Doctor Who “The Woman Who Lived” Spoiler-Free Preview


Last time we saw Ashildr on Doctor Who, after an initial joy at still being alive she seemed to be starting to realise the enormity of her new immortal situation. Well, we imagine it must get a bit dull, and she hasn’t even lived long enough to encounter EastEnders yet – that particular horror is still to come. In the meantime, she encounters the Doctor once again in the next episode, “The Woman Who Lived” (BBC One, Saturday 24 October) and this time (we think it’s obvious from the trailer so not really a spoiler) in the time of the English Civil War. So what can we tell you without giving anything vital away?

  1. The Doctor’s lacking something for much of the episode.
  2. Maisie Williams was good last week but this week she is very, very good.
  3. The first half is very dialogue heavy but it’s really good dialogue.
  4. There are some excellent flashbacks with a wide variation in tone.
  5. Peter Capaldi is at his best. There’s some marvellous depth to the Doctor here.
  6. Somebody obvious from Who mythology gets a namecheck.
  7. A less obvious alien race from Who mythology also gets a namecheck.
  8. “How do you know I usually do?”
  9. The Sonic sunglasses display a new function.
  10. “How many Claras?”
  11. There are an inconceivable number of bad jokes and bad puns.
  12. Somebody’s facial feature is unfairly mocked time and time again.
  13. The Doctor’s value is only a fifth of somebody else’s.
  14. The axe is back.
  15. The Doctor resorts to bribery.
  16. The Doctor receives an unusual present.
  17. There’s a very action-packed finale.
  18. The main monster looks great but while his visual relationship to Ashildr brings to mind a classic fairy tale, that’s pretty much where the similarity ends.
  19. There are two “epilogue” (summing up scenes after the main action concludes) and they’re both great – full of “oooh” and “ahhhh” dialogue.
  20. There’s a pub name that is not made up even though it sounds like it should be… we bet you’ll Google it.


• Read our Doctor Who series 9 reviews



  1. Cox says:

    1. ” lacking something for much of the episode.” – A Clara-lite episode, perhaps? That seems to be the general consensus due to her absence from the trailers and the promo pics.
    4. Some more NuWho flashbacks?
    6. River Song? Clara? Considering that Maisie Williams plays both a highwayman as well as a glammed up woman, the Doctor might at first assume them to be echoes of Ashildr.
    10. See above
    12. The eyebrows
    13. Are we going to see more than two versions of Maisie Williams’ character here?
    14. Thought so 😛
    15. Totally Twelve’s style – just get the job done
    16. The 2nd bit of alien tech – or is it the machine that is supposed to go ding?
    17. Beauty and the Beast
    19. Something to do with the Clara- Doctor equation? Steven Moffat did say that the exact nature of their relationship will be known in this episode.
    20. Interesting

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