This two parter is unlike any other two parter that we have seen so far on this series of Doctor Who as unlike the others the only thing that really links the two episodes is the Doctor and Ashildr otherwise known in this episode as lady me.
The Doctor is always gallivanting across the universe, helping people, saving lives but we rarely see what the consequences of his actions are. If you haven’t seen the previous episode then I would as he decided to save Ashildr, essentially making her immortal in the process. Ashildr is the third character after Rory and Captain Jack Harkness (who gets a mention in this episode) to take the slow route through time and I was intrigued to see what effect that kind of journey would have on her.
Having the Doctor stumble across a highway robbery being committed by one of the most feared highwayman in the land, known only as the nightmare was a pretty good way to start the show and I particularly liked the back and fourth they developed. In fact the whole episode was focused more on the dialogue than it was on the action which I actually enjoyed as it allowed them to delve deeper into the characters. Combining the dialogue with flashbacks really helped to paint a clear picture of the journey Ashildr had been through since The Doctor had saved her life.
Another Highwayman that appears in this episode of Doctor Who is Sam Swift the quick played by Rufus Hound who seems to have had a great time sparring on the verbal battlefield in order to both help introduce a new character and for The Doctor to buy time. The villain of the week is introduced slowly throughout the episode and turned out to be a louche lion-man called Leandro who looked really cool but he didn’t do a whole lot until the end and even then he wasn’t to much of a threat.
Clara is not in this episode that much and usually I would say that this just reinforces the idea that she is being underused in this series but today I thought it was nice to be able to focus on another aspect of the story. We also know that they are setting up for Clara’s departure from the tardis and the world of Doctor Who so maybe they are just doing this to help in that process.
The conclusion of the episode see the return of the hopeful and caring Ashildr that we first met in ‘The Girl Who Died’ but it also left it at an interesting point with a remark about friends as enemies and enemies as friends. Ashildr ended the episode with a new purpose that would see her protecting those who were left behind by the Doctor and I am looking forward to seeing where they go with that, particularly as she turns up in a photo that one of clara’s school children took. Something tells me this won’t be the last time that we will see Ashildr in Doctor Who and you know what, I can’t wait.
Previous episode: The Girl Who Died
Next episode: The Zygon Invasion