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Peter Capaldi
The Girl Who Died
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Synopsis


The Girl Who Died
The Girl Who Died
 Captured by Vikings, The Doctor and Clara must help protect their village from space warriors from the future, The Mire.

 Outnumbered and outgunned, their fate seems inevitable. So why is The Doctor preoccupied with a single Viking girl?

Source: BBC Website


General Information

Season: Thirty Five (New Series 9)
Production Code: 9-5
Story Number: 256 (New Series: 100)
Episode Number:818 (New Series: 122)
Number of Episodes: 1
Percentage of Episodes Held:100%
Production Dates: March – May 2015
Broadcast Date: 17 October 2015
Colour Status: HD Colour
Studio: BBC Wales (Roath Lock Studios, Cardiff)
Location:
Writers:Jamie Mathieson and Steven Moffat
Director:Ed Bazalgette
Producer:Derek Ritchie
Executive Producers:Brian Minchin and Steven Moffat
Assistant Directors:Chris Thomas, Gareth Jones and Natalia Alexeeva
Script Executive:Lindsey Alford
Script Supervisor:Steve Walker
Script Editor:Nick Lambon
Editors:Adam Green, Becky Trotman (Assistant) and Robbie Gibbon (Assistant)
Head of Production:Gordon Ronald
Production Manager:Steffan Morris
Production Assistants:Hannah Jones and Jamie Shaw
Post Production Supervisor:Samantha Price
Production Designer:Michael Pickwoad
Director of Photography:Richard Stoddard
Casting Director:Andy Pryor CDG
Line Producer:Tracie Simpson
Costume Designer:Ray Holman
Make-Up Designer:Barbara Southcott
Cameramen:Cai Thompson (Assistant), Matthew Lepper (Assistant), Scott Waller (Assistant) and Mark McQuoid (Operator)
Incidental Music:Murray Gold
Special Sounds (SFX Editor):Harry Barnes
Sound Recordist:Deian Llyr Humphreys
Visual Effects:Milk
Special Effects:Real SFX
Prosthetics:Millennium FX
Special Creature Effects:Millennium FX
Stunt Co-ordinators:Crispin Layfield and Gordon Seed
Title Sequence:Billy Hanshaw
Title Music:Ron Grainer and the BBC Radiophonic Workshop. Arranged by Murray Gold
Music Performed By: The BBC National Orchestra of Wales
Music Conducted and Orchestrated By: Ben Foster
Music Mixed By: Jake Jackson
Music Recorded By: Gerry O'Riordan
Number of Doctors: 1
The Doctor: Peter Capaldi (The Twelfth Doctor)
Number of Companions: 1The Companion: Jenna-Louise Coleman (Clara Oswald) Guest Cast: Maisie Williams (Ashildr) Additional Cast: David Schofield (Odin), Simon Lipkin (Nollarr), Ian Conningham (Chuckles), Tom Stourton (Lofty), Alastair Parker (Limpy), Murray McArthur (Hasten), Barnaby Kay (Heidi)Setting: Earth (9th century) Villains:Odin and The Mire

The Episodes

No. Episodes Broadcast
(UK)
Duration Viewers
(Millions)
In Archive
818The Girl Who Died17 October 201545'41"6.6Yes

Total Duration 46 Minutes


Audience Appreciation

Average Viewers (Millions) 6.6
Doctor Who Magazine Poll (2016)69.00%  (Position = 7 out of 9)


Archives


 This story exists and is held in the BBC's Film and Videotape Library.



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Notes


This story is the 100th story since Doctor Who’s revival in 2005.

This story is co-written by Steven Moffat and Jamie Mathieson, who previously penned "Mummy on the Orient Express" and "Flatline".

This story and the following story "The Woman Who Lived", by Catherine Treganna, are interlinked but are separate adventures for The Doctor and Clara. Both stories are part of Block Three, directed by Edward Bazalgette.

This is Edward Bazalgette’s first full length Doctor Who story. His previous credits include episodes of Poldark (2015), DCI Banks (2014) and The Guilty (2013). Edward Bazalgette is also notable for having played lead guitar in the new wave pop group The Vapors, who had a one-hit wonder in 1980 with Turning Japanese!

Although this is the first full Doctor Who story directed by Edward Bazalgette he also helmed the short prequel, "The Doctor’s Meditation", released before the first episode of "The Magician's Apprentice/The Witch's Familiar" but shot after this story and "The Woman Who Lived".

Game of Thrones actress Maisie Williams guest stars. She is best known for her role as Arya Stark in the popular HBO fantasy series. She also starred in the one-off docu-drama Cyberbully and was cast as one of the leads of Carol Morley’s drama The Falling.

As production began on this story Maisie Williams commented ‘I'm so excited to be working on Doctor Who as it's such a big and important part of British culture. I can't wait to meet the cast and crew and start filming, especially as we'll be shooting not too far from my home town’.

On announcing Maisie Williams’ appearance on the show Executive Producer and lead writer Steven Moffat hinted that her role in this season was a particularly significant one: ‘We're thrilled to have Maisie Williams joining us on Doctor Who. It's not possible to say too much about who or what she's playing, but she is going to challenge The Doctor in very unexpected ways. This time he might just be out of his depth, and we know Maisie is going to give him exactly the right sort of hell’.

Playing the part of Odin is David Schofield, who is well known to Merlin fans for playing the part of King Alined in the BBC One fantasy series. He is due to star in the ITV series Safe House alongside actor Christopher Eccleston who played the part of the Ninth Doctor.

David Tennant and Catherine Tate appear in flashbacks, as the Tenth Doctor and Donna Noble respectively, in scenes from "The Fires of Pompeii". During this scene The Doctor realises why he has his current face when he met Lobus Caecilius (played by Peter Capaldi long before he was cast as the Twelfth Doctor) and his family. At first disinclined to save them. Donna Noble persuaded him to rescue them from the effects of a volcanic eruption. We also see a few moments of "Deep Breath" in which the Twelfth Doctor first questioned why he had his new face.

This is not the first story where the actor playing The Doctor has played more than one role. William Hartnell (the First Doctor) was also the ill-fated Abbot of Amboise in the 1966 story "The Massacre of St. Bartholomew's Eve" and he played a robot version of The Doctor in the 1965 story "The Chase". Patrick Troughton (the Second Doctor) delivered an at times chilling performance as The Doctor’s doppelganger, Salamander, in the 1967/68 story "The Enemy of the World", and Tom Baker played a number of other roles including Meglos and an android. Peter Davison played both the Fifth Doctor and his enemy Omega in the 1983 story "Arc of Infinity" and that story also saw Colin Baker take the role of another Gallifreyan - Commander Maxil - little knowing he would soon be cast as the Sixth Doctor!

The read through for this story took place on the 18th March 2015 and recording began one week later on the 25th March 2015. Filming was completed on the 6th May 2015.

This story and the next story, "The Woman Who Lived", formed the third filming block, meaning the fifth and sixth episodes of this season were shot sequentially.

This story revisited the idea of something alien taking over a historic era by impersonating an important figure. This concept was last seen in "Robot of Sherwood".

The Doctor is seen leafing through a book entitled 2000 Year Diary - an upgrade on the 500 year diary we saw the Second Doctor use in "The Power of the Daleks" and the 900 year diary we glimpsed in the Seventh Doctor’s final story "Survival".

The Doctor's ability to ‘speak baby’ is demonstrated again in this story - a skill the Eleventh Doctor previously demonstrated in "A Good Man Goes to War" and "Closing Time".

After meeting the Vikings, The Doctor produces a yo-yo in an attempt to impress them with ‘magic’. Former companion, Leela, believed a yo-yo was magical when the Fourth Doctor provided her one to play with in "Robots of Death". The Fourth Doctor was skilled with the toy, even practicing his double loops, when he visited Karn in "The Brain of Morbius", and he used one simply to test the gravity in "The Ark in Space". As did the Twelfth Doctor in "Kill the Moon".

The Doctor has used a sword in battle on many occasions. He fenced with The Master in the 1972 story "The Sea Devils" and he was seen wielding heftier swords in "The Masque of Mandragora", "The Androids of Tara" and "The King’s Demons". But by the time he has reached his twelfth incarnation he has clearly moved on… In "Robot of Sherwood", when Robin Hood pulled a sword on him, The Doctor saw off the outlaw using only his spoon!

It is revealed that Clara has also apparently wielded a sword in battle. It is implied that The Doctor may be unaware of this given his surprised/impressed reaction to Clara raising her hand when The Doctor asks for a show of hands amongst the Vikings.

Prior to finding herself in space, Clara spent an unknown length of time in the ‘spider mines’. How she ended up in deep space, separated from The Doctor, is not revealed.

The Doctor is heard to say that Ashildr is now a ‘hybrid’, echoing a prophecy related by Davros in "The Magician's Apprentice/The Witch's Familiar" that two great warrior races, the Time Lords and the Daleks, would merge to become a ‘hybrid’.

This is not the first time Vikings have been seen in Doctor Who. They were an important part of the 1965 First Doctor story "The Time Meddler" when the TARDIS landed in England in 1066.

Odin's face appearing in the sky to talk to his disciples directly references a scene in Monty Python and the Holy Grail in which God does the same thing.

In Viking culture Odin was a god and in Old Norse texts he’s depicted as one-eyed, long-bearded and armed with a spear or a sword. In many myths he rules Valhalla (a kind of Viking afterlife) where he receives ‘chosen’ warriors who have died in battle.

Odin was originally to have been played by Brian Blessed, who had previously played King Yrcanos in the 1986 story "Mindwarp". Brian Blessed however, was forced to pull out, due to illness. He was replaced by David Schofield.

Clara suggests, and The Doctor agrees, that The Benny Hill Show's theme song be used as the soundtrack for the video of Odin and the other Mire retreating from the dragon puppet. She even plays a few seconds' clip with the tune's opening notes added.

The Mire feed on adrenaline and testosterone. Electric eels are used to defeat them.

The Doctor uses a Mire medical kit to ‘repair’ Ashildr.

As he is adapting a Mire helmet, The Doctor claims he is ‘reversing the polarity of the neutron flow’ a phrase said many times in various ways during the show beginning with the Third Doctor.

At the end of this story, The Doctor reflects on the potential consequences of his decision to save Ashildr, and possibly making her immortal, by saying ‘Time will tell. It always does’. These words were first spoken by the Seventh Doctor at the end of "Remembrance of the Daleks", referring to his decision to destroy Davros and Skaro, and whether it was a 'good' decision. That story also saw The Doctor in in a reflective mood as he mused ‘Every great decision creates ripples, like a huge boulder dropped in a lake. The ripples merge, rebound off the banks in unforeseeable ways. The heavier the decision, the larger the waves, the more uncertain the consequences...’ In this story and the previous story The Doctor makes similar remarks as he reflects on the nature of time travel.

The Doctor references Clarke's Law, which states that ‘any sufficiently advanced form of technology is indistinguishable from magic’.

A Viking is seen to snap The Doctor’s sonic sunglasses in half. They still seem to function at least to a degree.

Clara teaches one of the townspeople how to use her iPhone to record Odin whilst retreating from the image of a dragon. The Doctor threatens to upload Clara's video to the Galactic Hub.

The Doctor gives a bearded Viking the nickname of ZZ Top, another Noggin the Nog and he names a third after the children's book character Heidi.

This is the third episode in a row that we hear the Cloister Bell - the first time this has happened in the show.

The Radio Times programme listing was accompanied by a small colour head-and-shoulders shot of Ashildr dressed in armour during the Battle of Agincourt, as seen in a flashback during the next story, "The Woman Who Lived", with the accompanying caption Doctor Who / 8.20 p.m. / Viking girl Ashildr (Maisie Williams) becomes the focus of The Doctor's attention.



First and Last

The Firsts:

 The first full length Doctor Who story to be directed by Ed Bazalgette.

 Maisie Williams' first Doctor Who story as Ashildr.

 The first appearance of the Vikings, in the revived television series, and for 50 years - since the 1965 First Doctor story "The Time Meddler".

 The first time in the show that we hear the Cloister Bell 3 episodes in a row.


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The Plot

WARNING: May Contain SpoilersHide Text
Clara Lost In Space
Clara Lost In Space

This story starts with Clara floating in space desperately calling the TARDIS to be rescued. However, The Doctor is busy trying to resolve a conflict and is having trouble locking on to her location. Clara then realises that something is in her spacesuit; The Doctor suggests it is a brain-eating parasite called a Love Sprite. Within moments of it getting too close to Clara's head The Doctor materialises the TARDIS around her. As Clara re-adjusts to no longer being weightless The Doctor takes off her helmet and kills the creature.

The Doctor decides to land the TARDIS to check on any damage. However, the moment they land they are surrounded by Vikings. The Doctor tries to frighten them by brandishing his sonic sunglasses but an unimpressed Viking simply takes the glasses and snaps them in two. Seeing that he should have had a backup plan The Doctor realises that he and Clara have no choice but to be taken prisoner by the Vikings.

The Doctor and Clara are enchained and escorted by the Vikings to their village. On entering the village the leader gifts a girl named Ashildr with the right half of The Doctor's sonic sunglasses which she seems to think is a weird kind of eye patch. Clara wonders if The Doctor has a plan, which he does. Freeing himself The Doctor loudly declares that he is cross with the Vikings, tossing his yo-yo upwards. ‘Surely, you would recognize the sign of Odin’. The Vikings though dismiss him as an impostor, to which The Doctor begins protesting until the image of a man who looks like Odin appears in the sky. Realising that he has been outdone The Doctor gives up the ruse.

Capture by the Vikings
Capture by the Vikings

Odin commends the Viking warriors' bravery and invites them to Valhalla. A squad of armoured suits then arrive and begin scanning the townsfolk, rounding up the most fit warriors. They then use weapons that appear to disintegrate the Viking warriors. The Doctor deduces they are using advanced imaging to target the Viking warriors and are teleporting them away. Clara tries getting Ashildr to use part of The Doctor’s sonic sunglasses to open her cuffs, but this alerts the sentries and the two women are struck by the weapons after the sonic technology was scanned. The armoured suits then disappear, leaving The Doctor alone with the non-warriors of the village.

Clara, Ashildr, and the other Vikings find themselves aboard a spaceship. Clara notices that her cuffs are off and that the Viking warriors are impatient to meet Odin. One tries opening a door in front of them, only to be zapped into dust. Clara and Ashildr manage to open the door, barely escaping the next zap that reduces the other Viking to dust as well. On exploring the corridor they come face-to-face with Odin, who is actually the leader of the Mire, a species that prides itself on its merciless reputation and who are killing the male Vikings so they can be drained for their adrenaline and testosterone. Clara attempts to negotiate peace but Ashildr, now knowing her people have been tricked and so enraged by what she has seen, declares war for her people. Odin though welcomes it, stating that he will launch an attack in 24 hours and returns Clara and Ashildr back to the village - much to the relief of The Doctor.

Ashildr
Ashildr

Clara quickly brings The Doctor up-to-date explaining Ashildr's blunder. The Doctor, on reading his 2000 Year Diary, discovers that the Mire are a deadly warrior race, like the Sontarans, but they typically leave others alone if they get what they want. The Doctor therefore tries to encourage the remaining villagers to abandon the village until the Mire have left. They refuse, due to their pride, as they are willing to make a stand despite their lack of battle skills. The Doctor therefore has no option but to teach them basic combat. But he soon realises that they are far too weak and incompetent to stand up to the Mire. The Doctor tries to devise another plan. He discovers that Ashildr is a storyteller who uses homemade articulated puppets. Able to understand ‘Baby’, he translates for the blacksmith's baby, who is crying about the ‘fire in the water’. The Doctor realises that this refers to the electric eels that the fishermen have caught, and this becomes the basis of his plan to save the villagers. The Doctor, on this stroke of genius, rounds everyone up and begins setting up a nasty surprise for Odin and the Mire.

The next day Odin and the Mire arrive and are lured into a barn where they find the villagers having a party. Confused by this the Mire hesitate to attack. On The Doctor's cue, a bucket of eels is startled; their electric charge is channelled into an anvil in the barn, creating a magnetic field that lifts the Mire soldiers' helmets off. The Doctor quickly modifies one of the helmets and gives it to Ashildr to wear. Mental images from her stories are then relayed through the helmets to the other Mire, and the invaders see a dragon attacking them. The Mire flee, leaving Odin behind. Ending the ruse, The Doctor reveals that the dragon was just one of Ashildr's puppets augmented by her imagination and that Clara has recorded the Mire's terrified rout on her phone.

The Doctor then threatens to upload this recording, showing Odin’s embarrassment, to the Galactic Hub (and thus ruin the Mire's reputation) if they don't leave the planet peacefully. As Odin fears the loss of his reputation, more than an actual loss in combat, he agrees and the Mire spaceship departs.

Odin
Odin

The Doctor and Clara then discover that Ashildr was killed in the battle - the strain of using the Mire’s helmet causing heart failure. The Doctor is upset and is brooding about the loss. Clara tries to console him but to no avail. The Doctor on seeing his reflection realises why he chose his face and remembers back to when he first saw it, wondering once more ‘who frowned me this face?’ It is at that moment that his memory comes back to him; Previous companion Donna Noble had encouraged him to always try to at least save someone even in a fixed point, and he saved Lobus Caecilius' family from Pompeii's destruction. He tells Clara that he chose this face to remember to always save someone. Despite knowing that he is breaking the ‘rules’ again to save Ashildr. He takes a chip from the Mire’s helmet and rushes over to Ashildr's corpse. He places it on her head and activates it, bringing her back to life – announcing that the chip is a medical kit for the Mire soldiers. He then gives her father a second chip telling him it is for whoever she wants.

With the villagers celebrating The Doctor confides to Clara that what he has done may be worse than death as the implanted chip will never stop working. That it will keep repairing Ashildr so preventing her from dying - effectively making Ashildr immortal. The Doctor also explains that immortality is not simply the inability of a person to die, but the agony of watching everyone they care about die. Therefore the second chip is for Ashildr to give away when she finds someone she cannot stand to live without and so prevent her from being alone for eternity.

On returning to the TARDIS, The Doctor is left wondering if he did the right thing. Clara though assures him everything will be fine, because what he did was born of good intentions.

Ashildr is then seen in a montage of time passing her by, but with age never affecting her. As she watches the world age around her, her expression changes from elation and wonder, to sorrow and misery, and finally hostility.

 
The Mire
The Mire
The Doctor
The Doctor
Odin
Odin
Humiliating Odin
Humiliating Odin
 
A New Life
A New Life
Clara
Clara
The Doctor
The Doctor
The Girl Who Died
The Girl Who Died




Quote of the Story


 '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



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Release Information

FormatTitleRelease Date (UK)Code NumberCover ArtRemarks
Video
DVD
Doctor Who Series 9 Part 1 Box SetNovember 2015BBCDVD 4083Photo-montageDVD boxed set containing 4 stories
Video
Blu-Ray
Doctor Who Series 9 Part 1 Box SetNovember 2015BBCBD 0330Photo-montageBlu-Ray boxed set containing 4 stories
Video
DVD
The Complete Ninth Series Box SetMarch 2016BBCDVD 4066Photo-montageDVD boxed set containing 8 stories plus the 2014 & 2015 Christmas Specials
Video
Blu-Ray
The Complete Ninth Series Box SetMarch 2016BBCBD 0327Photo-montageBlu-Ray boxed set containing 8 stories plus the 2014 & 2015 Christmas Specials
Video
Blu-Ray
The Complete Ninth Series Box Set (Limited Edition Steelbook)March 2016BBCBD 0357Photo-montageLimited Edition Blu-Ray Steelbook boxed set containing 8 stories plus the 2014 & 2015 Christmas Specials
Audio
CD
Original Television Soundtrack - Series 9April 2018Photo-montageMusic by Murray Gold


In Print

No Book Release
Doctor Who Magazine - PreviewIssue 492 (Released: December 2015)
Doctor Who Magazine - ReviewIssue 493 (Released: Winter 2015/16)

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The Doctor and Companion

 
Peter Capaldi
The Twelfth Doctor

   

 
Jenna-Louise Coleman
Clara Oswald
 
   




On Release

DVD Part 1 Box Set
DVD Part 1 Box Set

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VIDEO
Blu-Ray Part 1 Box Set
Blu-Ray Part 1 Box Set

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VIDEO
Complete Series DVD Box Set
Complete Series DVD Box Set

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VIDEO
   
Complete Series Blu-Ray Box Set
Complete Series Blu-Ray Box Set

BBC
VIDEO
Complete Series Blu-Ray Limited Edition Steelbook Box Set
Complete Series Blu-Ray Limited Edition Steelbook Box Set

BBC
VIDEO
Original Television Soundtrack Cover
Original Television Soundtrack Cover

BBC
AUDIO
   


Magazines

Doctor Who Magazine - Preview: Issue 492
Doctor Who Magazine - Preview: Issue 492

Marvel Comics
 
Doctor Who Magazine - Review: Issue 493
Doctor Who Magazine - Review: Issue 493

Marvel Comics
   

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