A Guest Blog by Hevy782
Following two double-length stories with great first parts but disappointing seconds, it’s rather refreshing to have an episode which is kind of stand alone but not really. Now I personally am not counting The Girl Who Died and The Woman Who Lived as a two-parter as the both appear to be telling their own stories but they are connected by the arc of Maisie Williams’ character Ashildr. Having not seen The Woman Who Lived yet though I’m not one-hundred percent on that. Now this episode seems to be a very dividing one. I know those who loved it and those who absolutely hated it with a passion. Some really liked the Mire part but hated the Doctor’s face part while others were vice-versa. I personally found it to be quite average overall. Some really amazing moments balanced out by some really bad ones. It got off to a fairly strong start (although I felt the Mire were introduced way too quickly) and it was all going fairly well until the resolution. It was far too comedic as were many of my least favourite parts of this episode. Also, the Mire could have easily just return and massacred them all in order to stop the video getting out there. Not very well thought through unfortunately.
So then, what were the moments I enjoyed? Well there were some wonderful conversations between the Doctor and Clara and during those scenes I found myself really liking Clara. I’ve been unsure about her for a while now and still feel that most episodes from series nine so far would’ve worked just as well without her and the plot of this one would’ve functioned just as well without her I don’t feel there would’ve been as much substance. Those wonderful scenes added substance to a story that would’ve otherwise have been rather bland. Now we come to Ashildr who is a wonderful character played by the amazing actress Maisie Williams. Her scene with Capaldi was great and while the script didn’t give her much to do beyond that (hopefully next week’s will) she still made the most of it. When I rewatched it she caught my eye in the background and if you focus on her in the background of these scenes you’ll see her doing some rather interesting things rather than just standing around. They’re nothing too incredible but they’re nice little incidental moments which add to her character as a whole. I’m excited to see what they do with this character next week as there’s a lot of potential there.
The Mire unfortunately went down the route which most new series monsters seem to go down unfortunately as they looked very impressive and I liked it when they had there helmets off as it showed that they weren’t bog standard robots but in terms of story they were very weak and very underdeveloped. But now we come to a moment which I am sure many of you are surprised that I have not bought up already and that is the explanation as to why the Doctor has the same face as Caecilius, a character who casual viewers have probably forgotten from an episode which casual viewers have probably forgotten. Meaning that this is simply for the fans and most of us didn’t really want this thing answered. Well I certainly wouldn’t have lost any sleep over it anyway. So that’s my stance on that well and truly made and it leads up nicely on to my next point which is the Doctor saving Ashildr and to be honest I felt that this would have worked much better if the Doctor had no idea that he was making her immortal and thought he was just saving. That could’ve added a nice bit extra to it I feel. It also could link back to the prophecy mentioned in The Witch’s Familiar about the hybrid. It certainly appeared that way to me.
Overall, I did expect a lot more from Jamie Mathieson given what he gave us last year but nevertheless this episode did have some great moments. It gets a six-out-of-ten from me which is still a fair rating but not as high as I gave Jamie Mathieson’s other two. Anyway, I’m excited to see where Ashildr’s story goes next week in The Woman Who Lived which is by Catherine Tregenna, the first woman to write for the show in a long time. The episode also looks to be very good from what we’ve seen so far and the setting is very exciting but anyway, until next week be sure to sound off your thoughts on the episode in the comments below.