The Girl who Died took Doctor Who in a direction it had never been before, and I wasn’t a fan. The big pull for the episode was of course Maisie Williams and just who her character might be. Some thought she would be his granddaughter Susan (me included), some thought River, Clara, Missy’s daughter, the Doctor’s daughter Jenny, but alas it was none of them. We didn’t even know her.
The story started with the Doctor and Clara in some sort of weird horror sequence that actually worked quite well, and escaping that led them straight to the Vikings. The Vikings destroyed the sonic glasses (brief moment of pleasure) and took them both back to their camp. The Vikings overall in the episode were well played, interesting and apart from some costume inconsistencies were well used. These Vikings were then attacked by the Mire, weird robot like creatures led buy a guy pretending to be Odin. The villains overall weren’t particularly menacing, but their role in the episode was to play second fiddle to Maisie Williams.
Overall Williams’s character was well written, interesting and someone the viewer was actually able to connect with and feel sorry for. It was made clear from the beginning that her and the Doctor kind of recognised each other, although they weren’t sure why, further fueling the family/time lord theories. Most of the middle parts of the episode were rather comedic e.g. the Doctor teaching hapless Vikings to fight and the yo-yo/Odin scenes. Also, Doctor Who was able to do what it’s done for many years, take silly things and pull on the viewers heartstrings with it. The Doctor translating the scared baby, rather haunting.
The fight scene and defeating of the villains was rather short and rushed, a little silly but was only leading to the monumental last 5-10 minutes of the episode. As it turned out Williams’s character saved the day, but died in the process of doing so. The Doctor then finally realises something that we’ve been waiting for answers from this past year; why he chose his face. We then see flashbacks of the Tenth Doctor and Donna (feels) and how they saved Capaldi’s character back in series four. This reminds the Doctor of his role in the universe, he saves people, and this is where it got a little silly.
The Doctor would then conveniently find a bit of Mire tech in their helmet that is able to repair (didn’t do them much good) and uses it to repair Williams. However, the Doctor would then tell Clara that this technology will make her immortal (yeah of course…) setting up a scene where we see Williams living through time and growing meaner and angrier as time goes on, possibly coming back to bite the Doctors bum? We will see next week.
Overall, I felt the episode was okay but probably the weakest of the series. I was disappointed that William’s character was not from the Doctor’s past although her story was fairly interesting, and next weeks episode looks decent. 6.5/10