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TV Review: Doctor Who 9.2 “The Witch’s Familiar”
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Dr. Geek, Ph.D.   |  
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Doctor Who 9.2 Peter Capaldi BBC America Simon Ridgeway

Doctor Who
Season 9, Episode 2 “The Witch’s Familiar”
Directed by Hettie MacDonald
Written by Steven Moffat
Starring Peter Capaldi, Jenna Coleman, Michelle Gomez, Julian Bleach
BBC America
Air date: Saturday, September 26, 2015

So… how do we start? We assume we’re going to win! When we left off last week, the Doctor discovered his own part in Davros’ past; he, Missy, Clara, and the TARDIS were all on Skaro; and the latter three of those four were apparently vaporized. It was just the Doctor, Davros, and a planet full of Daleks, or as Missy put it this week “on the run, no TARDIS. No friends, no help. In other words … the Doctor, happy.” Well, I wouldn’t go that far… and neither would showrunner Steven Moffat. It’s a tangled web, to be sure! How does the Doctor escape? By creating a future that causes a past that produces his present, and showing once again that compassion is a disease for which there is no cure.

With all of the opening overture fireworks completed, the strengths of the Moffat-era Doctor Who now become more apparent. Where last week we saw almost a bewildering display of characters and plot twists, the players this week on Episode 9.2 “The Witch’s Familiar” are reduced to just five: the Doctor, Missy, Clara, Davros, and the Daleks. We know they are on Skaro, and we have some idea how they relate to one another… or do we? The brilliance of Steven Moffat the writer is to skillfully invert what we think we know about characters and situations and to do it with brilliant, economical dialogue.

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TV Review: Doctor Who 9.1 “The Magician’s Apprentice”
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Dr. Geek, Ph.D.   |  
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Peter Capaldi plays a Strat as Jenna Coleman looks on in Doctor Who 9.1

Doctor Who
Season 9, Episode 1 “The Magician’s Apprentice”
Directed by Hettie MacDonald
Written by Steven Moffat
Starring Peter Capaldi, Jenna Coleman, Michelle Gomez
BBC America
Air date: Saturday, September 19, 2015

This is what happens when narratives attack. In 1963, a 4-week-old BBC television show called Doctor Who embarks on its second serial by visiting the world of Skaro and introducing the semi-robotic survivors of an atomic war called the Daleks. The Daleks are a huge hit, establish the format of the show, and make it a fixture on British television for decades. The Daleks re-appear on the show every couple years. In 1975, the show finally decides to expose the origin of the Daleks. The Doctor returns to Skaro, sent by the Time Lords to prevent or alter their development. In it, viewers are introduced to Davros, the evil scientist extraordinaire who is fundamentally responsible for their development. The serial is considered to be one of the best Doctor Who stories ever. In 1988, Doctor Who revisits the time and place of its first episode from nearly 25 years earlier. Davros is there, leading one of two factions of Daleks, both of whom are after a stellar manipulator called the Hand of Omega. An ancient Time Lord artifact of tremendous power, the Doctor brought it to Earth and eventually uses it to destroy Skaro. This installment strongly signals a creative return to form for the series after years of poor creative choices, changes in time slot, and alterations in format. It is too late. Just short of two seasons later, Doctor Who is cancelled. In 2015, the ninth season of a revived Doctor Who series begins with the Doctor either saving or killing a young boy named Davros who’s trapped in a minefield on Skaro … what does it mean for Doctor Who this time? Let’s find out.

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Michelle Gomez Returns In ‘Doctor Who’ Series 9
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Dr. Geek, Ph.D.   |  
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Michelle Gomez as Missy on Doctor Who

The BBC announced some details about the coming Doctor Who Series 9 premiere: Michelle Gomez will be returning as Missy, the latest incarnation of the Doctor’s long-standing nemesis the Master.

The news popped up on a variety of online BBC outlets, primarily through exclusive video showing Michelle Gomez in costume (see below.)

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