The Witch’s Familiar (Doctor Who Series 9)

The second episode from series 9 kicked of with a recap of the important events of episode 1 and a lesson about from Missy about the Doctor. This proved interesting as not only did it show the way the doctor thinks but it also served to answer the question of how Missy survived the series 8 finale.

This episode maintained the Missy and Clara dynamic which was great to see as those two really do work well together but what was even better was that the Doctor got to face of against Davros. This is not the first time these two have come face to face but having these two square off in some very dialogue heavy scenes was rather interesting to say the least.

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The Doctor managed a lot of seemingly impossible things in this episode but we will never know how he got that cup of tea or why Davros gave him the only other chair on Skarro.

One of the cool things about this episode was finding out more about the Daleks including the way they speak and what happens to them when they get old. The Doctors joyride in Davros’s chair was an interesting escape attempt but served little purpose in the overall scheme of things, apart from giving Colony Sarff a good reason to stick around.

Clara’s experience as the inside of a Dalek was only a brief part of the episode but just when we thought the episode was over it added a bit more drama into the mix. It led to an important decision for the doctor and served as a reminder that Missy should really not be trusted. In fact the Doctor only really decides to not shoot, when the Dalek pleading for mercy, a concept that shouldn’t even exist in their vocabulary.

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However this is not the first time that we have seen a Dalek ask for mercy. Back in the Matt Smith era of Doctor Who, River Song managed to extract a cry of Mercy out of a Dalek. That Big Bang episode was pretty good and it was cool to finally have an answer of why the Daleks have a concept of Mercy in the Witch’s familiar episode. Lets hope the Daleks don’t make a habit of asking for Mercy though as that will start to lose its power very quickly if they do.

The scenes between the Doctor and Davros were really engaging and worked brilliantly in this episode as they traded blows in an intellectual battle of wills but despite this the Doctor not lacking for compassion, which Davros used to his advantage. When Davros started to take the upper hand I was not that surprised but I was not expecting things to work out the way they did. Missy turning up just in the nick of time was an interesting development, mostly because usually it is the companion that helps to save the day.

Being the second half of a two parter meant that this episode also had to wrap up the cliffhanger from the first and I have to say that this one did it rather well. I did wonder what the Doctor would do if he was faced with a child in danger who turned out to be someone he knew who grow up to be his enemy and I am so glad he decided to show him mercy.

One final thing before you go. I recently discovered a guy on Twitter called  Stuart Manning who has been making some rather incredible looking posters for Doctor who episode including the first two parter from this series. Check out his twitter for more of his amazing posters

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Previous episode: The Magicians Apprentice

Next Episode: Under The Lake

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