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Doctor Who - The Girl Who Died - Review: "Saving people"

© BBC Pictures
Episode: 9.05 "The Girl Who Died"
Directed by: Ed Bazalgette
Written by: Jamie Mathieson & Steven Moffat
Air date: 17 October 2015

Reviews so far:
Episode 9.01 - "The Magician's Apprentice"
Episode 9.02 - "The Witch's Familiar"
Episode 9.03 - "Under the Lake"
Episode 9.04 - "Before the Flood"

I loved the episode, the story, the characters, their interactions, the cliffhanger and the lost memory. It all worked really perfectly together and I'm absolutely excited to see where it all goes from here. It's probably one of my favorite stories of Twelfth Doctor. I'm glad we get to see more of his motivation and internal struggle. The Doctor's not always ready to face his feelings but it seems like he's opening up a bit with each episode this season. And now we've got the immortal hybrid! Brilliant twist. Can't wait for more.

The Doctor - "To Remind Me"
Just a week after a struggle with a balance between life and death, the Doctor makes a choice to bring back an innocent girl, more than that, he gives her a forever. It might seem like he's in argument with his own actions but for me, there's an incredibly huge difference between those two events. The Doctor said it himself, he's tired of losing people. A battle, a war, that's simple for our old Time Lord, but losing a life, that's a price he can't bare to pay anymore. Not on that day. And just this once, knowing there's a chance, he takes it. There's some anger and impulsiveness involved but it's more than that. He remembers an old story, an old decision he made, after the request of his once best friend. You can't always save an entire village, but you can choose to save at least one of its families. In a beautifully made surprise, the Doctor remembers why he subconsciously chose his new face, it was a memory he wanted to keep, to remind himself why he's calling himself the Doctor. He's the one who chose to run through time and space, the one who keeps changing things but trying not to interfere in the affairs of other people or planets (too much) unless... there's children crying. Great to see the return of the Doctor speaking baby language, especially in such a significant way. I think that he's been through so much pain and loss that sometimes he simply refuses to let go. And then... he creates immortal hybrid. Now, that was a great way to get back to this season's main arc. Like I said, I'm glad we're getting closer to where the Doctor's head is at. And his care and feelings are showing. The pure joy he felt when Clara reappeared back safe and he hugged her, even though he claims not to be a fan of hugs, was a really heartwarming moment. I'm really enjoying the Doctor's storyline this season and it's already better than last year. Kudos!

Clara - "What have I made of you?"
First of all, Clara did a great job trying to convince the Mire to leave right before Ashildr put an end to it. She almost took care of the danger on her own and that's impressive and certainly worth to mention. It also appears that, like the viewers, Clara is now used to the fact the Doctor always figures out a plan and helps people. Her faith in him was especially strong this episode. Her calm and confidence before the fight also says a lot about her relationship with the Doctor. I especially loved the little moment when the Doctor tells Clara what the baby's crying means and it's exactly what makes him choose to stay. During their adventures, Clara has grown to become quite a warrior herself. We barely get to see her back in school this season. She tells the Doctor he has become her hobby but it's clearly a big part of her life now. Also, I don't think I've ever realized not just the impact but the pressure she puts the Time Lord under. He can do anything, so he can't give up or not come up with the perfect plan. It can be quite a motivation but sometimes a kind of overconfidence as well. And maybe, just maybe, Clara's on her way to become sort of a hybrid herself...

Ashildr - "This is my place"
A girl who died. An immortal being that lived. I expected Maisie Williams' role on the show to be more significant that just a guest character in one or two episodes. But Ashildr becoming the Hybrid took me by surprise. It was a clever and very well done twist. Kudos on that. The actress did a great work with her portrayal of the "strange" girl who finally found her home and chose to declare a war, willing to die defending her place in the world and avenging its warriors, showing both fear and courage of the young Viking. The idea of her stories being powerful enough to get rid of one of the universe's deadliest armies worked wonderfully. But it's her final shot in the episode, with the time passing by and her just witnessing the world around her, that makes quite an impression on the viewer. Her smile at the beginning slowly becomes sadness and anger and it just leaves you thinking what has become of her in the end. Can't wait to find out next week.

The Vikings - "Do babies die with honour?"
I always enjoy the shows and movies about the brave fighters who refuse to give up and bravely head into the battle. There's a lot of heart in their stories and it makes it easy to root for the heroes to win the day in the end. Here on Doctor Who we also got a little comedic bit with the village slowly learning how to defend their home and making a few things burn down on the way. All those parts make the episode interesting, fun and enjoyable. But there's also time for deep thoughts, to consider the other aspects of war - the children and their place in the fight. I like the way it was done, the Doctor's question and Vikings' choice. All together, I genuinely enjoyed the Vikings story and the battle of the episode.

The Mire - "The joy of war"
Once again, the villains end up being one of the least memorable parts of the episode for me. The motive to attack, for a pure joy of war and to drain the Vikings of their adrenaline and testosterone just for a little more strength, was not really well done. Honestly just a random and creepy act of violence. I much prefer when there's more story behind every action, probably why I like to go back to old enemies like the Daleks or the Master Missy. All the history to consider there. Anyway, probably the most significant thing about the aliens of the week was the fact they left behind the chip that was able to bring Ashildr back. Good way to work around the impossible.

Whovian notes and questions:
1. Ten and Donna! TEN and DONNA! Ah, how I missed them. Loved the flashback to Pompeii and the Doctor figuring out where did his new face come from. What's your favorite part of the episode?
2. The hybrids sure seem to be the theme of this season. Dalek/Time Lord, now Ashildr, who's next? Clara, maybe?
3. Yo-yo magic returns. Also "2000 Year Diary" and "speaking baby". Great little references there. We're getting so many of them lately. Any others you found and want to share with?
4. What do you think about all the two part stories this season? It works really well for me so far and I find it to be quite a refreshing approach but what about all of you?

Memorable quotes:
1. The Doctor: "I'm not actually the police. That's just what it says on the box."
2. The Doctor: "Immortality isn't living forever. That's not what it feels like. Immortality is everybody else dying."
3. The Doctor: "A good death is the best anyone can hope for, unless you happen to be immortal."
4. Viking: "You’re coming with us."
The Doctor: "No. I’m not. And you want to know why? On my face, right now, more advanced technology than your species will manage over the next nine million years. [Viking breaks the glasses in two] Clara?"
Clara: "Yeah?"
The Doctor: "We’re going with the vikings."
5. Clara: "What’s it saying?"
The Doctor: "She. She’s afraid. Babies sense danger, they have to."
Clara: "Tell me."
The Doctor: “Mother, I hear thunder. Mother, I hear shouting. You’re my world but I hear other worlds now. Beyond the unfolding of your smile, is there other kindness? I’m afraid. Will they be kind? The sky is crying now, the fire in the water.” Fire in the water…
Clara: "You just decided to stay... The baby stopped crying."


What did you think about "The Girl Who Died"? Any favorite scenes, quotes or theories? Feel free to let us know in the comments. And check out the trailer and episode info for the next week's "The Woman Who Lived" here. As always, thanks for reading!

Justyna JJ Kubica
23. SpoilerTV Writer. Loves Movies (especially Marvel Cinematic Universe), TV Shows (The 100, Agents Of SHIELD, Teen Wolf, Sherlock, Person Of Interest, Supernatural (especially 1-5), The Musketeers, Agent Carter, The Flash, Doctor Who, Fringe, Psych and many more) and Books (Harry Potter!). Fantasy & SciFi geek! Scene Of The Week articles author. Writes reviews for Doctor Who, Sherlock & The Musketeers. Member of SpoilerTV team since 27th November 2011.
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