One fat geek's SUCCESSFUL attempt to regenerate into a not-so-fat geek by watching the entirety of Doctor Who while walking on a treadmill

Beyond the unfolding of your smile, is there other kindness? I'm afraid.

Jul 15 2018
Beyond the unfolding of your smile, is there other kindness? I'm afraid.

First the big news: After several weeks of letting my arm and shoulder recover, this morning I finally properly tried push ups again as a part of my workout. I went deliberately light, only doing fifty (as opposed to the hundred-per-day I was doing before I damaged myself). It went well. My right arm felt plenty strong, if a little bit out of practice. My intention at this point is to try alternating days between push ups and sit ups, to give myself some recovery time between muscle groups. God knows I am not a physical trainer or anything, I should maybe talk to one of those sometime...

In any case, I also watched Doctor Who on the treadmill this morning (of course), so let's talk about that.

The Girl Who Died

(TARDIS Data Core recap)

This story is notable for a few reasons. First of all, it is the 100th episode of the modern series (although nothing in particular is made of that fact).

There is also a moment in it in which the Doctor finally realizes why he chose his current face. This is a plot thread that was raised back in Deep Breath right after his current regeneration, and then seemingly abandoned. You may remember that back in the Tenth Doctor era Peter Capaldi had a guest role in The Fires of Pompeii, and here an explanation is given when the Doctor remembers how he saved that one family even as he had to allow the rest of the city to be destroyed by the erupting volcano. This notion of saving one person comes back as a major decision point near the end of the episode.

This story also features the first appearance of actress Maisie Williams on the show. She is, of course, much more famous for her role on Game of Thrones, but appears here in the Whoniverse as the recurring character Ashildr for several episodes this season. She is, as one would expect, amazing.

The basic plot is that the Doctor and Clara wind up in a Viking village in the 9th century, just as an alien race called the Mire come in pretending to be Odin and his warrior servants. All of the Viking warriors are kidnapped as a tribute to Odin (but actually as a way for the Mire to harvest their testosterone and other chemicals). This leaves the village defenseless, which is a problem because Ashildr effectively taunts the Mire into a battle of honor.

Initially the Doctor does not want to help the village, instead advising all of the remaining occupants to run away from the fight. He is won over, however, after listening to a baby cry and after translating the baby's words to Clara. With the help of some electric eels and Ashildr's imagination, the Doctor does a Very Clever Thing and stages a very embarrassing rout of the Mire.

Unfortunately, as a side effect Ashildr dies. At which point the Doctor does a Very Clever But Potentially Very Bad Thing, and uses some Mire technology to permanently heal Ashildr. As in, she is now functionally immortal. Oops. It's kind of what Rose did to Captain Jack Harkness way back when, but with less flirting.

This is another very strong episode, and one that again very much features DeathWishClara. She is very much the person seeking out danger and action, right from the very first frame. There is a scene about halfway through where the Doctor is trying to explain to her how difficult it is for him to go into dangerous situations, fearing for her safety. She brushes this concern off. For me, this was the moment when I began to wonder if the Doctor had actually already witnessed Clara's death and was simply visiting her in her personal past because he couldn't let go. This doesn't turn out to be the case, but at any rate it is very clear that Clara is living dangerously and that it isn't going to end well for her.

This being a season full of two-parters, tomorrow's episode is functionally the second half of this one. It is a completely different story in terms of time and adversary, but it follows Ashildr about a thousand years into her future as a functional immortal. I remember really liking it, so I hope tomorrow morning lives up to my memories.


Doctor(s): Twelfth
Companion(s): Clara Oswald, Ashildr
Episode(s): The Girl Who Died
Steps Walked: 7,607 today, 3,464,728 total
Distance Walked: 4.05 miles today, 1,811.33 miles total
Push-ups Completed: 50 today, 6,632 total
Sit-ups Completed: 0 today, 929 total
Weight: 246.7 lbs (five day moving average), net change -60.60 lbs

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