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The Witch’s Familiar

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witch

WELL.

Welly, well, well. That was quite something, wasn’t it? Best two parter since The Pandorica Opens/The Big Bang…? (YUP). And like that story, Moffat pulls a quite different second episode out of the hat. If episode one had a lot of Universe hopping, colour, and whizz-bangness, this episode narrowed its focus somewhat for a deeper, more contemplative forty five minutes.

If you’re interested, and I KNOW YOU ARE, here’s how I thought this opening story stacked up against Moffat’s other season openers.

The Eleventh Hour: I mean, how could this ever be toppled?

The Magician’s Apprentice/The Witch’s Familiar: Read this page.

The Impossible Astronaut/Day of the Moon:Moon doesn’t quite live up to the first episode, but still, WOW.

Deep Breath: Fourth, and yet I love it. Kinda tells the story of how ace Moff is at opening seasons, that.

Asylum of the Daleks: Bottom, but still lots to love. It’s just that damn fool ‘the Pond’s are splitting’ thread that pulls it down, really. I mean COME ON, was anyone really buying that baloney?

Moffat has been writing for Doctor Who for ten years now, and he can still pull out a story like this. By rights he should be rolling out tired old shite by now, but nope. The show still inspires him. That’s why he doesn’t want to go yet, he knows he still has scares to tell.

YAY!

‘Am I a good man?’ Oh no he didn’t! That was a real slap round the face when old no-legs said that.

Davros opened his FREAKING EYES. Daw. His sad, tiny little peepers. It felt at once awww and ewww. Unnatural. What a moment.

I saw someone mention that the rotten Daleks from the sewers, newly regen-powered up, taking out the Daleks above was a crappy Deus ex machina. No. You are a dumb-stupid. Please, fans, Google what Deus ex machina actually means. You are making yourself look daft.

Missy and a pointy stick.

How beautiful did those classic old blue Daleks look? I mean just gorgeous.

When Missy is recounting a past adventure, and we skip through a few Doctor’s before she decides to settle on Capaldi’s. GLORIOUS. 9Even if they looked nothing like who they were supposed to be…..)

Clara was hooked up as a Dalek when they were leaching some of the Doctor’s regeneration power, so… did she get a wee top up to? Or did it not affect her because she isn’t a Dalek? I guess we’ll find out.

‘Just the Doctor and Clara in the TARDIS, same old same old’ kinda seemed odd in the trailer. But in context, a mini-air punch of a moment.

Missy had a Daughter? Well obviously it’s Maisie Williams. (NO)

Ooh, the FEELS as Clara stepped into that Dalek casing. Asylum flashbacks ago-go. And when she opens the casing at the end, and the Doc cradles her big, sad face in his hands…. lovely.

‘Davros, your sewers are revolting!’ Cue slide whistle.

Missy always doing things ‘cos bananas. Attempting to get the Doctor to exterminate Dalek-Clara, just for shits ‘n giggles. 

Moffat loves to shed old things in a new light, or add to what we know, or think we know. Here, we realise when a Dalek says ‘Exterminate’, it actually might be saying a whole heap of other words. Or reloading. And that the casing basically strips the creature of individuality. It does not have a name, it is just a Dalek. That whole scene was funny and scary at the same time. Genuinely unnerving.

Clara says the Doctor is the last person she would ever kill… Foreshadowing, or nothing…?

I was right about how Missy and Clara survived, and about just what the Doc was gonna exterminate. ME SO SMART.

Julian Bleach. I mean… he IS Davros. Awesome work.

The Doctor walking hand in hand into the mist with little Davros at the end. Lovely.

Of COURSE it will be compassion that does for the Doctor in the end.

Capaldi was amazing, again. A Doctor prepared to die, if needs be, to atone for not living up to being the Doctor when he walked away from helping a small boy, to a man not prepared to go quietly once his friend gets pulled in.

I choose to believe that, when Capaldi is getting his neck squeezed by snakes, that face he pulls is a knowing nod to:

pert cap

pertwee nest

HMM

Okay, either my telly, or my ears, are crap, or someone needs to sort the audio levels out. There was one bit in the sewers where I couldn’t make out a word of Missy’s dialogue.

Missy kinda jabbed holes in that Dalek with her broach a little easily.

Where my Paradigm Daleks at?

Colony Sarff was given sort shrift this episode. A few crucial snakey moments, but mostly a forgotten character.

When Missy and Dalek-Clara return in ep two, the Supreme Dalek fella doesn’t seem to recognise Missy as the woman he just exterminated earlier. Goldfish memory?

I kinda wanted to see the Special Weapons Dalek blow the shit out of something. Oh well. Sad face.

****

Doctor Who, man. Best Dalek story since season one? Quite probably! Genuinely a little sad that a section of fans will watch this two part story and get nothing from it. How? HOW????

@doctorwhothing

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Author: Matthew Stott

Writer. http://mrmatthewstott.com/

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