Episode Review: The Girl Who Died

The Girl Who Died

During the whole build up to the start of Series there was alot of speculation about Maisie’s role in Doctor Who….but even after this episode, there are still so many unanswered questions.

“I’ve always been different. All my life I’ve known that. The girls all thought I was a boy. The boys all said I was just a girl. My head is always full of stories. I know I’m strange. Everyone knows I’m strange. But here I’m loved. You tell me to run, to save my life. I tell you that leaving this place would be death itself.”

The dynamic between the Doctor and Clara has been absolutely outstanding this season! Their one-on-one moments with each other have been some of the best moments in the episodes thus far. I especially love how the Doctor reflects on how much he has affected Clara. It feels very much like a subtle callback to Davros explaining to the Tenth Doctor acaec 2bout how his turns his friends into soldiers – Clara herself is turning more and more into a Doctor.

Speaking of the 10th Doctor, seeing that flashback was pretty awesome. This was a nice moment with him realizing that he subconsciously chose the face of Caecilius in order to always remind himself that he’s the Doctor and he always finds a way to save people.

Maisie Wiliiams did an awesome job and I really loved her character (I haven’t actually seen Game of Thrones though seeing this has prompted me to start). I liked her moments with Clara and the Doctor and her temporary death actually was quite a surprise at first. Though  obviously,  it was pretty apparent given the title of the episode lol…but how did she just die like that?? Anyway, I did like how the Doctor went about saving Ashildr and I also like how the Doctor delved a bit into explaining what immortality can be like for a mortal. It looks like the next episode will delve a bit more into that as the Ashildr we’re going to see next time.

I can see that the next episode takes somewhat of a dark turn. I also took note of the Doctor calling her a hybrid, which seems to be a reference back to the The Witch’s Familiar with the talk of a Time Lord/Dalek hybrid. Obviously, Ashildr is only a human/alien hybrid but it does bring up some interesting questions about this season’s arc. If Ashildr survives the next episode, there’s a chance that we could see her again….and again….and again…. I really liked the ending shot with her slowly going from happy to sad while everything moved past her. It was a good representation of her staying the same whilst the world she knew aged (and died) around her. The thought of immortality sounds nice, but would you really want to live forever – outliving all those around you – friends and family……??

There was a definite switch in tone, the first four episodes were very dark, almost bleak. The Girl who died was much lighter in tone, fair bit of comedy, the naming and training of the vikings, ZZ top, Heidi etc, the Baby talk once again….oh and the yo-yo.

Check out this cool video from #MaisieCam of the Doctor using the yo-yo

The Mire were an interesting threat for the episode but they did disappoint in some areas. We didn’t get to see them do much aside from stomp around a bit, fire some attacks, and get scared off. The main Mire villain, “Odin”, did have an interesting design (along with the rest of the Mire) and there was some interesting set-up for a future appearance by him. I did really enjoy how the Doctor and the others went about defeating the Mire. Tricking them into running off and then blackmailing them into retreating with threats of spreading a humiliating video of them across the intergalactic internet.

Overall, I really liked The Girl Who Died. It had some great character moments, and some intriguing set-ups for future episodes.

Lots of questions are asked, mostly surrounding Maisie Williams’s character Ashildr, does the Doctor know who she is? Is she a future companion? What actually happened to her when she had the helmet on, was it just heart failure? Is she the hybrid Davros spoke of? She’s key to the episode, and was very very good.

 

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