[SPOILERS for those not caught up on Doctor Who season 9 ahead.]
“The Girl Who Died”, the fifth episode in the ninth season of Doctor Who, answered a lot of questions, namely exactly who Game of Thrones' Maisie Williams was playing. It also showed us a more human, emotive side to the Doctor; something that was ever-present with David Tennant and Matt Smith’s incarnations, but which has been lacking with Peter Capaldi’s interpretation.
However, it seemed as though for every question answered, “The Girl Who Died” raised ten more. In choosing to save Ashildre and therefore make her immortal, did the Doctor make the right choice? What repercussions will this have in the future? Did he save her out of his own personal fear, anger or sadness, or was there a greater level of pragmatic thought to it that we are not yet party to?
We might just find out this week, when “The Woman Who Lived” arrives on our screens. The second episode to feature Maisie Williams, and the sixth episode in this run, has two new trailers which give a fairly good glimpse of what to expect.
Set in England, in 1651, the official synopsis for the episode reads as follows:
“The deadly Highwayman ‘The Nightmare’ and his sidekick stalk the dark streets of London. But when they find loot that’s not of this world, they come face to face with The Doctor. Who is the Nightmare in league with? And can the Doctor avoid the hangman’s noose and protect Earth from a devilish betrayal?”
It looks as though this coming week’s storyline will not be particularly closely linked with “The Girl Who Died”, except for the small matter of Williams’ character. Will she still be named Ashildre? It seems unlikely, given the time jump. What of this hybrid that keeps cropping up? Is it Ashildre, or is it Clara? Is it someone or something else entirely? Where is Clara, anyway? She doesn’t appear in either trailer, but she is listed as appearing in the episode (along with guest star Rufus Hound), so we will have to wait and see how heavily she features in the plot.
“The Girl Who Died” was one of the stronger episodes of this season so far, so it will be interesting to see if “The Woman Who Lived” keeps that momentum going. It seems as though season 9 will consist almost entirely of two-part storylines (there’s another one in episodes seven and eight titled “The Zygon Inversion”) but Williams is so far, not listed for any more in this current season. Of course, that doesn’t rule her cropping up in the future.
We can’t shake off the feeling that because the Doctor made the decision to bring her back from death, her role will somehow have a huge bearing on his future adventures - and it’s going to be intriguing to see exactly how it all unfolds.
Doctor Who season 9 continues with "The Woman Who Lived" next Saturday on the BBC and BBC America.
Source: BBC America