Six Smart Women Discussing Doctor Who

VerityEpisode92While we’re not so sure this qualifies as part of a two-parter, we agree it’s well worth talking about! Join Deb, Erika, Katrina, and Lynne as we delve into what it means to be immortal with a human brain, the fabulous chemistry Maisie Williams has with Peter Capaldi, some truly fantastic writing, and lots of fawning over highwaymen (by some of us, at least). It’s a squee-filled episode, but not entirely without criticism.

What did you think of “The Woman Who Lived”? Did you dig the highwayman gig? Did you weep at Lady Me’s cruelty? Did you roll your eyes at the big kitty in a crown? Let us know in the comments!

^E

Also covered:

Bonus links:
Doctor Puppet
Long Island Who
Verity! mentioned on Danish radio
The Corinthian by Georgette Heyer
Gentle Rogue by Johanna Lindsey
Paul’s lion bread from The Great British Bake Off
Ahistory: An Unauthorized History of Doctor Who

Download or listen now (runtime 1:20:53) 

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Comments on: "Ep 92 – Breaking Down the Woman Who Lived" (18)

  1. mauxboyle said:

    Great episode, except when you referred to the setting as the Regency period. (I’d have let it pass, except that it reminds me that there hasn’t been a Regency episode. How has that not happened yet?)

    • Yeah, in our excitement we conflated one of our favorite Regency Romance tropes (Highwayman!) with the period this is set in, which is…English Civil War(ish), based upon the “pardon from Cromwell himself” line?

      • for precision’s sake, it’s the commonwealth (1649-1653), or part of the interregnum (1649-1660). the doctor was guesstimating; the ep is set in 1651, and cromwell didn’t come to power until ’53! as a historical context, it’s really interesting to think through what it might mean that the ep is set during a period when there is no proper monarch.

        this kind of thing fascinates me, which is one reason i really loved “in the forest of the night” from last series, since so many of the details revolve around events of the later eighteenth century/romantic/napoleonic eras. these things add such flavor and nuance!

  2. Lourdes M said:

    I am such a word nerd and one thing that made me stop (and actually verify) is when they used the word “pseudonym” It just did not feel right. Well, I checked and that is an early 19th century word – not a 17th century word! But, it did not take anything away from a great story!

  3. Neil Ottenstein said:

    A great episode and podcast. I think this one will benefit more from repeated viewings. I am glad the point about moving/inheriting the journals through time was addressed. That was one of the things that was bugging me in the back of my mind.

    Big Finish is definitely pulling out the stops with their expanded license into the new series. Lots of great entertainment ahead for us. Even if there is not much BBC Doctor Who in 2016, there will be plenty from Big Finish.

  4. Can’t wait to listen to your take on on last week’s episode. I listened to Radio Free Skaro on Monday and spent a good portion of the time shaking my head and wondering if we watched the same show on Saturday night. They were decidedly “meh.” I loved it! Loved Me, loved Capaldi, loved the costumes, loved the Adam and The Ants that I listened to in preparation for the show…

  5. The Georgette Heyer that Deb was trying to think of is the Masqueraders, not only a female in drag but a male as well. Brother and sister crossdressing, great stuff!!!

    I loved this episode, I’m totally with Lynn on this one. Maisie Williams was freakin’ amazing, the scene where her children die just ripped my heart out! Loved it to bits!!!

  6. Oh and one more thing, this was 1651, not the Regency. It was actually the Commonwealth, when Oliver Cromwell was Lord Protector. Sorry to be a history nerd! Hugs, guys!

    Also, agreed about the Lion dude, not one of the better villains.

  7. Deb: Agreed on the cheesy monsters! (And the alluring highwayman…)

    I found the episode weirdly whiplash-y because it was a succession of bits I enjoyed followed by bits I disliked. Overall impression: meh.

    • ccarol said:

      I second that “meh”. Not a terrible episode, but I enjoyed it a lot less than the previous week.

      I’ve decided that one of the biggest problems with this episode is the Monster of the Week, even though he’s a relatively minor character. Lion people, OK, there’s plenty of precedent for feline humanoids in DW. But a lion person called Leandro the Leonian from Delta Leonis? No. Just no.

  8. Regarding anachronistic words: I wonder if this is another case of the Doctor’s jacket? There was such care taken with the language of other characters, and in those things that she did not understand (alarms) that maybe her use of ‘turn off’ and the like was not accidental. Her implied understanding of the Doctor suggests that she has had contact with something more than the detritus of his interventions. Conversations with Missy, perhaps?

    I was thinking this morning about the recent supporting characters that stand out from the usual cast and I’ve noticed something interesting: all of the ones that add to or challenge the mythos of the show have been female. I can’t think of any men other than Rory and Jack, both companions, who come close. Even Strax and Maldovar pale beside the women around them. It is obviously great that there are so many prominent female parts in the show, but curious that no male parts seem to stand out in the same way. This could be my subjective view, of course.

  9. Stochastic Acrostics said:

    My favorite cross-dressing highwayman romance is “Moonstruck Madness” by Laurie McBain. I didn’t even realize it was a genre unto itself. I’ll have to track down “The Masqueraders” post haste.

  10. Ann-Marie said:

    “Ursula the paving stone” has come up a couple of times in these last couple of episodes. I posit that “Ursula the paving stone” doesn’t really exist. You see Love & Monsters through two different lenses; Elton’s handheld camera, and the “normal” production camera. I believe everything you see through the production camera is life as Elton sees it. Elton, who was damaged by what he saw when the Doctor entered his life as a small child, who lost his mother to monsters. He doesn’t, or rather can’t, see reality. What you see through his handheld? That’s reality. All the goofiness of that episode is what the damaged mind of ELTON sees. You never see Ursula the paving stone through his handheld. You don’t see the Doctor and Rose throwing buckets of whatever at aliens through his handheld. That’s all Elton trying to explain to himself what is happening in his version of reality. This episode, in my opinion, was a treatise on how the Doctor’s adventures (battles?) might affect the development of an otherwise normal child. I challenge you (especially Deb) to watch the episode again in that light, and see if it doesn’t make for a much better story.

  11. Questions of immortality and memory; the Doctor has referred to deleting memories more than once, I think, most recently in the previous story (deleting BSL for semaphore?) Perhaps he’s conscious of some and unconscious of other deletions.

    I realise that the second immortality token was entirely a plot device, but my husband, too, questioned why she had never used it, especially early on. We have also lost an infant, and during that scene he wondered why Me would not have saved her child (he would). I thought perhaps there were triplets and it would be a Sophie’s Choice, but I think even then, I might have saved the last. And then perhaps the one might have made her always have to face the loss of the others.

    • I don’t think using it on a child was an option. Note that Ashildir/Me never aged. If she’d have saved one of her children, they’d have been an infant forever! Well, until it died in some accident. As the Doctor said, she’s not indestructible.

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