[SPOILERS for those not caught up on Doctor Who season 9 ahead.]
Doctor Who's ninth season continues apace, with the sixth episode in the run set to air on BBC America this weekend (at the time of writing this). This will bring us to the halfway point in the season, the Christmas special notwithstanding, and “The Woman Who Lived” will once more feature Maisie Williams as Ashildr....Or will it?
Two new clips of the episode have been released ahead of Saturday, both featuring Ashildr (as we know her), and the Doctor (Peter Capaldi). You can watch one of those clips, above.
The official synopsis for "The Woman Who Lived" is 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?”
In the first Doctor Who clip, which can be viewed above, we see ‘The Nightmare’ aka Ashildr in disguise, holding up a carriage and giving the infamous “Stand and deliver” line we associate with all Highwaymen. When the gentleman inside of the carriage protests that he won’t hand over his jewels to a “lone, ranting cavalier,” we are made aware that The Nightmare is not working solo. But are the lights we see in the bushes part of The Nightmare’s plan, or has the Doctor just unwittingly stumbled into the path of a robbery?
The second "The Woman Who Lived" clip, above, is definitely the more intriguing of the pair, and begins to answer some of the questions the episode's trailers raised the other day. It’s a great scene to watch for many reasons, not least because we discover that Ashildr no longer identifies by that name. In fact, she’s become so used to adopting new names and personas and then outliving those around her, that she’s learned to simply identify as ‘Me.’
At the Doctor’s prompt, she does admit to remembering the village she came from, her Viking name and ‘Chuckles’, but then she shrugs it off, saying they’re dead now and it no longer matters. For perhaps the first time, the Doctor can see the effects that making Ashildr immortal has had upon her life. She is completely alone, her own companion. Could this tie into future episodes, with Clara Oswald’s (Jenna Coleman) departure imminent?
The other interesting point about these Doctor Who clips to note is one of emotion. Last week, in ‘The Girl Who Died’, for the first time Capaldi’s Doctor become a victim of his own (human) emotions, which ultimately made him save Ashildr. In this clip it’s clear he’s at a loss for words when Ashildr appears so indifferent to all the loss that she has suffered over the years - and it alters the balance dramatically, making the Doctor appear far more human than Ashildr does.
Again no Clara in either clip, which makes us all the more intrigued to see how she does feature in the episode. We’ll find out this Saturday.
Doctor Who season 9 continues with “The Woman Who Lived” next Saturday on the BBC and BBC America.
Source: BBC America