So, we got Davros back to bring chaos to the life of The Doctor. We have Missy back to bring chaos to The Doctor. Two of the biggest enemies ever to cross the path of the heroic Time Lord and a planet full of Daleks is not a great situation to be in. On the last episode of Doctor Who, we saw Missy (who was on The Doctor’s side, kind of) and Clara EXTERMINATED by the Daleks as The Doctor was at the mercy of Davros. We have already discovered Davros is dying, and wants The Doctor to see him before he dies. We get a great game of who is tricking who (no pun intended) leading up to the finale, but I will save that for you to see yourself.
This episode changes the grand epic scale for a more grouped in and intimate romp for the second part of the series nine opener. The Doctor and Davros spend a lot of time talking to each other, learning more about each other. The scenes are intense, downright gripping in the interactions from two life-long enemies. The Doctor also gets to go for a ride in Davros’ chair, and I find it rather funny when he is eventually ejected from it and then told by Davros “You should feel privileged…the only other chair on Skaro” as he awakens back in the room which is keeping Davros alive. We may not be getting the grand adventure as we did in episode one, but to see Clara and Missy working together (even if Missy tries to get her killed by friend and foe alike) and see more from Colony Sarff as the dastardly helper to the grand scheme on Skaro. Seeing as this is only episode 2, we know The Doctor shall not die today, even though we had his confession last week. A new layer to the Daleks is revealed in the sewers and we get to see what happens when they “die”.
Peter Capaldi and Julian Bleach turn in possibly the best performances of their career so far in the sci-fi show. We kinda know where Davros is going in this episode, but Bleach gives such an endearing performance of a man who just wants to be accepted for who he is. The real eyes of Davros opening was something rather extraordinary. Peter Capaldi gives honest regret to his decision in episode one to abandon the young Davros on that battlefield, but be sure that wasn’t the only time you will see the child. Michelle Gomez and Jenna Coleman work well as a double act, fighting over a stick and stealing a Dalek casing is part of the fun they get in to. Jenna really gets to show her emotions in this episode, even when it comes to fighting impossible odds to avoid death. The explanation for their survival at the beginning of the episode was a bit convoluted, but I am glad we finally got an answer to how Missy/The Master survived death the last couple of times. The ambiguous conclusions for two characters will leave no doubt to the return at some point in the future. Who knew that Davros and The Master/Missy had never met before? I always thought they were actually working together till that point. Also I like the fact that we had Daleks from all different eras making an appearance, great way to bring the 52 years of Who together. I wonder how many people got upset with Missy saying Bitch on Doctor Who? Well, I hear a lot worse at much earlier times. Next week, we have ghosts! We go from Steven Moffat making his best scripts since ‘The Time Of Angels’/’Flesh And Stone’ to Toby Whitehouse with ‘Under The Lake’ and ghosts!
Truly a great episode, though I think it should have taken a few more risks. Top writing from The Moff, superb acting from Mr Capaldi and the greatest Doctor Who two-parter for five years!
Final Rating: 9.5/10
Written by Jonjo Cosgrove