Doctor Who – Series 9 Episode 6 – The Woman who Lived review

WARNING: Embargoed for publication until 00:00:01 on 20/10/2015 - Programme Name: Doctor Who   - TX: 24/10/2015 - Episode: THE WOMAN WHO LIVED (By Cath Tregenna) (No. 6) - Picture Shows: ***EMBARGOED UNTIL 20TH OCTOBER 2015*** Highwayman (MAISIE WILLIAMS), Doctor Who (PETER CAPALDI) - (C) BBC   - Photographer: Simon Ridgway

(C) BBC – Photographer: Simon Ridgway

This was the first episode in ages that I was actually looked forward to, and it was a complete and utter disappointment. 

The biggest let down was the fact they chose to set it in just one location and set it around a dull plot involving a strange lion man and some attacking aliens. Last week you gave us an immortal girl, smiling, then becoming darkened by eternity stretching before her. Whilst there was much discussion of the immortality, The Doctors affect on her and her miserable life so far, it was rendered null and void by a large splash of slapstick humour, bland period dressing and a stupid twist deception (twice).

Why couldn’t we see Ashildr living through the centuries, taking her to the modern day before she goes into the future. Maybe they have a plan for her in the future of the show, but in the context of this episode, it was a damp squib. The pain and torture of eternal existence was never really explored. Sure, there were many conversations between The Doctor and Ashildr, one particularly raw one involved her losing many children over her life, but the episode never really felt that it could focus on just that.

One of the worst episodes of the last series was Robot of Sherwood and, at times, The Woman who Lived felt a lot like that. There were glimpses of Ashildr in a battle or during the plague, but it was just a single clip before we were brought back to her and The Doctor bumbling about in a mansion and hiding up a chimney.

This is not what I expected or wanted from an episode that features Maisie Williams as an immortal woman, and was last seen standing over eternity looked dead inside. What happened, Doctor Who? I had just started to think you were a bit good again and you ruin it.

Yes Maisie Williams was fantastic, Rufus Hound was quite good too, he gives good pained eye acting, but I can’t think of anything any better than that to praise.

There were some nice lines and bits

.”Curio scanner, it scans for curios. I just realised how it got it’s name”.

.The fact that Ashildr has “Infinite life, but a normal size memory” so can’t remember everything.

.Erm the ending was nice with Clara and The Doctor, and very foreshadowy

.At least it looks like she’ll definitely be back. Although isn’t it about time we have a woman in this show who’s not got some incredibly timey wimey impossible girl status behind her

I’m sorry I don’t like this. People seem too in other reviews but I just don’t.

So is The Doctor playing the guitar a regular thing now. Okey Dokey.

I do like all the bits about living as an immortal, but I think they missed out on the chance to explore it without having a hokey borester of the week. I miss Captain Jack.

Rating: C+  5/10

P.S. They brought back the sonic glasses. Great.


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