Well I finally had a chance to watch and re-watch the two-part premiere of Series 9 of Doctor Who and I must say what a premiere! I will be honest after first viewing I was a tad bit disappointed with The Witch’s Familiar. I personally think the episodes were a bit over-hyped, but on second viewing I really enjoyed The Witch’s Familiar!
*WARNING MAJOR SPOILERS AHEAD*
Now I have already given my reaction to “The Magician’s Apprentice,” so I will not talk too much about that episode. This review is just my overall thoughts on both parts of the story and my overall score.
Quick Recap, in The Magician’s Apprentice, The Twelfth Doctor finds himself on a planet and offers to save a boy’s life who is in danger from “hand mine” creatures. The Doctor finds out the boy is a young Davros (the man who will go on to create the Daleks, the Doctor’s worst enemies).
Meanwhile a servant of Davros’ named Colony Sarff is searching for the Doctor throughout the galaxy. Back on Earth, Clara is looking for the Doctor and eventually ends up teaming up with Missy (The Master) who says the Doctor is in danger because he gave her his confession dial (the Doctor’s last will and testament). Clara and Missy track the Doctor down in Essex in the 12th century and he is quite different from his usual self, which troubles Clara.
Colony Sarff tracks the Doctor down and takes the Doctor to his ship to see Davros, who is dying and has requested the Doctor’s presence.
Missy and Clara discover that they were all taken to Skaro and this was all a trap! The Doctor watches as the Daleks murder Missy and Clara and he is helpless to protect them! We then see the Doctor back on the battlefield where he is ready to kill a young Davros with a Dalek gun as he says “Exterminate!” ending the episode!
The Witch’s Familiar picks up where the last episode ended, and right away (unsurprisingly), it is revealed that Missy and Clara survived and are out in the desert of Skaro. Missy explains (through the means of a possible hypothetical scenario with the Doctor) that she survived following the events of the Cybermen invasion by re-calculating her Vortex Manipulator to teleport her right when she was about to be killed by the Cyber Brigadier and is also how she saved her and Clara!
Meanwhile the Doctor continues talking to Davros and the Doctor is angry believing Clara is dead and forces Davros out of his chair! The Daleks believe Davros is in trouble and the doors open and reveal the Doctor in Davros’ chair! (this has got to be one of the best scenes in the show)
Missy and Clara travel through the Dalek sewers (which are the remains of dilapidated Daleks! Apparently this is what happens to Daleks, because they are genetically engineered to live forever.
Missy ends up tricking a Dalek into being killed and tells Clara to climb into the Dalek (harking back to “The Asylum of The Daleks). While Clara is piloting the Dalek we get some insight into the Dalek’s psychology, and it’s pretty interesting. Missy says that the Daleks channel their emotions threw their guns and that’s why they say Exterminate. It’s how they reload.
The Doctor ends up having a heart to heart with Davros, who seems to be happy when he finds out the Doctor saved Gallifrey. After they talk more and more the Doctor seems to feel bad for Davros and decides to give him some of his regeneration energy to heal him (unbeknownst to him Colony Sarff has disguised himself as some of the cables that are keeping Davros alive, but the Doctor ends up trapped and his regeneration energy is being drained and it’s killing him!
Davros admits it was all part of his master plan to heal the Daleks and create hybrid creature that was prophesied back on Gallifrey! The Dalek and Time Lord hybrid!
Missy finds the Doctor and shoots and seemingly kills Colony Sarff freeing the Doctor!
The Doctor laughs and calls Davros a moron admitting he wanted to give his regeneration energy to him and the Daleks knowing it would also go to the Daleks who are part of the sewers! The Dalek sewers are coming back for revenge!
The Doctor almost kills Clara who is still inside the Dalek. Clara begs for mercy finally making the Doctor realize that there is a defect in the Daleks that for some reason allows them to understand the concept of mercy! Clara is able to open up the Dalek suit with the help of the Doctor and they end up returning to the room where the Doctor’s TARDIS was seemingly destroyed and confronts the other Daleks!
Clara believes the Doctor’s TARDIS is destroyed but the Doctor admits that it has just re-distributed itself and it just needs to be activated by his sonic! The Doctor says he is all about wearable technology and puts on his Ray Bans which are sonic! He triggers them and the Daleks ask what is happening and the Doctor replies “Same old same old, just the Doctor and Clara Oswald in the TARDIS!” and the TARDIS re-assembles itself around the Doctor and Clara!
The Doctor and Clara end up outside of the newly built Skaro as it crumbles in front of them! The Doctor realizes what he must do and runs to the TARDIS!
The young Davros sees the Doctor and asks if he is going to help him and the Doctor replies “I’m going to help my friend the only way I can,” (leading to the events of the ending of “The Magician’s Apprentice”)
The Doctor points the Dalek gun and fires at the “hand mines,” saving Davros! Davros asks the Doctor if he is a friend or an enemy, and the Doctor replies “I’m not sure any of that matters. Friends, enemies. So long as there’s mercy. Always mercy.” The Doctor and Davros walk off the battlefield ending the episode!
After re-watching both parts, I have to say I really enjoyed “The Magician’s Apprentice and “The Witch’s Familiar and am looking forward to the rest of the series!
What I liked:
Clara: So the androids think he’s dead and the Doctor escapes.
Missy: No, he’s the Doctor. He fell into a nest of vampire monkeys. But that’s another story!
The Dalek sewers being dilapidated Daleks, it was very interesting
The throwback to “The Asylum of the Daleks,” when Clara piloted the Daleks, that was pretty cool.
*The Doctor riding in Davros’s chair* The Doctor: Admit it. You’ve all had this exact nightmare LOL
The Doctor: Of course, the real question is, where did I get the cup of tea? Answer: I’m the Doctor, just accept it.
The Doctor: Davros! You’re up. Sorry, this seat’s taken.
Missy quickly mentioning she had a daughter!
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.
Missy: Cybermen suppress emotion. Daleks channel it … through a gun. That’s why they keep yelling, “Exterminate.” It’s how they reload.
Davros: If you have redeemed the Time Lords from the fire, do not lose them again. Take the darkest path into the deepest hell, but protect your own … as I have sought to protect mine.
The Doctor: You really are dying, aren’t you?
Davros: Look at me. Did you doubt it?
The Doctor: Yes.
Davros: Then we have established one thing only.
The Doctor: What?
Davros: You are not a good doctor.
*Both begin laughing* This was a great scene and I really enjoyed it.
The Doctor: I knew exactly what you were doing and I let you do it. You transmitted regeneration energy into every Dalek on this planet. Every single one.
Davros: What have you done?
The Doctor: One word. No, two words, actually. First word – moron. Second word – sewers.
The Doctor: Generations of Daleks just woke up very cross and they’re coming up the pipes. Or to put it another way – bye!
The Doctor: Oh yeah, I’m over screwdrivers. They spoil the line of your jacket. These days I’m all about wearable technology.
Daleks: What is happening?!
The Doctor: Oh Same old same old! Just the Doctor and Clara Oswald in The TARDIS! *The TARDIS re-builds itself around them*
The Doctor: I’m not sure any of that matters. Friends, enemies. So long as there’s mercy. Always mercy.
What I disliked:
The Prophecy about the hybrid creature, it seemed kind of thrown in the episode, even if it was a cool idea.
Overall I really enjoyed “The Magician’s Apprentice and “The Witch’s Familiar,” and am looking forward to the rest of the Series! Peter Capaldi continues to impress as the Doctor and is really flexing his acting muscles this season so far!
MY FINAL RATING IS A 9/10!
What say you? Did you enjoy the two-part premiere? Do you like Capaldi as the Doctor? How do you feel about the introduction of the Sonic Sunglasses? Whatever your thoughts let me know!