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Review: Doctor Who – 9.2: The Witch’s Familiar

“I’m the Doctor, just accept it”. With one line Peter Capaldi has seemed to answer both his and Steve Moffat’s critics. The fact that the line s in part two of the strongest Doctor Who opener in years gave it that little bit more a gravitas whilst still keeping tongue firmly wedged it cheek.

So part two of the first story of season nine did not disappoint. The pace of the first part was kept throughout the episode and dark humour didn’t miss its marks. In season eight Michelle Gomez’s Missy seemed like she was trying too hard. Now her mixture of madness and wit lifts every scene she’s in. Capaldis Doctor is also set free. Last series the Doctor seemed weighed down by his history; he now seems empowered by it. Even Jenna Coleman’s Clara Oswald has lost that annoying edge that blighted the character through most of the last series.

Again Moffat has balanced the demands of the core fans with those more casual watchers. Seeing the fourth and first Doctor running about before turning into Calpaldi was inspired. The return of the Hostile Action Displacement System (or HADS for short), not seen since Matt Smiths ‘Cold War’ episode, was welcomed and used well. Seeing Clara encased within a Dalek would have most fans shouting ‘Asylum of the Daleks’ at the TV. I also think, like myself, most Whovians would have enjoyed playing name that Dalek. For me the site of the Special Weapons Dalek, only previously seen in the twenty five anniversary episode ‘Remembrance of the Daleks’, was enough to satisfy the nerdy fan boy within.

The ratings, on the night, may have dropped in the UK (let’s remember it did clash with the rugby), but it is still the most popular program on BBC I-Player and international ratings have increased. So please keep this in mind before worrying about the ratings. Also if the writing stays this strong, throughout the series, we have nothing to worry about. Plus ‘Sonic Shades’ are awesome.

Also two very important long standing questions were answered. Does Davros have legs and does he have eyes. Also another was raised; where did Missy find all that rope in the desert?

Rating out of 10: 8

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