The second part of Ashildr’s swashbuckling tale explores the price of immortality.
The Woman Who Lived opens with a masked Ashildr, who we last saw having just gained immortality, robbing a carriage with the aid of a creepy pair of eyes glowing in the dark.
There’s a few questions raised in the first 90 seconds of this episode. How has the little girl from the Viking village become a master swordsman with the ability to speak like a man?
Of course she’ll have learnt how to do this. As we learn, she’s had 800 years to practice every skill there’s ever been.
— Doctor BOO! (@DoctorWho_BBCA) October 25, 2015
Needless to say, she’s met her match when the Doctor barges into her robbery. (Without Clara, whoopee!)
Apparently he’s been keeping an eye on her. And she’s changed. Although her journals reveal how much pain and suffering she’s experienced, 800 year old Ashildr can barely remember her family or the village she grew up in, and has even forgotten her own name.
As it turns out, the two immortals are looking for the same prize, a piece of alien technology with the power to open portals to other dimensions. They set off on a house break, and oh lord, the sonic sunglasses are back. This really is becoming a love-hate relationship with Whovians. Personally, they’re growing on me. Capaldi sneaking around in the grand house and walking into doors was pretty funny.
Things to stay in 2015: •Sonic Sunglasses •Sonic Sunglasses •Sonic Sunglasses
— dan☄ (@PeterCapaldix) October 26, 2015
The oddest and somehow the funniest part of the episode? A sleepy aristocrat shouting ‘BRING ME MY BLUNDERBUSS!’
Ashildr asks the Doctor to take her with him on his travels. He refuses. Erm, why? We need more Maisie Williams in our Who lives, and Ashildr would make a great companion. She understands how the Doctor feels, and he her.
Sam Swift the Quick
The second half of the episode saw the arrival of the most idiotic, 2D character that Doctor Who has perhaps ever seen. Sam Swift the Quick, who cracks jokes on the gallows, has an awful name and a worse beard. However, he did inspire sympathy in the face of the slightly less awful villain of the piece. An outer space, homicidal lion, whom Ashildr decides to trust for some reason. It was all a bit weird, if I’m honest, and Lenny the Lion is rather an apt nickname for the latest villain to inspire no fear.
The episode climaxes with Ashildr discovering her empathy and saving humanity by sacrificing her second immortality square. Does that mean that Sam Swift is now immortal? ‘Well… probably not’. Please God, no.
So Ashildr is now the ex-companion support service. That was well overdue. I would also definitely like to see some Ashildr/Jack Harkness storylines.
when The Doctor mentioned Captain Jack Harkness pic.twitter.com/EwXsUvvo1M
— ✧ ･ﾟ* amanda *･ﾟ✧ (@AmandaFromSpace) October 25, 2015
And the door is most definitely open for Maisie Williams to return in future episodes. Yes. YES. But please, no more Sam Swift the Quick.
Next week sees the return of some of my favourite characters, including Kate Lethbridge-Stewart and the somehow resurrected Osgood.
But the biggest question on my mind is…
When will we see Missy again?
See you all next week!
Don’t forget to let us know what you thought of the episode in the comments below!