‘Doctor Who’ season 9, episode 5 review: How was Maisie Williams’ debut?

MaisieSure, there were many surprising elements from Saturday’s “Doctor Who” episode entitled “The Girl Who Died.” You had The Doctor speaking with babies, Vikings, and a mystery villain.

Still, it’s hard to contend against the fact that it was Maisie Williams that many out there were most excited to see. The former star of “Game of Thrones” came aboard Saturday’s episode in a powerful role, and someone who defended her fellow Vikings like nobody’s business. There was a war brewing between these people, and eventually the episode gave us what was at least a pretty-solid battle sequence for show standards. You gotta remember that these guys do not have a “Game of Thrones” budget!

As the episode started to go on, there is one word that we’d use to describe it: Weird. We’re not sure that we’ve ever seen an episode that threw so many things against a wall, like the Benny Hill theme and then The Doctor seemingly doing his version of threatening to leak bad stuff on the internet in order to get his way.

Oh, and Maisie’s character died. Hence, she is “The Girl Who Died.” However, who seriously thinks that this death is going to stick when the next episode is entitled “The Woman Who Lived”? The Doctor left this episode feeling despondent; while he was able to save the town, he still felt like he was “losing the war,” and there was another dead body hanging over him. This was some dark stuff, and it harkened back to some of what Steven Moffat and Peter Capaldi said about this character: He’s ancient, and he has so much responsibility on his shoulders as a result of all that has transpired.

In the end, we cannot say that “The Girl Who Died” is our favorite installment this season. It took a little bit of time to get going, and before we started to discover just how The Doctor was going to try to conquer his opponents in battle. When it started to really ramp up in the final fifteen minutes, that’s where things started to get really going. Maisie was fantastic, the show had plenty of intelligence and humor, and it continued to take us in a variety of new, exciting directions. The closing seconds to us (which contained a nice callback to “Fires of Pompeii,” the pre-Doctor episode featuring Capaldi) was enough to have us thrilled about where we could go from here. Grade: B.

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