This wasn't really a conclusion to last week's "The Girl Who Died"; it was more a fresh episode with a common character in Ashildr (Maisie Williams), the Viking villager whom The Doctor (Peter Capaldi) turned immortal with alien technology. It wasn't even written by the same person (Catherine Tregenna took over from Jamie Mathieson), and Ashildr was practically a different character; someone who may not have aged, but has become hardened to life over the aeons.
I'll miss Jenna once she goes, that's for sure. Clara only appeared in the very last scene of "The Woman Who Lived", and yet her absence was keenly felt. I thought Williams would be a great 'temporary companion', but Ashildr continued to be a rather dull character that Williams didn't have much fun with. And considering the popular Game of Thrones actress spent much of this story dressed as masked highwayman 'The Nightmare', and there were comical flashbacks to Ashildr faking her many deaths throughout history, that was a surprise.
The only things I liked about "The Woman Who Lived" were some of its poetic musings about living forever, as you're forced to constantly restart your life whenever your longevity becomes noticeable. There were some touching exchanges between Ashildr and The Doctor as they bonded over a very particular kind of loneliness they both know. However, some interesting musings on mortality vs. immortality weren't enough to compensate for many other shortfalls. Ex-Torchwood writer Catherine Tregenna is a welcome female voice on the show, but this wasn't the best Who debut.
written by Catherine Tregenna • directed by Ed Bazalgette • 24 October 2015 • BBC1