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Digital Subscriptions > Doctor Who Magazine > The Essential Doctor Who: Adventures in History > Locking Horns

Locking Horns

Jamie Mathieson discusses historical accuracy and some of the other challenges he faced when writing Viking adventure The Girl Who Died.
Odin (David Schofield) threatens the Viking villagers inThe Girl Who Died (2015).

In 2015 Jamie Mathieson co-wrote The Girl Who Died with Doctor Who showrunner Steven Moffat. Whose idea was it to pit the Doctor against Vikings in this episode? “That was all Steven,” says Jamie. “I’d pitched four or five full-page outlines. There was one with an earworm, but someone said, ‘Oh, Toby Whithouse is doing that [in the episodes Under the Lake and Before the Flood].’ I was like, ‘Oh, that’s fine, I’ve got an underwater idea...’ And Toby was doing that as well. I had a Zygon idea but Peter Harness was doing that – everything was already covered! So it’s almost like they took pity on me. They said, ‘Steven has always wanted to do the Doctor meets Vikings, how about that?’ I said, ‘Great!’

Jamie Mathieson, who co-wrote The Girl Who Died with Steven Moffat.
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“History sometimes gives us a terrible shock, and that is because we don’t quite fully understand... We’re all too small to realise its final pattern.” Doctor Who’s first journey in 1963 took viewers back to the Stone Age. Since then the TARDIS has visited many other landmarks in a unique chronicle of the Doctor’s favourite planet. Purely historical stories were once a mainstay of the series, but for more than 50 years significant periods in Earth’s past have provided evocative settings for more fantastical adventures. This unprecedented guide takes a trip back in time with the people, places and classic episodes that are essential parts of Doctor Who history.
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