24th Oct2015

‘Doctor Who: 9×06 – The Girl Who Lived’ Review

by Paul Metcalf


With The Girl Who Died last week Doctor Who delivered a good episode that set up a very good idea that should affect the rest of the season. In the second part though, The Girl Who Lived, we were given an episode that probably shouldn’t have actually happened.

While that sounds harsh, the fact is the story of Ashildr (Maisie Williams) is far more complicated than what we were presented with. In a far too comical escapade with a boring alien, what we really had in truth was a padded out episode and about ten minutes of important story setting up Williams’ character for an important role in the Doctor’s future.

While what I said above may sound harsh, there were some positives in this episode, and one of them was Maisie Williams. Interestingly enough Clara (Jenna Coleman) appears to have taken the week off, but Williams did a good job of filling in the shoes of companion, although her character would never accept that fact, in truth she would say the Doctor was hers instead. Another positive was the inclusion of Rufus Hound as Sam Swift. He may not have had much to work with, but he did it well.

What really caused problems with this episode is the fact that immortality has changed Ashildr, and while it was focused on in some part, it should have been looked at in a lot more detail. Of course Maisie Williams isn’t going to be in the show much more, if at all so they needed to complete her character’s story in an adequate way. What this has led to is a boring filler of an episode that used comedy where it should have used drama.

Peter Capaldi also suffered in this episode, with the comedy feeling out-of-place when it is obvious that The Doctor is more worried about the events that are taking place around him. Instead of seriousness again we are dealing with farce, and it just feels off. I’ve said it before in this season, but again the lack of seriousness has reared its head once again, and this time it is even more misplaced. Comedy and Doctor Who do go hand in hand, but The Doctor can also get serious…so why wasn’t it this time?

It is unfortunate to say, but as the second part of The Girl Who Died, The Girl Who Lived just did not deliver as I was hoping it would. The alien storyline felt shoehorned in so that we could see Ashildr get a life lesson, even after she’d lived through so much already. It just felt unnecessary for the character and a way to get to the final moments of the episode so the serious talk could take place. This could have just been handled in a far better way.

Even with the negatives that surround this episode, Maisie Williams still played her part well and the inclusion of Rufus Hound was a nice cameo. Now to get back to some more interesting episodes, and maybe even more of Ashildr in the future. A woman who’ll never die and continue to alter time is a person who will cause a hell of a lot of trouble for The Doctor and if Doctor Who can’t deliver that…then it will be wasted potential yet again.

***½  3.5/5

Review originally posted on PissedOffGeek

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