DWM 493 Girl, Resurrected
It’s 9.20am on Sunday 18 October 2015 and my husband is laughing at me. I wouldn’t say being laughed at by my husband is an entirely new experience, but it’s not what you want on a Sunday morning. The thing is, I’ve spent a large portion of the last 12 hours 10 minutes (or at least the bits I was awake for) railing against an aspect of The Girl Who Died. I absolutely totally and utterly fundamentally disagree with the Doctor having the ability to bring people back to life whenever he feels like it. (I felt similarly about the Doctor suddenly being able to use regeneration energy on Davros too, actually.) And there was absolutely nothing I saw – not the Pompeii stuff, not the fact that the Doctor had essentially sent Ashildr to her death himself – that would justify his doing this now for the first time, when he’d let so many others go to their deaths. I rather liked husband’s hypothesis that as this Doctor had been given a life he shouldn’t have had, he was now passing that on to others, but basically I was fuming. It Was Not Right!
I had the most lovely email from a friend recently saying how nice it must be to watch Doctor Who with the boys, and it absolutely is, but they do get very caught up in what’s happening and react loudly. Or ask questions. Or re-enact what’s currently happening. I know I definitely missed a line or two during the bit where Fan Twin was enthusiastically doing some sword training right in front of the telly, and they’d been talking just before the resurrection. It was possible I’d missed something there too.
Husband didn’t think the Doctor had said anything important. But as I had to write this column this morning, I thought I’d better check before I spent my 8-900 words screaming about this betrayal. So I looked on iPlayer (you know, I still can’t quite get over how you can check out last night’s Doctor Who in a way that doesn’t involve relistening to a fuzzy C60 and trying to remember what was happening during the incidental music), and found that the circuit the Doctor uses to raise Ashildr from the dead came from the Mire helmets. So it was OK! He hadn’t been able to do it before, and in the rush of emotions he went a bit far. And husband laughed at me. My all-consuming righteous anger since last night had vanished in a flash, and he thought it was hilarious that a single line could do that. ‘It’s your script editor’s brain,’ he said, in a way that I’m not entirely sure was a compliment. ‘Look, if any problem you have with something can be dismissed by the addition of a single line, just imagine the line.’ Which is fine and lovely and something I pretty much agree with most of the time, but it is nice when the line’s actually there. Like now. Except I was going to really go to town on the whole life/death thing in this column and now I can’t! Aaargh! So, what else do we have to talk about?
Well, there’s the sonic sunglasses for a start. I think they’re brilliant. So do both boys. Not just because Peter Capaldi looks rather super in shades, but the whole idea, and the fact that children all over the country can now be the Doctor just by putting on a pair of sunglasses. Love it. I was not happy when they got broken last night, and hope they come back. ‘But they are pretty crummy for strength,’ said Non-Fan Twin as they snapped in half, leaving me to wonder where he’d come across the word ‘crummy’. Is it in Harry Potter?
And the Doctor speaking baby. Loved that too. An ability that would change the world. I like to think that my two were as eloquent as Lofty’s baby back in the day. On the subject of Lofty, I’ve chosen to believe he was a distant ancestor of Rory’s (surely you noticed the resemblance), so the baby was actually the Doctor’s great-great-great-great-etc grandmother-in-law, which makes that element even sweeter.
Then there was the bit when the scene opened on the shot of a carved dragon eye and I thought it looked just like the eye of the Monoid statue in The Ark. Seriously, I went ‘ooh!’ Except obviously it wasn’t, and probably if I iPlayer that bit I’ll find it’s nothing like. So I won’t. Oh, and the Mire looked like the cover of the old BBC Doctor Who novel Coldheart, that was distracting too.
Fan Twin has come up with the theory that Ashidlr eventually turns into Cassandra, as logically she would be the last human alive. So, if Cassandra is Ashildr, and the Face of Boe is Captain Jack… who is the Moxx of Balhoon? I’ve no idea, but let me just put this down here with no comment: could there be a reason why we never actually saw Dodo’s farewell scene, hmm?
There was something else in this episode, though, something personal: Ashildr as the child who didn’t fit in with the girls or the boys. I wonder how many female fans from the olden days (when both ‘being a fan of things like Doctor Who’ and ‘being a girl’ didn’t seem to compute) took a deep breath at that point, and I wonder if it rang any bells for some of the children watching now too. But here’s the thing: she didn’t fit in, but was loved anyway. Sometimes, Doctor Who is a very nice place to be.