The Girl Who Died

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  • #45019
    janetteB @janetteb

    Well that was fun and before I read through all the posts I have to comment because I now have a new Danny/Orson theory. It must be about the hundredth one. Orson is Danny. Ashildr does not use the other disk. She gives it to Clara. Clara manages to go back in time and give it to Danny. Very simple, not a patch on all my other theories so has an actual shred of probability to it. The Doctor knew that Orson was Danny and was pretending not to recognise him in The Caretaker for Clara’s benefit. He obviously works it out some time between Listen and The Caretaker. I think this time I have cracked it. Seems like a re watch of Listen is scheduled. I may have to give up on my pet time paradox toy soldier theory though.

    Everything seems to indicate that Clara might die but Moffat being Moffat maybe instead she too will become immortal. This episode was very much about the anguish of outliving those whom we love. Perhaps that is the fate that the Doctor is trying to protect her from. Have to think a little more about that last one.

    When Ashildr talked about her sense of belonging I was reminded of Susan talking about wanting to stay at Coal Hill in the first episode of Dr Who. There was a hint at that point that there might be something more to the character, a tease for viewers I suspect. Ashildr was a mere mortal girl after all.

    All up a good episode which had the feel of an BG Who story. Nice to see ingenuity win out over might and I loved the wooden dragon. (Lots of lovely Viking wood carving which was a plus.) One negative for me was that the mountains looked very photoshopped in. It clearly wasn’t the Norwegian coast and there were some fancy dress shop horned helmets in evidence.

    Sadly I won’t have time to read comments tonight and fear that by tomorrow catching up will be a daunting task. (Daunting but very enjoyable.)

    Cheers

    Janette

     

     

    #45020
    Juniperfish @juniperfish

    @pedant

    My bad. The pedantry crown is still yours!

    @scaryb – oh, I did not twig the music quotes in the baby speak until you mentioned it – nice.

    @denvaldron Maybe the electric eels was another music gag?

    There was a punk-ish band called the Electric Eels with a Viking connection! This (from the Wikipedia page):

    “Eventually the electric eels got a gig at a Cleveland venue which would support original music, The Viking Saloon’s “Special Extermination Night” 22 December 1974 with Rocket from the Tombs and Mirrors.<sup class=”noprint Inline-Template Template-Fact”>[<i><span title=”This claim needs references to reliable sources. (December 2014)”>citation needed</span></i>]</sup> This gig marked the public start of a new and unique Cleveland punk rock scene.<sup class=”noprint Inline-Template Template-Fact”>[<i><span title=”This claim needs references to reliable sources. (December 2014)”>citation needed</span></i>]</sup> However the repeat event in January 1975 would see the eels banned from the last bar that would have them, due to their use on stage of a gas-powered lawnmower.”

    Fits nicely with our old punk rock Doctor 🙂

    @ichabod

    Agreed – the Doc definitely was having some kind of deja vu, or deja forward, in relation to Ashildr’s face.

    I love Maisie Williams. I thinks she’s shaping up to be a great actress. I love her striking face with those strong eyebrows, and I look forward to watching her career unfold. I think she’d make a great TARDIS companion, perhaps as another character than Ashildr, later down the line, and hope we get her.

    #45022
    Bluesqueakpip @bluesqueakpip

    @jphamlore

    some way needs to be found to expunge this from the Dr. Who universe.

    Really? We’ve already seen an early version. By one Jamie Mathieson – the Mummy uses a version of this kind of tech. We’ve also seen Liz 10, who appears to be effectively immortal (and, like the Mummy, is not exactly happy about it). The nanowotsits that we’ve seen in numerous episodes, on the other hand, seem to be capable of knowing when to back off.

    The Mire have immortality. And their commander is a drug addict. Might be a bit of a clue to the direction this is going in, and it might explain why the other advanced civilisations don’t have immortality, even when they’re pretty obviously capable of keeping their citizens going forever.

    That the Doctor received a second set of regenerations shows that the Time Lords do have the capacity to be immortal. But they don’t do it.

    #45023
    spacedmunkee @spacedmunkee

    Is it just me or was Odin’s appearance in the sky very Pythonesque. I was half expecting him to send the Doctor on a quest to seek the Holy Grail. If it was a nod, then there’s another (albeit very loose and obscure) reference to serpents.

    Also, more references to the doctors memory. Apart from the link to fires of Pompeii, I can’t help but think this is still linked to the Clara’s/Claricles repeating message to the Doctor “Run you clever boy, and remember” I always felt this was a weirdly constructed statement. Possible that this should not be read as one statement, and reads better as three separate messages meant for the doctor at three different times. He may have to remember other things he has forgotten before the end of this series

    Overall, I enjoyed the ep. Nicely paced and felt like a normal DW romp but with some real depth in parts. Had the closure you expect from a one parter but with added excitement of leaving us hanging for more.

    I did notice similarities between this Ep and “The Doctor’s Daughter” ie a girl born to fight who is something special and has so much more to offer, her death and resurrection, having to make her own way without the doctor.

    Also, another reference by the Doctor of his “duty of care” to Clara. Add this with his admission to Davros that he is “a doctor”, does he see Clara as a patient, or sick or maybe still grieving. But as I’m typing this I’m realising it’s probably his own way of telling her he cares for her.

    #45024
    spacedmunkee @spacedmunkee

    One more thing, we had the doctor telling us he “saves people”. We have a girl who is a storyteller who possibly wrote books now stored in the largest library in the galaxy. We have a Doctor involved in some serious time meddling. Would this Doctor consider changing other events from his own timeline. <insert bonkers River theory here>.

     

    #45026
    Anonymous @

    @scaryb

    thank you -goodness, I stepped out of the room for maybe 10 mins and whoa, confusion. I shoulda realised, though so thank you 🙂

    #45027
    Anonymous @

    @juniperfish with regards to testosterone I tend to think it was referring to the hormone in general -not just men/the male of the species. As another said, Ashildr had it also on the Norse ship?

    @denvaldron

    pretty sure Electric eels have been in Scandinavia. We were fishing for them in Bavaria some 20 yrs ago.

    @ichabod @bluesqueakpip and others:

    I actually loved the episode and I just love a callback to Noble (many people’s fav companion) and Tennant’s “come with me”. So I enjoyed being ‘reminded’ not talked down to -at least I didn’t see it that way at all.

    I loved the dialogue -anything which involves the Doctor at the mo, speaking with Clara, with the villagers is quite awesome deeply layered stuff which might be the focus this season  -there is a lot of self-reflection, internalisation. The Doctor is using Clara to bounce ideas off. At times, he feels or seems quite remorseful, deeply resentful, concerned and angry that he carries the endless weight of the almost-horrors of this immortal, lonely life:  “where everyone except you, dies.”

    So while some might see this like the Robin in Sherwood episode, I felt it was much more than that: questions that norse people faced all the time: what is death? what is a good death? How to fight and protect one’s own and, equally, to let one’s own go: much as the Doctor must soon do with his Clara.

    So, loved the serpent and its hint of something more worrisome and fearful to come….

    Whoa, midnight….winks….

    #45029
    nerys @nerys

    @bluesqueakpip The Cloister Bell ringing again caught my attention. Is this going to be part of the entire arc this season?

    @juniperfish, I too liked the Doctor’s wardrobe this time around. It integrates Capaldi’s punk-rock past into that magician’s outfit. Missed the guitar riffs in the theme, though. I guess that was a one-time thing.

    One thing I noticed is that Ashildr and Clara look rather alike, at least to me. Both have big eyes. Connection?

    I was happy that the Doctor finally realized why he chose that face. I still dream that Donna will come back and have her memories with the Doctor restored … without harming her, of course. But I suspect that may be just a dream.

    #45030
    TheBrainOfMoffat @thebrainofmoffat

    Good episode. Not my favorite genre, but the comedic aspects were welcome, just as in Robot of Sherwood. Like someone else here said, I think it was concealing some very important things. Also, even though I’ve now seen plenty of British TV, the accents still trick me sometimes. I thought “the Maya/Maia” were attacking the viking village, and that the girl was “a shielder” (maybe someone who tends to shields before/after battle?). Oy.

    One connection I can’t help but make is between last story’s mention of the Minister of War and the translation of “Ashildr” as “god of battle”. Thanks to whomever first brought that up in this thread. It instantly brought up thoughts of the Master as Prime Minister in Series 3 and how it was referenced many episodes in advance of the revelation.

    I understand that Doctor Who isn’t “serious” sci-fi, but all the playing fast and loose with different time travel theories is bugging me. On the one hand, the Doctor changes the future all the time. On the other, what could be seen as his meddling in history is actually just one point in an already-established causal loop. The fact that he keeps making a big deal over altering the future seems to indicate that he doesn’t remember all of these causal loops he’s been involved in.

    Speaking of causal loops, it’s due to the nature of the show that the 12th Doctor — one who “should never have existed” — is enmeshed in the history of the universe that his previous selves are contained within, thus contributing to the history that led up to their adventures. In other words, the 12th Doctor was destined to be, as is every future version of him (due to the fact that he’s been to the “end of time” once or twice). But now that I’m on this topic, I’ve been wanting to write an article/blog post about time travel problems and paradoxes from the Matt Smith years. @craig, I’m told you’re just the one to contact about this. What say you, and (@everyone) who would be interested in discussing this?

    #45032
    Bluesqueakpip @bluesqueakpip

    @thebrainofmoffat

    I’d be interested to know your ideas – if you want to take a quick look, I’ve done a couple of blogs on the topic myself and so has @nick.

    The first blog (by me) is appropriately called ‘Wibbley Wobbly, Timey Wimey’.

    The next one discussed Day of the Doctor – I gave my view first, and then Nick gave his view.

    The idea I came up with before the Capaldi Doctor was that the situation would be rather like the one in The Fires of Pompeii. That is, from the viewpoint of the Smith Doctor and all Doctors preceding, the Doctor dies at Trenzalore. Just as, in Pompeii, all the seers see tomorrow being an ordinary day.

    From the viewpoint of anyone who comes later in the timeline, the Doctor never died at Trenzalore and there was always a Capaldi Doctor. However, I argued, it would take someone from later in the timeline to make that happen. Which kind of implies (now) that Clara (the one who made it happen) is a creation of the timeline beyond Trenzalore.

    Given that that was my argument nearly two years back, it’s interesting that we’re now being reminded of the Fires of Pompeii. Just so we can see where his face came from? Or because of the paradox at the heart of that story?

    @craig, @phaseshift or any of the mods should be able to help you set up a guest blog.

    Diagrams are optional. 😉

    #45034
    blenkinsopthebrave @blenkinsopthebrave

    An enjoyable episode. Have not read any posts yet, but my first thought was a comic take on “The Seven Samurai” where the villagers have to be defended (and trained to defend themselves) by the wandering samurai.

    The call back to The Fires of Pompei was well done, and the creation of the immortal hybrid (with the possibility of some (or even many) returns to the show for Maisie Williams) was cleverly connected to the question of why he chose that face.

    The allusion to the music from GoT at the end a bit cheeky!

    Now off to read the posts.

     

    #45036
    RorySmith @rorysmith

    Not watched yet. I am a rare spoiler lover.

    I searched around a bit but where did the Doctor know Amy’s Gran from? When 11 popped in her house straight away as if he knew she would be ok with him; that got me curious. Now we have Ashdir. I sense Moffat has a strong sense of family in the show and this is why my ideas of Clara’s mum and Amy’s Gran seem important.

    The serpent. The BBC paid somebody to paint the mural in mess hall of the station set. This was a strange thing to do it were not important. Still not sure of Clara dying but even after she ends her run she may return as an echo Clara.

    Oh and Ashdir’s immortality: Captain Jack not alone? Cassandra? I think Moffat is tying the loose ends from the last 10 years before he exits as showrunner.

    #45037
    RorySmith @rorysmith

    @janetteb

    I like that very much. That blows the Clara living idea though 🙁

     

    The face part tied to the 50th special and Tom Baker’s line about it. That still had me thinking we could see Tennant or McGahn return as the Doctor but now that seems more to do with the choice of face being to remind him of his purpose as we had explained in The Girl Who Died.

    #45038
    lisa @lisa

    My question is how did there come to be only 2 chips? There were a lot of mire. I have
    to re watch but it seems to me that there could have been more then 2 that the Doctor could
    have taken. I think I’m missing something.

    #45039
    Arbutus @arbutus

    Well, I’m starting to get a better sense of this series now. Something I liked about Series 8 was the way we had various memes about which to wonder– Missy, Paradise, soldiers, stories, “Am I a good man?”. Some contributed to the series arc in a specific way, some acted more as connective tissue in a sense, but they helped the series hang together for me. I’m now beginning to see that again with some of the repeated motives– hybrids, serpents, death, intervention, a “duty of care”, the cloister bell.

    @django    I believe ZZ Top was mentioned this time around, so a music meme as well?  🙂

    I always enjoy the light-hearted historical approach, and the BBC sets are always a delight. I liked being shown that there were non-warrior Vikings as well. But why, why did they have to have the horned helmets? Was that meant for the kids? We all know by now that they didn’t really wear those, so why not have the truth?

    I enjoyed the Doctor’s changing moods in this, and his mentorship of the villagers was charming. Watching them put his plan into action was quite fun. I also enjoyed Clara more this time around, as she was back to being competent and confident without seeming quite as strung out as she did last time.

    I thought the Doctor’s moment of revelation about who frowned him this face was nicely done. It was nice to see him reminded that not everyone has to die. But I guess we will see next week whether Ashildr was one of the ones who should have died, rather than one who could be saved? Or whether she was saved for something important.

    The Doctor really is worried about Clara, isn’t he?

    #45041
    PaperMoon @papermoon

    I enjoyed this episode a lot, as I did the last one – I just never got round to posting about it. Very interesting conversations between the Doctor and Clara, (in both episodes) – the tension between them was rather taught at times. She’s still seems to be pushing him about something and he still seems to be wavering between yay and nay. I’m looking forward to a second watch.

    #45044
    lisa @lisa

    @plainolddave Math (US) and/vs maths (UK) – 2 of my favs 🙂

    #45045
    blenkinsopthebrave @blenkinsopthebrave

    Lots of great reflections on the board (of course). And not everyone agrees with each other—sorry, @cumquat!

    Agree with @countscarlioni that this was a very deep episode lying beneath a seemingly-lighthearted romp. And it is for this reason that I liked this episode so much more than last week, when I felt that Whithouse was saying: “Look at how clever this writing is”, but, for me at least, it was all strangely hollow, because it was too obviously “clever”.

    But this episode was chock full of stuff to ponder on (the future of Clara, the morality of “giving” immortality, the anguish of the Doctor, particularly in relation to Clara, but also to all his companions) while we were swept along by a silly Viking setting and slightly silly warlord.

    Great observation from @oldmangeorge about the allusion to the Captain in The Pirate Planet.

    And along the same lines, I agree wholeheartedly with @janetteb that this had the feel of an old BG Who story. And that was one of the things I liked about it! Capaldi was even wearing Hartnell’s pants!

     

    #45046
    lisa @lisa

    The fact that Ashildr had no mother was a detail that stuck with me. Sort of like Clara also.
    I wonder in my bonkersdom can they be half sisters sharing a timey whimey mother? Is that
    why Ashildr says she is ‘weird’? Both girls are dreamers. Clara had her book of dreams about
    places and Ashildr has her puppets that took her to places since she was happy to stay put in
    her village. Need a second watch for the details.

    #45047
    Arbutus @arbutus

    Great points and thoughts here as always. Some replies.

    @juniperfish    Yes, it did seem as though the Doctor might have known or guessed what would happen to Ashildr, and I was waiting for Clara to call him out on it. As far as Clara wondering why he wouldn’t give her the chip (especially in light of their earlier conversation), he clearly doesn’t view immortality as a burden he would want to place on anyone he loved.

    “Who frowned me this face?” I think it would have been necessary to remind younger viewers, who may not remember the Tenth Doctor in Pompeii, exactly what he was talking about here.

    @phaseshift   Interesting breakdown of “Ashildr”!

    Oh yes! Who else gave a drunken cheer at “reverse the polarity of the neutron flow”?    Me! (Except not drunken as it was about 7:30 in the morning for me!) But what I really liked was the suggestion that it didn’t actually mean anything, that really made me laugh.

    @scaryb   I liked being told straight out that the Doctor is not cold to those losses, on the contrary, he hates them, and he doesn’t consider it winning when people die. And good catch on the baby’s music references, I completely missed those. I think music really is a meme.

    @jimbomcmaster    Regarding the doctor “choosing his face”, I wonder if the potential return of the Time Lords, and a new regeneration cycle, would prompt some sense deep within the Doctor’s psyche that he might need to be reminded that some times, some people can be saved. I have written before of my belief that the Doctor’s regens are influenced in subtle ways by the events and circumstances of his life that precedes them.

    @denvaldron    Either that, or the Monk actually did introduce Electric Eels to Scandinavia in the Doctor Who universe, because he thought it would be fun, presenting a conundrum for biologists a few thousand years later.    I rather like this thought! I didn’t catch that the Vikings actually referred to themselves that way during the episde, but if they did, good point.

    @ichabod   Remember, the Doctor is translating from Baby. The baby didn’t actually think “fire in the water” in those words. However, I should also point out that my son at less than a year old, could point out the correct vehicle in a book about trucks when I said the name, long before he could speak a word other than “Da!”. He really liked trucks. That baby probably really liked the electric eels!  🙂

    @jphamlore   I like your idea about why the repair chip would be a very bad thing, although I agree that it is unlikely to happen as it is very dark!

    @thebrainofmoffat    I’m sure you’ve realized that there is always someone, somewhere, on this forum ready to discuss pretty much anything that comes up!   🙂

    #45049
    ichabod @ichabod

    @starla    This might account (potentially) for why the Doctor couldn’t use the Mire’s healing device on her – maybe it’s not compatible with dalek tech?  . . . I’m still hearing the occasional oddity from Clara that makes me think of Daleks – e.g the very start of this episode when she says ‘Explain’ on a fairly curt voice to the Doctor.

    Oh, very neat — He might think this and be waiting for some opportunity to actually test Clara for Dalek nanotech before trying a (supposed third) chip on her, for fear of consequences.  Though lots of beings on DW bark “Explain!” instead of the Dalek other go-to demand, “What is happening?” or plain old “What the Hell is going on here?”

    @purofilion  When she placed her hand on the Doctor’s cheek, it was lovely gesture.

    And interesting: that’s what she did instead of saying, “No, in a pig’s eye, that’s not going to happen, between us we’ll find a way to stop it — ”  Not the old Clara here.  More grown up, for starters, even from Before the Flood: no protest, no false comfort.  So, also a heart-chilling moment.

    @scaryb  . . . maybe Ashilde turns out to be Clara’s mum. That’s why the Doctor has to go with making her immortal (despite his knowing/suspecting that a lot of not-good will come from it) – otherwise Clara will cease to exist, and that’s too high a price tag for the Doctor.

    Oh, the bonkerizing is going really well this morning!

    . . . that’s 2 stories in a row which have had monsters as holograms; and electromagnetism (last week’s ghosts were explained to be electro-magnetic holograms – hence being able to pick up metal objects). 

    Hmm.  How much dangerously strong magnetism might it take to keep two soft iron souls together when one of them has died or been vaporized etc. in the future?  Especially when one of them wants to run and run . . . Clearly, I need to go have coffee . . .

    #45050
    Anonymous @

    On more consideration, this episode reminds me of some of the First Three (Hartnell/Troughton/Pertwee); a historical plot, a goodly bit of tech, some amount of horror, and a ‘meddlesome’ Time Lord. It is to wonder if the Powers That Be are setting up for another UNIT story arc. The Time Lords take a reasonably dim view of interfering with “the natural progression of things;” for the unaware, the Doctor’s second regeneration (Jon Pertwee) was punishment for violating these seemingly-nebulous Rules.

    Clara spent a bit of time railing about how the Doctor won’t tell her the Rules, but anybody that is reasonably good at inductive reasoning and is well-grounded in the series/program/show can’t help but see that the Rules the Doctor detests so passionately must bear a marked resemblance to Starfleet’s Prime Directive.

    Another thought: Might we be setting up for a Master story arc? Being long since out of regenerations, a body incapable of death would be something the Master would have a more than passing interest in. And possessing a new body is a “skill set” the Master has used in the past, see “The Keeper of Traken.”

     

    Another side-thought: I did like “reversing the polarity…” and the sidelong reference to Whovian universe social media.

    #45051
    ichabod @ichabod

    @spacedmunkee  Is it just me or was Odin’s appearance in the sky very Pythonesque. I was half expecting him to send the Doctor on a quest to seek the Holy Grail.    Or a huge foot come stamping down . . . !

    Would this Doctor consider changing other events from his own timeline. <insert bonkers River theory here>.

    Well, now that he’s deliberately overstepped that line in a very defiant manner (completely in line with his old punk rocker-rebel style now), he’s certainly positioned to at least consider such a move — and lots of others: “I’ve made many mistakes.  It’s time I did something about that.”

    @purofilion  At times, he feels or seems quite remorseful, deeply resentful, concerned and angry that he carries the endless weight of the almost-horrors of this immortal, lonely life: “where everyone except you, dies.”

    Oh, definitely.  I see a flavor of “I have great fun with these fascinating humans, but on the other hand, why am I spending my time on these erratic and transitory mayflies and all the pain they inevitably bring with them?”

    . . . questions that norse people faced all the time: what is death? what is a good death? How to fight and protect one’s own and, equally, to let one’s own go: much as the Doctor must soon do with his Clara . . . Whoa, midnight

    Without midnight coming, would we ever get any sleep at all around here?  Heavy stress in this story on how death yanks humans and their emotions around, particularly father/daughter ones around Ashildr (“strange” as she is — or does that make her more precious to her village?  We don’t see that ugly “stone the weird one” thing at all here, very nice).  Beautifully put together story in that respect.  This whole season, I think, is going to be about that, openly or sub-textualy, as Clara’s exit is prepared.  No wonder they were able to persuade Coleman to stay on!

    @lisa  My question is how did there come to be only 2 chips? There were a lot of mire. I have to re watch but it seems to me that there could have been more then 2 that the Doctor could have taken. I think I’m missing something.

    No, you caught it — the old rascal probably stuffed a half dozen chips in his pockets!

    @arbutus  The Doctor really is worried about Clara, isn’t he?

    I think he’s seen enough of what that future will be — or almost seen, and retreated to worry and chew over what it must be — to be in already in a background state of deep panic and mourning while loving his time with her now (that lovely “I’m not the huggin’ sort”, sly grin, followed by a magnificent hug) and making the most of it.  She may know or surmise too, just because “the death of the Doctor” and “the departure of the companion” are built into all the Doctor’s stories.  The tension is being handled very well, IMO, and should draw this season to a smashing finish.

    #45053
    lisa @lisa

    @ichabod That’s interesting about the chips to me because like you say he
    might have a few more? So why not share a chip with Clara? Maybe because she is
    already a different form of immortal?
    Liked very much the yo-yo. Thought of Tom Doctor having a yo-yo. It seemed he
    always had lovely things in his pockets like the yo-yo and the jelly babies.
    Also liked the flash back clip. There were a bunch of throw backs some mentioned
    previously to other Doctors too. It’s nice to see all that incorporation.
    Must say though that Ashildr an Arya from Game of T. are extremely close in the types
    of characters to me so far.

    #45064
    winston @winston

    I really liked this episode. It was funny but with a serious undercurrent. Great dialog and acting as usual.I don’t have any theories better than what I’ve read just a feeling that something big is a commin’.

    Seeing CapDoc finnally figure out where his face came from was mint.At least one thing has been cleared up…I think. I also have a feeling that there is no original Clara just Claracles and the Doctor knows that. But I am usually wrong.

    #45065
    winston @winston

    I definately need a rewatch.

    #45068
    Bluesqueakpip @bluesqueakpip

    I wonder if Clara’s future is one where she has to get the Doctor to accept her death? Because death isn’t the worst thing that could happen to her?

    Just wonderin’. Because it was carefully established earlier on that the Norse culture believed an heroic, honourable death in battle was the best death that could happen to you.

    Ashildr had died heroically, in battle, trying to save her people. And the Doctor, largely for his own selfish reasons, effectively stole that death from her – and gave her eternal life in its place.

    And Clara’s realised before that death might not be the worst thing: when she told the Doctor she was staying on Earth in In the Forest of the Night – because she’d seen what being the last of his kind had done to him, and she was having none of it. Better by far to not outlive your species. And now, now, she is getting an object lesson in what immortality might mean. She understands what it means to lose those you love; she’s already lost her mother and her boyfriend.

    I’m the Doctor and I save people.

    But does that always mean that he has to save their lives?

    #45069
    EampnBallenger @eamonballenger

    OK, so I have a theory… Warning, this may spoil something (sorry).

    You know when Ashildr gets two healing patches, they make her immortal, so, maybe (and I emphasise the maybe), she gives one to Clara, which is why she seems to die and then come back to life. The reason for her seeming immortality may have already been explained, but this is a theory, made by yours truly.

    #45070
    nerys @nerys

    @lisa

    My question is how did there come to be only 2 chips? There were a lot of mire. I have
    to re watch but it seems to me that there could have been more then 2 that the Doctor could
    have taken. I think I’m missing something.

    Didn’t those two chips come from the helmet of the one they grabbed for Ashildr to wear? All the rest left ahead of Odin, as I recall.

    #45071
    lisa @lisa

    Wasn’t the Dalek nano tech in Clara sort doing the same thing as the chip inside Ashildr?
    I believe Missy said something like that to Clara when she was installing her in the Dalek.
    Maybe this is why the Doctor doesn’t give another chip to Clara? So this is definitely
    a ‘thing” happening twice within a few episodes.
    Ashildr said she made all those ‘puppets’ as replacements of the people she knows that died.
    Now being immortal that’s so prophetic because she will have to watch everyone around her dying.
    Very sad and ironic. Because the Doctor said he was sick of losing people and has an emotional
    moment over Ashildr death. after all he may not be human but he is humanoid.
    So can this effect the Clara ending? Remember the thing with mirrors? I have a notion about
    Clara and Ashildr mirroring each other and just who was these girls mother? Ia that a connection?

    #45074
    nerys @nerys

    @lisa You are right, Missy said that to Clara, something long the lines of there being loads of nano-tech fixing the damage as the Dalek feed went in. Problem is, no one knows exactly what happens when it comes out. I’ve been wondering about that. Plus, wasn’t Clara still inside the Dalek when the Doctor gave up some of his regeneration energy? Methinks Ashildr isn’t the only hybrid for whom the Doctor is responsible. But if Clara does turn out to be a hybrid, who gets the credit? Missy or the Doctor? Both?

    Also, the Doctor is tired of losing people, but at least he is coming at it from the point of view of an adult. Not a human, but an adult Gallifreyan. Ashildr is still quite young. So mightn’t that be a problem, having someone who is immortal, but equipped with the emotional intelligence and self-awareness of a teen? If he thinks his emotions cause him to do irrational and/or unwise things, what of hers?

    #45077
    winston @winston

    @bluesqueakpip

    Having watched a second time I get the same feeling about the Doctor accepting Clara’s death. When the doctor is talking to Clara about losing her  and how hard that would be, she never contradicts him or assures him of her lasting companionship. She only says again that he did his best and saved many other people.

    After seeing Danny turned into a cyberman she is well aware that there are things worse than death.

    #45079
    ichabod @ichabod

    @lisa  Must say though that Ashildr an Arya from Game of T. are extremely close in the types of characters to me so far.

    Let’s see — daughter of a warrior culture, dad a reasonably high status leader (of his village, though not, apparently, of actual raids like the one that return with the two prisoners), could become a warrior herself (a shield maiden, or something else in future).  Smart, sensitive, outspoken.

    But — Ashildr differs in being an artistic type rather than a “tom-boy” would-be warrior, an imaginative puppet maker, head full of stories and remembered dreams, feels like an outsider but comfortable in the local bonds of love and not at all interested in leaving her “safe” home where she has a secure and protected place.  It’s definitely a related type of character, but with a bit more depth (IMO, but I’m not a fan of GoT).

    @bluesqueakpip  Ashildr had died heroically, in battle, trying to save her people. And the Doctor, largely for his own selfish reasons, effectively stole that death from her – and gave her eternal life in its place.

    Ooh, yes; good!

    I’m the Doctor and I save people.
    But does that always mean that he has to save their lives?

    Strictly speaking, could also be said to merely postpone their deaths, usually, since they will all die eventually, and if the rules of time are abided by, his postponing their deaths is just part of the pattern of their lives, which still leads inevitably to their deaths at a later time.  That didn’t work out so well this time (the best warriors got taken first thing and are all dead, and now Ashildr — “this village has had so many losses” says her father), so given the chance (the chips) he’ll restore her life and then some, and to Hell with anyone who disapproves.  Only he himself disapproves, very shortly thereafter (“a very big mistake”).

    So what has he saved?  Not her human life.  He’s saved all of her potential future experiences of life (which she was supposed to have given up in order to rescue her village) and returned them to her as an open-ended future of conditional immortality.  He hasn’t saved her life; he’s transformed her into someone who lives much longer than any of her neighbors possibly can.  The act of heroism was the end of her human life.  I doubt that the villagers will regard what they see of her renewed life as human in the same sense as their humanity.

    Just thinkin’.

    #45082
    ichabod @ichabod

    @nerys  Ashildr is still quite young. So mightn’t that be a problem, having someone who is immortal, but equipped with the emotional intelligence and self-awareness of a teen? If he thinks his emotions cause him to do irrational and/or unwise things, what of hers?

    Mmm, that’s very nice — promising for when they meet again, next Saturday.

    @winston  Having watched a second time I get the same feeling about the Doctor accepting Clara’s death. When the doctor is talking to Clara about losing her and how hard that would be, she never contradicts him or assures him of her lasting companionship. She only says again that he did his best and saved many other people.

    It’s more and more apparent that they both are well aware that her term as companion has limits, and they are coming up fast.  This might even be a conversation they’ve had several times before, always coming down to the same thing: “In the end I fail,” vs. “You did your best (you’ll fail, but no one could hold that against you since you tried so hard).”  Which doesn’t really help when you end up holding it against *yourself*.

    #45083

    @nerys

     emotional intelligence and self-awareness of a teen?

    “Teen” is a very modern concept.

    #45084
    Anonymous @

    We’ve had two episodes in a row where the dignity of life and death has been explored; The Girl Who Died and Before The Flood. Am I the only one that sees The Master at work behind the scenes? Clara will soon exit, Ashildr will be the Master’s ‘companion’ until the Master’s current body atrophies, at which time he (she, now?) will assume Ashildr’s body  (just as he did Tremas’ in The Keeper of Traken) and Maisie Williams will become the latest actress to portray The Master. Unless, of course, The Master can somehow scam the other chip out of Ashildr.

    #45086
    Anonymous @

    @ichabod

    wonderful theories -after staying up so late last light and with a kinda public holiday for me (?) I slept in! Lots to read and digest which is “fantastic” as Nine would say. (I wonder if Eccleston watches Who? Some interview I read/watched said that he no longer watched it or cared for it: if so, very sad and rather foolish, perhaps. But with that sadness – if it reached that point – I guess you wouldn’t want to be reminded of what you missed…but then, he wasn’t one to go out and do public appearances, Comic Con and the rest which is clearly contractual now…and very ‘fannish.”

    Haven’t worked out why the Doctor saw Ashildr and thought he’d seen her before? Loved the line about “premonitions going backwards” (sic) though.

    @bluesqueakpip

    Just wonderin’. Because it was carefully established earlier on that the Norse culture believed an heroic, honourable death in battle was the best death that could happen to you.

    Yes: I wonder though whether the Doctor thought it all his fault, singularly, it was his idea to use her puppetry. She herself also felt she’d caused this battle because of her statement in the craft to ‘Odin’. Perhaps he felt it was necessary to balance his own involvement. But taking her death and then giving her life we surmise that it didn’t always work out so well for Capt Jack (though a salient difference I think, in his instance).

    @lisa indeed it be so (ironic):

    Ashildr said she made all those ‘puppets’ as replacements of the people she knows that died.  Now being immortal that’s so prophetic because she will have to watch everyone around her dying.

    @Ichabod 

    returned them to her as an open-ended future of conditional immortality.  He hasn’t saved her life; he’s transformed her into someone who lives much longer than any of her neighbours possibly can.  The act of heroism was the end of her human life. 

    Interesting. So, we imagine that the next time we might visit with Ashildr she may explain how her village (perhaps not her father or the people at the time but those in a later generation) began to be frightened of her and perhaps even condemned her to banishment. This young girl who pitied the Doctor because he had no “place” that this was her “place with its lake, its mountains and its fields” may now have to go in search of a place on her own and of her own devising. I find this very sad. To see those young children, particularly the black- smith’s baby grow age and die.

    This is such metaphor for the Doctor’s life -I wonder what Clara makes of it? If she connects some of the Doctor’s statements in the last few adventures with her own demise? She’s smart, a thinker, delving into the future, still with her journal carrying its first page: the leaf. Surely she must ponder on her mother’s admonitions and then, in the darkness of her room at night, as she looks at the moon, does she wonder about all those lives the Doctor has affected -and effected?

    She must often think, “how long do I have? When does this journey end?” I also think that, as a claricle, will she begin to dream (as Donna did in the final series when she appeared briefly but had forgotten her travels) of her ‘past lives’? Will those echoes start to feed into her days as well? This isn’t unlikely given the delicacy of the human brain. But it is resilient also.

    Yes Ichabod I mentioned that I too liked Clara’s personality this week: I think someone mentioned along with me that Jenna Coleman had a sore throat: so less motor mouth? As a ‘lucky’ aside, we have a deeper voiced more mature traveller which was a lovely balance. The Doctor, with his dialogue and his translation of the baby’s words (did that not move people so? Was I the only one complaining of ‘dust in my eye?) stole the scenes this week. It was such an internalised piece, made into external reflection with the norse, the Vikings (whomever..) as a backdrop to a bigger story: a Don Giovanni or a Magic Flute opera buffa where the serious quality and rich fabric is ‘in between the lines’ or behind the pages of this ‘story of the Vikings’ so that it sets scenes for future happenings.

    I think I’m trying to state (and badly!) that the questions this story raised are more important than the puppets, ‘Odin’ with his letterbox baddies and his testosterone sucking…

    Now, the line “if anyone has a problem with that they can go to helllll!!” reminded me of Moffat maybe ‘having a go’ at some ‘fans,’ less thrilled with certain approaches and so he’s saying “STFU back” ?

    This Doctor didn’t descend into sentimental musings but said “I like a good view as much as the next person.”

    Even later when Ashildr and her father cried, the Doctor added, with a shrug (he’s a shrugger) and a nod, “no, you go ahead and cry”. I liked those bits n’ pieces: other writers might have added a pinch of sentiment & a director the dreaded slo-mo.

    I loved the score -mostly, though residual sentiment was over-used in the score and I found that it dragged a bit in places.

    I missed @scaryb ‘s reference to the Dr’s statement about the “hip” baby -“fire on the water” ? Genius.

    🙂 Very cute indeed though I have to say The Doors were a tad over -rated though perhaps greater minds like @whisht and @thekrynoidman disagree with me? 🙂 As well they should!

    @arbutus I agree regarding why it was necessary to remind young viewers of why the Doctor had that face: even Boy Ilion watching Ten with great excitement every week was only about 7-8 years at the time and basically forgot that set of episodes!

    Kindest, puro.

     

    #45087
    Anonymous @

    @plainolddave

    Am I the only one that sees The Master at work behind the scenes? Clara will soon exit, Ashildr will be the Master’s ‘companion’ until the Master’s current body atrophies,

    No, I’m pretty sure you’re the only one who comes up with various theories of this sort! 🙂 I’m kidding of course. But it’s a good theory.

    A cursory examination of this Forum yields a passionate group of enthusiasts and academics  -what you’ve added is a great theory, by the way, suggested by a number of others (insofar as they could predict what might happen)  before this episode aired. Of course it is one theory -of many possible streams of thought. One @jimmythetulip has his own very interesting theory about the re-positioning of Clara, for example.

    Hope you enjoyed the actual episode? Did you? Were there any weaknesses that you, in particular, discovered, or something that didn’t sit right? I’m always curious to assess what new members might think of Who -particularly if they’re very young and are only familiar with NuWho or what we here call, AG (After the Gap) and BG (before the reboot of RTD own devising/vision).

    Kindest, Puro

     

    #45088
    lisa @lisa

    @nerys Thanks. Just re-watched and saw that they captured 2 helmets in the magnet trap.
    @purofilion When the Doctor said “if anybody had a problem with that…” I was
    thinking he may of meant the Time Lords?

    Just realizing that I seem to have also missed what happened to the broken sonic sunglasses.
    Did the Doctor get those back?

    #45089
    nerys @nerys

    @pedant OK, fair enough. Young person, then? Not a child, but not yet an adult either.

    @lisa I must not have been watching closely enough. I saw only one helmet. Good catch! I can’t recall the final outcome for the sonic sunglasses.

    #45090
    JimmytheTulip @jimmythetulip

    @phaseshift

    “God of Battle = Minister of War?”

    Very good! That’s a distinct possibility. It also explains why the Doctor hadn’t heard of the minister of War in “Before the Flood”. In his time line he hadn’t created her yet… I hope your idea bears fruit.

    #45091
    jphamlore @jphamlore

    <span class=”useratname”>@plainolddave: Three in a row, remember the discarded Daleks in the sewers who got their revenge after being regenerated by the Doctor.
    </span>

     

    #45092
    Missy @missy

    Re: The Doctor overstepping the mark. He did exactly that in ‘Waters of Mars’ – think that was the title –
    when he saved everyone from a nuclear explosion which was a fixed point. The Leader ended up shooting herself to put it right, and the doctor, realising, said “I’ve gone too far.”

    Just saying

    Missy

    #45093
    CountScarlioni @countscarlioni

    <div class=”bbp-reply-author”>Very much agree with @blenkinsopthebrave and @janetteb ‘s point that The Girl Who Died had the feel of a BG story.</div>
    To follow-up the point on the Doctor’s trousers (which I believe are supposed to be Troughton era trousers-see below the bit from the Radio Times in August), Peter Capaldi has directed us to “specific trouser things that happen for specific reasons” in the series (unless he’s joking!?). Why, then, point us at the Troughton era for this story?? Is it just a little bit of homage, or more?

    And also to follow-up the story telling dimension to the The Girl Who Died, the Countess Scarlioni detected possible echoes from the great BG experimental story on story telling from the Troughton era, The Mind Robber.

    In The Mind Robber, the second Doctor battles a master mind who can transform people into fictional characters. At one point the Doctor encounters the Medusa no less, which would fit with the snake/serpent theme of this series.

    My initial bonkers theory was that the now “functionally immortal” Ashildr would develop the ability to burst the bounds of her imagination and be able turn her own stories into reality. After a second viewing of The Girl Who Died, my money’s still on the story telling Ashildr (who, she told us, had brought bad luck to her village) turning at some stage into (or threatening to do so) the tidal wave the Doctor agonizes about in the last minutes of the episode. Has the Doctor just made a cataclysmic mistake? Indeed, Doctor, what have you done??

    Off to rewatch The Mind Robber…

     

     

    From the Radio Times in August

    “From the moment he first stole a homeless man’s coat, Peter Capaldi’s version of the Doctor has definitely been ‘dress-down’. His initial David Bowie look has developed into a hoodied, torn-jumpered style at odds with Capaldi’s sharp features.

    “In the Christmas special I thought we’re in the Antartic, I better put a hoodie on,” he told journalists at a special exclusive amazing set visit. “And I quite liked it, so I thought I’ll get some more of those. He’s sort of loosening up a bit more, but he still sometimes goes back to his more severe sort of look.”

    But Peter! What about those new, Patrick Troughton-esque trousers you’re wearing in new publicity shots?

    “There are some specific trouser things that happen for specific reasons. It will become clear to you when you watch the show.””

     

    The Medusa from  The Mind Robber

    #45094
    Ozitenor @ozitenor

    Bonkers theory alert:

    on a rewatch, as the Doctor is putting the helmet on Ashildr, she says “I am scared” and the Doctor responds: “you were born for this”. And we have Clara, the girl who “was born to save the Doctor”. Earlier, the Doctor has said to Clara something similar to “all we can hope for is a good death, unless you’re immortal” and he looks at Clara with some sort of hidden meaning in his eyes. I dont think he means himself. Regenerations are not immortality, they are finite. Sort of. And by the end of this episode, we Ashildr the immortal, the hybrid. Clara the hybrid, perhaps immortal too. I cant wrap my head around how they can be the same person, but I am starting to think they very well might be, in a weird causal loop timey wimey kind of way.

    On a side note, i find the Doctor looking at Clara a lot like 11 would look at Amy when she was the flesh clone. That kind of deep analytical observation, carefully choosing his language.

    Oh, and when the Doctor yells for the second switch, we see two helmets fly up to the electromagnet, but the next shot shows 3 Mire helmetless, and as he deactivates the magnet we see three helmets drop along with some weaponry… So assuming 1 immortality chip per helmet, there is a third one unaccounted for. Just sayin’ !

    #45096
    Ozitenor @ozitenor

    @lisa – at the end, when confronting the Mire captain, the Doctor snatches his sonic glasses back from the chain around his neck and activates them as he says “i hacked your teleport” and you hear the sonic sound effect as the Mire is teleported back to his ship. So yes. The Doctor has them back. Broken in half, but back in his possession.

    #45097
    lisa @lisa

    @ozitenor 3 helmets dropped down? Good grief Charlie Brown! You really do have to watch
    this a frame at a time! I think that last thing he said in the Tardis about the hybrid
    started out about Ashildr and ended up as a possible revelation about Clara. I’m not sure
    they are the same but there could be some connection.

    Thanks for the sonic explanation too 🙂

    #45099
    Anonymous @

    @ozitenor @lisa

    good heavens ozenitor how did you pick all that up -in one view –all that you mentioned in that final paragraph? Amazing

    I thank you also for the sonic explanation with respect to the “I hacked your teleport.”

    Ah, the Doctor is extremely clever: particularly when fully cooked and regenerated. 🙂

    But yes, I concur he is very worried indeed

    #45100
    Bluesqueakpip @bluesqueakpip

    @ichabod

    his might even be a conversation they’ve had several times before

    I get that feeling; that they’ve now had The Talk, where the Doctor explained that the companions who survive him are the companions who choose to walk away.

    #45101
    Anonymous @

    @countscarlioni I like the info that popped up from the Capaldi interview re those trousers. Interesting and obviously something to watch out for, Sherlock Holmes style.

     

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