That's how you close a two-parter! What a wildly intimate hour between adversaries.
Doctor Who Season 9 Episode 2 wasted no time solving the mystery of Missy and Clara's "death," partnering the two up while The Doctor and Davros dealt with centuries of resentment and warfare. Every now and again, Peter Capaldi knocks it out of the park. This installment is the perfect example why his casting was brilliant and that's coming from a Matt Smith fan.
There's a lot to discuss, so let's jump right in shall we?
Clearly, Missy and Clara weren't dead. The fake-out was ridiculously obvious, but the real question was how did they survive the Dalek extermination? Kathleen was the only panelist in our Doctor Who Round Table that mentioned teleportation noting, "Every time they pull that 'death = vaporization' trick on Doctor Who, it's actually a teleport." You win your very own wearable tech Kathleen, congrats!
I'm telling you, I could watch Michelle Gomez read the phonebook. Missy brought us up to speed on the teleportation deal, reminding us (and Clara) every step of the way she's a total psychopath. Modifying the vortex manipulators seemed simple enough in retrospect, right?
The fun was just getting started, though we all assumed our heroes were going to win.
He's trapped in the heart of the Dalek empire. He's a prisoner of the creatures who hate him most in the universe.Missy
While I wasn't sure what Davros was up to, the Doctor kicking him out of his chair was a fun bit. I mean, like Doctor Who Season 2 Episode 1 the themes here were fairly dark. All the lighter moments were not only welcome, but necessary to balance things out. It was hilarious watching The Doctor spinning around in the Davros-mobile and threatening the Daleks at gunpoint.
Speaking of hilarious, I lost it when Clara mentioned throwing a stone down into the sewers and Missy pushing her in saying, "Ah yeah, good idea." I'm sure we haven't seen the last of The Mistress, but I already can't wait for another team up like this one. "Every miner needs a canary,” Missy told Clara. She's just too much fun for words.
Wasn't it gross that the sewer/graveyard was made of decaying Daleks? I would've hopped inside the tank-like shell just to avoid the stench. I absolutely loved the callback to Doctor Who Season 7 Episode 1, Jenna Coleman’s very first appearance as Oswin trapped inside a Dalek. I think it was a clever detail, knowing that Jenna's time as a companion is coming to a close.
Clara was far too trusting of Missy and the Time Lady took full advantage of that fact.
We need to trap and kill a Dalek. You're the bait, I'm the hook.Missy
It sent a chill up my spine hearing Clara say her name and out came "Dalek" instead. She was in serious trouble, and Missy delighted in her predicament. I love you translated to exterminate, which was to be expected.
Davros offering The Doctor the option of genocide threw me for a loop. What was the evil mastermind up to? Capaldi nailed his lines, which made for a touching scene between the two rivals. The confession dial came up again, but does it hold the secret to his leaving Gallifrey? I'm sure we'll revisit this question again later in the season.
I'm not sure how I feel about the “wearable technology” yet, sonic shades are no replacement for The Doctor's screwdriver. I don't think this is a permanent thing though; his trusty sonic will be back. Mark my words.
I'll admit, Davros had me fooled when he talked about protecting your own.
Did I do right Doctor? Tell me, was I right? I need to know before the end. Am I a good man?Davros
Their little back and forth dance was phenomenal. Davros playing on The Doctor's compassion and asking to see the sun one last time. I knew The Doctor would make that happen, but I didn't expect him to use regeneration energy, did you? The mad cackle came almost instantly out of Davros giving the game away. I confess to being a little bit freaked out at that point.
Then of course, we realized The Doctor played the villain, as well. That said, I'm not sure what to make of the Dalek/Timelord “hybrid.” Is that still in play or did Skaro truly collapse in on itself? Wasn't it fantastic realizing that The Doctor planted that seed of mercy in young Davros, ultimately creating the Dalek flaw? Yeah, I loved that so much and it made everything tie neatly together.
Missy's reaction was priceless as the Dalek opened to reveal Clara. She's so damn twisted, but you can't help love her. I can't wait to find out what her "very clever idea” for survival was. Her vortex manipulator was destroyed, she explained at the top.
What did you think of "The Witch’s Familiar"? Was the Clara/Missy team up a highlight for you? Did you guess what Davros was up to? How do you feel about the sonic shades? Please feel free to share your thoughts in the comments below.
Check out the entire two-part story again! Watch Doctor Who online via TV Fanatic at any time.
NOTE: Doctor Who Season 9 Episode 3 is titled "Under The Lake" and airs on Saturday, October 3.