This may be an unpopular opinion. But honestly, I’m not here to please all of you… I’m here to say what I want to say. And if you don’t agree with me, please leave comments below. I may ignore them. But here it is… I didn’t like Maisie Williams, in this episode or the last. Let the pineapple throwing commence.
The thing is, I didn’t dislike the story. Or the episodes in general. Just Maisie Williams. Oh sure, she’s a fine Arya Stark. That’s when you don’t have to see her in longer-span scenes… she’s just not a very good actress, and she dragged down what could have been a very interesting story. Immortality, and the consequences thereof… the boredom that comes with seeing it all, over and over again. Losing it all, over and over. That needs a stronger actress to make us be interested in her. Sorry, Maisie… you’re cute, and you were better as Ashildr last episode than as Me in this one. What would immortality do to a person? Would you become jaded? Or, like Bill Murray in Groundhog Day, learn from your mistakes and work to make your world better in any small way you can find? Surely there’s something more interesting than becoming a highway(wo)man… or not. Unfortunately, I just didn’t care that much.
Sam Swift was fun with the puns, but what were all the nose comments? He didn’t have the schnozz of a Jimmy Durante, an Adrien Brody, an Owen Wilson. That fell flat for me.
So what DID I like? I loved the insights into The Doctor. I love how he’s rediscovered, in these last two episodes, the things that are important to him. The reasons why he keeps returning to Earth. The value of his companions. I really like Peter Capaldi – as in love as I was with 10, to me, the older Doctor just makes sense. He’s seen everything, caused the destruction of worlds, experienced the best and the worst, and hasn’t always appreciated the wonder of the universe around him – he’s allowed himself to be too angry to care, too caught up in his own fight to value anybody else’s. But recently, he’s coming to an understanding of what he’s done, what he’s capable of, and what he may be required to do in the future.
I think it will be very interesting to have a character who has set herself up to monitor the Doctor’s activities and watch out for the people caught up in his wild wake. Is Ashildr the right person for that? Maybe – being immortal, she’ll be around for a long time, and has already been around for centuries. She has a perspective that nobody else can have (except maybe Sam Swift, if the energy from the portal hasn’t sapped his immortality, but he’s definitely not the right person. Unless you like puns. Which I do, but still…).
All kinds of extras are always available – if you haven’t yet found them, check out all the videos on BBC. Here’s one for you, doo doo:
OK, I know why you all read these reviews – not for my witty words, but for the Doctor’s – so here are the quotes!
Doctor: Oh, just ignore me, I’m just passing through, like fish in the night. No, not fish in the night. Ships in the night.
Knightmare: Step aside, or I shall blow your brains out.
Doctor: Sorry, were you talking to me there? Try again, and I promise I’ll listen this time.
Knightmare: You have interrupted my robbery, sir, and you will step away if you choose to take another breath.
Doctor: Sorry, sorry, I really was planning to listen that time, but basically, I didn’t. Usually someone hits me at this point, but she’s taken a year’s lessons for Tae Kwon Do.
Knightmare: You are getting out of my way.
Docctor: I just need one tiny little thing from out of this box.
Knightmare: This is MY robbery!
Doctor: Well, can’t we share? Isn’t that what robbery is all about?
Knightmare: You bungled my heist!
Doctor: No, you bungled mine, Zorro!
Doctor: Old man?
Ashildr (“Me”): Seemed apt. Life expectancy is 35 these days, well, for everyone else.
Ashildr: That’s not my name. I don’t even remember that name.
Doctor: Well, well, what do you call yourself?
Doctor: Yes, you, there’s nobody else here.
Ashildr: I call myself Me. All the other names I chose died with whoever knew me. Me is who I am now – no one’s mother, daughter, wife – my own companion. Singular. Unattached. Alone.
Ashildr: Your device, what is it?
Doctor: My curio scanner. It scans for curios… It scans for curios! I just realized how it got it’s name.
Doctor: (there’s a) Big fire coming, that tears through London.
Ashildr: Excellent. Maybe I start it.
Doctor: No, that was the Terileptils. Surgeon, scientist, inventor, composer – a fantastic CV. *
Ashildr: You should try my journals. I read them myself now and then. Drink pomis wine, have a little “me” time.
Doctor: You don’t seem the nostalgic type.
Ashildr: It’s not nostalgia, it’s curiosity. I can’t remember most of it. That’s the trouble with an infinite life and a normal-sized memory.
Doctor: It can’t be easy, leaving all the people you love.
Ashildr: According to my journals, hell.
Ashildr: Please, take me with you. All these people here, they’re like smoke. They blow away in a moment. You can’t know what it’s like.
Doctor: I do know what it’s like.
Doctor: I’ve left you alone too long. I’d no idea how much you’ve suffered. But I remember the person you used to be – she’s still in there. I can help you find her.
Ashildr: Spare me your pity. I’m fine.
Doctor: I think this is just another mask you wear to protect you from the pain.
AShildr: I think it frightens you, that this is who I’ve become.
Doctor: This is no way to live your life. Desensitized to the world.
Ashildr: Do you intend to fix me? Make me feel again, then run away? I don’t need your help, Doctor. You need mine. Just this once, you can’t run off like you usually do.
Doctor: How do you know? How do you know what I usually do? We met once in a Viking village, I didn’t give you my life story.
Ashildr: It’s true then, isn’t it. You’re the man who runs away.
Doctor: Ah, who told you that?
Doctor: Why are you still alone? What happened to the second immortality charge I gave you?
Ashildr: No one’s good enough.
Doctor: Humans need shared experiences.
Ashildr: I’m regretting sharing this one.
Doctor: It isn’t right for you to be on your own.
Ashildr: Oh, I said you’d be a liability. Just let me shoot him and be done with it.
Doctor: A liability? I’ve had this trouble with Clara.
Ashildr: She’s still with you, is she?
Doctor: Oh, you remember Clara, do you?
Ashildr: Of course. I take particular note of anyone… So what’s wrong wtih Clara then?
Doctor: There’s nothing wrong with her.
Ashildr: Why haven’t you made her immortal?
Doctor: Well, look how you turned out.
Ashildr: She’ll die on you, you know. She’ll blow away like smoke.
Doctor: Save your breath.
Sam Smith: Never knew you were so puny, Knightmare, or should I say, Slightmare?
Doctor: No. Not the puns. Line in the sand. No puns.
Ashildr: It’s what’s in my brain that counts.
Sam: Well, no brain outwits a bully,
Doctor: This is banter. I’m against banter. I’m on the record on the subject of banter.
Sam: Who is this, your sidekick? You’ve got your dad as your sidekick?
Doctor: I’m not his dad, I’m the Doctor.
Sam: That’s the best name you could come up with?
Doctor: What, says Sam Swift the Quick? Trying a bit too hard, is it, or are you a bit slow?
Ashildr: What do you say, Dad? I should kill him. He’ll be dead in a minute, what difference does it make?
Doctor: Kill him and you’ll make an enemy of me. I knowtheir lives are short, I understand. But those lives do matter.
Ashildr: Shut up. You’re not my Dad.
Ashildr: How do I look?
Doctor: Pink. Are you coming down with something?
Doctor: Why would an alien artifact resemble the Eyes of Hades, King of the Underworld? An ancient Greek talisman which wards off evil, protects those in death on their journey to an afterlife.
Ashildr: You tell me.
Doctor: Could it be that the mythology originated on another planet?
Ashildr: You can’t wait to get going and find out, I’ll wager.
Doctor. No. I think I want to stick around and keep an eye on you for a while.
Ashildr: Keep me back on track.
Doctor: Well, why not. We’re a good team.
Ashildr: Then take me with you.
Doctor: You don’t want to be stuck with an old fool like me. You have this whole wonderful planet to play on.
Ashildr: It takes a day to get to Kent.
Doctor: In the future, you fly.
Ashildr: I want to fly right now .I have waited longer than I should ever have lived. I have lost than I can even remember. Please Doctor, just get me out of this. I want more than this. I deserve more than this. Why not?
Doctor: Because it wouldn’t be good.
Doctor: Do you have a cat? It sounds like a very big. And hence the very big cat lair.
Doctor: If someone needed my help, why didn’t you just ask? I am forced to assume you have plans I wouldn’t approve of.
Doctor: Kill me! If you intend any harm to this planet or its people, then killing me is by far your very best move.
Leandro: You invite your own death.
Doctor: No, I just want you to attack first. And then my conscience is clear.
Doctor: You’re using the amulet as a means of travel.
Leandro: I lost it when I crashed to Earth.
Ashildr: I found it on my grounds. He’s been sleeping there while I searched for it.
Doctor: The underworld. Gateway to an afterlife. Another reality.
Ashildr: We need it to open a portal. Another galaxy.
Doctor: Oh! So what’s the plan, Ashildr? Fancy yourself as his new Queen? Hunting, running errands while he sleeps?
Ashildr: Oh dear God. You’re just like every other man. I’m not looking for a husband, you oaf. I’m looking for a horse to get me out of town. You said no.
Doctor: And you think you can trust him?
Ashildr: He knows what it is to be alone.
Doctor: So do I!
Ashildr: Then how could you do what you did?
Doctor: I’m looking for the headline here. You want to escape, well, go on, escape as much as you like. Why would I not approve?
Ashildr: The amulet.
Doctor: What about it?
Leandro: A death is required. It is the only way the amulet works.
Doctor: Of course! Every death is a tiny fracture in reality. The amulet can lever the fracture open. Primitive by effective.
Doctor: Ashildr! What happened to you?
Ashildr: You did, Doctor. You happened.
Doctor: I know you’ve suffered, your children dying.
Ashildr: They would have died anyway. Human life is fleeting. People are made for this. Breeding, dying, making the same mistakes. It’s boring. And I’m sutck here, abandoned by the one man who should know what eternity feels like, who should understand.
Doctor: I do, now.
Ashildr: And you still won’t take me with you. You gad about while I trudge through the centuries, day by day. Hour by hour. Do youever think or care what happens after you’ve flown away? I live in a world you’ve left behind. Because you abandoned me to it.
Doctor: Why should I be responsible for you?
Ashildr: You made me immortal.
Doctor: I saved your life. Ididn’t know that your heart would rust because it kept beating. I didn’t think your conscience would need renewing, that the well of human kindness would run dry. I just wanted to save a terrified young woman’s life.
Ashildr: You didn’t save my life, Doctor. You trapped me inside it. And now I’ve found someone who can set me free.
Doctor: I don’t know Lenny the Lion, but I know his type. Very first argument, guaranteed, he’ll bite your head off.
Ashildr: Or I’ll bite his off. Perhaps I’ll enjoy that.
Doctor: You’re playing with fire. Open that portal and you’ll have no idea what horrors might come through.
Ashildr: That’s as good a reason as any to do it.
Doctor: You’re not like this. I know you’re not.
Ashildr: This is exactly what I’m like. This is what you made of me.
Doctor: He’ll kill you.
Ashildr: He’ll have to be fast. And if he does, perhaps it’s about time.
Doctor: I’m on your side! I’m an undercover constable for Scotland Yard. Do you have Scotland Yard yet?
Doctor: You have to let me go, or take me there!
Guard: You want to hang too?
Doctor: Well, will you take me there if I say yes?
Guard: Indeed. There’s a bounty on your head for 20 pounds.
Doctor: 20 pounds? Is that all?
Guard: It’s a small fortune to us.
Doctor: Well in that case, I know where Lady Me keeps all of her money. Almost 30 pounds!
Sam Swift: He’s new at this, someone had to show ‘im the ropes! Don’t worry, e’ll get the ‘ang of it! When I’m gone, they’ll all say “That Sam Swift, he was well ‘ung!”
Sam: Is that The Doctor? Doctor! Doctor! I’m a robber!
Doctor: Have you taken anything for it?
Sam: Doctor, Doctor!
Doctor: Quick man, I’m running out of patients!
Sam: Have you ever seen a sidekick so old!
Doctor: I’m noone’s sidekick!
Sam: He’s so old he farts dust!
Doctor: His nose is so big…
Sam: That they’ll have to widen the noose!
Doctor: Or bury him in a pyramid!
Sam: You know what they say, big nose…
Doctor: Big handkerchief!
Doctor: Purple. The color of death. HIs life forces are opening a portal.
Ashildr: To my new life.
Doctor: or to Hell.
Ashildr: Is he immortal now?
Doctor: Do you want him to be?
Ashildr: I don’t think I want anyone to be.
Doctor: Probably… probably the power would be drained by the whole opening and reversing .the portal thing. Enough power to bring him back, but not enough power to keep him… keep him here permanently.
Ashildr: Did you just make that part up?
Doctor: It’s hard to keep an eye on all this … stuff. Keep an eye on him, though. He might be around for a while. Or not, who can say.
Ashildr: You’re still not going to take me with you, are you.
Doctor: People like us,we go on… too long. We forget what matters. The last thing we need is each other. They’re like medflies. You see, medflies, they know more than we do. They know how beautiful and precious life is,because it’s fleeting. Look how Sam Swift made every last moment count at the gallows. Look how glad he is to be alive. I looked into your eyes and saw my worst fears. Weariness. Emptiness.
Ashildr: That’s why you can’t travel with me. Our perspectives are too vast. Too far away.
Doctor: So, are we enemies now?
Ashildr: Of course not. Enemies are never the problem. It’s your friends you have to watch out for. And, my friend, I’ll be watching out for you.
Doctor: Ashildr! I think I’m very glad I saved you.
Ashildr: Oh, I think everyone will be.
Clara: Did you miss me?
Doctor: Be more specific. Who are you?
Clara: I’ve got a present for you.
Doctor: Why? Am I ill? Are you ill? Are you never going to travel with me because I said a thing?
Doctor: I missed you,Clara Oswald.
Clara: Don’t worry, daft old man. I’m not going anywhere.
- Curious about the Terileptils? See RadioTimes.com’s info!
And here’s a gallery of production drawings for The Woman Who Lived:
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