Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Doctor Who: "The Girl Who Died" Review

Game of Thrones star, Maisie Williams, makes her long awaited debut in "The Girl Who Died."

*Spoilers Ahead*

After saving Clara from a space-spider in the TARDIS, the Doctor and Clara end up being captured by vikings!

From the start, "The Girl Who Died" feels like a rather straightforward tale of a viking village standing up against an ultra powerful race of alien warriors, and for the most part, that is exactly what the episode is, until the final Act. 

As far as problems go, the weakest aspect is how the electric eels are used to stop the alien armor suits. Yes, electric eels generate power, but nowhere near that level of power. It felt corny and far too easy. Otherwise, the episode's main storyline is nothing worthy of note.
However, what made the episode rise above the norm are its larger implications to the second part, as well as the series as a whole. After looking at his reflection, the Doctor remembers his face and why he chose it. As many fans know, Capaldi played a small role in "The Fires of Pompeii" as a man that the Doctor saved, and the writers manage to write that minor role into a surprisingly moving character moment for the Doctor. He remembers that he saves people. That's what he does, although is that really a new revelation? The other great moment of the episode is when the Doctor almost starts to tear up after the conversation between Ashildr and her father. It is a great humanizing moment for the Doctor.
Peter Capaldi finally is given some strong material to work within the episode. He even makes the "baby speak" translation much less goofy and absurd than Smith, albeit still ridiculous. Game of Thrones actress, Maisie Williams, plays Ashildr, and having never watched Game of Thrones, this is my first exposure to her work. While she is very good, Williams is nothing extraordinary in her role.  

On the filmmaking side of things, the effects are acceptable with no noticeable flaws. Ed Bazalgette's visuals are adequate as well, but again, nothing to write-home-about. 

Overall: 7.6/10- On its own, "The Girl Who Died" is an entirely adequate episode of Doctor Who. However, the callbacks to previous seasons and a few key scenes raise it just above the norm.

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  1. I enjoyed it but found it underwhelming. I also struggled with Maisie as she's obviously Arya. It was like William Shatner guesting. Still, Capaldi got some ace moments. The face twist was rather throwaway after all the build up.

  2. Great review! :) I also liked the episode a good deal (and Capaldi did really well!) and I enjoyed seeing Maisie Williams since I've only seen her in some Game of Thrones clips (since I don't want to watch that show).


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