Doctor Who: The Girl Who Died Review

Posted on Dec 5, 2015


The Storyline

The Girl Who Died by Stuart Manning (5)

The Girl Who Died by Stuart Manning

We begin with Clara floating in space with something crawling in her suit whilst the Doctor is trying to save her in a malfunctioning Tardis. He saves her and they retreat to land on earth in the Viking era where they are captured, the sonic sunglasses snapped by a Viking warrior.

They are taken back to the village where the Doctor tries to convince them he is Odin only for a face in the sky to tell them all he is Odin and he has come to claim some of them to Valhalla. Half are taken by him and his soldiers, killing Vikings to take their adrenaline for his personal use like a drug.

Clara and her new friend Ashildr are captured by Odin (a race called the Mya) and find themselves readying for battle against an unknown warrior race. As all of the Viking warriors have been slain, all is left are farmers, women and children.

The Doctor tries to warn them of what may befall them, Clara trying to persuade him to fight. He translates what a baby is saying and is persuaded to help the villagers but the training does not go well.

The Doctor talks alone to Ashildr and he knows that she is different from the others. It is whilst they are talking that the Doctor has a brainstorm. He is ready for the battle to come. They prepare all through the night.

The next morning the alien Odin appears for battle with his warriors and they fall into the Doctor’s trap. Odin’s warriors retreat leaving him alone in defeat.

Odin leaves in humiliation promising to return for revenge. Meanwhile in the heat of battle Ashildr dies to the Doctors sadness, anger and regret.

And then he has a flashback to his regeneration and his eleventh regeneration and understands why he has the face he has and he saves Ashildr by bringing her back from the dead but at a cost for he has made her immortal; a hybrid human/alien.

The last scene is of time passing and her face going from happy to sad…

The Review

This story has all the Viking clichés like the horned helmet and the hammering in the sky forge as the gods make their weapons.

Even though the story was funny in part it was also a story of knowing when to do the right thing and when to leave well alone by leaving things to fate instead of interfering.

The Doctor is more torn than ever and wrestles with his conscience, the decisions he makes leaving him with a price to pay.

Maise Williams was quite good in this first of two episodes, her character strong and yet vulnerable; the latter making her stronger anyway.

Jenna Coleman was great as ever as the Timelord’s friend, confidant and conscience, there to keep him on the right path.

As for Peter Capaldi, he is now growing into the role and seems to be relishing every moment of screen time. I sincerely hope that he is around for a while yet (it has been reported he is staying for a third season with an option for a fourth) but rumours abound of there not being a series next year, probably because Moffat wants to work on Sherlock. If this is the case then I think he should decide on which is most important to his career and life and leave the other one to someone else.

If you are interested in the above poster or any of the brilliant work done by Stuart Manning you can buy his prints and he does commissions too. You can view his work here and buy them here.

The Cast

Peter Capaldi – The Doctor
Jenna Coleman – Clara Oswald

Maisie Williams – Ashildr
David Schofield – Odin
Simon Lipkin – Nollarr
Ian Conningham – Chuckles
Tom Stourton – Lofty
Alastair Parker – Limpy
Murray McArthur – Hasten
Barnaby Kay – Heidi


Writers – Jamie Mathieson and Steven Moffat
Director – Ed Bazalgette