswald
“Oh Clara Oswald… what have I made of you?”I mention this every week because it keeps coming up every week, so I shall get it out of the way quickly. There has been yet more foreboding about Clara’s future and her becoming more and more like the Doctor. Once again, I do think this is going to have a role in her exit from the show. Apart from that, Jenna was on fine form as always but I don’t think she really had much to do, and by the looks of the next time trailer and images from the readthrough, I think she’ll have even less to do next week.
8. Stuck in Space
Can we get a prequel for this episode? I’d love to see this adventure! It’s great when we get to see tiny glimpses of the Doctor and Clara’s unseen adventures, so I loved this pre-title sequence. This is probably the last thing someone would pick out from such a scene but as a wannabe director, I have to commend Ed Bazalgette for that brilliant transition between Clara in space and Clara in the TARDIS. I love it so much!!
7. The Vikings
What a lousy bunch! But that’s why I love them so much! I don’t have much to say other than they provided great comic relief for the story which didn’t feel out of place or tacked on which is something the show sometimes suffers from.
6. The Mire / ‘Odin’
Some have said they felt the Mire were sorely underused, but I don’t think so. Sure, they could have had a bit more screen time but ultimately the story was a focused character piece on Ashildr. and it was that part of the story I, personally, was most interested in. To be perfectly honest, I’d have probably enjoyed the episode more if it didn’t have the aliens there, but then I’m not sure how Ashildr’s story would have worked. What I was most surprised about was that the Mire were actually alien creatures and not just robots… although their design was a bit basic. It’s a shame we never got to see ‘Odin’s’ Mire form… it looked much better.
5. The Doctor
“Every time we do something like this, I think, what if something happens to you?”It really goes without saying that Peter Capaldi is totally owning the role and this episode is no exception! He continues to develop his Doctor’s character and this week he shows even more compassion… I’m not sure what it is, perhaps it’s because he spent most of last year as a grumpy Scotsman, but there is something quite touching when this Doctor shows his caring side. I can’t help but feel his “duty of care” towards Clara is going to play a role in her exit too…? Perhaps he already knows her fate… Confession Dial anyone?
4. “Who Frowned Me This Face?”
“I know where I got this face and I know what it’s for… To remind me. To hold me to the mark. I’m the Doctor, and I save people”At last we have an answer! I had assumed the Doctor took the face of Caecilius and John Frobisher to remind him that he was a good man, but this is close enough. After a flash back from The Fires of Pompeii with the Tenth Doctor and Donna Noble, the Doctor realises he shares a face with Caecilius, whom he had saved at the insistence of Donna Noble, as a reminder that he doesn’t follow the rules and can save people, as he had done back in Pompeii. I’m cool with that… I’m glad they kept it relatively low key but I have a suspicion it might be expanded upon in the solo Capaldi story, Heaven Sent.
“I’ve always been different. All my life, I’ve known that.”Ah Maisie! What an amazing actress you are! I can’t express how thrilled I was when her casting was announced, and I have been looking forward to this episode ever since (even with the BBC’s constant Maisie hype!). She has great screen presence and gives such a brilliant performance in this story that I can’t wait to see more of her! As far as we know, she’s only in this episode and the next but I am wondering if she might crop up again later in the series if the hybrid plot becomes the main series arc…
2. The Soundtrack
1. A Hybrid
2 in 1 for this as they go hand in hand. The music in this story was brilliant - it really helped to draw me into the Viking setting, but the final piece, which I assume is Ashildr’s theme, was my favourite piece from the episode and from the series so far. There was something so magical about that final sequence as time passes around Ashildr, yet it was so ominous and foreboding… I was certain they were going to revisit the hybrid plot this year after Davros mentioned it in The Witch’s Familiar whereby two of the greatest warriors (the Time Lords and the Daleks) become one to form the ultimate warrior, and here we have it again with Vikings and the Mire. I do think this is going to become the series arc and is going to be explored much further than these two episodes. I can’t wait to see how it pans out.
Next week the Doctor bumps into someone very familiar in The Woman Who Lived, but before then, why don’t you leave your favourite parts in the comments below.
Nick is a 2000 year old alien who travels through time and space, saving the good and conquering the evil... or so he likes to think.