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

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