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< 9.1 - The Magician's Apprentice
9.3 - Under the Lake >

9.2 - The Witch's Familiar

Rating Votes
10
21%
20
9
31%
29
8
25%
24
7
11%
10
6
7%
7
5
5%
5
4
0%
0
3
0%
0
2
0%
0
1
0%
0
Average Rating
8.3
Votes
95
Director:
Writer:

Latest Community Reviews

From the Reviewer:
User Rating:
10
Plot Rating:
10
Acting Rating:
10
Replay Rating:
10
Effects Rating:
10
Has Prerequisite(s):
Yes
Reviewed By: MercuryReview Date: 3/20/19 12:51 pm
1 out of 1 found this review helpful.

Continuing on from the very strong first part of this two part story this episode is equally excellent. The whole concept is great, revisiting a Genesis of the Daleks type dilemma of a troubling decision which could stop the existence of the Daleks but would be morally deplorable to the Doctor. I do think it is somewhat at odds with Moffatt's obsession with suggesting the Doctor has dark morals and not enough regard for life that he refuses to even take the life of his greatest, most evil enemies - THIS is the REAL Doctor, not the morally bankrupt Doctor Moffatt tries too often to suggest!

The scenes between Davros and the Doctor are utterly fantastic. The acting of Capaldi and of Julian Bleach is superb and the dialogue and themes are tremendously cleverly presented. The dynamics between Missy and Clara are very different and very funny. There are moments which stray a bit too over the top such as Missy laughing hysterically and jumping about as the Clara Dalek fires at her but this is a minor annoyance amongst mostly witty and hilarious humour and moments of dark drama.

The Daleks are well depicted and the Dalek sewers are a decent idea. I am not 100% sold on the regeneration energy transmitting via cables and machinery into the rotting flesh of millions of discarded Daleks though, that seemed odd. Also the plot of Davros seems a little too reliant on things out of his control but to be fair he does say he had a back up plan to 'tear the Doctor apart' to get his regeneration energy. The Doctor's choice to use his regeneration energy to turn the Dalek sewers against the Daleks is a risky strategy too but the excitement, drama, humour and quality of this story far outweigh any minor quibbles. I think this deserves a 10/10 because the magnificent face off between the Doctor and Davros alone is so great and there is so much other brilliantly dark drama and hilarious humour (such as the Doctor's tea and the chair provided at great difficulty by Davros) that such minor negatives are blown away.

This episode 10/10, overall 2-part story 9.75/10.
From the Reviewer:
User Rating:
9
Plot Rating:
9
Acting Rating:
9
Replay Rating:
9
Effects Rating:
10
Has Prerequisite(s):
Unsure
Reviewed By: AlfredReview Date: 10/13/15 8:39 am
0 out of 1 found this review helpful.

This one earns high marks because of the way it continues to soar after the excellent first part. The resolution too is superior in its disguise of artifice and the pulling together of more than one strand to tie the action off.

There are only a couple of things to criticise. Davros' scheme is so elaborate it stretches the plausiblity somewhat (it is a bit like the convoluted classic cybermen schemes or the entrapment in Evil of the Daleks - how on earth did they expect to pull that one off?) and the zapping cables scene, including the Doctor flick lighting his regeneration energy is more cartoonish than dramatic.

The two parter format is a real winner as well, providing scope for development and exploration.
From the Reviewer:
User Rating:
9
Plot Rating:
9
Acting Rating:
10
Replay Rating:
9
Effects Rating:
9
Has Prerequisite(s):
No
Reviewed By: adamelijahReview Date: 9/28/15 9:42 pm
1 out of 3 found this review helpful.

To start with, Peter Capaldi turns in a brilliant performance. The scenes of conversations with Davros are brilliant for both the Doctor and Davros. Outside of that, Capaldi's Doctor is moving away from the harsher and more abrasive Series 8 Doctor of stories like, "Time Heist." There's a great deal of warmth in the performance and a lot of humor. "Dalek Supreme, your sewers are revolting," is a great Doctor Who line that I could easily have seen coming from the Third Doctor.

Missy was great as a secondary character with her own plan and motives, and plenty of wonderful lines. Michelle Gomez does a fantastic job and helps contribute to an episode that balances humor, emotional drama, and Doctor Who magic as well as any episode in recent memory.

The final scene is beautiful and profound. It's well-executed and leaves he audience with something to ponder. Overall, this two parter of the most solid beginnings to a season of Doctor Who in the program's history.
From the Reviewer:
User Rating:
8
Plot Rating:
7
Acting Rating:
9
Replay Rating:
7
Effects Rating:
7
Has Prerequisite(s):
Yes
Reviewed By: newt5996Review Date: 9/26/15 10:23 pm
1 out of 1 found this review helpful.

The Witch's Familiar does something that has never been done in the new series before, and that is it doesn't resolve the previous week's cliffhanger until near the end of the episode. The plot really gets going in this episode and that really works as well the plot Moffat decides to go with wouldn't have been able to be told in only 45 minutes. The plot sees a great stand-off between the Doctor and Davros, but the Doctor doesn't act in character throughout the whole thing especially with his scenes with Davros. I also loved how much more the title makes sense. Last week there was no real sense of who The Magician's Apprentice is, but Clara is obviously The Witch's Familiar with Missy obviously being the witch. Michelle Gomez and Jenna Coleman both steal the show and while some complained that the show was becoming Clara Who and not Doctor Who, that really isn't a problem as the companion is the audience's gateway.

One of my biggest problems with the episode is that the Daleks as always when Davros is around aren't used to their full potential with them playing second fiddle. This really isn't a Dalek story, but a Davros story which makes it less of a flaw. But I really like what they did with how the Daleks work and I won't spoil it for those who haven't seen it yet. So yeah this season's opener was great and looks like Series Nine will be just as promising as Series Eight.