Tonight’s Doctor Who has achieved a fantastic and rare feat by having an episode that was even better than the near perfection of the series premiere last week.
This week’s episode wasn’t all about The Doctor and Clara running around frantically trying to save the day, this was much more of a slow, but brilliant, burn. Much of the episode followed a one on one conversation between The Doctor and Davros, with some very serious moments, such as Davros asking The Doctor “Am I a good man?”. Whilst this scenario alone was a joy to watch, largely due to the perfect acting of Peter Capaldi and Julian Bleach, I particularly loved how it was laced with dramatic irony. We knew all along that Davros was manipulating The Doctor’s biggest weakness; his compassion. This was a very clever way to evoke emotion from the viewer, as I was literally yelling at The Doctor not to fall for the trap.
I am beginning to sound like a broken record but can’t say anymore about this episode without saying, again, how fantastic Michelle Gomez was as Missy. Whilst she still showcased her wicked and dry sense of humour, she also gave us a handy reminder that Missy still isn’t good. She turned the dial all the way to crazy when she tried to manipulate The Doctor into killing a Dalek, which she knew had Clara inside. Pure evil, Missy. Pure evil.
Missy also dropped an interesting bit of news by oh so casually revealing to Clara that she has a daughter by saying “The Doctor gave it to me when my daughter…” and was then cut off. I wonder if this daughter is going to appear anytime soon, perhaps in the shape of Maisie Williams? If this ends up being true, then I am a total genius.
Oh, remember last week when I said that I hoped we would get some explanation as to how Missy survived the series 8 finale? We get that explanation, albeit briefly, during this episode. As many had guessed, it was a form of teleportation; which also happened to be the way her and Clara survived last week’s episode.
Also, this part wasn’t essential to the plot or anything really, but I really loved it when The Doctor, in Davros’ chair, was sipping a cup of tea and says; “Question: How did I get this cup of tea? Answer: I’m The Doctor, don’t question it”. I feel like this quote accurately symbolises Moffat’s reign as showrunner. Don’t bother with the intricacies, just strap yourself in and enjoy the ride into the mad world of The Doctor.
I genuinely don’t have any complaints about this episode; it was 45 minutes of pure Doctor Who excellence. Humour, character moments and crazy storylines are all things synonymous with Doctor Who and they were all used to perfection in The Witch’s Familiar. If the first two episodes are anything to go by, we’re in for one hell of a ride this series.