9 questions and some answers we have after Doctor Who The Woman Who Lived

Who voiced the Knightmare? What are the Terileptils? Is Sam Swift immortal? Will Ashildr meet Captain Jack? What was that tune the Doctor was playing on his guitar?

Who was that voicing The Knightmare at the start of the episode?


If you thought that was just Maisie Williams’ voice being pushed through some sort of filter (like that Dalek voice-changer you secretly want for Christmas) you’d be wrong. The voice of The Knightmare was actually that of an actor by the name of Will Brown, and it seems as though he’s a relative newcomer because we’ve tried to track him down online to little avail.

Will the real Will Brown please show his face?

What were the pages torn out of Me/Ashildr’s diary?

If we just go by the immortal lass’ words, those are the bad years – the memories too difficult for her to read about from a lifetime of sorrow and regret. On the other hand, it’s possible she might still be hiding something from the Doctor beyond her original plot with Leandro the alien-lion-man.

Perhaps Me had done something the Doctor wouldn’t approve of, or gone somewhere she didn’t want him to know about? Met up with one of his old enemies, stolen something belonging to someone dangerous, taken an unnecessary risk – that sort of thing.

Or maybe she was hiding something about her life involving the Doctor that hadn’t happened to him yet – another crossover in their long lives that she was keeping from him until he could experience it in the proper order. There’s nothing worse than spoilers, after all, sweetie…

Why didn’t Ashildr use the immortality chip to save her children?

Ashildr loved her children. She loved them so much that she kept the pain of their memory alive in diaries, so that she would be reminded to never again suffer the loss of a child. Fair enough.

But then, a few scenes later, the Doctor asks her what she did with the other medical repair kit, the thing that he gave her so she wouldn’t have to live through eternity alone. She replies that she still has it, because she hasn’t found anyone “good enough” yet.

Eh? There could be various reasons, of course. Maybe she didn’t know what the chip did then. Maybe she just couldn’t choose which child should live, or figured that – given her own experience – being trapped in the body of a kid when you’re 700 years old might be a bit weird.

Still – cheers, mum.

Who are the Terileptils?

In The Woman Who Lived, the Doctor tells Me/Ashildr that it was the Terileptils that started the Great Fire of London. But who or what are they? These fishy reptilian humanoids are known for a love of art and beauty – equalled only by their passion for war. They’ve been referenced numerous times in Doctor Who and have a rich backstory but their most significant encounter with the Doctor – during his fifth incarnation – came in 1666, when a group of Tereleptil criminals found their way to Earth and attempted to use an enhanced version of the Plague to wipe out humankind. Their plan was foiled when a tussle with the Doctor resulted in one of their weapons starting the blaze, which destroyed the disease (not to mention half the city).

Why did the camera focus on the Swan with Two Necks tavern sign?

Unless it’s a very clever reference to duality, or some sort of Doctor Who monster in disguise, this was probably just showing off the episode’s historical accuracy. You see, this particular establishment actually existed around the time the episode takes place, and was a fairly well-known coaching tavern in London.

Incidentally, the name is probably an evolution of the term “Swan with two nicks”, referring to a way of scratching marks of ownership onto the birds’ bills that took place around the River Thames. That’s probably symbolic too. Bloody writers eh?

Is Sam Swift immortal now?

Ashildr is supposedly immortal thanks to the Mire’s battlefield medical kit. But could it really contain infinite healing power? If not, then surely she won’t actually live for ever? If so, then Sam Swift must be immortal too?

At the time, the Doctor referred in hushed tones to “the light of immortality”. But later, he suggested that enough power might have been drained from Sam’s kit when he was used to open up the dimensional portal to put a dent in his lifespan. Then he admitted he’d been making that up… We’re not convinced that even the Doctor knows whether he’s lying…

“Probably the power would have been drained by the whole opening and reversing the portal thing and there’d be enough power to bring him back but not enough power to, um, keep him here… probably… Keep an eye on him though, he might go on for a while… or not…”

The bigger question, of course, is what now? Will Sam and Ashildr strike up a creepy looking romance? (Immortal or not, that kiss felt a bit weird, didn’t it?) And if so, then where is he in that future selfie?

Maybe they’ve broken up. Forever is a long time, after all…

Is Leandro actually the bread lion from The Great British Bake Off?


(We apologise to US or international fans if this makes no sense to you)

Will Ashildr meet Captain Jack?

“I travelled with another immortal once… Captain Jack Harkness.”


[The Doctor rolls his eyes]

“He’ll get round to you eventually.”

We doubt this means a cameo appearance by John Barrowman later in the series, but look out for the almost inevitable Big Finish Audio Adventure in five years time.

Technically, though, Ashildr has met Captain Jack – if you believe he’s the Face of Boe. Struan Rodger, who plays Ashildr’s butler, is also the voice of the Face…

What tune is the Doctor playing on his guitar?

We reckon it’s the intro to Chris Isaak’s melancholy surf-inspired 1986 hit Blue Hotel, and it’s perfect.

After all, where does lonely traveller the Doctor live but in a blue hotel of his own? And at a time when he’s considering immortality and loss, and when (we know) he’s about to say goodbye to his beloved companion Clara, could these lyrics be any more fitting…?

“Blue hotel/on a lonely highway”


“Blue hotel/love don’t work out my way”