Thursday, October 29, 2015

Doctor Who: "The Woman Who Lived" Review

Game of Thrones star, Maisie Williams, returns again for the second part of her Doctor Who appearance.

*Spoilers Ahead*
The Doctor appears in 1600s London in search of an alien device, and he happens to run into the immortal Ashildr, thus setting the plot into motion. 

Again, the plot is the episode's weakest aspect. The whole idea of "Me" and the lion alien king, Leandro, who looks a lot like Lion-O from Thundercats, working together is a decent plot device to get the ball rolling. However, the conversation about Me's immortality feel heavy handed, and yet it lacks the gravity to make an impact on the audience. Thankfully, the aspect of her having trouble retaining her memories are a fascinating aspect of immortality that is rarely explored. 

While Maisie Williams was quite good in the previous episode, she seems to be lacking in this episode. Maybe it is the material, but her line delivery is noticeably weaker. She failed to sell me on the fact that she is hundreds of years old. However, that is not to say that she did not have her stronger moments. Towards the end of the episode, her performance is considerably stronger as she plays off of Capaldi and explores the parallels between the two characters.  

Peter Capaldi, as usual, is rather good. He excels in the later scenes of the episode, especially during the doctor puns. Another highlight is his dislike of banter. Clara is absent from this story, except for her bit at the end that foreshadows her impending departure from the series. What is going on with Clara? Where the writers will decide to go with this should prove rather interesting. And despite her limited screen time, Coleman continues to impress with surprising depth to her performance. Lastly, Rufus Hound as Sam Swift is rather fun to watch. He is witty and all around entertaining to watch. 

The episode's conclusion of Ashildr deciding that she does care and that she will watch over the Doctor's companions doe set some interesting things in motion. Will Williams appear yet again in Doctor Who? She could even play a minor in the upcoming "Class" spinoff series, providing the actress is not too busy with Game of Thrones. We will have to wait and see.

Overall: 7.2/10- Considering the potential of the set up, "The Woman Who Lived" is a little disappointing. It is far from being bad, but rather a lackluster conclusion. However, the larger ramifications set up at the end of the episode do present fascinating ideas for the future, even if the episode itself is unremarkable.

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  1. I agree - I thought this disappointing although it seems Ashildr may return which may justify these eps. Good to see historical settings but the tone this year is more Matt Smith than Series 8 at times.

  2. Great review! :) I also hope that her character comes back so we can see more of her and her reasoning in the plot. And I do wish we'd had more of Clara, since I really like her.


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