DWO’s Spoiler-Free Preview of Episode 9.5: The Girl Who Died:
For the first time since Doctor Who’s return to TV in 2005, the opening four episodes have given us two consecutive two-parters. But Steven Moffat implied that this year it wouldn’t be entirely clear what constitutes a ‘two part story’, and it seems that in making such a statement, he was talking about this week’s episode The Girl Who Died and next week’s, The Woman Who Lived. The titles seem to link up in the same way that the couple we’ve had so far this year did, and they both share Maisie Williams as a cast member (but not necessarily as the same person), but the similarities stop there. This week’s episode is very much its own self-contained story, pitting the Doctor against vikings again for the first time on television in half a century.
Every week we spend our time in these previews praising the likes of Peter Capaldi and Jenna Coleman, so you can simply take it as read that the pair shine again in this episode. The Doctor and Clara continue to share a relationship matched only by the likes of Baker and Sladen, or McCoy and Aldred. Instead, we want to shine some light on another key component to the programme; series’ composer Murray Gold. Gold has provided the scores for Doctor Who since its revival, and seems to come alive especially in this episode, with a fantastic score that really stands out among his best.
It certainly helps to compliment the work of director Ed Bazzalgette, making his debut on the programme with this episode. As you'd expect by now, the historical locations look beautiful and manage to carry their own distinct flavour within the series - we’re as different in style and tone this week compared to last as you can imagine, and it works in the story’s favour. After a couple of episodes tamely trapped in tight claustrophobic corridors and gloomy overcast Scottish villages, we’re now somewhere bright and colourful and open.
The script helps to ring the changes, too, injecting even more humour into proceedings. The Twelfth Doctor continues to develop a fine streak in comedy, and watching him try to overcome all his hesitations about helping this village in a war against the universe manages to walk the line between the deep-rooted caring that even this coldest of incarnations has while also being laugh-out-loud funny in places.
And as if that wasn’t enough, there’s even some answers to a question that’s been plaguing fans for a couple of years, now…
Five Things to Look Out For:
1) “I’m not the police. That’s just what it says on the box.”
2) When leaving the Spider Mines, make sure you’ve not picked up any ‘hitch-hikers’…
3) “Pick a direction. Fly like a bird.”
4) The Doctor can still speak ‘Baby’.
5) “I know where I got this ____, and I know what it’s for!”
[Sources: DWO; Will Brooks]