17th Oct2015

‘Doctor Who: 9×05 – The Girl Who Died’ Review

by Paul Metcalf


So we’ve finally come to the Maisie Williams episode of Doctor Who, and what an event it turns out to be. The Girl Who Died may be the most important episode of season nine with The Doctor maybe making the biggest mistake he’s ever made…

When The Doctor (Peter Capaldi) and Clara (Jenna Coleman) find themselves captured by Vikings, this is the least of their problems as they soon go to war on an alien posing as Odin. As they prepare for the war, can The Doctor save them or are they doomed to fail?

Where the last few episodes seemed to trivialise things such as danger, The Girl Who Died brings it right back into context in an impressive way. As expected Maisie Williams is very good in her role and is important to the story, and next week’s episode. To say too much about what actually happens to her character would be a spoiler to ruin the surprise.

What is also impressive about this episode is the fact that an important question is answered, and it is an answer that people have been wanting for. I liked the way this came up, and what it symbolised for The Doctor, it brought it back to who he is and more importantly how he understands that making changes causes ripples that will never end good. This is The Doctor back on form and why people tend to stick Doctor Who, because of episodes like The Girl Who Died.

This episode also shows Peter Capaldi at his best almost channelling Patrick Troughton at times in his portrayal of The Doctor, especially times he plays the clown, and inevitably comes to his eureka moment. Then we see Capaldi on his best form pulling out a monologue to rival some of Matt Smith’s best. You really do feel that in doing the good that he does in this episode something big is going to come of it. This is the important moment of this year and it is going to be big. The Doctor has caused this, and he is his own worst enemy. Now to see where next week’s episode takes us.

While the humour in The Girl Who Died does at times feel a little too risky, and close to descending into farce, Ed Bazalgette directs this episode well, finding a balance between the series and the fantastical. This is an episode to show how good Doctor Who can be, and to remind us why we still watch it, even if sometimes it doesn’t fit what we expect.

If we take anything away from The Girl Who Died it is that it is one of those episodes that cause your ears to prick up, and you to feel excited because something big is happening. We get an important question answered and the season gets its “event” in the form of something he himself has done. There is huge potential started here, and now we just have to hope that this success continues beyond this episode.

***** 5/5

Review originally posted on PissedOffGeek

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