Doctor Who: The Witch’s Familiar

Doctor Who

Welcome back to the Missy Show! Y’know, sometimes I wish it was the Missy Show, because Michelle Gomez is KILLING it, isn’t she? I just love Missy!

Let’s check out what happened in this episode of Doctor Who, “The Witch’s Familiar.”

Okay, so Clara is hanging upside down, and she isn’t dead. Neither is Missy. But we knew that, right?

Missy tells Clara a story about the Doctor — and the costume changes are really great here — with no TARDIS. He’s being stalked by invisible assassins, he’s surrounded, close to death. And Missy wants Clara to tell her how he escaped. Clara answers the question correctly, and Missy explains that that’s exactly how she and Clara got away. So, that answers that question, tied up with a neat little bow! Oh, except for the vampire monkeys. But that’s another story!

Missy and Clara plot to save the Doctor from Davros and an army of Daleks … with a pointy stick.

Back in Davros’s sick room, the Doctor threatens Davros with a Dalek gun. Then he apparently rips Davros right out of his chair and leaves him for dead on the floor. And then climbs into said chair. WHAT THE EFF IS EVEN GOING ON. I’m supposed to believe that the Doctor would just kill Davros in cold blood like that? SERIOUSLY?

Oh, and then the Daleks exterminate the Doctor. But he’s okay. Because he’s the Doctor. And also Davros’s chair has a force field.

Over near the Dalek sewers — yeah, Daleks have sewers. Who knew?! — Missy pushes Clara in to see how far down they go. It was actually a very comical moment. Clara is pretty mad, and she threatens Missy with the pointy stick. Missy explains that the Dalek sewer is also the Dalek graveyard. Eww.

In the sewer, Clara and Missy hear the Doctor’s speech about wanting Clara back alive. It’s very touching. But stupid Davros has to ruin it by being not-dead. JEEZ, this guy NEVER DIES. Suddenly, the Doctor is covered in snakes because Sarf apparently put snakes in Davros’s chair one day, for this exact reason, I guess?

Missy AGAIN tricks Clara into being bait for the Daleks — Clara’s kind of naïve, isn’t she? — and Missy kills the Dalek that comes to investigate the sewer.

The Doctor wakes in Davros’s chamber again, and Davros talks. And talks. And talks. We get a peek at Snake-Guy, and he’s now changed into a bunch of cables. Um. O…kay?

In the sewer, Missy puts Clara inside the Dalek casing.

In Davros’s chamber, MOAR TALKING. Davros explains that he’s connected to the life force of every Dalek, and that they all have respect and mercy for him. The Doctor now realizes that by touching the cables, he could kill every single Dalek. He could commit genocide, and Davros pushed him to do it. Because, duh, snake cables.

The Doctor refuses, and in a wonderful scene, explains why. He came to help Davros because he’s sick and he asked, and because he doesn’t want to just be some “old Timelord who ran away.” He wants to be The Doctor. He wants to do what the Doctor does. Save people. Even if that person is evil old Davros.

In the Dalek, Clara becomes a Dalek. She learns to control it with her brain, and Missy locks her inside. It’s then that she learns that she can no longer say her own name. Oh, and if she gets emotional, she automatically starts shooting. Also, most feelings make her yell, “Exterminate!”

So here’s my major grief with this: WHY DIDN’T WE KNOW THIS BEFORE?! Is this new?! The Doctor has talked to Daleks before, and this has never, EVER been mentioned. WHY? Ugh, sorry. It just really bothers me. It’s like the writers are making stuff up — and making it canon! — just to make the plot of one episode fit together. We have 50 years of Dalek background, and this was never a part of it! Okay, okay … shutting up now.

Davros wants to know why the Doctor ran with the TARDIS. The Doctor puts on his shades, because he’s cool, I guess? They banter some more. The Doctor tells Davros that Gallifrey didn’t burn. That he brought it back, but he’s not sure where he put it.

Davros changes tactics and plays the good guy. He actually *cries* and then opens his ACTUAL eyes so he can look at the Doctor. Davros tells the Doctor to do everything he can to protect his people, as Davros protected his. He asks the Doctor if he’s a good man. Then they have a laugh when Davros makes a joke. I mean, it’s a really, really great scene. Davros says he wants to see the sun one last time with his own eyes. Welp, that does it, and the Doctor is now going to do all he can to keep Davros alive to see one more sunrise.

Meanwhile, Dalek-Clara gets Missy up to the Dalek hand-out room. I assume that’s what it is because it has, like, twenty Daleks just hanging out in it at all times.

The Doctor decides to use a little bit of regeneration energy (OH MY GOD IT DOESN’T WORK THAT WAY AT ALL WTF?!?!?!?!) to keep Davros alive for the sunrise. Of course, that backfires because, duh, Snake-Guy is the cables! So Snake-Guy keeps the Doctor attached to the cables and sucks a ton of regeneration energy through the cables and into Davros.

In the Dalek hang-out, Missy is about to give up Clara when the Daleks start to glow with the energy flowing into them through Davros. Missy runs off to find the Doctor.

Davros mentions a prophecy that was on Gallifrey, about a hybrid race. He asks the Doctor if that’s what he ran from. His part in the coming of the hybrid; Half Dalek, half Timelord.

Missy enters the room and blasts the cables. The Doctor is detached, but the Daleks wake up renewed and more powerful than ever. Davros is also feeling just fine now, thanks.

BUT WHOOPS, NOT SO FAST, FOLKS!

The Doctor knew what was happening, and he LET IT HAPPEN! HE PULLED THE OL’ SWITCHEROO, GUYS! The regeneration energy also went down into the sewers, and woke up generations of Daleks that are now REALLY ticked off.

As he’s running, the Doctor runs into Dalek-Clara, and she, of course, can’t tell him who she is. It just keeps saying, “I AM A DALEK, I AM A DALEK.”

Missy tells the Doctor that it’s the Dalek that killed Clara. The Dalek begs for mercy. The Doctor realizes that it’s Clara inside, and he tells Missy to run. Missy runs.

The Doctor gets Clara out of the Dalek casing, and he reassembles the TARDIS with his new sonic glasses. And that’s all I’m going to say about the sonic sunglasses.

Missy gets away in the end (of course).

The Doctor realizes after he and Clara are safe that it was HE who taught the Daleks mercy, through Davros, when he SAVED the boy in the field! He goes back and shoots off of the handmines, and takes young Davros home.

So the first time I watched this episode, right after it aired three weeks ago, I hated it. But on second watch, I guess it wasn’t totally horrible.

I hated the stupid Dalek Clara bit, and I’m not even going to mention the sonic sunglasses, but I didn’t HATE it.

I just wish Moffat et al. would leave the classics alone. Let the canon lie, and stop changing huge stories to suit their own episodes.

I didn’t have a ton of favourite lines, so here are the two I liked:

  • Davros: “I hope you are grateful. It wasn’t easy to procure, and very nearly unique, of course. You should feel privileged. The only other chair on Skaro.”
  • The Doctor: “I’m just a bloke in a box! Telling stories!”

See y’all next time!

Photo Courtesy of BBC America

About Christina

Christina came into her geekiness late in life. Well, later than normal people do anyway. She has her brother to thank for that, although he's probably the biggest not-geek she knows. "Watch The Eleventh Hour," he told her. She did, and she hasn't looked back since.