Rate & Discuss: The Witch’s Familiar

September 26th, 2015
Warning! This article and its comments may contain spoilers...

Trapped and alone in a terrifying Dalek city, the Doctor is at the heart of an evil Empire: no sonic, no TARDIS, nobody to help. With his greatest temptation before him, can the Doctor resist? And will there be mercy?

The Dalek drama continued tonight and for the Doctor, the stakes had never been higher…

Well, not this early into a brand new series, anyway! After last week’s shocking cliffhanger (which you can still discuss, here, by the way!), fans were left to wonder whether or not Clara and Missy would get out of the Series 9 premiere alive. Things went from bad to worse for our beloved Time Lord, meanwhile, who found himself caught up in one of the biggest moral dilemmas in sci-fi history as the very mythology of the show was challenged.

The Witch’s Familiar gave us more pepperpots than we could shake a stick at but was it a worthy conclusion to a story that has arguably changed the Doctor’s relationship with his greatest enemy forever? Rate and discuss tonight’s developments in the comments below…

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NOTE: This discussion will NOT be spoiler monitored so please do not read the comments if you haven’t seen The Witch’s Familiar. You have been warned!

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(12 Votes, Average: 4.25/5)
6 comments on this article
  1. JC
    September 26th, 2015 at 9.09pm | #1


    So the Magician’s Apprentice/Witch’s Familiar has come to an end and I’m not sure what I think about it at the moment. It was great, but I think part of me was caught up in the hype. I think I’ll need to watch it again to fully appreciate it.

    I did enjoy it though. There was echos of Asylum of The Daleks when Missy put Clara inside the Dalek case and I really wondered if that may have been the end of her. A companion turning into a Dalek would strike at the Doctor’s hearts and add a new element to the Doctor/Master relationship. I loved the idea that Daleks age and decay into sludge and yet are STILL alive. You can ALMOST feel sorry for them and yet it seems appropriate after a lifetime of extermination of the innocent that they suffer for their atrocities.

    I really liked the revelation Steven Moffat slipped into the dialogue about Missy having a daughter. It could be lie, of course, but it would be interesting if true. Whilst entirely possible since The Doctor is a Grandad or more, the fact The Master may have cared about someone else enough to have a child and that he might have actually cared about her is amazing to contemplate. What Missy did to Clara also made me feel that she was more like The Master than I have felt so far. I could see John Simm’s Master doing something just like that.

    I was wondering where dying Davros was going and the child Davros misdirected you into thinking that maybe there could be some element of decency to him, but it never made sense and as it turned out, it was all an amazing deception. The revelation of a prophecy of a Dalek/Time Lord prophecy is a hideous concept, but also an intriguing one. Something so hideous and threatening to both sides that they work together one day? ………. We shall see.

    This is obviously not the first time a Dalek has said mercy. I’m not sure if Steven Moffat remembers, perhaps he does and this was his way of explaining, but a Dalek said mercy at the end of Series 5. River Song asked the Dalek to look her up and on finding out who she was, the Dalek begged for mercy.

    Overall, a good end to the two-parter. I’m a little worried about the next episode as these two were such a good start and the trailer for the next episode doesn’t inspire too much excitement, but I’m more willing to give it a chance than I was in Series 8.

    I don’t say this often. In some ways, it hurts, but here it goes ……. Well done Steven, two great episodes.

  2. Joshrr
    September 26th, 2015 at 11.42pm | #2

    I love this episode and when combined with the first episode I can say that this season has started of Magnificently!

    This has to be my absolute favourite Dalek story, perfectly showing them as the most dangerous beings in the universe and yet at the same time showing them to be pathetic creatures, it’s like what JC said, the Dalek sewer scene made you feel sorry for them.

    To be honest I always thought the Daleks as overrated, which might be due to the first time I saw them in Army of Ghosts, when they came down from the sphere and my Dad and friends shouted “Yeah the Daleks!” and I was like “huh? who are these guys?” I was lead to believe they were important but I never really felt it, unlike when I saw the Cybermen for the first time. But now this episode has made me fully appreciate them. Same can be said for Davros. I knew it was a ruse but I just adored the scenes with Davros and the Doctor where we see him so emotional, happy for the Doctor saving galifrey , sad he can’t see the sunset. I think this is the first time he’s been more than a one-dimensional character.

    There were a ton of brilliant ideas in this episode and the last, the Dalek sewers, The wonderful image of the Doctor in Davros chair, The Doctor nearly killing Clara, the Missy/Clara team up, and the final image of The Doctor walking young Davros home.
    I absolutely adore this episode. Hell I’m surprised Moffat didn’t save this for the season finale. I hope he’s saving something spectacular. The ending of this one suggested we might see a long awaited Master/Davros team up.
    I am so hoping the rest of the season will keep up the standard.
    But hey it’s not like they can make an episode worse than the forest one right?

  3. David
    September 27th, 2015 at 2.22pm | #3

    Just brilliant. Far too intelligent for the masses though.

    Great to see all the references – To Genesis Of The Daleks, Asylum Of The Daleks, the 4th Doctor etc.

  4. JC
    September 27th, 2015 at 3.48pm | #4

    I’m not sure how I feel about the Doctor controlling his regeneration energy. He did it as the 11th Doctor when he healed River’s wrist and now as the 12th Doctor infusing Davros and other Daleks with regeneration energy. If the 10th Doctor had that ability, he could have healed The Master’s bullet wound at the end of Series 3, although granted he may have been able to block it.

    As for the Doctor choosing not to carry a Sonic Screwdriver now, I’m a little sad as I collect them and I was kind of looking forward to a new design, but I know there are a lot of people that will be happy about that. The way I see it, fans of the Sonic Screwdriver have had our time, now it’s the time of those that would rather it wasn’t used.

  5. Hoody Lover
    September 28th, 2015 at 1.22am | #5

    I thought this two-parter was the best series opener ever. As others have said, if the series finale surpasses this, then we have indeed got something to look forward to.

    Missy and Clara worked well together and Julian Bleach gave a magnificent performance as Davros. The chemistry between him and Peter Capaldi was amazing. Capaldi, as ever, was magnificent and his Doctor has evolved brilliantly.

    Really looking forward to the rest of the series.

  6. Steve
    September 30th, 2015 at 2.05pm | #6

    To start off, I have a little bit of a rant (nothing new there, some will say) but not about the episode itself but about the lack of Imagination from the BBC/BBC Worldwide regarding merchandise. If you look at rival programs like Star Trek, there is a wealth of merchandise covering the series. With Doctor Who there is not! I want to see models of the TARDIS console, models of ships like the Zygon ship. So why the rant? Well the Sonic Screwdriver – they have deiced to change this for a pair of Sunglass you can find on Scarboro see front for £2.99. It is a huge lack of Imagination.
    That said, again I enjoyed the episode. Davis sank to his lowest yet and was brilliantly acted by JB. Clara, I am glad to see if less of a bully. Missy, although I still don’t believe is the Master, is actually getting more likeable. Daleks galore! Oh and er poo!! Not sure was out the poo!!

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