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artisanal film reviews | by maryann johanson

open thread: Doctor Who: “The Witch’s Familiar”

dwcapaldi

I’m taking a little break (I’ll return on September 28th), and while I may have a chance to watch the second episode of Doctor Who Season 9, I won’t have time to write about it. So here’s an open thread to discuss it in the meantime.

(I will catch up with blogging about this episode and last week’s episode during the week of the 28th, before the third episode debuts.)

Assume that the comments below are full of spoilers.

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UPDATE: My reaction to the episode is here.


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  • Danielm80

    At the end of last season, I decided that Doctor Who was no longer appointment television. It was just another show I could watch on my DVR later in the week.

    This episode was appointment television. I may have been shouting at the TV during some of the weaker scenes, but I watched them live.

    I’ll admit, though, that I was perplexed when the Doctor’s greatest enemies suddenly decided they wanted to be his closest friends and confidants.

    I’m not using the word sarcastically. I’m genuinely perplexed, because I haven’t watched a lot of classic Doctor Who. Some of the scenes with Davros made more sense after the Surprise Plot Twists. But Missy’s behavior made no sense to me. After years of fighting the Doctor, she went out of her way to protect him and keep him safe, and the Doctor acted as though that were perfectly normal. Maybe it made more sense to longtime fans of the show. Did the Master act this way back in the original series, or is Missy’s relationship with the Doctor a new development?

  • Madoms Ending

    A little. The Master and the Doctor definitely had the “friendly enemies” feel, and in many stories they would oppose each other but not try to kill or hurt ea h other.

  • Tonio Kruger

    And in yet others, the Master seemed to do his damnedest to kill the Doctor — or at least place him with a situation in which only the Doctor’s wits can prevent him from death.

    Then again, he did testify in his defense in “The Trial of a Timelord” episode — though despite having one of the darker twists in the original series, that episode is usually not very popular with most fans of the show. Not with me, at least. And I suspect MaryAnn is not a big fan of that particular episode, either.

  • Tonio Kruger

    Hahahahahaha!
    Hahahahahaha!
    Hahahahahahahahahahaha!
    Okay, I probably should elaborate on that, but you know, spoilers.
    Besides, those of you who have seen the episode know what scene I’m referring to…

  • Danielm80

    I really don’t. It could be the scene where Missy [redacted], or the scene where she [redacted], or the scene where the Doctor [redacted] his [redacted] with a [redacted].

  • Tonio Kruger

    True, there was a lot of laughing in this episode. However, the scene I was referring to was the one where Missy tricks Clara into doing you-know-what. (And yes, there were several scenes like that but only one with an over-the-top laughing scene.)

  • There were many laugh out loud moments for me, but the greatest one was “only other chair on Skaro” line. It had a similar break-the-fourth-wall effect as the stair-climbing Dalek in Remembrance of the Daleks.

    The doctor-master friendship was also touched on in John Simm’s episodes.

  • Jurgan

    The Master has a… strained relationship with sanity. And he just can’t decide whether the Doctor should live or die.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ptRxrH1rVK8

  • Danielm80

    And this is why spoiler tags were invented.

  • I guess it was better then last weeks episode, but it was still ridiculous. I’m slowly tiring of Missy, and her whirling dervish act. She was amusing at first, but now I just want her to go away. My wish may be granted, but we’ll see.
    The glasses thing? Really? Ugh.
    At least next week looks more like a typical stand alone episode, which I tend to prefer nowadays.

  • Tonio Kruger

    Wait! That last post of mine deserved a spoiler tag? Even though it was posted on an open thread and omitted specific plot details?

    I hope that was meant to be a joke and not yet another reason to not take arbitrary spoiler rules seriously.

  • Danielm80

    No, I’m just saying that a spoiler tag would allow you to post actual plot details, instead of typing “the one where Missy tricked Clara into doing you-know-what.”

  • Tonio Kruger

    Okay. Now I understand.

    Point taken.

  • Tonio Kruger

    SPOILERS (Please avert your eyes if you haven’t yet seen this episode):

    In some odd way, I actually liked Missy’s scenes in this episode more than anything else. Even the OTT reaction that I ridiculed in an earlier post was more amusing than the more predictable “will the Doctor do right by Davros this time or will he get fooled again?” story which made up the episode’s main plot.

    However, I can see how Missy’s steampunk/Dark Willow version of Mary Poppins can get very tiresome. Almost as tiresome as yet another episode of “The Doctor vs. the Daleks.”

    For what it’s worth, I did like last week’s two-parter better than this episode. But even that has its share of annoying plot flaws and hand waves. Plus I’m not all that sure that turning the Doctor into a middle-aged Marty McFly is a vast improvement over last season’s decision to turn him into a Gallifreyan version of Dr. Greg House.

  • Danielm80

    I’m upvoting your comment for this sentence:

    Plus I’m not all that sure that turning the Doctor into a middle-aged Marty McFly is a vast improvement over last season’s decision to turn him into a Gallifreyan version of Dr. Greg House.

  • LaSargenta

    I haven’t seen any of this season, but I, too, am upvoting TK’s comment for that sentence. What an image it gave me.

  • Tonio Kruger

    Thank you.

  • Tonio Kruger

    Aw, shucks, ma’am. ‘T”weren’t nothing.

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