The Woman Who Lived

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    ichabod @ichabod

    @missy  I enjoyed this one, except for the actress playing Ashildr.  Is it only me, or do some of you think she can’t act? I thought she was awful

    I thought she was pretty dull in Part One, but really came to life in Part Two.  She was an insecure child in Part One, but in Part Two there was so much more — loved the way she sashayed around in her fancy dress and jewels as Lady Me (“Me”, really?  I heard it as “Meade”, but maybe I heard wrong?), a figure masculine enough to look and sound like a highway man, but woman enough to have had (and lost) a husband and some kids in the past, and to go all Gracious Lady standing on the gallows platform with poor Sam, or take a soldiers outfit and fight as a male archer in the 100 yrs war.  It was made nothing of by anyone in the story, which I also liked.  Breeches or ball gown, she knows her way around and doesn’t hesitate.  I liked that, and I liked the adult tones of her confidence and her anger in this episode.  But the quality of her performance(s) has opened a divide among fans, some who found her terrible, others who are all admiration, so you’re far from alone in your opinion.

    Missy @missy


    I agree that she was a bit dull in the first episode, but her acting – if you could call it that – was woeful.

    Never before have I felt this about any of the companions, so it’s good to klnow that I’m not alone.



    ichabod @ichabod

    @missy  I’d say she’s still too immature (emotionally?  Psychologically?) to have much range, but she did well enough in Part Two.  I’ve seen her in GoT, where she’s been pretty okay, but I see nothing of inspiration there, of shining talent, and without any of that, she’s an apprentice technician, in my view, at least for the time being.  Fortunately for her (and us), working with Capaldi she’d have to be a cement block not to jump a notch or six, which I think she did for Part Two, since the character is much more complex there.  Whether she can hold that place and pace or not, only time will tell.

    Capaldi said somewhere between seasons, I think, that he enjoyed working the Coleman because she’s so good: “We;ll be rolling along, and I’ll look over at Jenna and think, oh, oh, now she’s really *acting* — I’d better up my game!”  Honestly, he’s so modest I’d like to slap him — suddenly I’m understanding Clara’s more outrageous behavior a bit better . . .

    Cheers indeed


    Anonymous @

    @missy @ichabod

    Whilst I’ve seen Game of Thrones and find it a type of violent blood porn, I didn’t mind Williams in it. I thought her acting in both of these episodes was pretty good actually -a talent, in fact. I certainly didn’t think Capaldi somehow outshone her or that she was ‘woeful’ but each to their own. At least here, unlike other inter-webs, no-one except perhaps our recent troll, is going to say, “hey you jerk, whadaya know?” 🙂

    I liked how, as the space ships approached earth, the Doctor spoke of them “actualising on our plane of reality”. I wonder, what or who, could still have made it thru that portal before it was closed-something to think about in the remaining episodes maybe?


    thank you for that info: you are an encyclopaedia of info regarding anything Old Who or BG. Amazing

    Cath Annabel @cathannabel

    @kharis and various – I’m not inclining to the view that Ashildr is Clara’s mum.  The clothes she’s wearing in the photobomb are clearly meant to be a message, but not necessarily that message.  Deliberate photobombing has been described as ‘a narrative of surreptitious sabotage’ (according to Wikipedia)… One thing I’m not sure we know about Ashildr’s immortality – does she age at all?  If not, she’d have to keep moving on, since even a few years’ sojourn with mere mortals would get people wondering, and in which case she can’t realistically (OK, silly word to use in context but it still needs to make some sense, even if of a bonkers variety) have been part of Clara and her Dad’s normal life for as many years as we see (let alone the years before that Clara has evidence of).  I’m assuming she doesn’t age, because otherwise the mechanisms by which she would revert to the age at which we see her would be complicated (and likely to have been referenced in the episode, e.g. in the diaries).  I think Ashildr is saying look, I’m here now, looking very directly at the camera, but also I was there, I saw, I know – what, though?  What does she know?  Obviously something about Clara (I can’t recall the dialogue when she was asking about/commenting on Clara).  Damn, I clearly need to watch each ep more than once – roll on retirement!  (@purofilion yes indeedy I am happy and excited about it!)

    Oh, and @pedant, thanks for that link.  A fine piece – and indeed you, and @kharis are not alone:


    JimTheFish @jimthefish
    Time Lord

    I thought Maisie Williams was pretty good and for my money (bar Dinklage) is the best thing in Game of Thrones. She maybe didn’t quite capture the worldweariness that her character required in the second episode but she was still pretty effective. The episode belonged to Rufus Hound though, I think.

    And while lauding @kharis‘s excellent spot, I’m also a bit sceptical that she’s going to turn out to be Clara’s mother. As has been pointed out above, it’s too elliptical (at the moment) to be a major plot point and there’s the casting issue too. But it’s probably not coincidence. It’s possibly more yanking of fans’ chains by the production team is my thinking.

    I am thinking that there is going to be some kind of connection between Missy and Clara though. Possibly she’s some kind of ‘sleeper agent’ for Missy or Missy’s surrogate for her to travel with the Doctor. Or possibly not.

    Was also initially sceptical of @juniperfish‘s (and others) Tarot theory but will have to admit that I’m on board with it now. Not sure what it means or what the ultimate relevance of it will be but it does seem to be ‘a thing’ this series.

    janetteB @janetteb

    I am in the “not Clara’s Mum” camp though I am certain the costume likeness is no accident. While similar they two women are not the same. Clara’s Mum has a heavy fringe while Ashildr’s hair is drawn back. I also doubt that Clara is in any way descended from Mix/master. The question of how the Claricles come into being is for us fans to ponder. There are always going to be threads left hanging and it would be rather dull if there were not.

    I have been intending to comment on the discussion a page or so back about the Doctor being too emotional now. In the past Doctor Who was written for kids and their Dads. (I guess Mum’s were expected to be in the kitchen preparing dinner at Who time. Urgh.) Emotional depth tended to be very much background to the stories however it does not meant that it wasn’t there. Troughton Doctor certainly showed ample sign of emotional attachment to his assistants. I don’t recall him hugging them but there was certainly the feel that he cared deeply for them. When Jo Grant leaves it is clear that PertweeDoc is deeply saddened. I always got the impression that he rather fancied her. Baker shows less emotion, but I agree with @bluesqueakpip that the trip to Paris was all about impressing the new girl on board. I had the sense that there was something between them long before I knew that the actors were in a relationship.

    I am also unsure about the Tarot theory, mainly because I am a complete Tarot ignoramus but enjoying the discussion immensely. We have a pack of Tarot cards. I have never really paid much attention to them other than to put them up on a bookshelf as decoration. (On the shelf with all the fantasy books naturally.) Will have to pull them out now and study them.

    Times have changed, culture has changed and AGWho changes to. AGWho is very much written with a wider audience in mind. It has to appeal to the old fans, their children and grandchildren and now the Mums are no longer trapped in the kitchen but taking up sofa space, in between the quaking children and the screen. Much though I love BGWho I certainly would never claim that it was above reproach and one of the flaws was a (some times only so please don’t pelt me with fish fingers dripping with lumpy custard) lack of emotional consistency.




    Mirime @mirime

    And while lauding @kharis‘s excellent spot, I’m also a bit sceptical that she’s going to turn out to be Clara’s mother.

    @jimthefish I agree, but would say the clothing looked out of place – I did spot that. And somebody over on the Guardian is very upset about the hats the highwaymen were wearing. Of course dressing a few decades out of fashion is a lot more easily explained if the clothes are from the past rather than the future.

    I did keep hearing Missey saying ‘anachronism’ though while reading about the problems with hats and cocktails.

    spacedmunkee @spacedmunkee

    After reflecting on the ending of the episode where Ashildr can be seen in the photo, I got a “Watcher” vibe from her. It made me feel uneasy just like first time the Watcher appeared so long ago. That sense of foreboding. . .

    Bluesqueakpip @bluesqueakpip

    @missy and @ichabod

    I certainly wouldn’t call her acting ‘woeful’ – the online fandom seems to be developing what I call an ‘Internet Shitstorm’. That is, somebody picks on something not that great, somebody insists it’s not just ‘not that great’, it’s positively bad, someone then insists it’s AWFUL (with caps) …

    … and before you know it, the poor actress or writer has (according to certain sections of the internet) delivered the worst performance/script in the entire history of the universe and should never be allowed to work again. 🙁

    I’m really sorry to say that I was expecting the Internet Shitstorm for this episode, because it’s by a woman writer. Interesting that they’ve picked on the eighteen year old co-star instead. Maybe because Catherine Tregenna already has writing credits for Torchwood?

    My assessment of Ms Williams is that she’s really good – for an eighteen year old. The areas where she was struggling were the scenes where she was asked to play something that’s probably outside her current emotional experience. She gave it a bloody good go, though.

    Actors like Matt Smith, who can convincingly play the emotional depth of a 900 year old when they’re in their twenties, are rare. Even Matt Smith had a visibly better emotional range in his final series than he did in Series 5 – my example would be the Name of the Doctor, where the Doctor’s grief and pain were very affecting.

    Pufferfish @pufferfish

    Ashildr is dressed very appropriately for a teenager in London’s Trendy Shoreditch – stonewashed denim jackets from Su Pollard’s ’80s are a hipster-girl thing – but I don’t think hipsters have otherwise reached the Shoreditch of Coal Hill.

    SirClockFace @sirclockface

    @kharis and @ichabod Could Clara hallucinate the deaf woman’s experience of being followed down the corridor by the axe ghost for example?

    This just came to me. She could infact imagine all of this because it has happened to her. She was walking down a corridor while not being able to do something once (S8E1 when she couldn’t breath). To go with the clothes Clara could be imagining two people who she has met before (Ashildir and her mum) and simply combining them by accident in her head. Anyway that’s what I came up with.

    Arbutus @arbutus

    @jphamlore      Good points about the shared point of view between Missy and Ashildr.

    @ichabod    I had not noticed Sam Swift and the hangman at the end. I agree, though, that it is a rather charming notion. Sam clearly doesn’t hold anything against a guy just “doing his job”! And I guess the hangman’s view is, if God (as I would imagine him to think) saw fit to bring this guy back from the dead, who am I to complain?   🙂

    @missy     As to Maisie Williams’ performance, I was neither appalled nor blown away. Not being a Game of Thrones viewer, I had never heard of her and found all the fuss about her during the pre-season vaguely irritating, like they had cast Dame Judi Dench for Pete’s sake. 🙂 I thought she was okay. As you and Ichi say, she was given more interesting work to do in the second part, so was correspondingly more interesting to watch. But I didn’t think she was particularly bad in the first, either, just kind of a non event from my point of view. But then I googled her and learned how really young she is! She’s only 18, for crying out loud. I guess I will cut her some slack. If people love her in GoT, maybe she’s going places? I’ll check back in about ten years.  ☺

    Arbutus @arbutus

    @cathannabel      I’m not sure. I think she must age at least a bit, because the gizmo that’s keeping her alive is “healing” her. Unless it’s healing her literally every second? It’s kind of hard to imagine how that could work, actually. But hard luck for her having been essentially frozen at such a young age, because the lack of visible aging will be much harder to hide than at, say, thirty or so. In any case, I agree with you and others who don’t think she could actually have been Clara’s Mom, but I also think that the imitation is too exact to be a coincidence.

    @janetteb    Baker showed less emotion, but I always enjoyed the lovely moment at the very end of The Invasion of Time, after he leaves Leela behind. She says, clearly feeling sad and hoping for something back, that she will miss him. He only gives her a little wave and that rather clueless smile he sometimes wore, and steps into the TARDIS (I don’t remember if he actually said anything in response, although he might have). But then, safely inside the TARDIS and away from prying eyes, he says, with huge sadness, “I’ll miss you too, savage.” He may not have shown the depth of his feelings for his companions, but he felt it, all right!

    @mirime   The word “cocktail” rather jumped out at me as well, although my 17th century costume knowledge is general enough that the hats seemed fine to me. (I didn’t get that far on the Guardian board this time, as it all became rather predictable rather quickly!   🙂

    Kharis @kharis

    @sirclockface There certainly has been enough references to believing your surroundings and activities are real, when in fact they are not, take ‘Last Christmas’ for example.  So what you are saying is very possible.

    @pufferfish  Yes, 80’s are back, but I agree with you, it’s out of place.

    @jphamlore & @ichabod

    You both gave me a lot to chew on while I am at work today.  The idea that Clara has heading back to the nethosphere is awesome.  There are so many good ideas on this site.  Even the ideas that don’t turn out to happen would make awesome stories!  The writers on this site should take my kids spin off series idea and get together.  I’m NOT a writer, but I have good ideas and a background in science, plus I have a great memory for history, so I could be one of the idea people and the dramaturg.   Basically, I will help in the background where I am most comfortable.   (;

    Everyone, great theories and great analysis of the theater elements.  @purofilion & @bluesqueakpip

    I thought the writing was excellent, and the girl who played ME did a fine job.  I’m very fussy, and I sincerely enjoyed the episode.  I’m honestly surprised with season 9, it has been consistently excellent and entertaining.




    The thing with her Game of Thrones role, is that it is one of only two genuinely interesting character arcs (the other being Peter Dinklage’s Tyrion). There are other arcs held up by very good playing by experienced actors, but genuinely intriguing arcs are very few. (Part of Arya’s (her GoT character) story arc is that she is easily mistaken for a boy, so hopefully that will help you get a grasp of what they were riffing on in this episode).

    My money is on Sam Swift being the Minister of War, rather than Arya Ashildr

    DrBen @drben

    I greatly enjoyed this episode, and again, my comments are going to come out as stream of consciousness and replies to what I’ve read here, most of which will be un-tagged because I can never remember who said what.  You’ve been warned.

    @missy – I disagree.  I think her acting was quite good.  She shows a tremendous self-possession for such a young actress, and other than a slightly distracting head wobble, she didn’t have much in the way of tics that young actors tend to have.  I thought she subtly conveyed a pretty wide range of emotions, and as the folks at the A.V. Club pointed out, there’s absolutely nothing of last week’s Ashildr in this week’s performance, underlining just how much the character has lost.

    — I would not have made this a two-parter.  I would have left last week’s episode as-is, stuck another two episodes after, and THEN come back to Ashildr’s story.  I think that was a missed opportunity to convey the sheer length of time Ashildr has had to endure.  Felt too much like a fast-forward to jump right there.

    — I thought the greatest idea of the week was that an immortal with a human-sized brain would necessarily forget the vast majority of her experiences.  That really rings true and is a completely terrifying thought.

    — My other favorite part of this episode was the guitar break near the end.  As a musician, I can fully relate to the fact that there is some melancholy that can only be expressed through a good E-minor chord.  The contrast between this and the previous punk-rock power chords communicated as much about the Doctor’s mental state as anything that came out of Capaldi’s mouth.

    — Speaking of which, Capaldi continues to blow me away with the detail and nuance in his performance.  He inhabits the character so fully that his performance just drips with subtext.  Like watching a master class in Shakespeare.

    — My whole family (including me) fan-girled at the Jack Harkness reference.  Bring back Jack!

    @kharis – Spectacular commentary, both on Ashildr as the Strength card (I had the same thought), and the amazing catch on her outfit at the end (which I never would have caught in a million years).  I am with those (@janetteB most recently) who believe that Ashildr is not necessarily Clara’s mom, but that the clothing is no accident.  I remain convinced that Clara will be shown to be a bootstrap paradox, somehow having created her own existence (or the Doctor having done so).  I suppose it’s not out of the question that she could be Clara’s mom (and the Doctor’s visits to Clara’s childhood could have been clouded by his terrible memory for faces), but I suspect that the solution will be more bizarre.

    — I’m slightly dismayed by Ashildr’s intention to protect the Doctor’s discarded humans, just because such a large-scale pronouncement raises questions that the show clearly has no intention of answering (Why didn’t Ashildr protect Donna so that she wouldn’t have to have her memory wiped?  Did she show up in Aberdeen with a car to pick up Sarah Jane?).  I suppose a simple answer could be that Ashildr is unaware of the principal of regeneration, and hasn’t connected those other fellows to the Doctor she knows.  But it’s not a terribly satisfying answer.  It’s a huge declaration for the purpose of a small in-show impact (whatever she’s planning for Clara).  But I’ll get over myself.

    — My only eye-rolling bit was the fact that Ashildr perfected a deep male voice (clearly a different actor) by “practice”.  Cop out.  Also, my wife and 12-year-old groaned at the reappearance of the Sonic Shades.

    Overall, a strong episode, and I look forward to seeing how everything plays out.


    Kharis @kharis

    @pendant Sam Swift is going to play an important role for sure.  Good idea about him being the Minister of War

    I tried watching Game of Thrones, I really did, but it was predictable as heck, cliche to the point of eye rolling, and from what I could tell, completely relies on blood, violence, horror and porn to keep the audience involved.  Since absolutely none of those elements do anything but bore me I had to finally admit to a few close friends I would never be a fan.  So, I don’t have enough experience to compare Miss William’s performance.  I only saw her playing the cliche girl who wants to be more than a girl in old times, so she becomes good with a bow and arrow, blah, blah, blah.  Too cliche of a part to see her abilities as an actress.  I thought she did very well in Doctor Who.  Not anything that stood out as great or bad, which means to me she played it just right.



    Charlie Cook @charlie-cook

    Disappointed that the second chip got wasted (as far as the story arc is concerned). Not sure why she didn’t give it the person she wrote about in her journals as being the love of her life.

    Re comments others have made:

    I thought Me said she learnt of the Doctor from people she met (you have made waves)

    Like the theory about Clara still being in the Daleks.

    Good spot on the Clara mum outfit!

    Kharis @kharis

    @drben  Yes, not sure if it means she is Clara’s mother or she is making a point that she is in control of Clara’s mother.

    The face being different with Ellie/Clara’s mother that the Doctor saw could easily be manipulated by technology.   Her voice sounded more like a speaker when she faked a man’s voice as the Knightmare.  Not saying she used technology, but she was in contact with people who could have given her technology, could have been Missy or the Lion King.   With accesses to technology she could have wore a hologram.  By Clara’s time she may not have even needed outside help. The chip that was planted in her comes from a race where the leader could change his face at will.  Maybe the chip helped amplify that power.  ME would have known the Doctor would check on Clara’s origins.

    Or it’s just her way of showing she has control over Clara’s mother, which works with @jphamlore theory perfectly.




    @pendant *cough* *cough* No first “n”!

    , completely relies on blood, violence, horror and porn to keep the audience involved.

    You say that like it’s a bad thing *smiley winky thing*

    Her character goes WAY beyond bow and arrow, though.

    Somewhere I hope there is an X-Rated Doctor Who outtake of her using the kind of language she gets to use on GoT.




     or she is making a point that she is in control of Clara’s mother.

    Or simply filling in for Clara’s mother. Or offed her….

    DrBen @drben

    @kharis — Point well taken about how Ashildr could probably alter her face/voice with technology.  Totally plausible.

    Tangent: @pedant taking someone to task for misspelling his name is, as they say over at Metafilter, “eponysterical”. 🙂

    Presumably the X-rated Doctor Who outtake would also include Capaldi employing some of the language that made him so famous as Malcolm Tucker.

    Kharis @kharis

    @pedant  Sorry about the misspelling. (:  “Or simply filling in for Clara’s mother. Or offed her….” That is a creepy thought.  She does look smug in that selfie.  Yikes.  That is more in line with my Nightmare Child concept.

    ichabod @ichabod

    @sirclockface  She could infact imagine all of this because it has happened to her. She was walking down a corridor while not being able to do something once

    Valiant try, but a stretch too far for me I’m afraid.  Still, who knows?

    I’m honestly surprised with season 9, it has been consistently excellent and entertaining.

    Well, Moffat kept promising a corker of a season, and so far, that’s what they’ve delivered — really good stuff.

    @pedant  The thing with her Game of Thrones role, is that it is one of only two genuinely interesting character arcs (the other being Peter Dinklage’s Tyrion). There are other arcs held up by very good playing by experienced actors, but genuinely intriguing arcs are very few.

    Very true, IMO.  Most of GoT just glides along on T&A + lots of blood slick greasing the rails, and the people are two-dimensional at best.  Arya is reasonably interesting, and could develop into a *very* interesting character if the scripts will let her, and if she can run with it; but I’m not optimistic.  Of course I’m not a fan of heroic fantasy (ie these days, imaginary war stories with medieval-ish settings), so I was never an example of their target audience.



    JimTheFish @jimthefish
    Time Lord


    Presumably the X-rated Doctor Who outtake would also include Capaldi employing some of the language that made him so famous as Malcolm Tucker.

    It never gets old, so here it is again. Not for the easily offended obviously.

    DrBen @drben

    @jimthefish – You are correct that that never gets old!  It’s funny – when Capaldi was announced, I thought I would never be able to unsee Malcolm Tucker.  Now that he’s been the Doctor for over a year, I’m having trouble the other way!  Why is the Doctor in a suit swearing at people?

    @kharis – The (K)Nightmare Child thing is tantalizing.  I can easily picture Twelve putting it together (“you’re just a child!”) and interspersing clips of the last three Doctors saying “nightmare child”.  Could be chilling.

    And I’m wavering on the Clara’s mom thing — after all, it wouldn’t be the first time Ashildr had faked her own death.

    Arbutus @arbutus

    @pedant    Thanks for the Ashildr/Arya meta pointers.  🙂

    @drben     You make a lot of really good points, particularly the one regarding Maisie Williams. I hadn’t thought of it, but you’re absolutely right, that she is really deliberately playing two different characters in this, and in that respect, she pulls it off. I agree that I also found the notion of forgetting so much of one’s life to be quite haunting.

    I’m fully onside about the guitar. I’m not sure why some people seem to be quite powerfully irritated by it. I see no reason why this incarnation wouldn’t turn to a bit of music as an outlet for whatever he’s feeling. As to the sonic sunglasses, my guess at this point is that they will be a thing for the Twelfth Doctor. Some may like them, others may not. I didn’t initially that they would last long, but the fact that they returned this week after being broken last week suggests that they will be around for awhile. And, kitschy as they are, I actually think they suit Twelve’s style better than the screwdriver!

    @jimthefish     Yes, I could easily watch that for half the day and still find it funny.  🙂

    blenkinsopthebrave @blenkinsopthebrave


    There are some video clips that never disappoint.

    Mersey @mersey

    I had read your comments about the episode before I watched it and I regret it now. The episode is full of clues so I regret that I coudn’t discover  them on my own. The episode was really moving.

    12th have made more mistakes so far than 9,10,11 made together. Ok, it’s a joke but I feel he’s less fortunate then his predecessors or he takes his failures more personally.

    JimTheFish @jimthefish
    Time Lord

    @arbutus — Yes, I don’t mind the sunglasses or the guitar either. I do find it slightly depressing in that the rock star thing is as much a historical persona now as Edwardian scientist or whacky Bohemian used to be (thanks to Messrs Cowell and Internet). It seems perfectly appropriate for the Doctor to adopt his guise now in a way that it wouldn’t 15 or 20 years ago.

    Although I do wonder if the likes of The Wand Company etc are pissed off that the sonic is gone, now that they’ve got a new remote just out in the shops. However, I believe SM has strongly hinted that the glasses’ days are numbered. I suspect they’ll die a death eventually, quite possibly at the hands of the Doc’s missus.

    Arbutus @arbutus

    @jimthefish     Oh, that would be really fun. It wouldn’t surprise me if Moffat were saving them especially for that fate!

    Mersey @mersey

    I forgot to mention one thing. Human brain is limited and it can remember only definite number of memories. It’s not a problem if you live 100 years but when you’re immortal your brain is so full that you don’t have space for new memories! You just can’t remember anything. The author didn’t stick to the science but this problem of having too many memories (especially those tragic) was really intetesting.

    Pufferfish @pufferfish

    Then again, human beings who live the normal three score-and-ten are said to use only 10 per cent of the brain’s capacity (possibly 20 per cent, can’t remember exactly) but there are LOADS of stories that suggest immortality unlocks the unused portion (eg. Heroes).

    Bluesqueakpip @bluesqueakpip

    @arbutus and @jimthefish

    I’m quite sure his missus will try. She tried valiantly with that bloody fez; hopeless.

    Sometimes you just can’t pry the prop away from the performer. 🙂

    Juniperfish @juniperfish


    Hello old fish friend.

    Glad you are on board with the tarot theme. It was @kharis who first spotted it on here in relation to this series, although @phaseshift had been talking about Who and the tarot in the previous one, but, I am a believer.

    As you say, there may not be a supreme coherence to it, it’s just a piece of symbolic play. BUT, I think, it’s likely that a judgement, of some sorts, is upcoming, and no doubt “the lovers” will make an appearance. It could also point eventually to the rediscovery of Gallifrey, as at last the Fool reenters the “World” at the end of the journey through the major arcana.

    It’s a great idea on the part of production, the Doctor on the Fool’s journey through the universe, to create a puzzle for those watching who like such things, without disturbing the waters of the surface narrative too much, for those who hate them.

    @pedant I quite like @pendant – an alter (or indeed altar) ego for dressy occasions 🙂


    Anonymous @


    I would not have made this a two-parter. I would have left last week’s episode as-is, stuck another two episodes after, and THEN come back to Ashildr’s story.

    Absolutely. Even put together, they don’t feel at all like a two-parter, and if that’s the case splitting them would’ve been good, breaks up the flow of the season as well.

    I agree with the guitar and disagree with the glasses- I think this episode was a great example of how both can be done well, not jumping up and down about them but just integrated in.

    Mersey @mersey

    @pufferfish it’s not a case of how many per cents of your brain do you use. Your brain is like a storehouse. You collect your memories and once you’ve stored them, they remain there forever. You can forget them but you can’t delete them. The space is taken. And your storehouse has limited surface. Ashildr’s library was an image of her overfilled brain/mind. Doctor also has one. But I’m neither a neurobiologist nor futurologist. And this is Whoniverse!

    lisa @lisa

    Finally read thru al these posts and whew! Late arrival to this weeks party

    I Wiki’d the leonine character Leandro and found that it is related to the Tharils from the 4th
    Doctors time. So it was basically the return of that time sensitive and time shifting alien.

    @kharis A truly amazing visual spot! I wonder if there is any association in Ashildr the
    Viking and the choice of Elsie “Ravenwood’s’ last name? The whole thing had a very strong stalking
    vibe and its definitely a thing. They did use 2 different guys to play Clara’s dad so why not 2 Elies?
    Also elsewhere I read of the possibility that Ashildr may have been invited into UNIT or Torchwood which
    would allow her access to hologram tech. Maybe the fact that they used 2 Dads is a tiny clue about “which
    is which’ Elie association?

    Bendubz11 I also thought about River and the library when I saw the extensive library at Ashildr’s
    house and her also the memory issues remark made me think computer.

    lisa @lisa

    @bendubz11 previous post 🙂

    Wondering about the up coming episode “Face the Raven” hm? Feels to me like we are getting very
    close to a big reveal.

    If it does turn out that its Ashildr/Elie as the same woman then she met Clara before becoming
    her mother which is actually a little bit mind boggler to me in spite of being a long time Who fan.

    CountScarlioni @countscarlioni

    @pedant  “Or simply filling in for Clara’s mother. Or offered her….”

    If I’ve understood the point correctly, I think I’m with you.

    Maybe this is hope beating out reason, but has SM only thrown a bone to devoted and eagle-eyed fans with Clara’s `mother’? Ashildr/Lady Me dressed like, and wearing her hair like, Clara’s mother must be a very significant plot point, even if she is not really Clara’s mother. Viewers were definitely supposed to notice Ashildr/Lady Me in the background of the selfie. And so to dress her up in this highly deliberate fashion seems perverse (even for SM??) if it is just to be left dangling, even if the vast majority of viewers won’t have made the connection between Ashildr/Lady Me and Clara’s mother at this stage. Perhaps the link will featured in a future trailer?

    Starla @starla

    @mirime – Interesting that you bring up anachronisms. There’s been a few… electric eels, horns on helmets also come to mind. I would love to rewatch to see what Missy said exactly about this topic!



    “offed” not “offered” … 🙂

    Ellie’s death has never been explained, as far as I recall.

    winston @winston


    That is the first time I watched that and it was pretty funny. Thanks for posting , it gave me a good giggle.  I love the idea of River crushing the sunglasses under the heel of her  expensive pumps.

    Anonymous @

    @drben with you re the 2 parter stretched out. Love the e min -like an F Flat really 🙂 Agree with @arbutus – – why can’t the Doctor have his bloomin guitar? Why do people like that annoying troll think it’s somehow childish? They probably want him to conduct Beethoven’s 5th with a bloody big baton because it’s all BBC1 and ‘snooty’ and speaking as someone who actually does that….playing an electric gee-tar is really far cooler.

    Also, it was a nice, off centre scene, without it being hugely foregrounded. It’s the Doctor’s way of winding down -last year it happened to be blackboards and chalk.

    Yes, to whom ever said “nightmare child” chillingly repeated by 3 different doctors….v creepy and worth it. I loved Ten’s description of what would come thru the void: “the nightmare child with its army of neverweres” etc….

    @kharis -tarot ideas are gaining merit at a huge rate 🙂

    @jimthefish No, that clip never gets old but I’d also agree I can’t ‘unsee’ the doctor anymore!

    @drben  I agree about how this Ashildr/ME doesn’t actually sort out [all] the discarded companions -that doesn’t hold together. Unless it’s going to be Clara only, in which case I think she’ll be a bootstrap paradox as you suggested. I almost wish they hadn’t gone down the path of ME watching for those “left behind” because clearly she hasn’t. Maybe it will work in another timeline? In re-watching I found the endless discussion or repetition with the Docotr about “you left me, you made me immortal, take me with you, it’s your fault” was a little dreary: not that the acting was bad (far from it, at times it was stellar) but I get the impression we were flogging a dead Knightmare/Horse, there, and we might have benefitted from other discussions – or another focus?

    I’m concerned that the clothing is also so wildly big an idea -but just for the obsessives -that it might be  a fan-wank rather than reaching behind to a genuine story. But then I wonder about Clara’s necklace worn as far back as The Name of the Doctor, and I ponder that too. Is the necklace related to Tarot in anyway?

    @ichabod I’m afraid I’ve no idea what this means: !!

    Very true, IMO.  Most of GoT just glides along on T&A + lots of blood slick greasing the rails

    Still, I will say that I didn’t know AryaAshildr was 18/ is 18, as an actress? I think, considering she was playing 2 different parts she did rather well. Long way to go and I think there should be a spot of support for her: 2 eps or more on Doctor Who at age 18? Not bad at all!

    @arbutus I was also confused by the ‘cocktail’  -it was one of those “huh?” feelings and then it moseyed on by.

    @supernumerary I also agree with the integration concept -let it just happen and it fits. It’s not hugely important nor will it stop traffic, it just is‘ this doctor’s way. Some have a fez or another article of clothing like a scarf and here we have sunglasses and a guitar. It fits Capaldi’s personality rather well. I don’t know what the Graun’s posters probs are with the glasses but I get the impression that certain people feel that the Doctor can’t be particularly cool! Gee-tar and glasses, oh no, he’s beyond cool and we want 7/10 nerd? Is that what it is with these people?

    lisa @lisa

    I’m having a problem with how it can be that Ashildr is in that present day photo? I just
    have the feeling that the time line is inconsistent. I thought she was on the slow path?
    So how does that work?

    I’m also thinking Ashildr harbors animosity against the Doctor. Just what exactly does
    she intend for the Doctors ‘leftovers’?

    Someone on this thread had an interesting reading of the tea leaves about the Nightmare Child.
    I will have to look that up again because I thought that was a place. But I guess that doesn’t mean
    that it isn’t still connected .

    I like this episode. Better than last week. Liked the conversations. Liked the atmosphere.
    Liked the guitar rift -always like that sort of music a lot.

    gamergirlavatar @gamergirlavatar

    The Woman Who Lived is a great second part to a great beginning. Catherine was a great writer for Doctor Who. She wrote Maisies character very well, along with other great character. I would be more than happy if Catherine could write another episode for Doctor Who. Maisie played two completely different characters very well. The story line was really good. The climax wasn’t the best however, this episode wasn’t really about aliens. It was about The Doctor and how he changes peoples life. Maisies character was a really brilliant character for The Doctor to meet. The story between these characters was very well written and very emotional. The scene where The Doctor is talking to Ashildr was a great ending to the excitement. The conversation also contains some great Torchwood references. When The Doctor mention Jack I almost cry. The Doctor never forgets, a great line for when he is talking to a woman who will rip out her memories. The picture at the end was a great ending for Ashildr however, she will never leave. This episode is full of great acting, wonderful writing and a heart warming lesson for Ashildr to learn.

    nerys @nerys


    In the second, yes, she could still be in the dalek and hallucinating the rest of S9; it just feels like a heck of a stretch to me (thoroughly appropriate for bonkerizing, of course).  Could Clara hallucinate the deaf woman’s experience of being followed down the corridor by the axe ghost for example?  Anything is possible, but . . . ?  Maybe I have missed a crucial step here?

    Well … think back to Oswin. She didn’t realize she was a Dalek till the Doctor forced her to see it. She thought she was cooking souffles, but it was only when the Doctor asked her where the eggs came from that she thought to question it. Might we be in a similar situation here? After all, we’re not seeing her life on earth anymore. When was the last time we saw her in a classroom? I’m thinking it was the season premiere. Then again, there’s that photo of her with her student (and Ashildr off in the background) that she showed the Doctor. Hmmm, bonkers theory blown, perhaps.

    CountScarlioni @countscarlioni

    @mirime  @Arbutus  @purofilion

    The cocktail. Minor errors with hats and Viking helmets I can understand. But calling for a cocktail in 1651?? Even for a village theatre group to make that sort of mistake would be very embarrassing. On the face of it this is such a ludicrous anachronism that I wondered if we were being told something, that Ashildr/Lady Me had in fact got further up her time line and well beyond 1651 at some point(s) where she learnt about cocktails but had come back to 1651. She’s made it to 2015 in the selfie, but perhaps not simply by waiting for time to pass. Or maybe it’s a silly mistake….

    nerys @nerys

    @countscarlioni I was thinking exactly the same thing. Maybe the reason we’re seeing and hearing these anachronisms is because Ashildr has been traveling up and down her time line. And here’s a good argument for Missy entering the picture. The Doctor refused to take Ashildr along with him. Wouldn’t that be the very thing Missy might seize upon? Missy could grant Ashildr’s wish to jump ahead in time, visit other worlds, etc., knowing that would open up loads of manipulation possibilities for her. And we saw in this episode that Ashildr is vulnerable to manipulation from others, if they dangle the right carrot in front of her.

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