1. Why don’t the episode titles have any correlation to the storylines?
The Magician’s Apprentice and The Witch’s Familiar; two episodes who’s storylines bare no relation to magic and witchcraft. Apparently the titles to these episodes mean absolutely nothing at all… or do they? Perhaps the episode titles, as misleading as they seem, are actually clues to a mystery we know nothing about yet…Maybe not, but there is rarely anything coincidental about Doctor Who.
2. Is Missy the key to the mystery of the Doctor’s Face?
The Witch’s Familiar opens with a really strong, fast paced explanation of how Missy and Clara survived apparent extermination at the hands of the Dalek fleet. Clara whilst tied up and upside down, is given a full grilling by Missy; an obvious probing of Clara’s knowledge of the Doctor and her intelligence. Which obviously she passes with flying colours because Clara is just as intelligent as any Time Lady and just perfect at everything (please excuse my utter weariness with this theme). Now, interestingly we might have been given out first ‘face’ clue. The mystery of the Doctor’s face has been alluded to before. Peter Capaldi has appeared in Doctor Who before playing the part of Lucius Caecillus Ivcundus in The fires of Pompeii and also in Torchwood as Home office secretary John Frobisher. We know that there is an explanation, Moffat holds the solution to this problem given to him most generously by Russell T Davies. In Capaldi’s first episode as the Doctor; Deep Breath he says about his regeneration “Have you seen this face before? No? Are you sure? It’s funny because I’m sure that I have…You Know I never know where the faces come from, they just pop up”. Those with keen ears and eyes may have noticed in the midst of Clara and Missy’s quick fire retorts, Missy’s throwaway comment “I love killing clever clogs they make the best faces” and then tellingly a long shot of the Doctor’s face. It’s a possible clue that is easy to miss in amongst the information overload of that scene but could it be possible that Missy had something to do with the Doctor’s regeneration?
3.Is the sonic screwdriver gone for good?
“I’m over screwdrivers, They spoil the line of your jacket. These days I’m all about wearable technology.”
Enter Sonic Sunglasses, certainly cool, and great as a gimmick, Capaldi looks good in them in an weathered rock star kind of way. It’s likely that they will crop up again over the series but to completely get rid of something as iconic as the sonic screwdriver would be a travesty. It is akin to fixing the TARDIS’ Chameleon circuit and losing the beloved blue box. No I have visions of it being whipped out with a flourish mid Christmas Special as the internet collectively sighs with relief.
4. What is a Hybrid Dalek and are they really gone ?
So the Doctor ‘let’ Davros trick him into giving the Daleks a load of his regeneration energy, it made Davros younger and stronger and the Daleks? Well they reported that the experiment was successful and they were more powerful. Basically we have no idea what ‘more powerful’ means, I mean they mastered stairs how much more powerful can they get? I don’t believe for one second we wont be seeing these ‘hybrids’ again soon, the Daleks are indestructible.
5. Hasn’t Clara already done the whole being a Dalek thing?
Well, yes and no. Coleman made her first appearance in Asylum of the Daleks as Oswin Oswald, who was a Dalek but didnt know it, Oswin died. Coleman then reappeared in victorian London as Clara Oswin Oswald, a governess who also died. In series seven it transpired that to save the Doctor Clara had to fall into his timeline and get scattered across time, dying again and again in order to save him. So these appearances are actually aspects of the current Clara Oswald of which she has no memory. It seems a bit of a waste putting her back into a Dalek just to release her, the idea of the Doctor travelling with a Dalek for a bit and then using the story as Clara’s exit from the show would have been very effective. Maybe the writers will read this, see what a fantastic idea it is and write it in…Maybe.
6. Whats Missy up to now?
Missy is great at catching you off guard, just as you think she’s genuinely on Clara and the Doctor’s side she does something so casually cruel like trying to convince the Doctor to kill Dalek Clara. The Doctor, evidently a bit miffed leaves her to the Dalek’s ‘Mercy’ but just as things are looking dire Missy announces that shes had a good idea. Could she be teaming up with the Daleks? As it was made clear in this episode the Dalek’s have a ‘defect’ in respecting their creator Davros, could Missy have found a way to exploit that? Once again this leaves us pondering as to whether the Hybrid Daleks have really been destroyed by sewer sludge.
7. Why did this episode feel disappointing?
Unfortunately this episode reaches it’s peak in the first 3 minutes. Much like it’s predecessor this episode is fast paced and exciting right up until the credits. What follows is a very long conversation between Davros and the Doctor. The tables are turned so many times within this chit-chat that I can’t remember who’s on which side anymore, all I know is I’m bored. That’s not to say the writing isn’t top notch, the performances are outstanding especially considering Davros barely has any facial features to work with… it’s just disappointing. The Magicians Apprentice was fantastic at getting the audience geared up for an adventure then failed to deliver the goods with The Witch’s Familiar. Missy and Clara’s interaction created a nice interlude and a few comedic moments. Interestingly though I felt the episode was ultimately summed up by Clara in the preview for the next episode where she says “I want another adventure, monsters, things blowing up”. I couldn’t have put it better myself.
Doctor Who returns Saturday with Under the Lake.
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