The Witch’s Familiar

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    Juniperfish @juniperfish

    Well having watched the two-parter, the fullness of the story reveals a couple of things more clearly.

    I enjoyed the time-loop paradox too @mudlark. The Doctor must always have saved Davros, because Davros lives, and because he tells the Doctor (before we see him go back and save the boy) that he has been unable to eliminate the design flaws of mercy and care for their creator completely from his daleks (it was always already there).

    Davros was playing a super massive game of reverse psychology. He tells his daleks in advance that he’s going to use the Doctor’s regeneration energy to super-power them, and save himself from death, but he can’t get that regeneration energy by force – he has to get it by persuasion.

    Getting one of his daleks to kill Clara (as far as he knew, Missy being the wild card) seems a bit counter-intuitive – all the Doctor’s enemies know he loves his companions! But, having hurt and angered him, Davros then taunts the Doctor to admit that “compassion is wrong”, banking on reverse-psychology to do the trick, and thus re-inforce the Doctor’s belief in compassion and mercy. Davros then manages to pull a tear or two out of the old leathery eye-sockets and get the Doctor to activate his compassion, in order to grant a dying wish to see one last sunset. Hey presto – regeneration energy – so far so machievellian – points to Davros!

    BUT, even more so, given that, as soon as Davros sees the Doctor’s new face (which he remarks on) he must realise it was the Doctor who saved him as a boy. So, he knows he has to somehow ensure the Doctor does it again. He knows the Doctor hasn’t, yet, because he makes a big deal of the Doctor feeling guilt and shame (about abandoning the boy Davros). Therefore that speech asking the Doctor whether he (Davros) is a good man and teasing the Doctor that he’s a bad Doctor, takes on a double-whammy. Davros needs to get hold of that regeneration energy (his original plan) AND get the Doctor to go back in time and save him as a boy.

    The Doctor, on the other hand, answers Davros’ message, out of guilt, out of compassion, because he abandoned the boy Davros on a battle-field (having not yet got to the point in his time-line when he saves the boy Davros) BUT he goes knowing it’s probably a trap.

    He sends his last will and testament to Missy, knowing that will actually activate her affection for him enough to help out. So, he deliberately puts Clara for safekeeping into Missy’s hands. The bender (guitar etc.) was all part of his plan to get Missy on board. Somewhere, for reasons, the Doctor trusts Missy to keep Clara safe. Which, indeed, she does, by a whisker… Missy relies, I think at the last, on the fact that the Doctor will figure out that Clara is trapped in that dalek casing. The Doctor is angry with her because she played it so close to the wire, to make a selfish emotional point to him about herself (as being a friend inside an enemy). I love her snarky last line to him when he tells her to run – that it’s him who’s always running away.

    The Doctor, the whole time he is riffing with Davros about compassion, knows Davros is trying to get him to give up his regeneration energy. But, despite the bluff and counter-bluff, the emotional connection they have in that exchange is, for both of them, surprising and contains moments of honesty (as you say @mudlark).

    So Davros gets his boy-life saved but the price he has to accept is a touch of mercy in his perfect killing machines, and the Doctor gets to add a pinch of compassion to those killing machines, even if they must be created.

    And Missy gets to know that, when the chips are really down and the Doctor thinks he’s going to his death, she’s the one he sends his last will and testament to. There’s a little bit of redemption for each – Doctor, Davros and Master – in the episode.

    Hurrah for two-parters!

    Juniperfish @juniperfish

    @kharis What tarot correlation? (and yay for hippy upbringings!)

    Cath Annabel @cathannabel

    <span class=”useratname”>Wow.  Fabulous stuff.  Still mulling, so no bonkers theories to offer at this stage.  Questions though.  Why did the Doc tell Davros that Gallifrey had survived?  at the time, we thought that he thought that Davros was about to expire and thus couldn’t use the info, but turns out he knew all along about Davros’s plan and had a plan of his own – in which case, did that plan include telling Davros about Gallifrey, and if so, why?  Or did he just assume the revolting sewers were about to take care of Davros and all his children for good – which seems unwise given the regularity with which friends/enemies survive certain death….  </span>

    <span class=”useratname”>@oodaus I had a funny feeling too about the way the Doc said ‘I’m so sorry’.  I thought for a minute that he couldn’t get her out of the Dalek, that Missy had wired her in too well, so she would be harmed by being taken out?  I think the fact we didn’t see her get out is not necessarily significant, but what he said and the tone in which he said it… that troubles me a little, even though the subsequent scenes give no indication this is anything other than Clara for real.

    PaperMoon @papermoon

    Another great episode, so much to think about. I’ve only done 1 viewing so don’t want to comment yet. The things that I noted on my 1st watch have already been brought up.

    @juniperfish I agree, it was really creepy to see Clara inside the Dalek. Took a while for the penny to drop with the Doctor that Clara was inside the Dalek.

    @phaseshift I like the idea of Maisie Williams’ character being Missy’s daughter, that does also perhaps mean that there is another Time Lord not on Gallifrey.

    Will go do my re-watch now.

    blenkinsopthebrave @blenkinsopthebrave


    I have to say I don’t like seeing dark lenses indoors.

    I agree entirely! I also think it’s a “I’m so cool I’m going to be aggressive and confrontational about it” sort of look. I do hope this doesn’t encourage a wave of indoor dark glasses wearing Whovians!

    Kharis @kharis


    Loved reading your write up about redemption!  Very insightful.

    In the tarot there is a metaphoric journey of the Fool, which the Doctor refers to himself as.  The first card in the numbered deck is the Magician, the second card is the High Priestess.  The stories behind each card and where they are in the Fool’s journey completely correlate to the Doctor’s journey.  My assumption is that he is on the age old quest of the Fool, and knowing the Whoverse, the tarot has always been about him and his journey using physchic knowledge plus legend.

    lisa @lisa

    @Karis and everyone The Tarot concept intrigued me and I just found this

    which I will be reading up on ! looks very interesting to me

    @juniperfish Thanks for your time loop summation. Love the loops!

    Kharis @kharis

    I have a very lengthy, complicated and possibly crazy theory involving the origin of the tarot, the Greeks, Italy, Atlantis, Sabine, Karn, Egypt and the Doctor himself and his true name and it fits in rather neatly into it.  🙂

    Kharis @kharis

    @lisa Cool deck.  🙂   The Doctor definitely is the Fool according to the stories concerning his journey.  The rest of the deck is mostly fun.  Missy as the High Priestess is actually a very intriguing concept.  Having studied the history and archetype since I was a child and being surrounded by the Arthurian writers my mother hung out with in my youth, I would say she is the High Priestess in many ways.  The High Priestess is often depicted as Isis between the pillars of dark and light.  She is an extremely complicated figure, unlike the Empress who is just as important, but less complicated.

    Juniperfish @juniperfish

    @kharis Oh I love the idea that Moff is taking us on a Major Arcana journey this season – if so then we’ve had the Magician (also the Doctor) the High Priestess (“the witch” aka Missy) and the Emperor (Davros) which means we should be heading for the Hierophant, the Lovers and the Chariot next.

    Alas I doubt Moff is being that systematic about it (which is a shame) but a TARDIS-centric episode for the Chariot would be great.

    Do post your theory!


    Kharis @kharis

    @blenkinsopthebrave I don’t see the glasses as cool, I see them as another way to hide his face.  Also, I live in Silicon Valley, so it just seems like a incognito version of Google glass.

    Kharis @kharis

    Yes!  Exactly @juniperfish I think this is exactly what Moffat is doing.

    lisa @lisa

    @bluesqueakpip “he gave it to me for my daughter” but she died? Was it was
    for her daughter but she died and so she never got it?
    Also, ‘dark star alloy goes thru armour like a knife thru people”
    What might that imply? Was he giving it to the daughter as a protective

    Devilishrobby @devilishrobby

    Now I am not entirely sure if this belongs here and to a certain extent may be considered a spoiler ( @craig feel free to move this post if it is) but prompted by the comments by @mudlark about a timelord/Dalek hybrid. There  was one proposed if unsuccessfully attempted by the Daleks previously in the book  Engines of war featuring the Wardoc. Though counting this would need for the book to be counted as part of the cannon of who.

    Kharis @kharis

    I do not see Clara as the Empress.  There are two schools of thought on the symbolism.  The archetype, Jungian version would say all the cards are aspects of the Doctor, not just the humanoid and male cards.  That would make him the Magician and the Witch.  It is the idea, much like regeneration itself, that the cards represent aspects of the self, and the people we become on our journey as we cycle up through our journey into a more developed self.  The other school is the idea that they represent the person on the journey and their spiritual guides or people and circumstances for the Fool’s tempering.   This version explains that the story of the tarot can be out of order, but each lesson must still be learned along the path.  Both follow the concept that as the Fool is always cycling around this journey.  It is not a line, but a circle, and therefore their is no final completion, only many journey’s that temper the soul.  Much like the time wimey Whoverse.

    Following the second school of thought, most would assume Clara would be the next card, the Empress, but Moffat made it very clear that she is ‘The Hanged Man’ which tells us she will die and martyrs’ death.  Of course, this is inline with her character, since she is fearless in her sacrifices for others that she loves.  Sad to realise, but I think we must prepare for her to play out the traditional Hang Man’s story.

    I don’t think Moffat gave us the visual of her as the Hanged Woman as an accident in TWF.


    lisa @lisa

    @bluesqueakpip – Sorry- the words are actually “the Doctor gave it to me when my
    daughter…..” and I’m thinking died. But that implies to me he gave Missy a protection
    gift. Plus it is a woman’s broach. So then Missy was a Missy before she became a
    Master and decided to go back again? However he started out a boy. That reinforces that
    Missy always has been a lunatic albeit a brilliant one.

    jphamlore @jphamlore

    What Missy is doing is constant experimentation as a ruthless scientist. Look what she did with the Cybermen: They can now fly and can be totally controlled by a bracelet. She’s going to do the same to create her own army of Daleks.

    When she, the Doctor, and Clara are being held prisoner look what she’s doing: She’s singing her song like a bat exploring the area. She dances to figure out gravity. And now she uses Clara to explore all aspects of how to control a Dalek, what happens when a living being is trapped inside the tank. What are the limits to controlling communication?

    Although Missy did say she did not need an army for conquest. Perhaps she’ll use them to explore the universes to try and track down Gallifrey.

    PhaseShift @phaseshift
    Time Lord

    @kharis @juniperfish

    Hi – the Tarot came up in a response to a site blog by @tommck during series 8 and we were discussing the identity of Missy. I thought series 8 was loaded with the major arcana archetypes and placed Missy as Death. There was a great response by @drben on the fools journey after it.

    Nothing to stop you developing and expanding on this though, because its an interesting subject. You can explain on the forums or write it as a blog for us if you’d prefer.

    I still think developing a set of images for Major Arcana on the site would be a great idea. Personally I’d replace the minor arcana with four of the Gallifrey ‘Houses

    Kharis @kharis

    @phaseshift Thank you!  It was a great read, very thoughtful and in depth and the first tarot/archetype read I’ve had concerning the Doctor outside of my own theories.  It was totally different from my theories on who from the tarot each represents plus how his journey is progressing through, but we all agree the Doctor is being represented by card 0, no number, nulset, the Fool.  The Fool who is ignorant yet wise, is he stepping off the cliff because he trusts taking his faithful companion (the dog which Moffat even managed to reference Clara as in TMA)  or is he just not seeing the danger?  It represents the constant beginning and end.  Very Doctor.  He cycles through with each regeneration.

    I guess what surprised me about the two first titles in series 9 and so much of what went on in TWF was that no one was talking about Moffat’s absolutely obvious point to the major arcana in this season.  It’s barely a theory this time, since it seems that Moffat is making it so obvious.


    lisa @lisa

    Does any one else recall the last time when the Doctor was willing to use
    so much of his regeneration energy in an episode? It makes me wonder if
    he feels having gotten a whole new set of regenerations he might feel
    differently about using it as a tool? I wonder if we might see him doing it
    again. He certainly feels differently about his sonic device.

    AlexM @alexm


    Here’s my review of The Witch’s Familiar!


    jphamlore @jphamlore

    I didn’t predict the glasses but I knew the Doctor had a backup to the sonic screwdriver somewhere. This is the guy in the classic series who had a duplicate of K-9 ready to go.

    Arbutus @arbutus

    Well, that was just how I like ’em: shifting effortlessly between dark and funny, filled with lots of quiet intimate moments and punctuated with suspense and surprise. Capaldi was fabulous in that. So was Bleach. Prior to the start of the series, I was less than enthused about the return of Davros, but this reminded me that it is possible for him to be fascinating, and he really was here. Even knowing that he was playing the Doctor (after the brief scene with Snake Man about “trapping a Time Lord”), it was still devastating when he revealed himself. The moment when he actually made a joke– “You are not a good Doctor”– and the Doctor stares uncomprehendingly until it starts to dawn on him, and they both dissolve into shared laughter. That was flawless. And the Daleks have just become way more interesting!

    Gomez was great as well, and I loved what Missy revealed about herself in this episode. Her need to save the Doctor and manipulate him, which to be fair we have seen before, was even more overt here, I thought. She even emulates him. I thought her scenes when confronting the Daleks were very Doctorish. She and Clara were a great double-act, but we were continually given the clues that she is not really “guid”. And I found her attempt to trick the Doctor into killing his own companion very, very dark indeed.

    The Doctor has also come out in the open in his desire not to be the one to destroy Mixmaster. “Run,” he tells her, and such was the emotion in that word that I for one was surprised that she didn’t, because I was thinking, “Uh oh.” Clara was a bit sidelined in this, unavoidably so I thought, but she was great in the role she had to play. But this was definitely the Doctor/Davros special, with a side order of Missy.

    I am left wondering only one thing. When the Doctor went back and rescued young Davros, did he get his screwdriver back? Or will it be wearable tech only from now on?

    blenkinsopthebrave @blenkinsopthebrave


    I agree with your point about the Doctor and the sunglasses (hiding his face), it is more the type of person who turns up at a party (indoors, at night) and keeps their sunglass on that I was referring to. They may as well wear a big sign round their neck that says: PRAT.


    I too was a bit concerned about the amount of regeneration energy being sacrificed. Even the time with River did not involve that much. I wonder if this will become a future plot point?

    On a third viewing I also wondered why, if he had planned all this in advance, he told Davros about Gallifrey. Surely that is like throwing a dog a bone. Does he really want Davros out there looking for Gallifrey? Well, maybe, I suppose, if that is Moffat’s  long term game plan.

    jphamlore @jphamlore

    @arbutus: Davros has now owned that sonic screwdriver probably longer than the Doctor has. It would be crazy to trust any of the programming on it or its hardware after Davros had had maybe millennia to hack it.

    bendubz11 @bendubz11

    @mudlark I feel like the gradual increase in usage of hybrids is the one thing that both RTD and SM have in common. I mean all you need to do is look at how much the idea has been used:
    S1 – Bad Wolf (okay not a proper hybrid, but she sees all of time and space, and is far more powerful than anything else)
    S2 – Human/Cybermen
    S3 – Human/Dalek, Toclafane
    S4 – DoctorDonna, first use of River
    Specials – Master/Human
    S5 – River (still unrevealed), Centurion!Rory
    S6 – River revealed
    S7 – new attempt at Human/Dalek, Clara (only relevant if Human/Timelord hybrid or ends up in a Dalek when she dies or dies because of TWF)
    S8 – new take on Human/Cybermen
    S9 – Timelord/Dalek hybrid created

    lisa @lisa

    Still stuck on the daughter idea and the notion of hybrids as it might
    pertain to Clara. Was Missy’s daughter a hybrid? Clara’s mother’s last
    name was Ravenwood. Ravens are usually thought of magical and also messengers
    from another world according to symbolic meanings. My extremely bonkers theory
    is that Clara’s mother that died was Missy’s daughter?

    @bluesqueakpip Ah-oh! I’ve latched onto this and I’ll be working
    this 1 in my head for a bit 🙂

    Anonymous @

    @jphamlore – Boy Davros only had the sonic screwdriver for a little amount of time, when the CapDoc returns, so it wasn’t hacked if the Doctor got it back from him.

    @arbutus – I was thinking the same thing about CapDoc getting the sonic screwdriver back. Maybe boy Davros and the Doctor made a trade? Next time we see Davros, he will be rockin’ sonic shades! 🙂

    bendubz11 @bendubz11

    Missed one from the list, who I’m still annoyed has only been used once:
    S4 – Jenny

    Mudlark @mudlark

    @kharis   If we were judging solely by the way that Missy prodded and goaded Clara early on in the episode into reaching an understanding of why the Doctor always survived, then yes, it might just about be interpreted as an example of the kind of ‘tough love’ you describe, though I think that even that can be very damaging if practiced without understanding of or regard for the mental resilience of the person on whom it is practised,  but for the rest, no, I can’t see it in that light.  The way in which she puts down, belittles and uses Clara looks more like the abusive and manipulative behaviour to be expected of the self centred sociopath or psychopath which she clearly is.  Clara’s well being, personal development and ultimate safety are not at all her primary concern.

    The Doctor’s treatment of Clara at times last season is another matter.  At the end of The Caretaker, Danny likened him to the kind of officer who could push his men to achieve more than they believed themselves capable, even though they might resent it at the time,  and I think that this was apparent several on several occasions.


    I also wondered why, if he had planned all this in advance, he told Davros about Gallifrey.

    I doubt if the Doctor had any particular plan in advance, beyond the preparations involving the confession dial. How could he, given that all he had to go on when he walked into the spider’s web was the reasonable assumption that Davros was trying to lure him into a trap.  It was Davros who had the elaborate game plan, devised on the basis of his knowledge of the Doctor and what he saw as the Doctor’s weaknesses- the exercise in reverse psychology which @juniperfish outlined so lucidly in post #43570.  The Doctor, as so often, had to react on the hoof, relying on his own sharper, or at least less blinkered and rigid intelligence and his reciprocal understanding of the flaws and blind spots in Davros’s understanding.  Perhaps it was a lapse on his part, lowering his guard so far as to let Davros know that Gallifrey still existed. On the other hand, perhaps he felt confident enough in his ability to beat Davros at his own game and so thwart his immediate plans, that he thought it could do no harm, and that it might be useful to let him know that the Time Lords were still around, at least in potentia, as a warning

    Kharis @kharis

    @mudlark  Oh, no, no, no, I do not believe any good can come of this form of parenting or teaching.  Was in no single way making a judgement call on if this particular brand of teaching was good or bad, I was merely pointing out that Missy is a twisted psychopath and her mind this might be her twisted and damaged attempt to make Clara better and stronger.  Most Russian ballet teachers are terrifying and completely punitive, my point was that Russian ballet teachers often sees their approach as helpful, I was not implying that Russian ballet teachers were sane.   Missy is terrible to her, and by no means would anyone sane treat another like this.  My point wasn’t to praise “tough love” it was to point out I’ve seen tiger moms and ballet teachers torment their students and children only to find out they truly think it will keep them safe and prepared.  I personally abhor this style, I was merely pointing out that it happens often enough and it can be complex, especially if there is mental illness involved.

    Juniperfish @juniperfish

    @phaseshift and @kharis

    Ooh here we go – I love a good tarot card theory.

    Yes, I remember your illustrated post about Missy as Death back when now @phaseshift , when she was teleporting people to her own “afterlife” last season, as part of her cyber-army plot.

    You’re right @kharis – Clara as the Hanged (Wo)Man card was super obvious! Hung in the pose by Missy as she was – how did I not get that!?

    That fits with your “tough love” apprenticeship (and hence with the “witch’s familiar” of the title) because this card may be associated with acquiring wisdom by trial (a la Odin). However, the Hanged Man card is also a person in the position of birth (a rebirth, a state of “about to be born”) so that fits with various theories of Clara as the child/ descendant of the Doctor/ River/ Missy.

    I don’t necessarily think her association with the Hanged Man means she is going to die, because although the card is associated with sacrifice it is often understood as a card of rebirth. If she turns out to have Time Lord blood she might regenerate!

    Of course, the pose may also be seen (in its older origins, rather than in more contemporary understandings of the deck) as symbolising the traitor (hung for their sins). So that’s a bit worrying – will she betray the Doctor, or be manipulated into doing so by Missy?


    Kharis @kharis

    @blenkinsopthebrave  Ha ha!  True, sunglasses indoors has a prat feel to it.  I always assume the person is just hungover. (:

    Kharis @kharis

    @juniperfish You’re completely right about the rebirth portion of ‘The Hanged Man’ and even though I think she will die a martyr death now, thanks to Moffat’s little hint, but I think she will be reborn in a sense.  Not necessarily as family, but if you look on my SitL theory you will see what I mean.  Don’t know if dropping my SitL theory here would be considered a spoiler.

    Juniperfish @juniperfish

    @kharis – if it’s a theory, it’s not a spoiler (unless it relies on key spoiler information to work) so post away!

    blenkinsopthebrave @blenkinsopthebrave


    The Doctor, the whole time he is riffing with Davros about compassion, knows Davros is trying to get him to give up his regeneration energy.


    The Doctor, as so often, had to react on the hoof, relying on his own sharper, or at least less blinkered and rigid intelligence and his reciprocal understanding of the flaws and blind spots in Davros’s understanding.

    OK, I clearly need a bit of help here. I can understand how all the Doctor knows is that he is walking into a trap. I am less clear as to how he knows it is to gain his regeneration energy. If he does, his decision to willingly give Davros the same seems rather reckless. Once he is trapped by Sarff’s snakes and his regeneration energy is being fed to Davros, and he has to react on the hoof, it seems entirely dependent on Missy arriving at just the right point to free him from the snakes.

    I realise that each time I view it I become a bit more skeptical of the resolution. In a funny sort of way, it is now starting to remind me of SM’s gag in “The Curse of the Fatal Death” about “Well, I went back even further and bribed the architect…”

    Mudlark @mudlark

    @kharis  I apologise if I gave the impression that I thought you were expressing approval of the ‘tough love’ approach. What I meant was that, whereas un-empathic teachers or parents may bully and coerce the children in their care, and think that criticising their achievements is giving them an incentive to do better (which is appalling in itself), they at least think that they are acting in the child’s interest; a psychopath such as Missy has no concern for the interests or well-being of anyone other than themselves, except as it impacts on their own interests, whether they use persuasive charm, bullying or violence to achieve their ends.

    Bluesqueakpip @bluesqueakpip


    Regarding the brooch: it could certainly have been a mourning brooch – though if it is, you’d expect it to open and have some kind of memento inside it. Admitting that Missy is an entire plantation of bananas, her delivery when she says the Doctor gave it to her seems fond rather than sad. As if she’s recalling a happy memory. It doesn’t quite fit with being given it on her daughter’s death.

    Though we are looking at the Wicked Stepmother, here. 😉

    ‘Dark star’ is an utterly perfect description of Missy/The Master, don’t you think? That also makes me think it was a gift TO Missy, not something in memory of her daughter.

    While a brooch is normally a female item of wear, the male Time Lords were occasionally seen with brooches. The Sixth Doctor is the best known example.

    Kharis @kharis

    @juniperfish  I was warned by the emperor that there was indeed spoiler info in it.  I honestly had no idea, and don’t want to accidentally do it again.

    The lengthy theory lives on SitL, but in short I think all of this Clara trapped in the wi-fi, trapped in a Dalek three time is a foreshadow of her final destiny about the fragment of herself that lives on: CAL

    Bluesqueakpip @bluesqueakpip


    If she turns out to have Time Lord blood she might regenerate!

    Something that I’m increasingly contemplating. If you think about it, had Jenna Coleman decided to leave after Last Christmas, the Christmas episode would have ended with Clara’s death from old age. A death from old age which was deliberately mirroring the Doctor’s death from old age in The Time of The Doctor.

    Well, that would’ve been a bit of a bloody downer on Christmas Day, wouldn’t it? Frankly, it sounds far more RTD than Steven Moffat. 😈

    So I’m wondering if the last thing we’d have seen in Last Christmas was Santa’s gift – of a great, massive, golden glow of regeneration energy rising from Clara’s ‘body’. 😀

    lisa @lisa

    Interesting that the sonic screwdriver is with Darvos as many of us thought River
    would be the 1 to end up with it.

    @Bluewqueakpip The fact that Missy refers to it as a dark star reminds me
    of Clara’s mother Ellie saying “Oh my stars” in the Rings of Akhaten although
    I know its a major stretch to try to make that link of DNA. But there was
    certainly some mystery built around Clara’s Mom along with the whole the souffle is
    not the souffle its the recipe thing. Interesting about broaches being a unisex item
    for Galifreyans too.
    @kharis I’d also be interested to hear more about your Tarot theory too.

    jphamlore @jphamlore

    @barnable: If the Doctor preserved the time line which I believe he did, then old Davros is shown before the Doctor even arrives with the sonic screwdriver stays the same.

    @kharis: I speculate this episode is not parenting, it’s office politics.

    Think of Clara as a new temp hire who has no shot at ever becoming permanent staff. The Doctor and Missy are rival managers.

    Kharis @kharis

    @mudlark  Thank you, yes I was concerned, but only because I hate that style, and I suffered under a cruel tyrant of a teacher, only to find out decades later as colleagues she felt that, “it was better to be hard and cruel while I was still young and at home safe then to find out later alone in New York or London that our profession was competitive, cruel and scary.” She traumatized and embarrassed me (once jammed my feet under a piano) and then later in life as a gentle colleague tells me it was for my protection?  No, but you are right, Missy seems psychopathic and comes off devoid of empathy.  True, but is she a psychopath, or a “high functioning sociopath” with possible hope of redemption from her early childhood trauma, much like Davros?  It does seem to be the question this season.  Are our choices what makes us good?  Are we born good or bad?  Is their a glimmer of goodness buried in every sentient being?  How much comes from deep fear?  How much is just wired that way, like a Dalek or Cyberman?  Does Danny, the Brigadier and Dalek Caan provide evidence that wiring and chemistry can be won over?  Are we our labels?  Are they absolute? How do we as empathetic beings handle the broken?  Hard questions this season we are all left to personally contemplate.  Hardest question this season brings up is the boy Davros question.  I tried to contemplate if I was sent back in time to kill the baby Hitler, what would I do?  I couldn’t, but that isn’t necessarily the most moral or best answer.  What a season we are about to journey through!  These are important questions with windows into ourselves.

    bendubz11 @bendubz11

    @kharis @juniperfish I thought that theory of yours lived on FotD thread? if it is the theory I’m thinking of (which is in no way certain)

    Kharis @kharis

    @bendubz11 You may be right, it’s on one of the two.  I see it in my mind as one big amazing episode, so I forget.  (:

    Kharis @kharis

    Welcome @tommo  (:

    blenkinsopthebrave @blenkinsopthebrave

    @mudlark, @juniperfish

    On reflection, I think I will go back to my initial observation that he had it all planned out in advance. He knew from the time he was on Karn that Davros was dying. Not a huge leap to assume Davros wanted his regeneration energy. So everything is put in place to assume Missy will come to his aid if he needs it (and she does). But he knows about the rebuilt Skaro, he knows about the sewers of Skaro containing living Dalek tissue, he knows that his regeneration energy will make them rise up. He fakes his response to everything (except his shame about his actions with boy Davros and his concern for Clara).

    This makes sense to me (although it is probably completely wrong!)

    Kharis @kharis

    @jphamlore  You’re right, parenting is the wrong word, hazing or training would have been better choices.

    bendubz11 @bendubz11

    @kharis the only reason I know which episode is which is because SitL’s cliffhanger gave me the creeps, I couldn’t sleep for weeks! They are probably the best two episodes I’ve seen, even if I was scared shitless

    Mudlark @mudlark

    @blenkinsopthebrave   Well, presumably the Doctor didn’t know beforehand what Davros wanted; he was simply reading and second-guessing him as the game played out, and when it comes to the crunch he can reason and calculate at far more than light speed. So he seized on the cues and clues that Davros was giving him, taking each of them a step further and improvising on that basis.  Once the point to which he was being led became clear to him, he realised immediately the implications which Davros had overlooked, and that by acting as Davros intended him to he could subvert the whole plan.  That is how he has, on so many occasions, triumphed at the last minute, although in this instance he could not be confident that he would survive – hence the confession disc.  His choice was always either to chicken out and betray all that he has tried to stand for, or to accept the challenge, do what he could beforehand to reduce the risk, and take his chances.  And maybe, as @juniperfish said, in his preparations he used the confession disc in a roundabout way to enlist Missy as backup, in which case his foresight was amply repaid


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