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Catherine Tregenna Discusses Writing DOCTOR WHO ‘The Woman Who Lived’

There were a lot of really great things about the most recent episode of Doctor Who, entitled “The Woman Who Lived,” including the stellar performance by guest star Maisie Williams, the always-terrific performance by Peter Capaldi, and the makeup on that there lion fella that didn’t really do a whole lot. But all of that would be window dressing without the script written by Catherine Tregenna. The episode had a lot of wonderful and thought-provoking things to say about the nature of a prolonged and indefinite life and what that might mean for someone forced to live it for close to a thousand years on their own.

I had lots of good things to say about the story in my review over the weekend, but one thing I didn’t mention is that Tregenna is only the second woman to write for the revived Doctor Who since 2005. Just the second one! She’d written several episodes of Torchwood but only just made the leap to the parent show. Helen Raynor, who was the script editor for a time, wrote stories in Series 3 and 4, and even she was only the fourth woman in the whole history to write for the show.

Was Tregenna nervous about writing this episode? According to an interview in the video above, you bet your face she was. But she was approached by the production team to write this episode because of Maisie Williams’ character Ashildr/Lady Me, who knew she’d do a good job. But it never occurred to the writer to actually write for the show. How strange is that? It’s a very modest and genuine response to the question and goes to show the talent of her as a writer that she was sought out. I think she did a grand job.

Series 9 will also feature a script by Sarah Dollard for episode 10, entitled “Beware the Raven,” which will be a very important and pivotal episode, according to reports. It’s been a long time coming, but Series 9 sees two female writers in one year along with two female directors. More of this, please.

What did you think of Lady Me and what Catherine Tregenna did with that character? Let us know in the comments below!

Image: BBC America

Kyle Anderson is the Weekend Editor, a film and TV critic, and the resident Whovian for Nerdist.com. Follow him on Twitter!

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