The Girl Who Died kicks off the third two-parter of the series so far, but does so with an episode filled to the brim with Doctor Who brilliance.
Let’s just do a quick run down of the plot: This is basically Vikings vs Aliens. That’s all you need to know. This awesome idea comes from the creative mind of Jamie Mathieson – who also created the fantastic episodes (Flatline and The Mummy on The Orient Express) from last series.
Unfortunately, I must admit that, whilst the comedy spots were funny; The Doctor trying to fool Vikings into thinking he’s Odin by using a yo-yo was hilarious, but that doesn’t make up for an otherwise slightly Horrible Histories-esque episode. The Vikings were presented as utter toolbags, which was a bit tedious at times. The storyline involving Maisie Williams’ Ashildr was utterly captivating, but the rest about the war between the Vikings and the Mire was somewhat bland, and made the episode particularly hard to take seriously when they were taken down by a trap that wouldn’t go amiss on Scooby Doo.
One thing that I completely adored however, was that we were finally given an explanation about why the Doctor has his face. We were beautifully transported back in time to Tenth and Donna in the TARDIS way back in The Fires of Pompeii, when Donna convinces Tenth to save a family spearheaded by none other than Peter Capaldi. His face is used as a ‘reminder’ to himself about the good, and the changes he can make to time.
Once again, Moffat and co have delivered a cliff-hanger that leaves you begging for the next episode. I think this was an improvement of the previous cliff-hanger from Under The Lake because, whilst that one was good, we always knew The Doctor wasn’t dead; whereas, this time, I genuinely have no idea where the show is heading next. Who could Ashildr be? Missy? Clara? Perhaps even Donna?
Oh, and on another strong note, it looks like we may have seen the demise of those awful Sonic Sunglasses. Hopefully, The Doctor will go back to his ever-reliable, and less gimmicky Sonic Screwdriver!
All in all, this was an enjoyable episode, littered with Doctor Who clichés, but was ultimately made brilliant by the final, unconventional 10 minutes. Had the whole episode been as strong as the ending, it would’ve been in contention for best episode of the series.