Title: Doctor Who S9.E02 “The Witch’s Familiar”
Doctor Who S9.E03 “Under The Lake”
Released: 2015
Series:  Doctor Who

Previously on Doctor WhoThe Doctor is called to the deathbed of Davros, the creator of the Daleks, and Clara and Missy “are exterminated.”

Hey gang! Apologies for not being around last weekend with a recap—I was on vacation! But I’m back, and recapping both last week’s and last night’s episodes below. Lots to cover, so let’s jump right in.

9.2 “The Witch’s Familiar”

Here We Go Again

The second-half of the story that began in the season premiere comes to a head, with the Doctor ultimately triumphing over Davros and the Daleks (natch), but not before Missy and Clara (who were not actually exterminated, of course) attempting to help save the day/save themselves by introducing us to the disturbing idea of a Dalek sewer and then sticking Clara in a Dalek carcass. Which, in the very timey wimey way of Doctor Who, shows Twelve what he needs to do in the past to save Clara in the present.


The image of Twelve riding around in Davros’ half-Dalek nearly made me snort my drink out of my nose. And then him having a cuppa very nonchalantly while the Daleks look on in confusion? So great.

Don’t Blink or We’ll Exterminate

Davros almost had me with his deathbed confessions and regrets. But I should have known that it was all a plot—Living as long as he has with the viewpoints he holds had boiled Davros’ essence into concentrated evil. Stealing the Doctor’s regeneration energy when he’s already running on borrowed time* is just plain crappy. (But like all evil villains, Davros always gets what’s coming to him in the end.)

*I think? Doctors were only supposed to have the ability to go through 12 regenerations and Twelve is the 13th. I’m not sure if that limitation has been retconned at this point, however.

We’re All Stories

Winner: Missy. Her particular brand of crazy speaks to me, makes me laugh, and—to be totally honest—I kind of like that she tried to kill Clara. (Yes, I’m a terrible person.)

Loser: The Daleks. It really sucks to be a single-minded race going up against the Doctor. And yet … they never learn. Also, getting accosted by the liquidy remains of your almost dead can’t be a pleasant experience.

Words from the Madman

Doctor: “Admit it, you’ve all had this exact nightmare.”

Doctor: “Seriously, how do your boys take it when everybody else has two eyes?”

Davros: “Still you play the fool.”
Doctor: “Well, by now, that should make you nervous.”

Doctor: “I’m not helping you. I’m helping a little boy abandoned on a battlefield. I think I owe him a sunrise.”

Doctor: “Little bit of regeneration energy. Probably cost me an arm or a leg somewhere down the line. Or I’ll just be really little.”

Doctor: “I’m not sure that any of that matters, friends, enemies. So long as there’s mercy. Always mercy.”

Honorable mention:

Missy: “I’m murdering a Dalek. I’m a Time Lady, it’s like our golf.”

Keep Moving

The fact that Twelve continues to be so concerned about Clara, even over himself and the wellbeing of others, confounds me. I just don’t understand it, and this isn’t even a comment on how much I dislike the character. Also, the sonic sunglasses? Good for a gag, but I really hope they don’t stick around.

9.3 “Under the Lake”

Here We Go Again

The TARDIS takes the Doctor and Clara to an underwater mining base, but they’re not sure why, until they discover that the crew found a ship of unknown origins … which was followed shortly by the base becoming haunted by ghosts. Turns out, the ghosts are transmitters, and they’re telling something—or someone—where to find them. And, unfortunately for the crew, the Doctor and Clara, the more dead, the stronger the signal.


The fact that the Doctor showed up at the very end, right before we were TBC’ed, as a ghost wasn’t entirely expected, but it wasn’t too surprising either. Particularly since we just saw very similar situation during the first half of the season premiere.

Don’t Blink or We’ll Exterminate

The “ghosts” were definitely ghostly—and murdery. I wouldn’t want to run across them, particularly that deep underwater with a severe lack of proper exits. I also certainly wouldn’t want to be killed just to boost a signal.

We’re All Stories

Winner: Clara. I know, I’m as shocked as you are for this pick. But the fact that she made notecards for the Doctor with proper things to say in the case of certain social situations made me giggle. (Could have used a bit of organization, however, lest you think I’ve totally softened.)

Loser: Moran. We barely knew ye.

Words from the Madman

Clara: “What are they?”
Doctor: “Haven’t a clue. Isn’t that exciting?”

Doctor: “Well, there were no such things as socks or smartphones or badgers until there were.”

Doctor: “I don’t know, but I’m certain it’s not so they can all form a boy band.”

Doctor: “Surely just being around me makes you cleverer by osmosis.”

Keep Moving

I was really digging the Doctor Who ghost story up until the cliffhanger ending. I love the episodes where the Doctor and companion help out a group of “regular people.” I’d have been totally fine with a cliffhanger, but it just felt so close to the ending (also a cliffhanger) of the series premiere. Definitely a bit of a let down at the end of an otherwise fun episode.

But, what did you think of “The Witch’s Familiar” and “Under the Lake”? Let’s discuss in the comments.


Mandy (she/her) is a manager at a tech company who lives in Austin, TX, with her husband, son, and dogs. She loves superheroes and pretty much any show or movie with “Star” in the name.