Friday, October 23, 2015

The Resist Stance: An Overanalysis of "The Girl Who Died"

If on your journey should you encounter God, God will be cut.
I stand by my belief that an episode being "co-written" by Steven Moffat is just a sign that Moffat wanted to insert some of the season-long plot arc's narrative into the script and give himself credit for it.  There was absolutely nothing Moffat-esque about this episode.  The episode wasn't particularly creepy, there was nothing darkly fantastic about it, and nothing mundane was trying to kill people.  There wasn't even really anything that rung of the writing style of Jamie Mathieson, who gave us last season's "Mummy on the Orient Express" and "Flatline," two episodes so good that it led both myself and my podcast co-host Shelly to start calling for him to become the next in line to Moffat's throne when he's ready to leave the show, even though Mathieson had only given us two episodes so far.  Really, there was nothing about this episode that was exciting and super fun, but it felt like it was a huge build up for something.  I have no doubt anymore that "The Hybrid" is this season's plot arc.  Now it's a question of where is it going, what does "The Hybrid" refer to, and, the clue I forgot to speculate on last week:  Who the hell is the minister of War?

The episode, by and large, was setting up something, and I predicted that it was probably going to be the first part of a two-parter.  Moffat has told us that he's going to make it hard to tell whether something's a two-parter or not this season and, even though "The Girl Who Died" wasn't officially listed as a two-parter, I noticed that the episode following it was going to be called "The Woman Who Lived," and I assumed the titles were implying that they were connected.  Because now the Doctor has created something that has gone a step too far.  A young girl who can never die and, from the looks of what's coming up, will never even be able to age, suggesting that the chip the Doctor put in her head will interpret any sign of aging as damage and correct it, keeping her a child forever.

Trust me, Ashildr, it sucks!
Also, I was really excited when I heard that Moffat was putting into place Davies idea about why there are multiple Peter Capaldi's in the Doctor Who universe, and that Mathieson would be writing the first episode about it.  I even rewatched "Fires of Pompeii" that morning to get me prepared for "The Girl Who Died."  However, what came up could not have been the infamous plan that Davies thought up, and that Moffat asked him about when Davies called to compliment him about choosing Capaldi for the 12th Doctor.  Davies was thinking of writing this idea into the show at a time when there was no plan to make Capaldi the Doctor yet.  Davies's plan was supposed to be to explain why Caecilius and John Frobisher had the same face.  So either something's changed about the plan, or there's more to come about the connections between Pete, Pete, and Pete.

There have been reports out in the press questioning about whether Maisie Williams's character is going to be coming back after "The Woman Who Lived."  I feel like the idea of a girl who can never die is such an interesting idea that I can't see this just being an idea for a two-parter.  I feel like this has to come around to the larger season arc.

But how?  The dialogue hinted at there being some connection to The Hybrid, but a lot of dialogue in Doctor Who that hints at being connected to the larger plot arc turns out to be a complete red herring.  Remember the ending to "Vampires of Venice" where the Doctor pointed out that there was some strange silence in Venice?  Remember how that had absolutely nothing to do with what The Silence were (even though we flashed back to this moment anyway when The Silence were first identified by name)?  It could be a pretty simple mislead.  But The Hybrid is coming up a lot this season, which leaves me wondering, are the Daleks created in "The Witch's Familiar" The Hybrid, or is Ashildr?  Or were both mentions misleads and The Hybrid is something completely different?  If you think about it, a lot of things in the Doctor Who universe could be called hybrids.  Both Daleks and Cybermen are, by definition, hybrid creatures.  Donna Noble is a hybrid.  If you take the most hated line from the 1996 Doctor Who movie to be true, the Doctor himself is a hybrid.  So it could be anything.

It could even be...

I'm half attractive, half horrifying
I still stand by the fact that I think there's something more that's going to happen to explain the events of "Listen," so I do think it's possible that Danny is coming back some how.

Also, Davros was a little vague about this prophesy of The Hybrid.  What's supposed to be so terrible about it?  Why is the Doctor running from it?  What makes it so terrifying?

I made this blog primarily to make predictions about the show based on clues, and I totally forgot to pick up on the huge, huge, huge clue that was dropped last week, when O'Donnell, who like Osgood seems to be a real life Doctor fan (and who, liked Osgood, is dead because of it), mentioned a whole bunch of stuff that happened to the Doctor between 1980 and 2119 and she brought up one phrase that the Doctor did not recognize yet:  "The Minister of War."  Sure, it could be a throw away line that has no bearing on anything, but I really feel like Whithouse was just shouting "Clue!" at us pretty loudly at that moment.  It's possible that it's not a clue for this season's finale, as we all know that, in the Moffat era, big twists can be set up many seasons in advance ("Silence Will Fall," "The Woman in the Shop"), but I have a feeling that Missy is the Minister of War, possibly the title she's assumed by staying behind on Skaro to join forces with the Daleks.

Moffat hasn't left us this vague of a mystery in a while, but it's an interesting one to start speculating on.  I'm really curious to see where this is going.  Missy has a plan, I'm sure of it, the Hybrid is a dubious evil lurking in the background, and Ashieldr is now a poor, cursed girl who can never die or even age.  So what's the connection?  How does this all lead us to a season finale two-parter called "Heaven Sent" and "Hell Bent," the former of which is supposed to have no other actors but Peter Capaldi in it for the whole thing?!  I'm so curious about what Moffat is building here.  But I'm ready for the ride, because so far, it's been fun.  While this wasn't my favorite episode, I get the feeling it's building so, so, so much more, and I'm really intrigued to see where we go from here.

Next week, I look forward to Torchwood writer Catherine Tregenna becoming the first woman to write an episode of Doctor Who since "The Sontaran Stratagem"/"The Poison Sky."  Really, that writing staff has been far too much of a sausage party for several seasons now, and this season we have not one, but two different female writers for the first time in far too long.  Catherine Tregenna is the only writer to have been nominated for a Hugo award for working on Torchwood, so hopefully we're going to get something really special next week.  I really look forward to it!

And now, this!:

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