Season 9, Episode 2 “The Witch’s Familiar”
Directed by Hettie MacDonald
Written by Steven Moffat
Starring Peter Capaldi, Jenna Coleman, Michelle Gomez, Julian Bleach
Air date: Saturday, September 26, 2015
So… how do we start? We assume we’re going to win! When we left off last week, the Doctor discovered his own part in Davros’ past; he, Missy, Clara, and the TARDIS were all on Skaro; and the latter three of those four were apparently vaporized. It was just the Doctor, Davros, and a planet full of Daleks, or as Missy put it this week “on the run, no TARDIS. No friends, no help. In other words “¦ the Doctor, happy.” Well, I wouldn’t go that far… and neither would showrunner Steven Moffat. It’s a tangled web, to be sure! How does the Doctor escape? By creating a future that causes a past that produces his present, and showing once again that compassion is a disease for which there is no cure.
With all of the opening overture fireworks completed, the strengths of the Moffat-era Doctor Who now become more apparent. Where last week we saw almost a bewildering display of characters and plot twists, the players this week on Episode 9.2 “The Witch’s Familiar” are reduced to just five: the Doctor, Missy, Clara, Davros, and the Daleks. We know they are on Skaro, and we have some idea how they relate to one another… or do we? The brilliance of Steven Moffat the writer is to skillfully invert what we think we know about characters and situations and to do it with brilliant, economical dialogue.
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