Peter Capaldi as the Doctor: S9 E5 The Girl Who Died

Summary: Can the Doctor Save a Viking Village from Alien Invaders without the cost of his soul?

Plot: The Doctor & Clara are captured by Vikings and while Trying to pass himself off as Oden to escape is interruped by aliens who do a better Oden imitation than him.  Clara & a viking lass named Ashildr (who the Doctor remembers in reverse)  declares war on the invaders after they slay the best Viking warriors, meaning the Doctor & Clara have 24 hours to figure out how to stop one of the deadliest warrior races in the galaxy with a bunch of farmers / fishermen and no TARDIS.


Writing:  This episode has all the aspects of the best of the doctor who stories.  Mathieson & Moffat weave an excellent tale with drama comedy pathos and for good measure throw in the Doctor remembering where he got his face.  It’s a memorable scene but not as memorable as the character they are creating,   but that’s for a later review.

Acting: A lot of fuss is made about Maisie Williams in this episode but I think the supporting cast of Vikings do even better here.  This episode allows both Capaldi & Coleman range to play.  It’s said that Brian Blessed was supposed to play Oden in this episode but could no do to illness.  I confess that knowing that made the episode a little less fun because I keep thinking how much better he would have made it.

Memorable Moments: When it comes to memorable moments It’s Loaded!  Not dying, Yo Yo, You will beg for mercy, don’t believe that false Oden, Benny Hill, The Doctor remembers, To hell with you , the fire.

Doctor Who Flashbacks: Reversing the polarity, literal flashbacks to the fires of Pompeii and Deep Breath.

Oddities: Given the time travel of the Doctor it’s less likely he is remembering in reverse than that he’s actually seen her somewhere but didn’t place her till now.

Pet Peeves: Granted that the doctor adjusted the medical kit but that doesn’t mean a piece of machinery isn’t going to wear out, after all bits of the TARDIS are constantly doing that.

Great Quote(s)


Nollarr: You’re coming with us.
The Doctor: No, I’m not. Do you want to know why? On my face, right now, more advanced technology than your species will manage over the next nine million years. (The Viking breaks the sunglasses) Clara?
Clara: Yeah?
The Doctor: We’re going with the Vikings.

The Doctor: [As the village burns] Well, that could have gone better. Morning.
Heidi ; [waking up] What happened?
The Doctor: The Big Bang, dinosaurs, bipeds, and a mounting sense of futility.
Clara: More recently, Chuckles hit Lofty over the head, on his helmet, with his sword, which knocked him out. There was a little blood, which you saw [Heidi faints] and did that. Only, the first time you did it, you knocked a torch onto some hay, which spooked a horse, who kicked open a gate, and er, I’m sure you can fill in the rest.

The Doctor: I can do anything. There’s nothing I can’t do. Nothing. But I’m not supposed to. Ripples, tidal waves, rules. I’m not supposed to. Oh. Oh!
Clara: What? What’s wrong?
The Doctor:: My face.
The Doctor:[Flashback Deep Breath]: Who frowned me this face? Why this one? Why did I choose this face?
Clara: Doctor, what’s wrong with your face?
The Doctor: I think I know why I chose it.
The Doctor: [Flashback Deep Breath]: It’s like I’m trying to tell myself something.
The Doctor: I think I know what I’m trying to say.
Donna Noble: [Flashback The Fires of Pompeii] Just someone. Not the whole town. Just save someone.
10th Doctor:: [Flashback The Fires of Pompeii] Come with me. [reaches out to Lobus Caecilus who bears a striking resemblance to actor Peter Capaldi]
The Doctor: I know where I got this face, and I know what it’s for.
Clara: Okay, what’s it for?
The Doctor: To remind me. To hold me to the mark. I’m the Doctor, and I save people. And if anyone happens to be listening, and you’ve got any kind of a problem with that, to hell with you!


The Doctor: Immortality isn’t living forever. That’s not what it feels like. Immortality is everybody else dying.


Final Verdict: 5 stars. Don’t miss this one.

Ranking of Season: 1st of 5. This one was tough but I really don’t care much or the Daleks so I rate it above the Witches Familiar but it could have gone either way.

1. The Girl who Died
2. The Witch’s Familiar
3. The Magician’s Apprentice
4. Before the Flood
5. Under the Lake

Top 10 Ranking in the Capaldi Era: 3rd

1. Last Christmas
2. The Caretaker
3. The Girl who Died
4. The Witch’s Familiar
5. Mummy on the Orient Express
6. Into the Dalek
7. Dark Water
8. Listen
9. Flatline
10. Robots of Sherwood