The Witch’s Familiar – New Who Season 9 Episode 2 Review

We all know how we left off with the season premier, so then we move on to the second part.

As the episode starts we see that Clara and Missy made it out alive, with Clara dangling by her feet from a rope and Missy crafting a spear and acting all crazy… I see potential here.  We all knew they weren’t going to be killed with such little fanfare as the previous episode, but I expected we’d have to wait a little longer to see them.  But Missy decides to tell a story about the Doctor, and we get a cameo from certain “old timers” (which made us original Who fans happy) before “giving it to the eyebrows”.  Guess that’s the feature we’ll be fixating on for Capaldi’s version of the character… seems about right.

The story Missy tells is a convenient way to explain how they used modified vortex manipulators to teleport away from the Daleks as opposed to getting disintegrated by them.  I must admit that this was a more creative explanation to getting away than I’d expected as well.  Anyway, we get some clever quips about pointy sticks, which I won’t wreck for you in case you want to actually watch the episode, and all this before the opening credits.

This is the happiest I’ve been with an episode in quite some time… At this point I’ve noticed it’s an episode written by Moffat himself.

Cut to the Doctor and he’s *angry*.  He still thinks Clara and Missy have been exterminated and he seems to want to take it out on Davros.  Next thing we know Davros is laying on the floor and the Doctor is running around in his half a Dalek armor like he’s in a bumper car.  At this point I’m picturing a set of bumper cars where the cars are the bottom half of Daleks.  I implore the BBC to make this happen!

Back to Clara and Missy investigating the sewers (really a nearly-dead-Dalek burial ground) and we get more antics as Missy pushes Clara in to see how big the drop is.  Can these two *please* have their own show?  I could watch this all day.

After a bit of filler the Doctor demands that Clara be brought back alive and safe, broadcast out to all the Daleks.  No mention of Missy, and she actually looks kind of hurt.  The takeover was short lived, as Colony Sarff appeared to capture him.

In the meantime Missy uses Clara as bait to kill a Dalek.  I’m still entertained by their interaction, but I noticed Missy said something about her daughter…  Anyway, more filler while Davros tries to lure the Doctor into his little trap.  Entertaining filler, but filler none the less.  We do get a bit of insight into how human the Doctor actually is, or seems to be.

Back to the dynamic duo, Missy has strapped Clara into a Dalek and gives her driving lessons.  We’re a bit full circle here, if you remember souffle girl from Clara’s introductions.  Clara’s unable to say her name, only “I am a Dalek” comes out, and she doesn’t seem to have much control over her weapons as she gets upset.  A lot of phrases come out as “Exterminate” and now I’m wondering if the Daleks have tried to say nice things over the years and it’s been “translated” to Dalek-speak.

We have a heart-to-hearts between the Doctor and Davros, who finally learns that the time lords are still alive.  He surprises everyone by telling the Doctor to keep his people safe.  There’s some shared laughter, some tears, and the good man question appears again.  Davros claims to be dying, and we all know the Doctor probably isn’t going to let it happen.  Oh look, he falls right into the trap.  Are we surprised?  Not this puppy…

So the regeneration energy is flowing, the Doctor is trapped, and all that energy is flowing out into Davros and the Daleks.  Lucky for him Missy had strolled back into HQ with Clara in tow, just in time to save the Doctor from himself.  Unfortunately, the damage was done… only not the damage you’d expect.  The Doctor trapped himself on purpose to make the Daleks mortal.  It means the generations of Daleks that were mush in the sewers have now been regenerated and are coming back for revenge.

Missy tries to tall the Doctor that Clara (in the Dalek armor) is the Dalek that killed Clara.  Of course he sees something is off and shows her how to open the casing.  And away we go to try and make an escape.  Except for Missy, who was told to run.  No sonic screwdriver for the Doctor, since he left it with Davros years before, but he has sonic sunglasses.  Seriously?  I really hope this is short lived.

So he goes back and saves Davros as a child and teaches him the concept of mercy, so that Clara can use that concept to trigger the Doctor’s suspicions so he can save her.  It’s all very circular and tied together quite well.

All in all I was happy with this episode, even though it posed a lot of questions.  Does the Doctor now have unlimited regenerations?  Will we see Missy again? (of course we will) How long will those stupid sunglasses last?  And will we ever see a Missy/Clara spinoff?  I’d love to hear the opinions of others…

The Magician’s Apprentice – New Who Series 9 Episode 1 Review

Our favorite show has returned to the air, and with it a return to the blog.  I think I’ll be trying to write this while watching it live, so there won’t be as much careful thought as I’m used to putting into the blog.  However, I find it much more fun to do it this way.  Before starting the episode I watched interviews with Jenna Coleman and Peter Capaldi, and am amazed at the respect all of these people seem to have for each other.

Anywho, here we go!

We’re starting out on a battlefield with a child running around.  and it’s not long before we have a scene that looks like something out of a zombie movie.  But then the Doctor comes to the rescue… until the child says his name is Davros.  Then he just looks horrified.

After the credits we meet Colony Staff, and he reminds me of something… something in Harry Potter maybe?  Anyway, he pays a visit to the sisters of the flame to threaten the Doctor.  I feel like this could be interesting…

Ah, there’s Clara!  The planes stop in the sky and Unit calls Clara?  This is new… But it makes sense.  And Missy is back!

Clara doesn’t seem that shocked to see Missy.  She must be tougher than she used to be.  Missy claims to asking for Clara’s help because the Doctor is in danger.  She says that the Doctor is on his last night and then he’ll die.  Clara knows how to find him and cooperates.  I’m not sure how I feel about that.

So they find the Doctor and I have to admit that seeing Peter Capaldi with a guitar is kind of awesome.  There’s some time killing and then Colony Staff turns into a snake.  I’m still very confused, and we’re halfway through the episode.  But then Colony Staff throws the screwdriver down and it all makes sense even before it’s explained.  He left Davros to die.  He made Davros.

So the Doctor is collected, Missy and Clara are taken with him, they left a tank behind and the TARDIS is grabbed by the Daleks… I’m starting to feel like they’re just throwing in things we know:

Cole Hill School, Missy, UNIT, Colony Staff, the Shadow Proclamation, Daleks, Davros, Sisters of the Flame… have I missed anyone?  Seriously!

So on the ship the Doctor is taken away to see Davros and we get a nod back to the previous Doctors.  Meanwhile Missy and Clara escape to “space”.  Turns out we’re on Skaro and Missy’s just going to decide to pair up with the Daleks.  They kill Missy and Clara, and destroy the TARDIS.

Personally, I don’t feel like any of this is real, but hey, what do I know?

This episode was mostly filler, and then some serious plot mixed in.  I enjoyed it, and it felt like the hour passed quickly.  However, I think I’ll have a lot of complaints on rewatch.  What did everyone think?

Every Jelly Baby Scene

Have you ever felt the need to watch every Jelly Baby scene?  ME TOO!!!

More Who References

Doctor Who At 50

Radio Times is reporting that David Tennant and Catherine Tate will be appearing live:

RadioTimes.com can announce the impressive line-up for the next event in the British Film Institute’s Doctor Who at 50 season.

On Sunday 29 September, David Tennant will be joined live on stage in London by his friend and former co-star Catherine Tate, when the BFI screens The Stolen Earth and Journey’s End, the stunning two-part season finale from 2008 featuring Davros and the Daleks.

The hugely popular Tennant has of course just reprised the role of the tenth Doctor for the forthcoming 50th anniversary special (BBC1 November). Catherine Tate played the fabulously gobby Donna Noble in many episodes between 2006 and 2010.

The other guests are:

Graeme Harper, who directed The Stolen Earth and Journey’s End, as well as many other classics reaching right back to Peter Davison’s era in the 1980s.

Phil Collinson, who produced more than 50 episodes between 2005 and 2008. He’s returning to the BFI after being such an entertaining guest at last month’s event for ninth Doctor Christopher Eccleston. That panel can be watched on the BFI YouTube site.

Andy Pryor, the highly respected casting director, who (I think I’m right in saying) is one of the very few people to have worked on every single episode of Doctor Who since its return in 2005.

The BFI’s Justin Johnson also confides to RT that there’s a slim chance of one other top guest on the day.

Doctor Who Penguins

Chester Zoo is naming this year’s penguin newborns after Doctor Who “icons”.  So far there’s Doctor, Dalek, Davros and TARDIS.

Chester Zoo