The Witch’s Familiar

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This topic contains 429 replies, has 58 voices, and was last updated by  Dentarthurdent 3 months, 2 weeks ago.

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    Delta @delta

    Maybe, missy was married to the doctor and the Doctor ran from Galifrey
    because he caused her death and regeneration into a male, who felt both love and anger towards him, and he left with her young daughter,Susan.

    ichabod @ichabod

    @delta  — hello!  That is a very bonkers theory!

    Delta @delta

    Let’s see if you can come up with a better theory



    Calm down. Being told your theory is bonkers is high praise indeed around here!

    (although Susan was his granddaughter)

    Mersey @mersey

    They had a daughter named Clara and packed her timeladiesness into the watch. And the Doctor left her with adoptive parents and that’s way the 11th watched her growing. Why not? 🙂

    Anonymous @

    @delta hey and halloo -our masthead here is “theories more insane than what is actually happening” so as @pedant said “bonkers” is like 10/10 for something. Here, we’re not youtube or the Guardian -we’re a really nice Forum and we always talk nice to each other. The etiquette page or Home Page outlines all that stuff about ‘rules’ but really, we have hardly any at all -being nice is the main thing and poor ichibod was just doing that  🙂 Don’t be hard on her.

    Jump in with more theories -they’ll be more than welcome.

    Kindest, Puro.

    Anonymous @


    That’s interesting -so you think the Doctor knows she’s a time lady and that the only person, effectively, who doesn’t know, is Clara herself?

    I wonder, though, if with all of UNIT’s gadgetry they wouldn’t have picked up on that? Having said that, you’ve pointed me in an interesting direction and ‘uploaded’ a memory I had (and you might recall this better than I) whereby Clara, walking into the Tower and UNIT’s hidden underground base, spies a wall chart with pointers and photos and among them is a photo of Clara walking in and  ‘around’ and yet this was Clara’s first time -so is it a photo from a past/a future – who nose? 🙂

    But she did go into the Doctor’s timestream and her impossibleness…mm what I was about to say was that she was ‘just’ the Impossible Girl’ and that was enough, as it were, but you’ve made me re-think this -insofar as her impossibleness was that she dived recklessly into the timestream to save the Doctor and even River said there was no knowing what would happen -she’d die, or worse! Being a timelady could give her a certain core strength, psychologically, to ensure she’s able to survive the ‘tearing apart’ of the timestream.

    Also, it could explain a niggling thought I’ve always had…why was she able to point ‘young’ Hartnell  to the ‘right’ Tardis -she was pretending to be Gallifreyan in origin or she actually was Gallifreyan?

    Of course, the point I’m missing is that in each one of those Claricles, Clara had a clearly developed life: governess/barlady/a person in the library visiting the library during the Vashta Nerada event etc…she didn’t just ‘hop in and hop out’ as the Christmas special implied (I believe it was this episode wherein Clara was Governess and the GI also appeared).

    @arbutus what’s your theory with respect to Clara as a timelady, with Eleven (like Dumbledore ‘keeping an eye out’ for Harry Potter) watching over her? Increasingly, Twelve is becoming nervous about Clara’s ability or her reckless abandon at times: he’s pointing out “there are rules” (and not exactly clarifying them), speaking about “a good death” and when it’s time “to let go,” as it were. The second in this two parter certainly outlines the apprentice…but who? Is it Clara, as timelady in waiting. 🙂

    Kindest, Puro

    Arbutus @arbutus

    @purofilion    Personally, I don’t think that Clara is a Time Lady. But someone mentioned at some point the idea that she might eventually become one, or at least end up on Gallifrey. That thought occurred to me today as I watched, that we are possibly being set up, not for Clara to die, but for Clara not to die.

    @delta    I like your avatar!

    Whisht @whisht

    hm, just a thought but I’m not sure if we’ve had the Devil as Davros’ Tarot connection.

    [apologies if we have!]

    The Devil is the deceiver (Satan) but in Tarot is also about dualities (Lucifer is the bringer of light).
    And although seemingly often connected to sexual shame, the card may be more about repressed feelings and shame in general being confronted, releasing positive energies.

    As I say, just a thought, as well as obvious links to serpents (and yes, still only referring to the only book on Tarot I have!!)

    {sigh, and mainly staying away from the SPOILER SPOILER SPOILER thread – also known as the Activity Stream this week – waiting for the episode Sleep No More!!}

    KBranagh @kbranagh

    Hi guys, i loved the episode but i have a question about the continuity that bother me.
    The mercy line, the doctor and boy-davros…all of this is always happen from the beginning right?
    So Davros should remember that the Doctor have save his life! But when the doctor said “i left you to die in that field” why Davros don’t tell anything to correct the doctor?

    DoctorDani @doctordani

    @kbranagh Hi guys, i loved the episode but i have a question about the continuity that bother me.
    The mercy line, the doctor and boy-davros…all of this is always happen from the beginning right?
    So Davros should remember that the Doctor have save his life! But when the doctor said “i left you to die in that field” why Davros don’t tell anything to correct the doctor?

    I interpreted it as him not having re-written history until that point, but it’s a fair question. The ‘bootstrap paradox’ was a big theme this series and, to be honest, always has been on the show.

    KBranagh @kbranagh

    I don’t think because the Dalek-Clara said the word mercy before the decision of the Doctor! There is no re-write of continuity because is still the same! Davros should remember all.

    KBranagh @kbranagh

    The only expl, maybe Davros knows that the Doctor have travel two diffrent moment in time and he play with it.

    Mersey @mersey

    @doctordani @kbranagh
    <p style=”text-align: left;”>And what about a situation in which Davros kills the Doctor and he can’t save Davros in the past? Would it erase Davros from the history and prevent him from killing the Doctor (and many more)? I think in both cases Davros would survive because of the screwdriver.</p>

    Miapatrick @miapatrick

    @kbranagh- Maybe Davros didn’t contradict the Doctor because at that moment he was working on the Doctor’s sense of guilt for his dastardly plan! If he realised that in the doctors timeline, he hasn’t yet gone back in time to save the little boy, he can manipulate him, and he doesn’t realise that it is after/because of the failure of his plan that the Doctor goes back.

    Miapatrick @miapatrick

    @Mersey- that’s interesting. The episode started with the message that Davros ‘remembers’.  I wonder if that simply means for most of his life he had forgotten, which is why he would risk fighting the Doctor, and why he would remember at that point?

    I quite like the idea (I don’t want it to happen to myself) of a species who, at the point of death (or close to death, I take it he was exaggerating the proximity) remember everything that has happened in their lives.

    KBranagh @kbranagh

    Yeah, is the most plausible theory-expl

    Missy @missy

    Since watching this eposode – a few times *winks* – it seems to that the doctor obvioulsy taught the Daleks “mercy” and “exterminate”



    Bluesqueakpip @bluesqueakpip


    Of course, if you want your head to explode, the Daleks taught him ‘exterminate’. So where did ‘exterminate!’ come from?

    How do you spot a Born Again Dalek?

    Excommunicate! Excommunicate!

    I’ll just get me coat… 😈

    Anonymous @

    Excommunicate! Excommunicate!

    @bluesqueakpip  🙂

    Not at all! That is very funny!

    Missy @missy


    Hmm! Wait for me.



    Anonymous @

    @bluesqueakpip I note you’ve changed your avatar?

    I don’t like it.


    I kid. I was doing a Doctor impression. Now I think I should get my coat.


    KBranagh @kbranagh

    Hy guys, sorry i have another question about the Davros timeline.
    Davros has always have the screwdriver(the icon of the doctor) since that day in the field! How is possible that realize only recently(like he said in the opening of the ep) that the man it was the Doctor? It make sense for you?
    Screwdriver, blue box= the doctor.

    For me it not make sense, the only two explanation..
    1)maybe Davros have recently found the screwdriver in his “house” after all this time and connect.
    2) Davros always knows, but he want preserve the timeline

    Anonymous @

    @kbranagh Hi there and welcome to you. It’s been a while since I watched that two-parter and I’ll need to do that again some time.

    right, I think that the screwdriver was thrown to young Davros who kept it. The Doctor knows his name and his horrified and leaves the child in the battlefield.

    When we see Davros in his ‘house’ in the middle of the episode, he has hold of a very worn old screw driver. There’s a problem there: it’s only the recent Doctor -our Twelve, as in Capaldi who apparently threw it to him in the field. But it’s made clear in that episode that it could be an early Doctor -Missy explained to young Clara how the Doctor used his sonic to escape from some baddies -it was actually the very first Doctor and to both Missy and Davros it wouldn’t matter which ‘face’ he wears. He’s the same person. This is just my own hypothesis, mind, and others would disagree (which is totally fine).

    He (the Doctor) leaves Davros and later ‘comes back’ to exhibit the act of mercy which allows Davros’ own later creations to understand the concept ‘mercy’.



    Mudlark @mudlark

    @kbranagh  @puroandson

    I don’t think that the Doctor who threw the screwdriver to the child Davros was an earlier incarnation. It is the same incarnation operating in a temporal loop.  The sequence as I read it is as follows:

    The Doctor, looking for a bookshop, accidentally ends up in a battlefield in the war on Skaro. Or maybe the Tardis, who does not distinguish clearly between past and future, thought it necessary to bring him there.  He throws the screwdriver to the child in the handmine field but then, on learning that the child is Davros, reacts instinctively, runs back to the Tardis and travels back to the future, minus screwdriver (hence the sonic shades).

    Shortly after this he learns that the now ancient Davros is looking for him. By now he has had time to reflect on his actions and to feel guilt and shame at having abandoned the child, and so he thinks that he has a moral duty to go and face his old enemy.  But to give himself time to prepare, or perhaps simply to procrastinate, he seeks refuge on Karn. When he arrives there the conversation with Ohila which we saw in the prologue takes place, and in that exchange there is an oblique reference to what happened on Skaro.

    ‘Did something happen?‘ asks Ohila,  and then ‘Was it recent?’ and the Doctor reluctantly admits it because, from his point of view, it was in his immediate past.

    Davros probably kept the screwdriver initially because it was useful, and perhaps as a memento of the person who rescued him; he wouldn’t have realised who that person was until he met him much later in Genesis of the Daleks. When he did realise, he kept it still as a constant reminder that the Doctor had initially abandoned him, and as something which might come in useful as a weapon against the Doctor, though as such it would only work against the incarnation who had given it to him.  Earlier incarnations would have had no memory of the encounter, because for them it hadn’t happened yet, so for them the screwdriver would have had no significance and there would have been no reason for them to answer his summons.

    The opportunity came when he, Davros, was centuries older and the Doctor had finally regenerated into the version whom he had met in the minefield.  He could now arrange to have him intercepted at a time when, for the Doctor, the encounter was still very recent, and play on the sense of guilt he could assume the Doctor was feeling, in order to lure him into a face to face meeting.

    When, after this encounter, the Doctor goes back to rescue the child Davros, he does not take back the screwdriver, because to do so would alter the future in which Davros still had it in his possession

    Hope that makes sense 😉



    Anonymous @

    @mudlark @kbranagh

    I don’t think that the Doctor who threw the screwdriver to the child Davros was an earlier incarnation. It is the same incarnation operating in a temporal loop. 

    On re-watch (boy, did I have one long night) I realised my mistakes (legion!). I’m with you on this Mudlark. Your explanation beginning with the above (italics) is correct. It is a sequence of particular events occurring in the Doctor’s timestream (which can become quite confusing at times) and operating around the assumption he was searching for a bookshop, encountered the Boy Davros on a seemingly remote battlefield and gave away his sonic screw driver. And yes, his refuge on Karn then becomes necessary as a place of change and reflection -as we’ve come to know with the sisters of this planet in the past (I’m thinking specifically of the War Doctor).

    It makes absolute sense then, that when returning to the battlefield, the Doctor does not reclaim the screw driver (as you wrote) for that would explicitly change future events leading to this point and creating the necessary temporal loop. I always have had difficulty with the ‘loopy’ business of time travel 🙂 in Doctor Who and become easily confused by causal and temporal loops as well as paradoxes.

    This two parter also places Davros as indeed an ancient being who “should have been dust centuries ago” according to Ohila.

    I did like the idea of it being an earlier iteration, though: that which we saw demonstrated in these initial episodes. But it was purely creative fiction on my part  😈

    Thank you for your explanation. It makes a great deal of sense and creates the perfect opportunity for the Doctor’s ‘upgrade’ to sonic-glasses.

    Kindest, PuroSolo

    Anonymous @

    @mudlark @kbranagh Of course the clues are very obvious (<face palm>) because, as you pointed out, Ohila deliberately asks “was it recent?”

    After obfuscation, the Doctor finally replies that it was -and we know how he loves a tangential answer!

    Missy @missy


    Intesting theory about an earlier Doctor leaving the screwdriver with Davros. But – why did he suddenly go off using one in the last series? he’d been using it up till then.



    KBranagh @kbranagh

    Thank you guys for the welcome and your theory.

    Dentarthurdent @dentarthurdent

    Well this was another attention-grabbing, fun episode, a fine counterpart for The Magician’s Apprentice. And like that one, I feel impelled to burble about it so I’ll just give my impressions.

    It starts with Clara looking at an upside-down world featuring an upside-down Missy (nobody really thought they were vapourised in the previous ep, did they?). But kudos to Missy who somehow managed to program Clara’s vortex manipulator to materialise her suspended on a rope from a convenient pinnacle. The repartee between Clara and Missy is always a delight. And I have to say, even though Clara is one of my favourite companions, I don’t in the least mind that she’s subordinate to Missy in this episode.

    So the Doctor steals Davros’ mobile throne. The Dalek chant of ‘Seek, Locate, Destroy’ was the title of a Blakes 7 episode. Written by – surprise, surprise – Terry Nation, creator of the Daleks. I’m certain beyond reasonable doubt that the Moff put that in deliberately.
    The sight of the Doctor cruising around impregnably in the middle of the Daleks was so enjoyable I was truly shocked when Colony Sarff erupted from beneath him.

    As a Clara fan I should be outraged at her treatment at the hands of Missy – suspended on a rope, pushed down a hole to test the depth, tied up as a decoy goat, and finally – after Missy deflates the Dalek and the undead Dalek slime kills its inhabitant – don’t we just know who’s going to have to have to crawl inside it (and it ain’t Missy). But Missy does it all with such malevolent style I can’t hate her.

    The Dalek translating everything into its narrow vocabulary. ‘I am Clara’ = ‘I am a Dalek’. ‘You are different’ = ‘Exterminate’. And I love the moment where ClaraDalek shoots uncontrollably while Missy dodges the ricochets. I’m told that new recruits given their first firing of a submachine gun have a similar problem letting go of the trigger. I do love the retcon that ‘Exterminate’ reloads, this is the perfect explanation for all the ‘Exterminate’-chanting Daleks over the years.

    Davros almost made me feel sympathetic towards him in his conversation with the Doctor. Was he being entirely deceptive in his philosophical discussion with the Doctor? Was the Doctor being entirely deceptive in his compassion? Who knows?

    And Missy saved the Doctor (with a Dalek gun). I liked that. Is that the exact same gun that the Doctor almost shot ClaraDalek with, and saved Young Davros with at the end of the episode? I wasn’t keeping track but it’s a Moffatt episode, I’ll bet it was.

    Okay, that’s enough goodness, if I noted all the lovely little touches I’d be writing pages.

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