TV Review: Doctor Who Series Nine Episode Six “The Woman Who Lived”

“You’ll Have To Remind Me, What’s Sorrow Like?”

If last week’s episode of Doctor Who attempted to cram in as much craziness as humanly possible, with electric eels, spider mines, testosterone craving alien race, and of course, Arya Stark, then this week’s concluding half of the story of Ashildr, was much more composed and carefully designed to focus on the possibility of immortality from someone else’s point of view, rather than that of the wandering Time Lord who seems all too secure with the notion that he may just carry on travelling around the galaxy for eternity. What “The Woman Who Lived” attempted to embrace was the notion that immortality and the chance to live throughout Earth’s long and arduous history is in fact a terrifying nightmare, with young Ashildr, played tremendously once again by Game of Thrones’ Maisie Williams, facing the fact that all her gift brings her is heartbreak and pain. Kudos must surely go to not only the writers and the actors, but the general distributors of this particular episode in the form of the BBC who even though are continued to be getting a hard time in the press, continue their argument for success with the balls out approach in releasing an episode of Doctor Who that wasn’t all spaceships and mud monsters and instead focused on the coldness of loss and the painful nature of death.

Such a notion of death and loss was clearly emphasised to reach out to the impending departure of Jenna Coleman as long-serving assistant Clara Oswald, who even though only showed up in the last few minutes of this week’s episode, had just enough screen-time to emphasise that her bubbly demeanor and classy Blackpudlian accent will well and truly be missed by everyone, particularly The Doctor himself, who ended the episode staring at our beloved companion with a sense of sadness in the knowledge that he well and truly knew the answer to Ashildr’s question of how many Clara’s had been lost throughout the Doctors’ own long lifespan. Ultimately, the slight reservations of the episode was when it duly swerved off course from the deep characterisation study and then remembered it was in fact a science-fiction show, resulting in a concluding act that felt rather rushed and wholly out of place for an episode in which the first half was truly something rather genius in retrospect and different from the usual swing of Doctor Who, something of which we look like getting more of next week with the return of the Zygons. Solid Who once again, this season is one to keep an eye on.

Overall Score: 8/10


Posted on 26/10/2015, in Film & TV, Reviews and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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