Doctor Who: The Witch’s Familiar
So guys, welcome to my Doctor Who recap/review segment that I will begin to attempt to do every week! I am gonna start off by assuming you’ve seen The Magician’s Apprentice if you’re reading a recep that will definitely contain spoilers about part 2 of a 2 part episode. Ok? Ok.
Last we left the Doctor, Missy and Clara had just been blasted by the Daleks and disintegrated which, is something things dont ordinarily do when killed by a Dalek. It’s more of Avada Kedavra, does no visably physical harm, kind of blast. Well, duh they weren’t dead! We know Clara will be leaving the Doctor this Season but, that was a little too anticlimactic of a death for both her and the Doctor’s best friend/rival.
Can we just appreciate Missy for a second? In every episode shes ever been in as a main character she has made me laugh out loud with something shes said. Michelle Gomez does a fantastic job of capturing the Master’s chaotic personality and making it her own; she gives me hope for a success when it comes to choosing the first female Doctor. My favorite Missy quote from the episode or at least Top 3 was “Clara: ‘What are you doing!?’ Missy: ‘Killing a Dalek! I’m a Time Lady, it’s like our golf.’
Anyway, they aren’t dead, and Missy explains how, while also explaining how she survived the blast from the Brigadeer Cyberman in last year’s Season Finale, “Death in Heaven.” She illustrates it with a story of the Doctor being trapped on all sides by cyborgs, no TARDIS, no companion, and them poised to fire. She explains that he used the blasts from the cyborgs to recharge his teleporter watch that he stole from the cyborgs at the last second and teleported away instead of getting killed….which is what Missy did! Both times she was supposedly “killed.”
The Doctor sort of loses his shit on Davros and the Daleks and steals Davros’ chair which, was both funny and really cool at the same time. Clara and Missy however, are indeed alive but, hear the threats The Doctor is making to the entire city of the Daleks that if Clara Oswald is really dead they had better be very careful about how they tell him. Missy quips that what they are hearing is The Doctor without hope and that means he is unpredictable and will burn them all. They are down in the sewers which is full of decaying Daleks who never actually die, they just rot.
Well, it doesn’t work out because, the Doctor is thwarted by Colony Sarff and his snakes, which is starting to get annoying even though he is a very neat original alien. He wakes up after the ambush and Davros is back in his chair. From this point on they actually bro out pretty hard and it was kind of touching. Davros cried and looked at The Doctor with his real eyes(very Darth Vader of him). Which was crazy, I thought they were burnt out of his head and that blue cyclops eye was his solution, But, they are still there, and they work! What was the point of the cyclops eye? To look spooky? Anyway, The Doctor starts being nice to Davros, they even have a good laugh! Davros wants to see a sunset one last time with his real eyes so, the Doctor helps him make it to that point. Unfortunately, by the time the sun is coming up, Davros can’t open his eyes anymore so, the Doctor makes a bold move. He works up a small bit of regeneration energy in his hand to make it so Davros can get to the sunset and walks over to the relay that has been keeping Davros alive.
Well, surprise, Colony Sarff is hiding in snake form and grabs onto the Doctor, forcing him to continue to feed regeneration into Davros and, by extension, all the Daleks. Davros while metaphorically and a little bit literally evil villain cackling explains that there is a prophecy of a hybrid Time Lord/Dalek and that he is making it happen right now.
WHILE ALL THIS WAS HAPPENING(taking a step back here). Missy and Clara had that whole “killing a Dalek” scene that I liked in which Missy actually mentioned a possible daughter we never knew she had. Perhaps she has something to do with why she went fully bananas other than the drumming? Hopefully they explore it some more. But, Missy loads Clara into the Dalek casing which is calling so far back to the very first time the Daleks ever showed in William Hartnell’s time as the Doctor. Missy has a bit of fun teaching Clara how to control it with her mind and shows her how different phrases translate into Dalek go tos. For example trying to say “I am Clara Oswald” translate to “I am a Dalek.” any emotion translates to “Exterminate!” and if she actually says “Exterminate” The gun fires. Missy says “That’s why their always shouting ‘Exterminate!’ they’re reloading!” which was another laugh out loud moment for me.
Anyway, they infiltrate all the way back to the room where they were blasted before the Doctor starts getting regeneration energy sucked from him. All the Daleks start to glow like they are regenerating and Missy immediately goes running off with a Dalek gun to save him. She busts in and shoots and kills Colony Sarff, freeing The Doctor but, not before the Daleks somehow become stronger with the energy. The Doctor then reveals that he knew Davros was bluffing and this was his plan all along. Revealing that every Dalek got a little regeneration energy, including the angry rotting ones in the sewers. They ooze up from the sewers and basically kill every Dalek and The Doctor and Missy peace out of there.
They run into the Clara Dalek and Missy switches sides(sadly, I liked her on the team a lot) and tries to get The Doctor to kill her by telling him it was the Dalek that shot Clara and killed her. She very nearly convinces him with the addition of Dalek Clara shouting “I AM A DALEK, I AM A DALEK!!” as she desperately tried to tell the Doctor it was her and she is alive. Eventually she shouts out “Mercy” and The Doctor is caught off guard because the Daleks do not understand the concept. He tells Dalek Clara how to open her casing by just thinking the word “open” and when Clara is revealed, he tells Missy one thing without even looking at her. “Run.”
After they split ways, The Doctor and Clara get surrounded in the room where they destroyed the TARDIS and when they fire, the TARDIS force field protects them. Clara, obviously confused looks to The Doctor as he explains that the Hostile Actions Displacement System in the TARDIS (which allowed it to save itself in “Cold War”) saved the TARDIS, merely displacing all its molecules and all it needs is a little sonic to regather. Clara astutely points out that The Doctor does not have his screwdriver but he points out that he does have his shades; the sunglasses hes been carrying around. He puts them on and they turn out to be sonic sunglasses. He quips that the screwdriver had bad memories attached to it and it was ruining the lining of his jacket anyway. The TARDIS regathers and they fly off, leaving Missy cornered by the Daleks but, she seems to have a plan that saves her skin. We don’t get to see what, though.
At the end of the episode, the Doctor and Clara watch the city fall apart from outside and The Doctor wonders how a bit of mercy got into their genetic code and then, it hits him. He takes the Dalek gun and flies back to the battlefield to where young Davros is still pleading to what we saw at the end of the last episode. The Doctor, after yelling “Exterminate!” shoots all of the hands coming from the ground and saves Davros, showing him mercy and making sure he knows thats what it was so Davros learns some mercy. I also suspect The Doctor left an impression with that phrase and that’s where Davros got the idea but, that’s just my headcanon for now.
Things I am left to wonder:
1. How much regeneration energy did The Doctor give up? One face? Six? Not much at all?
2. The preview for next week shows him still with the sunglasses….is the sonic screwdriver gone for good? I certainly hope not. I like the shades as an aesthetic but not to replace the screwdriver!
3. Will Davros and the surviving Daleks come back better than ever?
4. Did Missy team up with Daleks, or just vortex manipulate her way out of there?
5. What about that Time Lord/Dalek hybrid, I can’t imagine a prophecy like that just going away.
6. Will Missy ever talk about her daughter again!?
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