In Review: Doctor Who – The Witch’s Familiar

The Time Lord is trapped on Skaro - with no sonic screwdriver and no Tardis.

Synopsis: The Time Lord is trapped on Skaro – with no sonic screwdriver and no Tardis.

Review: Picking up from last week’s story the Doctor believes that Clara and Missy have been exterminated, but something in him is still holding out hope that they survived.

If you haven’s seen the episode yet. Major spoilers are ahead. So stop reading at this point….

The episode kicks off with Missy and a tied up Clara pondering their next move in terms of a rescue attempt. Eventually Missy concocts a scheme to take over the outer shell of a Dalek, which Clara is made designated driver.

While all this is happening the Doctor concocts his own escape plan, which ultimately fails thanks to Davros’s chief of security Colony Sarff who is basically an alien made up of lots of snakes, which is very cool to see.

Story wise this episode continues the nature verse nurture conversation that kicked off last week between The Doctor and Davros, but something is different because The Doctor and Davros really seem to be bonding this time round, but it all turns out predictably to be a trap so that Davros can steal the Doctor’s regenerative energy.

There’s a lot of good stuff here, but given that we know that Clara is leaving at the close of the series. This episode also feels like a wasted opportunity given that we still haven’t really had satisfactory closer on the ‘Impossible Girl’ story-line. This said Missy does reference having introduced The Doctor to Clara for the second time since we have met her. Which I think could be either a red herring or a bit of a tease. Whichever it is. I hope that we get closer on this.

Michelle Gomez rocks it as Missy and her scenes with Clara are fantastic fun to watch.

The dialogue between The Doctor and Davros was fantastic throughout and the reveal of Davros’s end game was not as shocking as it could have been. But the Doctor’s surprise counter attack was surprising.

By close of the story things come full circle when we see the Doctor save Davros because he suspects the old villain still has the capacity for mercy and compassion if the seeds of these two traits are sewn in him.

As to what I thought of this second part. I’m left kind of in a space between it being a great Dalek episode, but wondering where it fits in with the entire arc. For me it was an okay episode, but I was kind of wanting a more satisfactory ending to this. Even if satisfying meant the death or Clara and an explanation of her impossible nature.

Fantastic acting performances from all actors concerned but the conclusion to this story was definitely the weaker half of the two episodes.

Doctor Who - The Witch's Familiar
  • Great scenes between The Doctor and Davros
  • Missed opportunity to drops a few stitches with regard to Clara's story arc
  • Story
  • Acting
  • Incidental Music

Ian Cullen is the founder of and has been a fan of science fiction and fantasy from birth. In the past few years he has written for 'Star Trek' Magazine as well as interviewed numerous comics writers, television producers and actors for the SFP-NOW podcast at: When he is not writing for Ian enjoys playing his guitar, studying music, watching movies and reading his comics. Ian is both the founder and owner of You can contact ian at:
One Comment
  • Raissa Devereux (@RaissaDevereux)
    27 September 2015 at 2:16 am -

    Agree mostly, but Clara was inside a Dalek which harkens back to our initial meeting of the character and her Impossible story line. I just hope Clara doesn’t get directly tied to this hybrid prophecy crap. I’m afraid being the Impossible Girl will make her part Time Lord. If they’re going that route River would be an equal or better fit.

    The sonic sunglasses are cool. 🙂

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