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Doctor Who Series 9 Episode 2: The Witch's Familiar Review

Friday, 2 October 2015

Hello there friends, I'm back with my review of The Witch's Famaliar, the conclusion to the two-parter that opened series 9. And I'm happy to say, that this episode was so much better than the first. 

Firstly the good bits. Generally, I found the episode to be engaging and well paced. I was much more drawn in by the story than in the first part. I thought the scenes between Davros and the Doctor were wonderfully done even if they did go on a little too long. I much prefer Capaldi's Doctor like this, stripped back and honest as opposed to being overly goofy. I realise that this kind of episode can't happen all the time but I find that Capaldi shines when he's given emotional plot lines to work with. I really liked where Davros asks the Doctor if he was 'a good man' harking back to when the Doctor questions the same thing to Clara. I liked this because the similarities between the Doctor and Davros and thus questions about the Doctor's morality weren't rammed down your throat. They simply hang in front of the audience offering no answers.

Another bit I actually loved was where Missy turns on Clara. Clara is trapped in a Dalek unable to say who she is and Missy attempts to convince the Doctor that Clara died at the hands of the Dalek Clara is trapped inside. It was cruel and callous and everything I'd come to believe that the Master/Missy is. I could never really buy that Missy was just happy to work with Clara. I actually found that bit to be wonderfully done and a little bit sad. Clara had actually tried to save the Doctor, something I'd complained about not seeing enough of in my previous review. And the thought that this kind of stupid, but brave act would lead to her demise was just a good piece of writing. Unfortunately, it's let down by the fact that the Doctor frees Clara off-screen and just tells Missy to run.

Whilst overall I enjoyed the episode, I had some problems with it.

The double bluff I found really wearisome. I liked that Davros tricked the Doctor. It proved him to be a worthy foe to the Doctor. After so many appearances from the Daleks, they had become a little bit of a joke and Davros by extension so it was nice to see that Davros could still trick the Doctor. Also the one thing that we learned in the scenes between Davros and the Doctor was that the Doctor was compassionate, something Davros believed would kill him and so it made sense that the Doctor would be foiled by his compassion. It didn't make sense therefore, that the Doctor saw through all of this. I just think this would have been much better if it had been left to Clara or Missy to save the day. The fact that the Doctor knew Davros's plan just makes the scenes between them before this kind of pointless.

Also, I found the ideas about Dalek's in this episode quite inconsistent. I can get on board with dying, dead Daleks becoming a weird sewer mush thing. What I cannot get my head around is why these Daleks would attack their own kind. This just doesn't fit with what I know of the Daleks. They hate everything that isn't Dalek and so I can't believe that the dead Daleks would attack other Daleks simply because they were spurned. So unfortunately though the rest of the episode was good it was let down by it's conclusion.

I feel like I should also mention the Doctor's new sonic device. Sonic Sunglasses. Sonic Sunglasses!? What on earth. This is just terrible. I don't know if this is an attempt to make the Doctor cooler or just to have a new product to sell to kids but I didn't like it. I won't dwell on it though.

Overall then I'd give the episode a 3.5 out of 5. My hopes are a little higher for the next episode. 

Thanks for reading!


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