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September 26th, 2015 112 comments

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What Did You Think of The Witch’s Familiar?

Now that the highly anticipated second episode of series 9 has been aired what did you think? Was it everything you had hoped for or not what you expected.

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?


These exclusive and limited edition action figures are highly detailed and features 18 points of articulation, interchangeable head (with hat) and iconic accessories including Missy’s umbrella and “Missy Device”. The bespoke packaging is easy to display.

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  • Rufus

    October 2nd, 2015 - 3:19pm

    bet at the end of the series we see Davros dressed as a time lord

  • Exterminator

    September 30th, 2015 - 9:40am

    I’ve just thought of something. Missy made holes in the casing of the Dalek down in the sewer to allow the decayed remains of old daleks to get inside it. So how then did the ones in the Dalek control room get penetrated by the gloop? I thought daleks have shielding?

    • yognot

      September 30th, 2015 - 3:38pm

      There could be other ways in, but you have a good point.

  • Cyberlord

    September 28th, 2015 - 11:53am

    As much as I loved the opening two parter, I had one question: Why is the doctor wearing pyjamas and a hoodie? I’m fine with it but, I feel it’s not like the doctor to wear something like that!

    • Silversands

      December 3rd, 2015 - 9:03pm

      The 1st and 2nd Doctors wore pants like that so it might be a reference to that but idk about the hoodie

  • Dalek the Supreme

    September 28th, 2015 - 2:36am

    This is one I’ve really had to think about. Did I like it? Did I dislike it? I had a hard time telling while I was watching.
    The scenes with Clara and Missy breaking into the Dalek city were good. Missy is slowly acting more and more like the Master, and Clara, while she didn’t do anything to stand out, especially, she wasn’t superfluous or useless, and her presence (ironically, again inside a Dalek) did give Missy a very Mastery moment, where she tries to trick the Doctor into killing Clara. (Probably for her own sick amusement, which is very much the Master) I also find it interesting that she fought the Supreme Dalek before. I would like to see that.
    I loved the moments with Davros and the Doctor, especially when Davros is actually dying. It was was really touching and emotional seeing Davros have a conversation with the Doctor where he isn’t arguing or debating their two opposing moralities, but opening up about his world view, feeling happy for the Doctor regaining his people, and giving him friendly advice. However, it’s especially impressive that Davros stayed true to his character, with his defining belief in loyalty to one’s species. I was bothered by the fact that Davros was just tricking the Doctor, I’m not majorly annoyed because it was well within Davros’s character to trick him, and it was never mentioned or implied that Davros was lying about his world view and being happy for the Doctor, but the way it happened (introducing some Time Lord legend the episode made up and not showing any of the deeper side of Davros again) was jarring and irritating.
    The Doctor was a lot of fun, especially when its revealed that he stole Davros’s chair. After the “dying” Davros scene, that was the highlight of the episode. I’m interested to see how the Doctor handles not using the Sonic Screwdriver, but if Sonic Sunglasses are honestly replacing the Screwdriver, I will be seriously annoyed. It’s good to see that the Doctor’s compassion has once again prevailed. I also enjoyed Missy’s explanation of how the Doctor always survives.
    The Daleks were just there, and it was never explained why all those different variants are there (nor was the appearance of Davros or Missy…), but they weren’t all bad. I really loved the idea of how a Dalek casing works, and the fact that they’re genetically programmed to live until they’re killed, and use sewers as a means of disposing of decaying Daleks, is a good idea. I like how they established it and even used it as a weapon before using it to escape the Daleks.
    A decent story, despite a rushed ending, and excellent defining character moments. I’d say The Witch’s Familiar was a really good episode, and well worth the build up of The Magician’s Apprentice, but was not without its shortcomings.

  • collector

    September 28th, 2015 - 12:38am

    Thought it was a really good bit of storyline where Missy explains to Clara how a Dalek travel machine works. I love you = exterminate, getting emotional = exterminate. I am Clara Oswald/i am a human = i am a Dalek.

    And clever how they reload by saying exterminate.

    Great acting by Jenna Coleman, Michelle Gomez and Joey Price (child Davros).

    Although the trailer for next week looks quite dark and atmospheric. Have read that Under The Lake is set after Before the Flood, so basically episode 4 is set before episode 3. That makes perfect sense (!) Not.

    And after those episodes, i have one thing to say. . . What took you so long old man?

    • 12thDoctor

      September 28th, 2015 - 6:28am

      Under the Lake is the first episode of the two, so it makes perfect sense that it is set Before the Flood (see what I did there?). Or have you confused them and ep 3 is really set after ep 4? Where did you read that?

    • Clarice

      September 29th, 2015 - 7:23pm

      I loved that explanation of various words and phrases being tweaked when it’s translated through the machine. It got me thinking about the idea that maybe individual daleks do have their own personal names, and that perhaps they do have ideas that are oppositional to the majority, but it is insignificant because the casing would make it seem like they don’t. Super cool that they allowed Clara to step into the shoes of the enemy, I think this was a huge highlight of the episode!

    • Rufus

      September 30th, 2015 - 12:59pm

      if you read this months DWM it will explain

    • Clarice

      October 2nd, 2015 - 7:43pm

      Where can I find the DWM?

  • Sid Rat

    September 27th, 2015 - 11:51pm

    Really enjoyed that. Peter Capaldi is not one of my favourite doctors, but I’m getting used to him. That was my favourite episode of the ‘Capaldi’ era. Great story, great to see Davros (I actually believed he was going to die at one point), Clara and Missy were brilliant.

  • Anonymous

    September 27th, 2015 - 11:30pm

    You can’t change the sonic screwdriver that just changing the whole of Doctor who, I don’t feel like I’m watching doctor who anymore just some cheap spin off, the episode would of been great if they didn’t change too much of it and spent more time on the special effects. I wasn’t happy.

    • Peking Homunculus

      September 27th, 2015 - 11:55pm

      The doctor didn’t even have a sonic screwdriver when he started. One could say that The sonic devices in general are too deus ex machina, which was why The fifth doctor’s was destroyed. It didn’t really come back till The tv movie in ’96. And they already had changed it, it lights up for goodness sake.

    • Dalek the Supreme

      September 28th, 2015 - 1:55pm

      …Pretty much what Peking Homunculus said. Besides, it will give the Doctor new ways to solve problems.

    • MaxP

      September 29th, 2015 - 12:21am

      The screwdriver was one of the worst elements of new who. He was always waving it around; it seems to be able to do absolutely every thing rather than just open doors and screw with electronic devices like the old days; and it looked like a kids toy. Glad it’s gone.


    September 27th, 2015 - 5:14pm

    Great series start- why that sly old fox Davros almost had me shedding a tear. Also the dialogue where Davros apologises for the difficulty in finding a chair (on Skaro ! ) for the Doctor to sit in was funny.

  • Dalek Smith

    September 27th, 2015 - 4:12pm

    For me it was really underwhelming.

    • rt

      September 29th, 2015 - 2:14pm



    September 27th, 2015 - 3:39pm

    Re-watched the episode again this morning, and I noticed an error regarding a classic Dalek.

    During a brief corridor scene when the Daleks are suddenly deactivated, a 60’s Dalek seen by itself down a corridor on the right of the screen appears to have the base of a modern day Time War Dalek.

    I had to re-watch and pause the scene to make sure.


      September 27th, 2015 - 5:19pm

      Just made an upload featuring the error. Do check it out 🙂

    • 2doctors2000

      September 27th, 2015 - 7:11pm

      If you look closely you can see this scene is actually a mini 12″ remote control Dalek set up, although they have modified the Dalek’s weaponry to not bend in the middle, the Dalek has a connected joint on the eyestalk down to the dome, if you look closely as the black section you’ll see the split where the eyestalk can be removed on the toy.
      The 1960’s painted in modern style was most definitely just a repaint as the BBC couldn’t get hold of a 12″ classic model. But the nice thing about this is it opens up a canonised repaint of the Time War Daleks in 60’s design, opening up opportunities for screen accurate customs! 🙂 I really like the fact it appeared on screen, I wish the Daleks had that colour livery on every modern one, maybe instead of using classics in Series 10, use classic colours new model 🙂

    • Obsie

      September 28th, 2015 - 8:47am

      Congratulations, extremely well observed, worthy of Sherlock Holmes himself. You would make a good Dalek.

  • Exterminator

    September 27th, 2015 - 1:02pm

    What a great second part that was. I absolutely loved Davros, for a minute I was thinking no he can’t die surely?

    So no we know, Davros can open his eyes and he’s got no legs. I loved the Dr in Davros’s chair and Clara inside the Dalek.

    Missy was amazing. I can’t wait to see what she is planning with the Daleks and I loved the bit where she finally met Davros and then poked him in the eye. Lol

  • Matt

    September 27th, 2015 - 10:50am

    My biggest grievance with this story is the Doctor being baffled by the Dalek mentioning ‘Mercy’, (before anyone says ‘The Doctor wasnt there when the Dalek/River Song moment in Big Bang happened), the Doctor is more taken aback by the Daleks understanding the concept of mercy, despite, even in Dalek, the Dalek begs The Doctor to ‘have pity’ on him. Seems a bit daft when the Daleks clearly have demonstrated their ability to understand mercy.

    • 2doctors2000

      September 27th, 2015 - 11:18am

      The Dalek in ‘Dalek’ had extrapolated DNA from Rose Tyler, meaning it understand human concepts.

    • Obsie

      September 27th, 2015 - 11:57am

      Plus River said that she had al of the Doctor’s faces in her diary, she is working backwards so could have mentioned it to him at some point when she knew him in his 12th incarnation, maybe when she’s back at Christmas it could be a throw away line.

    • Matt

      September 30th, 2015 - 11:25am

      ^ it was before Rose even had even been in the same room as the Dalek, so that simply can’t be true.

  • Dem squiggles

    September 27th, 2015 - 10:24am

    Did missy say, “the bitch is back”?

    • Obsie

      September 27th, 2015 - 11:53am

      She did indeed, since she said it about herself any complaints hopefully will be few. Be interesting to see if I gets cut from Sunday’s repeat showing on BBC1 at 3:15pm however.

    • DalekAgent

      September 27th, 2015 - 4:50pm

      I actually thought she said “The Witch is Back” referencing the episode title The Witch’s Familiar

    • Obsie

      September 27th, 2015 - 4:52pm

      They left the line in too in the repeat, good for them.

  • matparks08

    September 27th, 2015 - 10:23am

    Didn’t feel it quite lived up to the extremely high expectations of the previous week, but was still a cracking episode and whos just how imprtant two part episodes are…i thought last season suffered greatly by stories cramming too much into 45 minutes. This one allowed time for characters to grow and, by jingo, how the doctor fell for trusting both Davros and Missy in the same story is beyond me. I know it was played as a double bluff but did The Doctor really know the liquified daleks were in the sewers? I also couldnt help but think Clara had come full circle by being stuck inside the dalek. Finally the scene where the Doctor watches the Dalek City from the hillside was a lovely touch which seemed very similar to the Doctor seeing it for the first time 51 years ago! Sorry – lots of waffling, it was great, and next weeks looks pretty scary stuff too…glad it’s on later …..

    • matparks08

      September 27th, 2015 - 10:24am

      whoops…second line should read ‘shows just how important’

  • Tim M

    September 27th, 2015 - 9:42am

    Brilliant episode…and altogether excellent two parter. Easily my favourite story of Capaldi’s era so far. Most certainly the best story to feature Davros since ‘Genesis of the Daleks’. A superb story by Steven Moffat, great direction from Hettie Macdonald, and wonderful performances from the regular and guest cast. One of my all time favourites! 🙂 10/10

  • CJ

    September 27th, 2015 - 8:12am

    Am I the only one who likes the Sonic Sunglasses? Seriously, we’ve had a Laser Screwdriver, a Sonic Gun, A SONIC LIPSTICK!!! And a silly old Sonic Pen! IMO I think the Sonic Sunglasses are cool! 😀

  • Rufus

    September 27th, 2015 - 7:46am

    Bet at the end of the series we see Davros dressed in full time lord get up.


    September 27th, 2015 - 6:55am

    FINALLY !!. 40 years in the making since his debut in ‘Genesis of the Daleks’, and the old son of a Kaled is finally recognized as the true leader of the Daleks !! 😀

    Goodbye Supreme Daleks, goodbye Emperor Daleks . . Davros is KING !! 😀

    Blimey thou, he has eyes ??, I thought he lost his eyes due to the accident that crippled him, and since we now know his actually had his eyeballs all this time, it really makes his camera eye in his forehead meaningless, until maybe he has it because his natural eyesight is poor due to the accident.

    And holy heck, the Doctor took Davros out of his chair and decided to play Dodgem’s with the Daleks, good grief, still, it gave us a nice look of Davros’s lower half of his body to show us once and for all that he lost his leg’s as we’ve never been sure how much of his body really existed.

    • A

      September 27th, 2015 - 5:12pm

      About the eyes, I have two theories. One, Davros prefers his own technology which presumably has better range in both distance & spectrum. Or, while hoping to tempt the Doctor into laying hands on the wires to commit genocide, he suspected he would have to play on the Doctor’s compassion. Manipulation via eye contact & emotion. It’s not beyond Davros intellect to use basic cosmetic surgery to reconstruct his eyes enough to assist his plan.

    • Dalek the Supreme

      September 28th, 2015 - 2:37am

      I thought the scene where the Doctor stole Davros’s chair was the second best part of the episode. And there is still a Supreme Dalek, he’s just second to/equal to Davros. Or maybe Davros is an adviser? (They really didn’t explain the Dalek hierarchy)

  • CG

    September 27th, 2015 - 2:05am

    Loved the episode. Was actually feeling quite sorry for Davros for a while when he wanted to see the sun and opened his eyes, before he sprung the trap on The Doctor.
    I think Missy could have been a little better in this episode but was great. I loved the inclusions of the 60s daleks too and hope a mixture of daleks return. I also liked the idea of the rejected dalek mutants rebelling and how the Doctor went back and saved Davros. Sad about no sonic screwdriver through. =(

  • The Moffat Paradox

    September 27th, 2015 - 12:41am

    But in all of this:Paradigm Daleks.Paradigm Daleks.Where art thou?


      September 27th, 2015 - 6:50am

      If you look up the Paradigm Daleks on the Doctor Who Wiki page, it appears that the Paradigm Daleks have ditched their quite awful multi-coloured casings in favior of the Time War casing.

    • Dalek the Supreme

      September 28th, 2015 - 2:39am

      They were canned because fans considered them too radical a change (ironically in a show where the main character is radically changed every few years) from the traditional Dalek design. I’m upset that they’re absent and unlikely to return, but I’ve accepted that they’ve been pushed off the screen since Into the Dalek.

    • The Moffat Paradox

      September 28th, 2015 - 10:23am

      They with their allegedly deadlier capabilities where NEVER properly used to gain acceptance and then all the jokes about their just being the Power Rangers Daleks would have been silenced.

  • Docwatcher

    September 27th, 2015 - 12:19am

    Doctors, companions, and now even screwdrivers may come and go but not Davros and IMHO this was his finest hour in terms of both scripting and acting. He wasn’t exactly outwitted by the Doctor rather cheated by an all to predictable and therefore somewhat boring bit of time travel which in case we couldn’t see it coming it was felt necessary to show us in the trailer at the end of episode 1.

    To my mind a scenario with much promise was never really capitalized on in the second episode which saw Clara seemingly happy to be suspended upside down menaced only by a pointed stick and equally happy to hop into a vacant Dalek without first wiping away the slime left on the seat by the previous occupant.

    Obviously she needed basic driving tuition but couldn’t the discovery that it wouldn’t always say what she wanted have waited till the confrontation with the Doctor? In short this wasn’t the stuff that made me hide behind the sofa as a child, even the Daleks seemed to have lost their edge in this story and not just because I’m now in my 60s!

  • A

    September 27th, 2015 - 12:10am

    Very relieved the Doctor exterminated the hand mines not the boy. I was a bit worried what he might be prepared to do if he thought his childhood friend, his Tardis & his impossible girl were dead last week.
    The titles make sense. Clara was the magician’s(Doctor’s) apprentice last week, working out the plane situation & finding the Doctor in all of earth’s recorded history. This week she was the witch’s(Missy’s) familiar, following Missy’s lead & not necessarily doing well out of the bargain.
    By instilling the Daleks with the potential for mercy, the Doctor has allowed for the possibility he could turn one or more good. This explains why Rusty could grasp concepts a Dalek shouldn’t be capable of, even if it didn’t work out quite how the Doctor hoped.
    The Doctor’s confession… The reason he left Gallifray… Questions, questions. One I’ve had since deep breath is who is Susan’s grandmother? Since dark water, is this the first female version of the Master? Now, why did the Doctor give Missy jewellery in connection with a daughter? Also, when did the friendship go awry? Presumably during the 1st Doctor’s time but the Master has always been more reckless with regenerations.
    Loved series 8. Am loving series 9, despite a bit of apprehension about the number of two part episodes.

  • Anonymous

    September 27th, 2015 - 12:00am

    Really hoped that we were gonna see a regeneration scene for Davros. Imagine a rejuvenated Davros with no chair. Hope he collects the regen energy from rest of Daleks and we see him again.

    Didn’t like the Dalek gunk!

  • Fia

    September 26th, 2015 - 11:31pm

    I loved the episodes 🙂 but, was wondering about the notion of a Dalek not having the word ‘mercy’ in his memory? because I distinctly remember a Dalek asking River Song for mercy.

    Anyhoo, very enjoyable and I am now wondering if the Daleks will change in any way.

    …someone else has mentioned that Missy said something about a daughter, I caught that too but then was distracted, think I’ll go watch it again 😀

    • Doctor Stu

      September 26th, 2015 - 11:40pm

      The Doctor said they shouldn’t have the word mercy in their vocabulary but then he went back and sort of changed that when he rescued little kiddy Hitler at the end of the episode and remember when Riversong made the Dalek beg for mercy the Doctor wasn’t there to hear it

  • T4RD1S

    September 26th, 2015 - 11:30pm

    Fantastic episode, not keen on sonic glasses and Davros on the floor was kind of weird. Also Davros crying and his eyes!
    P.S plz make a Davros chair that moves and everything!

    • Doctor Stu

      September 26th, 2015 - 11:43pm

      Davros with his eyes open looked very wizards vs aliens, haven’t even seen that program but I feel that’s a suitable way to describe it :mrgreen:

      I was also kind of hoping for a Davros 3.75″ figure but now I feel like we’re going to get a Doctor in Davros’ chair figure instead

    • Anonymous

      September 27th, 2015 - 12:58am

      Really hope we get a davros figure too al though the doctor in his chair would definitely be an interesting variant

      ( I’m also really, REALLY hopeful we get a re release of the 5″ version as I was never able to get it)

  • 47

    September 26th, 2015 - 11:17pm

    Very good in general ! The opening scene I didn’t care for too much, just to resolve the point of escape, and I do wish some of lines weren’t so clunky with out of place “humour.” The portrayal of Davros was superb, and the interactions between him and The Doctor were brilliant. It was pleasing to see an episode where the quality of the protagonists shine through, writing and performance were far better than my typo’s, and their was character development too. I hope the rest of the season carries on in such strong form, as I have thoroughly enjoyed the opening two-parter and think they have been the best Doctor Who for a long time. Oh, and very much as a “ps”…. Last week’s scene with the tank n’ guitar…….seen it before – and it was much better too. \m/,

  • Nigel M

    September 26th, 2015 - 11:14pm

    Not bad but…”Mercy” ? Mr Moffat seems to have forgotten his own previous scripts. In “The Big Bang” (last episode, series 5) the re-animated dalek shoots the Doctor and the dalek becomes temporarily powerless. River Song points her gun at it and it asks for “mercy” three times when it realises that she is going to kill it.

    So what’s all this nonsense about daleks being unable to say the word in this episode ?

    • Doctor Stu

      September 26th, 2015 - 11:46pm

      They are able to say the word but only because the Doctor went back to save Davros as a kid and from that Davros created the Daleks with a concept of mercy. The Doctor wouldn’t have know that mercy was a word in their vocabulary as he wasn’t there when RiverSong shot the dalek

  • dan23uk

    September 26th, 2015 - 11:09pm

    This is set after
    The Stolen Earth /Journey’s End coz in
    The Magician’s Apprentice Davros played some of his conversations his head with the doctor & you saw /heard 10th doctor (David Tennant).


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