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Doctor Dodgems, a Davros Zinger and Reverse-Shawshanking through Dalek Scatacombs

The parlours and salons of Skaro are abuzz with talk of the handsome new visitor, The Doctor, and his private audience with Davros in the infirmary. His companions have run into significant difficulties, and he himself appears to be hampered by a lack of transport options.

Doc and Davros dispense with the usual genocidal pleasantries and get down to the grisly business of relating with one another. First Doc takes tea, then he starts cosying up to the doddering despot, laughing at his jokes and siphoning off his own life essence to offer him a final glimpse of sunrise.

Elsewhere on Skaro, Missy takes Clara for a reverse-Shawshank into the Dalek city by way of the Dalek scatacombs before encasing her in a pepperpot shell and attempting to coerce the Doctor into blasting her to kingdom come.

Here's what we think of N119 The Witch’s Familiar

We rate Doctor Who stories on a scale from 0.0 to 5.0. For context, very few are excellent enough to merit a 5.0 in our minds, and we'd take a 0.0 Doctor Who story over a lot of other, non-Whovian stuff out there.

Leon | @ponken


Drew | @drewbackwhen


Marie | @hammashandjelly


Here's what we think of N119 The Witch’s Familiar

We rate Doctor Who stories on a scale from 0.0 to 5.0. For context, very few are excellent enough to merit a 5.0 in our minds, and we'd take a 0.0 Doctor Who story over a lot of other, non-Whovian stuff out there.

Leon | @ponken


Drew | @drewbackwhen


Marie | @hammashandjelly


Here's what you think 5 Responses to “N119 The Witch’s Familiar”
  1. EcclestonIsBest

    The second episode in the last Dalek 2-parter in NuWho so far. Davros wants the Doctor’s lives to regenerate himself and his children. Clara and Missy survive for some reason that I am to dumb to understand. Hilarity (still provided by the Missy) ensues.


    —The idea that Daleks are bioengineered to continue living.
    —The look of a dead Skaro that compares to the one seen in The Daleks and The Asylum of the Daleks
    —More of the Dalek and Endless Dalek Night soundtrack
    —“Am I a good man?” When I first saw this episode I found this moment to be creepy and scary that Davros would think that he was doing right. This never really came up in Genesis of the Daleks.
    —The Doctor using the severed Dalek gun limb as a weapon calls back to Genesis of the Daleks


    —Where are the New Paradigm Daleks?! I might be the only person who likes them, but I want the rainbow thimbles. Victory of the Daleks was my first ever Dalek episode so the Power Ranger waste bins are the Daleks to me.
    —How does this teleport escape work? Missy says she uses the energy being shot at her to power the teleport. When I shot a rifle at my car, it did not go. Now all I have is holes peppering my bumper.
    —Also snake eyeball cables? Whatever.

    RATING: 4.2 pointy stabby sticks

  2. Eddie Rock | @TheEddieRock

    I’m back to Rock along this temporal highway with my review of The Witch’s Familiar. With the aid of their Vortex Manipulators (which I’d like to think Missy seduced away from Captain Jack) Clara and Missy manage to escape from their “certain” deaths. This is just the first example in this episode of the classic hand-waving deus ex machina that Doctor Who does so well. Whether it’s liquid daleks or the concept of Mercy, this show always gives you just enough of an explanation to go “what? Umm sure okay, if you say so”. They even go as far as to say “Why? Cause I’m The Doctor. Just accept it and move on.”
    Missy was brilliant as per usual. Davros gave a fantastic performance that almost had us believing he was being sincere. But we know better don’t we? And apparently so does The Doctor. With a final convenient move his sunglasses are shown to be the new “sonic screwdriver”. Now that it’s been revealed, can I complain about them? I hate them. I get they’re trying to keep things fresh but they are completely ridiculous. Epic fail.

    Highlights of the episode:
    Missy’s story at the beginning
    The Doctor in Davros’ chair with tea
    The Buddy Cop chemistry of Missy & Clara

    Overall I didn’t like it as much as part one and give it a 3.8 out of 5 Vampire Monkeys

    See you next time. Till then, Rock on
    -The Eddie Rock

  3. Michael Ridgway | @bad_movie_club


    • Fake News ‘deaths’ of Clara and Missy: a cheap-shot cliffhanger with a half-arsed explanation of technobabble bollocks.
    • On the subject of cheap-shots Doctor, yanking Davros out of his wheelchair?! What a really mean thing to do! But I guess only mildly less sick than attaching an explosive to Davros’s wheelchair in ‘Destiny of the Daleks’. Shame on you!
    • The fate of Mini-Davros was a copout. Did the Doctor rescuing Davros merely give the Daleks the vocabulary of ‘mercy’? If so, Big Deal! They still go round slaughtering civilisations mercilessly. They only yell “mercy” if they’re losing. Wouldn’t it have been more interesting if the Doctor had zapped mini-Davros and explored a universe without the Daleks that was unexpectedly shitier – like It’s a Wonderful Life’ with Davros as George Bailey (Christmas Special please).
    • Do these episode titles bug anybody else? What do they mean? Why wasn’t it called ‘The Sewers of Skaro’?
    • Why do the Dalek City interiors look less interesting than the 1960s Dalek City sets built with old shoeboxes and spittle?
    • Why is Davros posh? And if he is a rich kid, why is he dressed as a tramp and running around a battlefield?
    • How did Missy escape the Daleks? (Anyone else catch the sneaky line about Missy/The Master having a daughter?…)

    Summary: We love Davros, Missy, and, of course the star of the show – the Seventh Doctor’s nemesis, the Special Weapons Dalek. And this episode, for all its flaws, is better than most TV. But (sigh) it could have been so much more.
    Rating: 2.9/5 Daleks being gunked by grumpy slimey sewer Dalek pensioners. There’s comeuppance for not looking after the elderly.

  4. David E

    Thanks for unravelling that mystery. What does the name of this one mean then? Clara again? What fun!

    Great start with the flashback that could be any Doctor and the vampire monkeys

    Missy and Clara are fantastic together. Love the way she treats her with complete and utter disdain and is nasty to her at every opportunity.

    The dalek sewer/graveyard is a nicely twisted idea, but wait a minute…didn’t we have bad guys in liquid form with Missy quite recently?

    Seeing Doc and Davros having a DMC (Deep and Meaningful Chat) is bloody great. The first time I watched this I literally stared open mouthed as Davros opened his eyes…pretty epic.

    Could it be? Do we finally have the conclusion to a Moffat two parter that doesn’t fall right off a cliff?

    Ah..only just.

    The Doctor’s regenergy does..something at the end. I find it hard to believe that this futuristic city isn’t somehow insulated from the outside better.

    Still, this is a massive improvement on the last few. More like this please Mister Moffat!

    David. E

    • Hey David!
      Sorry we didn’t read this one ‘on the air’. Alas, our recording was already in the can when your review came in. Excellent mini as always! Glad you enjoyed this double-feature!

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