The Woman Who Lived
Doctor Who Logo 'The Woman Who Lived'
(Story Code 9.06)

by Jamie Mathieson
and Steven Moffat
The Twelfth Doctor and the Knightmare

“Ninja, nun, surgeon, scientist, composer, inventor… it’s a fantastic CV.” – The Doctor

The year 1651: a coach and horses speeds along a moonlit road, only to be stopped by a highwayman on horseback. The robber, known as ‘The Knightmare’, demands that her victims hand over not only their money but also an amulet; Mr and Mrs Fanshawe refuse, so the highwayman shows them his back-up: a large figure with glowing eyes standing in the shadows nearby. Elsewhere in the woods, the Doctor steps out of his TARDIS brandishing a tracking device; following its signal to the carriage the Doctor interrupts the Knightmare’s hold-up, and in the ensuing argument the coach speeds away. Furious at having his heist bungled, the Knightmare takes off his mask – to reveal that he is really a she: Ashildr, the Viking girl the Doctor met eight hundred years in the past. The Time Lord is surprised to see Ashildr, who has lived so long that she has forgotten not only her Viking roots, but even her name, and now calls herself ‘Me’. Ashildr pleads with the Doctor to take her away in his ship, but the Time Lord refuses. Ashildr recounts some of her adventures over the centuries, fighting in wars and narrowly being killed as a witch while trying to save people from the plague. Ashildr then takes the Doctor on horseback back to her huge manor house, which is full of the Knightmare’s stolen wealth. The Time Lord explains that he used his ‘curio-scanner’ to track an alien object across the galaxy – the same ancient artefact that Ashildr appears to be searching for. While Ashildr leaves to prepare for breaking into the Fanshaws’ house, the Doctor reads through her journals: Ashildr is now so old that she finds it difficult to remember everything that happened, and so keeps records to remind her; however, some memories are so painful that she tears out the pages. The Doctor soon learns why Ashildr has become so hardened: she lost her three children to the plague. In the grounds outside, Ashildr meets with her shadowy associate, a leonine creature with glowing eyes, who is pleased to hear that they will soon have the amulet… Later that night, the duo leave for their nocturnal house-break, the Time Lord notices that something is watching them from the bushes… Arriving at the Fanshaws’ house, Ashildr slides her wanted poster under the door and uses it to catch the key from inside the lock; she and the Doctor make their way through the house, avoiding the housemaid and entering Mrs Fanshaw’s dressing room; search a set of drawers they quickly find the amulet, which the Doctor identifies as an ancient Greek artefact called ‘The Eyes of Hades’. As they sneak back to the front door, the Doctor and Ashildr are spotted by Mr Fanshaw; while the man goes to get his blunderbuss, the Doctor manages to persuade Ashildr not shoot her way out, and instead they sneak up the chimney to freedom. While walking home the Doctor and Ashildr are accosted by Sam Swift the Quick and his highwaymen. Swift pulls a gun and demands that Ashildr hand over her loot, but she tussles with him takes his weapon; Ashildr is all for shooting Swift, but the Doctor convinces her to let their attackers go free… Returning to the manor, the Doctor gets to see the other side of Ashildr, as she changes into a beautiful dress and is addressed by her servant Clayton as ‘Lady Me’. The Doctor decides to stick around and keep an eye on Ashildr, but still refuses to take her with him in his ship. As the Doctor hears a growling noise approaching, the doors open and a lion-like, fire-breathing creature appears; Ashildr introduces him as Leandro, a deposed ruler whose world was destroyed by invaders. Leandro’s ship crashed on Earth, and now he and Ashildr want to use The Eyes of Haides to open a portal that will allow them to escape the planet; the only snag is that the ancient amulet requires a death to work – and Clayton is to be the sacrifice. Tying the Doctor to a chair, Ashildr remonstrates him for refusing to take responsibility for making her immortal; and when he replies that he was trying to save a little girl, she accuses him of trapping her in her life. The Doctor tries to warn Ashildr against opening the portal and trusting Leandro, but she will not listen. Two soldiers arrive at the manor bringing news that Sam Swift has been captured and is to be hanged at noon; Ashildr tells them the Doctor is the Knightmare’s sidekick, but mercifully asks that he be imprisoned instead of hanged. As Ashildr and Leandro depart in a horse-drawn carriage, the Doctor bribes his guards with the loot that ‘Lady Me’ has left behind; saddling a horse, the Time Lord races to the gallows to save Swift and stop Ashildr… Elsewhere, Swift enjoys a final drink and shares some gallows humour with the crowd that has assembled to watch his execution. As the clock chimes twelve Ashildr and Leandro watch from the carriage, planning to use Swift’s death to open the portal. As Ashildr pays the hangman to hurry up and gives Swift a farewell kiss, the Doctor arrives on the scene, only to have his cover blown by the ill-fated highwayman. Resorting to witty banter with Swift, the Doctor makes his way through the crowd and up onto the gallows, where he uses his psychic paper to convince the hangman that he holds a pardon from Oliver Cromwell. Swift is relieved at his stay of execution – but the crowd are furious, and call for the Doctor to be hanged instead! Ashildr steps forward and slaps the amulet onto Swift’s chest, killing the highwayman instantly and sending a beam of purple energy up into the sky, where it starts to tear open a rift; a planet appears in the portal – along with a fleet of invading spaceships, which immediately open fire on the crowd below. As chaos erupts, Leandro shows his true colours and begins attacking the fleeing peasants. Realising the terrible mistake she has made, Ashildr turns to the Doctor for help. Pleased that Ashildr now cares, the Time Lord tells her to use the Mire medikit he once gave her; Ashildr complies, placing the device on Swift’s forehead. The effect is instantaneous: the device brings Swift back to life, which in turn shuts down the energy beam emanating from the amulet. As the rift begins to close Leandro is furious, but before he can act his fellow kill him for his failure. Once the portal has gone the Doctor and Ashildr are hailed as heroes, and receive much applause from the surviving crowd… A while later, the Doctor, Ashildr and Swift enjoy a celebratory drink in the local pub; when the highwayman goes to get another round, the Doctor tells Ashildr to watch him – Swift may well be immortal too now. The Doctor still won’t take Ashildr away with him, but now she understands why: two immortals travelling in time and space is too much of a risk to the universe. The Doctor promises to still keep an eye on Ashildr, and in return she tells him that she will look out for all the people he leaves behind; the two make their goodbyes, no longer enemies, but friends… Back in the TARDIS, a melancholy Doctor plays his electric guitar, until Clara enters the ship, full of energy and ready for their next adventure. The Doctor is pleased to see her, having missed his best friend. Clara brings a present: a selfie taken with one of her class, who had help with her homework from the Doctor; looking at the picture, the Doctor sees Ashildr standing behind Clara, watching out for her…

Peter Capaldi (The Doctor), Jenna Coleman (Clara), Maisie Williams (The Knightmare [Ashildr]), Rufus Hound (Sam Swift), Gareth Berliner (Coachman), Elisabeth Hopper (Lucie Fanshawe), John Voce (Mr Fanshawe), Struan Rodger (Clayton), Gruffudd Glyn (Pikeman Lloyd Llewelyn), Reuben Johnson (Pikeman William Stout), Ariyon Bakare (Leandro), Ariyon Bakare (Leandro), Daniel Fearn (Crowd 1), Karen Seacombe (Crowd 2), John Hales (Hangman)

Directed by Ed Bazalgette
Produced by Derek Ritchie
Executive Producers Steven Moffat and Brian Minchin
A BBC Wales production

TX (BBC 1 & BBC 1 HD):
24th October 2015 @ 8.20 pm

*Featuring the Twelfth Doctor and Clara

*Part two of a two-part story