Tag Archives: Maisie Williams

12 Best TV Characters Of The Last 12 Months

Another year has gone by and some great TV characters have emerged and stood out. Going from an initial list of 22, I have narrowed down my list to 12 of the best characters in the last 12 months. A mix of comedy, drama, action and even animation. Find out which 12 have stood out for me above the rest. I will say now there is a few spoilers ahead, so please be careful…

T.J. Miller – Erlich Bachman – Silicon Valley

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This show is probably the funniest on TV at the moment. Filled with some superb characters and hilarious set pieces, it was hard to decide which actor really stood out most. While Richard has really grown in confidence and Gilfoyle continues to be blunt and side-splittingly funny, you can’t help but love T.J. Miller who continues to impress as Erlich. Whether he is stealing coconut water, trying to rip-off Big Head (in fact, puts Big Head in financial ruin) or even his interactions with the Pied Piper board, he is indeed the best character and does it with the least effort. Want more proof, just remember this from Season One “Richard wrote the code, yeah, but the inspiration was clear. Let me ask you something. How fast do you think you could jack off every guy in this room? Because I know how long it would take me, and I can prove it!”.

Jon Bernthal – The Punisher/Frank Castle – Daredevil

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Last year, the main antagonist of this show made the list. This year, the semi antagonist/anti-hero has and does it just as well. From episode one, he is a force to be reckoned with. Straight away we see him come into conflict with Matt Murdoch and the two engage in some of the most engaging action ever seen on TV. Sod Batman v Superman, this was really the big superhero clash that March was going to give us and it delivered in every respect. Jon Bernthal did so well, that Netflix is working on a Punisher series! That is awesome! We see Frank Castle is a tortured soul and one that you will cheer for as he kills all the enemies in his path now and into the future.

Krysten Ritter – Jessica Jones – Jessica Jones

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This character is truly a unique superhero. Most people go for the “with great power comes great responsibility” philosophy. Krysten Ritter goes 180 on this as one of the most reluctant protagonists to ever appear. She lost her family, was brainwashed by a psycho in a purple suit and adopted by a horrible step-mother. But, where Jessica Jones shines is in the fact that she does care about some people (her step-sister Trish and love interest Luke Cage) and the strength that they give her. Also, she will always help those who are truly in need, though sometimes it may take a while to happen. She won’t go down easy, and I can’t wait to see where she will be in season two.

Melissa McBride – Carol Peletier – The Walking Dead

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There were many characters who could have been considered for this list again. The reason I chose Carol was because I feel she went through the most inner turmoil in this season. Her season long rival Morgan proved to her that she was maybe wrong in her actions, but also made her think more about what she wanted from her life. She begins a short romance with Tobin and saves Maggie from Negan’s soldiers, but she also loses her nerves and is unsure if she can protect anyone anymore. Her breakdowns are truly shocking for a character who has been very strong and this makes her more human.

David Harewood – J’onn J’onzz/Martian Manhunter/Hank Henshaw – Supergirl

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This is an actor who has previously portrayed Tuck in Robin Hood, Nelson Mandela, a Doctor Who villain (ish) and even appeared on Selfie (oh god why was that show ever made?). Truly one of his best performances is of him becoming the last green martian who aids Supergirl and is close friends with her cousin. As Hank Henshaw, we see J’onn save countless lives and protect the earth many times over. As J’onn J’onzz, he has become a great ally and helped Supergirl and her sister Alex more than any other being ever could. Let’s just hope Season Two will show more Martian Manhunter and possibly see him form the Arrowverse equivalent of The Justice League. (Which just to really make a go of it, would include: Arrow, Flash, Atom, Supergirl, Martian Manhunter, Black/White Canary, Firestorm, Mr Terrific and maybe Hawkman and Hawkgirl)

Andre Braugher – Captain Raymond Holt –  Brooklyn Nine-Nine

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After three seasons, the straight faced leader of the Nine-Nine has remained a favourite for many. He has become more relaxed and involved in the activities of his colleagues and still manages to stay as funny as he did in the first episode. He still tries to make Jake a better detective and is a father-figure to him when needed. He is a committed husband to Kevin which is indeed still the provider of some great scenes. Also, he considers an oboist a celebrity (which is funnier than it should be) and is at the end of season three placed into witness protection with Jake. Captain Holt will surely be suffering with this arrangement, but all for our amusement.

Rami Malek – Elliot Alderson – Mr. Robot

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A hacker with people problems? Yeah you probably have seen that before. But not to this level! Elliot has to deal with social anxiety and clinical depression which clearly isn’t fun, and to see how he can possibly work with a group of hackers looking to clear all debt by taking down E Corp (or Evil Corp as it is referred to). He has few friends, Rami’s voice over fills in some of the gaps we don’t see on screen or find out in his interactions. Being part of fsociety is clearly important to him and seems to be feeding on his paranoia and delusion to get him to help the hacktivist group. Also, the biggest moments come from his interactions with Mr. Robot himself and that trip when Elliot goes cold turkey is striking and incredibly insightful.

Maisie Williams – Ashildr/Me – Doctor Who

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Wait a minute, why not mention Maisie Williams as arse kicker Arya Stark (To be honest, she is now making her mark this season)? Well, she has had 6 years now perfecting that role. In Doctor Who, she becomes a recurring character in the form of Ashildr. When she first meets The Doctor, Ashildr is living in the time of Vikings and sacrifices herself to save her people. The Doctor revives her, and she later becomes a conflicted character. She goes against The Doctor and very much nearly destroys the world and inadvertently kills Clara. Hate her? Can you really hate her? She didn’t ask for immortality, but is the only one who will wait for The Doctor till the end of time itself!

Justin Roiland – Rick Sanchez – Rick and Morty

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The only animated character to make this list, the foul-mouthed grandpa who is happy to bend the universe (and other dimensions) to his own will. Rick is fearless, a drunk and a loner. He has his grandson Morty by his side to help him feel more human and give some meaning to his existence. This is shown in full when he sacrifices his freedom at the end of season two to protect his family from any harm. Want more proof Rick is a good guy, his “only” friend Bird Person says about the good Rick has done and will do anything for Morty and Summer (including making a car that will murder anyone who poses a threat to his grandchildren).

Jaimie Alexander – “Jane Doe”/“Taylor Shaw” – Blindspot

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A woman is found in a bag and has no memory of who she is and how she got there. “Jane” is brought to the attention of FBI agent Weller after his name is placed amongst the tattoos that nearly covers her whole body. What makes Jane great is that she is not so much a victim, but a vital asset for investigations in relation to the tattoos on her skin. Throughout the series, we see that Jane is capable of many styles of combat and is fluent in multiple languages. Whoever Jane turns out to be, I am sure there will be something big in store for Jane in the future and let’s hope they can keep the tension and excitement high for another year.

Teddy Sears – “Jay Garrick”/Hunter Zolomon/Zoom – The Flash

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From the beginning of Season Two of the show, we got to see Jay Garrick. The original Flash in the comics, he really was set to be a big force in the show. Well, the twist in this tale was that Jay was actually Hunter Zolomon AKA Zoom! The character blends in so well initially and makes his mark as the hope/support for Barry Allen after he arrives from Earth 2. When he reveals himself as Zoom, everything changes. The man who seemed to want to help The Flash was actually wanting to defeat him all along. He loved Caitlin Snow and saved Barry, but was also happy to kill a time remnant of himself multiple times. Zoom truly made a huge impact in the show, and let’s see if he does come back as The Black Flash!

Kit Harrington – Jon Snow – Game Of Thrones

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He managed to do two episodes of the show as a body lying on a table (we knew he wouldn’t stay dead), and then came back to life and begun making his plans to help his family and save his home. Where he has been a huge force and an almost untouchable character in the early series, we see his vulnerable side in Season 5 and this year continues to struggle with his own limitations and still find worry/fear with what has happened to him and what could happen. Also, Jon Snow continues to be one of the purest characters in Game Of Thrones and will probably be until its final episode when be either wins the game, gets killed again or becomes a dragon himself and destroys all that is in his path (I think that last one isn’t likely to happen).

Honourable mentions go to Tom Cavanagh for portraying another version of Harrison Wells on The Flash, Rhea Seehorn’s Kim Wexler in Better Call Saul, Sarah Wayne Callies in Colony and Idris Elba as Luther.

Written by Jonjo Cosgrove

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Doctor Who Series Nine Review

Another series has come to an end, but what a great series it was. Seeing a more settled Peter Capaldi lead this series, he gets to show a superbly fun streak while keeping the deeply moving moments when needs to. From busting out guitar solos to heart-wrenching speeches, it was a fantastic series which built upon the 2014 run and came out high. Jenna Coleman may now have left, but we got some great episodes featuring Clara to show how much we shall all miss her. Plus, who can forget appearances from Reece Shearsmith, Maisie Williams, and even Ingrid Oliver coming back as Osgood.

  1. The Zygon Inversion by Peter Harness and Steven Moffat

Not by any means a bad episode (compared to series 8 which had a few weak episodes), but arguably I felt this conclusion to the Zygon two-parter lacked much substance to me. I felt at this point Clara was very much just being sidelined to make Osgood appear to be a replacement. The threat from the rogue Zygons never feels as grand as it should, there isn’t that worldwide ramification which is teased in the first part and to see Kate Stewart minimalised is a crime. But, the speech from Peter Capaldi does really stand out as one of the best acting movements from the Scottish actor.

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  1. Under The Lake by Toby Whithouse

Following on from one of the most thrilling two-parters ever, Toby Whithouse had to give a story which could keep the same attention as Steven Moffat had done for the previous two weeks. Though it seemed some of the cast was wasted to short parts, the characters of Cass and Lunn really make a good mark as the double act. But Morven Christie is superb as O’Donnell, it is just a shame that her great presence is then minimalised in part two. The tension builds nicely and makes for a great conclusion, which I will discuss later…

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  1. The Woman Who Lived by Catherine Tregenna

When we see Ashildr after so many years, we find that she is almost nothing like the Viking girl we met in ‘The Girl Who Died’. Maisie Williams proves to be the best guest star of series 9 with her appearances in the show. This one sees her very much become traitor as she looks to trick The Doctor to get away from earth and explore the world, but the alien Leandro looks set to make his own plans (I have to admit, he was a weak villain in an otherwise strong story). Also, it was nice having a companion-lite story and who would have thought Rufus Hound was cast so well? It may not be a classic, but Catherine Tregenna should come back!

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  1. Sleep No More by Mark Gatiss

This episode took me by surprise, making a twist to the found-footage genre and giving it a Doctor Who episode was definitely out of the ordinary. On first viewing, I was greatly impressed. But, the second time really was a killer. I still get a great chill from that last scene, as it really does infuse a horror element to the show with an effortless performance from Reece Shearsmith. The creatures themselves were a great invention, though I would think this story could be expanded upon and a follow-up could be better.

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  1. Hell Bent by Steven Moffat

The finale came and wow! First off, The Doctor is back on Gallifrey and is finally free from billions of years stuck in his confession dial. Though the Time Lords ask for his help, he merely despises for their actions and eventually dethrones Rassilon. The humour is great and to see many story strands conclude here is all well and good. But, as much as I loved Jenna Coleman, bringing Clara back really seemed to destroy the outstanding exit scene she was given just two weeks prior. On the plus side, we do get to see a second TARDIS and Ashildr returns.

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  1. The Zygon Invasion by Peter Harness

The Zygons exploded back onto the screen this year, and they brought Osgood back with them too. With the fear of a fracture in the treaty between human and Zygon, The Doctor is called upon by UNIT to help stop everything going to hell. The choice to have a mostly female led cast was genius and highlighted the best in Doctor Who with Osgood, Kate and Clara. The cliffhanger may not be the most stunning in its history, but the Clara reveal was well played and really made the stakes high.

INVASION OF THE ZYGONS (By Peter Harness)

  1. Before The Flood by Toby Whithouse

A two-parter unlike any other, this second part saw The Doctor travel over 100 years to the past to see what happened to cause these ghosts to appear. As well as meeting the mole-like Prentis, we also get to see The Fisher King, one of the most haunting and creepy monster’s to appear in the show. The combination of three separate actors bringing The Fisher King to life was indeed impressive and how long will you be questioning if Beethoven really made his own music?

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  1. The Witch’s Familiar by Steven Moffat

Fighting the Daleks, stealing chairs and drinking a cup of tea from an unknown source was just the starters of this episode. Seeing two hero/villain double acts fill the majority of the episode was impressive. While Clara and Missy teamed up to save The Doctor, The Doctor and Davros were getting chatty and some serious and fun moments evolved from that. The joke about the only other chair on Skaro will be a long lasting one. Also, kudos to the special effects team, Skaro looked really cool.

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  1. The Girl Who Died by Jamie Mathieson and Steven Moffat

Jamie Mathieson wrote the superb ‘Flatline’ last year, and it was not an easy task to follow on from that. But, he did so and more. A Viking village is attacked by alien race The Mire and young Viking Ashildr declares war against the warrior race. The Doctor and Clara then have just 24 hours to train the village to become warriors like those they have lost. Putting in many great jokes, some stunning action sequences and seeing The Doctor talk baby again. A winning episode which finally tells what helped the Time Lord get the familiar looking face he currently holds.

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  1. Heaven Sent by Steven Moffat

Imagine being stuck in a loop for billions of years, being chased by a creature that can’t die and won’t stop. Imagine being all alone with no companions and no exit. The Doctor literally punches his way out of this nightmare trap over the years and slowly wears a wall away until he is free. Seeing a vulnerable and frightened Doctor, it was a great in-depth look into the mind of our hero and a story which could never be replicated. A grieving Time Lord after losing his friend is a dangerous thing.

HEAVEN SENT (By Steven Moffat)

  1. Face The Raven by Sarah Dollard

We knew it was coming, but who would have thought the death of Clara Oswald would have been so moving? Jenna Coleman provides one of her greatest performances as she does her best to save friend Rigsy and tries to be like The Doctor. Learning the hard way she can’t be like the Time Lord, the ultimate price is paid for trying to be more than human. The Doctor physically and mentally is shaken by the series of events, and even looks to destroy former ally Ashildr after she sets up the trap which puts all these events into motion. Seeing Clara fall to the ground will haunt Doctor Who fans for many years to come…

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  1. The Magician’s Apprentice by Steven Moffat

To start off on such a massive high is a huge gamble, but started what was to be a fantastic series can’t be denied. With The Doctor missing, Missy and Clara working together and the best axe battle of all time, there was a lot to enjoy. The biggest surprise comes in the opening minutes when The Doctor meets a young Davros on a battlefield and leaves him to die. He then goes to hide, knowing that Davros survives the events and is looking to get him. With the pace being hectic, yet grounded, we have such a strong opener which floods the screen with references and characters. All perfectly placed, all pieces move towards what becomes the biggest ever cliffhanger in the history of the show!

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Written by Jonjo Cosgrove

 

Doctor Who – Hell Bent. “Get off my planet.”

A finale of two halves is given to us here. ‘Hell Bent’ is a piece of Sci-Fi with many layers which some multiple views shall be required to get them all. The first half was superb, the second maybe not so much. In the Nevada desert, The Doctor is wandering around until he enters a similar looking diner. He finds a woman there who looks like Clara, though neither of the two seems to recognise each other (we will come back to this after). The Doctor is a broken man, he has been pushed to his limits and is ready to take what is his own; Gallifrey. After fighting for billions of years to get out of his confession dial to get home, all he wants to do is just rest and take in being home. The high council all panicking and fearful of what The Doctor is going to do, the idea of the “hybrid” is obviously not sitting well with them (and being the main reason for locking him away). President Rassilon is intent on getting rid of The Doctor, knowing that The Doctor can defeat him. After sending soldiers and other members of the council to bring The Doctor into the capital, Rassilon eventually comes to claim The Doctor himself. The Doctor only has four words for him, “Get Off My Planet”. The Time Lords don’t want to fight The Doctor, and they all side with The Doctor and we eventually see Rassilon getting chucked off Gallifrey. The Doctor, still clearly very angry, is determined to get one more request fulfilled before he is willing to divulge information on the hybrid. They need to see Clara, acquire her just before she dies…

HELL BENT (By Steven Moffat)

Using an extraction chamber, they are able to obtain Clara between her last two heartbeats of her life. The Doctor uses this as a way to keep her alive and take her away from her doom. Being frozen, she has no pulse and is ageless. The Doctor knows he is risking huge splinters in time by taking her away from her fate, and fights the Time Lords and the Sisterhood of Karn to get to The Cloisters. It is here The Doctor comes to steal a new TARDIS and hopes to pull Clara far enough away to give her life back and re-ignite her pulse. They go all the way to the end of time, just minutes away from the last remnants being destroyed. Clara is still frozen, but they do encounter Ashildr who has survived all the way to the end. The Doctor claims her to be the Hybrid, and this is denied. The Hybrid is by Ashildr to be The Doctor and Clara, a Time Lord and a human who both have the same characteristics and are willing to do anything. With The Doctor knowing he can’t save Clara, he decides he will have to wipe her mind of her time with The Doctor (similar to what he did to Donna in series 4). The device he goes to use is tampered with by Clara, and it results in The Doctor forgetting about Clara. Though he loses her face in his mind, he mostly remembers Clara by the time their chat in the diner finishes. Clara then leaves The Doctor in the stolen TARDIS with Ashildr and leaves his TARDIS for him. Clara tells Ashildr she will go back to Gallifrey to finally die, but wants to have some fun first. The Doctor takes to his TARDIS, and picks up a super-cool (I know, but it is) new sonic screwdriver and prepares for a new adventure.

I have heaps of praise for Peter Capaldi, this year he has been superb. From his top speeches, the quirky moments and the guitar solos have made him stand out as a top Doctor. Seeing The Doctor finally tread on Gallifrey again for the first time since the Time War, it was fantastic to embrace that and see what he would do with the power granted to him. Although this takes away somewhat from the epic death in ‘Face The Raven’, Jenna Coleman was great to see one more time. We see that she just wants to accept her fate, and knows she has to tear away from this hybrid combination that will destroy time if they stay together. Donald Sumpter gives a great move as Rassilon; it is just unfortunate we don’t get to see more of him in this episode (though this could be setting him up as the Minister Of War? Or am I looking into that too much?). Maisie Williams has done a superb job in this show, Ashildr has surely become the River Song of this series and I mean that very positively. Her character appears at the times when it is required and to see her right at the end of time is a nice touch and adds real solid ground to the shaky second half of this story. I feel Steven Moffat wanted to achieve so much in this story, and the call-backs to ‘The Impossible Astronaut’, ‘The Day Of The Doctor’ and ‘Listen’ work well in creating this story (and the trapping of Daleks, Cybermen and Weeping Angels in the cloister room). But, the whole aspect of bringing Clara back like that following her death was a bit too much. I was hoping she may appear pre-death sentence for The Doctor to say goodbye. Also, Ken Bones and Clare Higgins make great cast additions and really cement the re-emergence of the Time Lords that began with the 50th anniversary special. We now know that Gallifrey is back in the fold, The Doctor is free to travel again and it’s time for him to meet his wife again. But, has River Song been a bit naughty?

Overall, a great episode. Not as strong as the previous two leading into this story, but I feel Moffat should have just restricted the Clara role more as she was dead (and this is mentioned many times). Will the four billion years take a toll on The Doctor? I can’t wait to see. Such conflicting thoughts I have in certain aspects, but I still enjoyed this episode a lot and I can forgive the few problems to say series 9 has been nothing short of fantastic. Bring on Christmas!

Final rating: 8.5/10

Written by Jonjo Cosgrove

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Doctor Who – Face The Raven. “You’ll find it is a very small universe when I’m angry with you.”

After all the weeks of foreshadowing, it finally happened…but we will get to that eventually. Sarah Dollard, you really did a superb job tonight! First of all, this was probably the most well executed episode of the series (The Magician’s Apprentice, you are still superb too!) and it all comes down to the tight story which is grand and intimate in fair measure. Coming off the back of an adventure (maybe a future audio adventure?), the TARDIS phone begins to ring and it is old friend Rigsy, who is now in a happy relationship and has a baby. Unfortunately, it is not a friendly call. Rigsy has a countdown on him and it is leading to his eventual death. The Doctor looks to help Rigsy as he and Clara search London for a secret street which may hold the answer to the death sentence. Finding a street housing many different aliens, The Doctor finds himself coming face to face with Ashildr. After her heroic sacrifice and more deceptive turn in previous episodes, we see Ashildr has become protective of the aliens and is ultimately planning something which will not be good for our heroes.

FACE THE RAVEN (By Sarah Dollard)

Clara, as she has done on many occasions, tries to show she is just as smart as The Doctor when she offers to take on the death counter and free Rigsy. They find a Quantum Shade is present in the form of a raven, and will kill who it is that has had the timer placed on it. But why does this countdown exist on Clara’s buddy? Rigsy has apparently killed someone in the “trap street”. The twist is? There was no death. This was all staged as part of Ashildr’s plan. She has made a deal with an unknown enemy to send them The Doctor and free Rigsy, but the deal is broken when Clara takes the death sentence instead. Surely Ashildr can remove this? Well no. The deal was for her to be able to remove it from Rigsy, but Clara unfortunately has to live (and die) with her decision. Clara has saved The Doctor many times, but this time she accepts that she has to pay for her mistake. The Doctor is very angry as this would not have happened if Ashildr had not tricked Rigsy and the TARDIS crew, but Clara reminds him to not seek revenge but to remember who he is. The Doctor seemed to lose a lot of compassion when he regenerated, but he has always cared and needs to care again. In recent weeks (and even in ‘Flatline’), The Doctor shows great concern of Clara trying to be too much like him. So, with the countdown nearly at zero, The Doctor finds out he is to be transported away somewhere and his confession (from the premiere, to be revealed on his own death) has been taken from him. With the TARDIS key taken, The Doctor has no chance to escape. Clara goes out to the street and prepares to face death. The Raven comes for her and she is then killed instantly, providing the most upsetting Doctor Who moment for years! Clara Oswald meets an end after not only restraining her best friend, but also giving him a new focus. The threat to Ashildr proves he may never see her again, but angry Doctor is definitely back and this next journey he is about to face may just be too much for him. He shows he can control his own emotions and shows the greatest of restraints (and I am sure he would destroy Ashildr and all she cares for if he sees her again).

This episode proves what makes Doctor Who so popular. My first heap of praise is once again to Sarah Dollard; her first Doctor Who episode is indeed a classic in the making. ‘Face The Raven’ was tasked with not only providing her writing debut on the show, but to give a fitting end to one of the most popular companions in the history of the show. Joivan Wade is a welcome return as Rigsy; hopefully we may see a further appearance from him in the future is possible. Maisie Williams really hits her peak as Ashildr in this episode, her character has evolved so much and this really shows her still as an easily manipulated character that will do what she can to protect herself and those she finds she cares for. Peter Capaldi really lets himself go and the last few moments really show the top acting chops which cements him as one of my favourite Doctor’s (maybe even Number 1!). Finally, top marks tonight go to Jenna Coleman. Jenna has been seen as a great counterpart for both Matt Smith and Peter Capaldi; tonight we saw just how much we have loved her for the last three years. It is with great sadness that Jenna Coleman leaves tonight, and it will take a great actress or actor to take that place in the humongous void which has now been created! Clara Oswald may have gone, but The Doctor is about to embark on a huge mission of his own in ‘Heaven Sent’. The best episode of Series 9 by far, and the emotional rollercoaster will have many fans tearing up for a long time.

Final Rating: 10/10

Written by Jonjo Cosgrove

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Doctor Who – The Woman Who Lived. “I’m an undercover constable from Scotland Yard. Do you have Scotland Yard yet?”

It is strange to have two distinctly different writers working on each part of a two-part story. Though it may not a straight-forward two-parter as seen previously, it is fantastic to see what comes of Ashildr following her being made immortal. We are about 800 years ahead of the time where Ashildr was a Viking, and is now a highwayman known as The Knightmare! It is 1651, and The Doctor inadvertently meets The Girl Who Died back in that village, only this time she seems to have very little memory of that time. As her brain could not hold everything she sees, Ashildr (or should that be Me!) has been keeping a huge collection of diaries to remind herself of her past. The Doctor sees the mistake he made in not being there for Ashildr as she went through so much tragedy and death over the last 800 years. He looks to help her and stop her from becoming the very thing he has feared to become.

When we find Ashildr talking with about using the Time Lord in her plans with Leandro, we realise that The Doctor may be able to pay the ultimate price for the person whose life he saved all them years ago. Ashildr isn’t evil, we know that. But, she has been through so much in her life which she now finds hard to tell what she should do. While looking for a certain treasure, The Doctor and Ashildr come across Sam Swift The Quick, an outlaw who has a pendent for jokes and is probably one of the best guest stars of the series so far. We eventually see Sam again, though he is then seen fighting for his life by telling a number of jokes, spinning lines and even getting in one good innuendo (who thought ‘well hung’ would make it into Doctor Who?). The overall threat of the episode is over very quickly and seems almost unnecessary, but it does also get to fill one of the gaps left from last week’s ‘The Girl Who Died’. Also, are we already getting to see what life will be like without Clara by the side of The Doctor? And will anyone actually like the sonic sunglasses?

Catherine Tregenna makes a superb script come to life; I even enjoy the snappy one-liners from Rufus Hound as he plays Sam Swift, another outlaw who actually spends more time shouting out jokes than actually taking any action. Rufus is perfectly complimented in this episode as the serious tones of immortality and death are given a release by the comedic tones. Also, as much as I thought Leandro looked like a great villain, we really don’t get to learn much about him either. But, the references to past Who and even the Torchwood nod was very welcome. It is not everyday that The Doctor becomes a sidekick either, and who better to lead him than arse-kicker Maisie Williams? Also, top marks once again to Peter Capaldi. I said I think he is going on to be the best Doctor in the new Who era and I stand by that, he is becoming rather funny and also knows how to pull off serious and joyous with very little effort. Another strong episode, though I felt a bit disappointed with the lion-man-thing and hoped for Clara to not just be a cameo, but I certainly enjoyed ‘The Woman Who Lived’ a lot and still no dip in quality. BRING ON THE ZYGONS!

Final rating: 9/10

Written by Jonjo Cosgrove

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Doctor Who – The Girl Who Died. “I’m not actually the police. That’s just what it says on the box.”

After a tease of what could have been a horrific story involving spiders in space (where have we heard that one before?), we end up in a Viking village where The Doctor and Clara are taken as prisoners. Attempting to get out of the predicament, he claims himself to be Odin…and then Odin appears in the clouds above this village. We learn that Odin isn’t really Odin, but the leader of an army warrior race called The Mire. When talks begin to call a way of getting peace, a young Viking girl called Ashildr calls full scale war on The Mire in revenge for what has happened. As we have heard many times already in this series about messing with time and events, Jamie Mathieson (glad to have him back on Doctor Who again) plays about with the ideas of ripples and tidal waves in events The Doctor can control. Throughout the 45 minutes of this episode, we are constantly reminded of this and find what the difference is between the two near the climax of the episode. We get a strange episode as we see The Doctor create warriors, something he has been accused of many times and we also get the answer to one of the questions that has been around throughout his tenure as the time lord.

Steven Moffat contributes to this script, and between him and Mathieson, you can really tell whose writing you are experiencing on screen. Moffat clearly brought in to explain how The Doctor got the face he got, and the answer is what most of us probably already know. But, to hear the reason why is what really makes it stand out and is almost just blown aside, but inspires the final few minutes of the episode so makes it key. After the toughest of the Vikings were killed, The Doctor and Clara are left with the old, weak, sick and young to build a new army. But, it comes from the idea to fight smart than fight at all (and with a throwback to how The Doctor can talk baby, though unfortunately not with stormageddon). Ashildr is a dreamer; she stands out amongst those who act tough and strong by being possibly the smartest in the lot. Training the new warriors is fun, The Doctor clearly enjoying the names for his men (Lofty, Limpy, Chuckles and even Heidi!). The Doctor encouraged them to run originally, and you really see that sometimes The Doctor will face what he knows he can help with.

I’d like to think Peter Capaldi will be seeing heaps of awards after this series. Yet again, another superb episode where I have been hooked from beginning to end and just had the greatest joy seeing this Doctor really shine and be brilliant. Maisie Williams joined two of the world’s biggest fandoms this week and showed that Arya Stark is only just one character she can pull off flawlessly. Ashildr could be a companion, but unfortunately I would rather her stay as a regular on Game Of Thrones for the time being. I liked David Schofield as Odin (though if Brian Blessed hadn’t fallen ill, his legendary voice would have rocked this episode to a 10!), he was a good villain, just think he was underused (I feel a theme, remember the seldom seen Fisher King?). I think in a way it works because you can focus on these other characters, but at the same time imagine how much more we could have learnt about The Mire? Jenna Coleman was great; Clara getting straight into the action was a fantastic move. Also, can we get her to use the spacesuit a bit more often? And, even though I consider his sitcom Siblings to be one of the worst shows of all time, I can’t help but feel I really enjoyed Tom Stourton as Lofty, a comic relief character and someone who was more integral to the story and how it developed than many may consider. The real shame of this episode, it is the only to feature Jamie Mathieson! Arguably the best new writer on Doctor Who for the Capaldi era, I hope that series 10 gives him either a two-parter or a couple episodes to flex them writing muscles. Top story, great fun and I anticipate how the loose-connections to episode six will arise. Just remember, this episode is called ‘The Girl Who Died’, and remember what the next one is called…

Final Rating: 9.5/10

Written by Jonjo Cosgrove

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