Peter Capaldi as the Doctor: S9 E2 The Witch’s Familiar

Summary: The Doctor is alone with Davros, Clara is alone with Missy, who is in the greatest danger?

Plot: The Doctor dialogs with the dying Davros while hoping to somehow save Clara, meanwhile , Meanwhile Clara & Missy are plotting to assault the Dalek capital with a pointed stick to save the doctor. Will Missy betray Clara, Will Clara kill Missy if she gets the chance? Will the doctor escape Davros, will Davros escape the Doctor? Does Davros have a cunning plan and will everyone just end up exterminated by the Daleks?

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Writing: This episode is part two of a two parter and it’s much stronger because it has a unified storyline. It’s clear that Moffat absolutely loves writing for Missy (who I think would have been better as a new character). Amazingly the writing for Davros is also great as is the dialog between him and the Doctor. It’s yet another episode where Capaldi has little physical exertion but you never notice because it’s so damn good. That’s the problem with being Reggie Jackson people are so used to the Home Runs that they act offended when he grounds out or hits a mere single. This one is a homer

Acting: The problem with Michelle Gomez is she is so good that it’s easy to ignore the spectacular performances of Julian Bleach’s Davros opposite Capaldi and Coleman’s excellent foil to Gomez. The quality of acting exceeds the writing and the writing on this episode is superb.

Memorable Moments: the flashback, the Doctor Joke, You’re my secret favorite, 20 feet, the chair

Doctor Who Flashbacks:
the entire opening sequence is a brand new flashback. Very good.

Oddities: Didn’t a Dalek ask for mercy of River Song (without success)? In fairness the Doctor was not there to hear it..

Pet Peeves: While the Doctor’s is not aware of his Timeline Davors is so for him to even have this plan he has to figure out that there is a gap between the Doctor’s two actions that are by his perception minutes apart and more importantly how does he know when to seize the Doctor to make sure he is in that time?

Great Quote(s)

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Clara: Why are you sharpening that stick?
MISSY: Well, I’ve no idea how long we’re going to be stuck out here. Might have to go hunting.
CLARA: So why am I tied up?
MISSY: In case there’s nothing to hunt.

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Clara: So the androids think he’s dead and the Doctor escapes.
Missy: No, he’s the Doctor. He fell into a nest of vampire monkeys.

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Clara: What are you doing?
Missy: Murdering a Dalek. I’m a Time Lady, it’s our golf.

Oh hell let’s just take it as read that every line from Missy in this episode is a great quote

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12th Doctor: Of course, the real question is, where did I get the cup of tea? Answer? I’m the Doctor. Just accept it.

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The Doctor: You really are dying, aren’t you?
Davros: Look at me. Did you doubt it?
The Doctor: Yes.
Davros: Then we have established one thing only.
The Doctor: What?
Davros: You are not a good doctor.

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Final Verdict: 5 stars. Even with the huge plot hole (see pet peeves) it’s a great episode & Michelle Gomez give it an unfair advantage.

Ranking of Season: 1st of 2.

1. The Witch’s Familiar
2. The Magician’s Apprentice

Top 10 Ranking in the Capaldi Era: 3rd. If the episode was presented as a single one with the Magician’s Apprentice it might have managed 2nd.

1. Last Christmas
2. The Caretaker
3. The Witch’s Familiar
4. Mummy on the Orient Express
5. Into the Dalek
6. Dark Water
7. Listen
8. Flatline
9. Robots of Sherwood
10. The Magician’s Apprentice
FYI you might be wondering why I took so long to start reviewing this season, it’s because no season required more thought to figure out.