Tag Archives: Michelle Gomez

Returning Character in “Doctor Who”

The BBC recently announced a humongous return for Doctor Who. Really, this is pretty stupendous, so turn away now if you don’t want to be spoiled!

Still here? Well, you can’t say I didn’t warn you.

Per the official BBC website, John Simm will be returning sometime during the tenth season! He will be reprising his incarnation of the Master alongside Michelle Gomez, who plays the female Master regeneration, Missy. This is the first multi-Master story in the show’s history, and it will certainly be exciting to see how the Master reacts to seeing a future version of himself–and his reaction to the fact that future version of himself is a woman. There have been several multi-Doctor stories over the years, so I’m really looking forward to seeing the Master team up with himself (herself?) for the first time.

Stuff like this is so exciting, it’s almost enough to make me forget that we’re losing Peter Capaldi…almost. I was doing so well until I saw this trailer.

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Doctor Who Review: The Witch’s Familiar *Contains Spoilers*

Before I begin this week’s review, I’d like to share with everyone that the season 9 episodes of Doctor Who are starting to be released on the BBC America YouTube channel. Last week they posted “The Magician’s Apprentice”, so I’m assuming they’re going to post “The Witch’s Familiar” as well. They only leave the episodes posted for about a week–“The Magician’s Apprentice” is gone now–so you have to be quick!

Okay, onto the review. This was certainly a vast improvement over last week; the pacing felt much more even, and it felt like stuff was actually happening in this episode in general. There wasn’t as much off-keel, out-of-character wackiness for the Doctor this week, just regular wackiness–like stealing Davros’s chair.

Davros himself was something of a surprise this week. He opened his real eyes for the first time since he was introduced in 1974’s immortal “Genesis of the Daleks”, and there was something oddly poignant and tragic about it. The same could be said of his statement of having given the Doctor “the only other chair on Skaro”. That chair was a stark reminder of what the Daleks used to be and how much they’ve lost. Davros appeared to understand the magnitude of this loss…but it was all just a ruse to trick the Doctor into giving regeneration energy to the Daleks (which, by the way, the Doctor knew was a trick). Julian Bleach did an outstanding job in that scene of taking Davros from a pitiable and sympathetic character back to the cold-hearted villain we all know and love.

Missy went on to prove that either as a man or a woman, she will always be rotten to the core. Her attempt to trick the Doctor into killing Clara in her Dalek disguise was one of the worst subterfuges she ever tried to pull on the Doctor. Missy may claim to be the Doctor’s friend, but at the end of the day, the only person she cares about is herself.

Speaking of Missy, it was established today that she, too, had a family on Gallifrey; she mentioned her daughter in passing to Clara. Although it’s well known that the Doctor had a family on his home planet, this is the first time we received confirmation that the Master had a family as well. I mean, yes, in season 3 he was married to Lucy Saxon, but they did not have any children. On Gallifrey, however, he had at least one child.

Circling back to Clara now, it struck me today that Moffat is wasting an opportunity with her. Why does Clara never flash back to what she’s seen in the Doctor’s time stream? She saw all of his past lives, so she should have known about the Master, the Daleks, and Davros all along. Also, it would have been interesting to see her flash back to being Oswin when Missy made her climb into the Dalek container.

All in all, I think “The Witch’s Familiar” was much better done than “The Magician’s Apprentice”. Here’s hoping they can keep up their streak with next week’s “Under the Lake”.

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Doctor Who Review: The Magician’s Apprentice

Similarly to last year, I have taken it upon myself to write up reviews for the ninth season of Doctor Who. They may not be reviews in the traditional sense, probably more like extended ramblings of my general impression, but there will be spoilers. You have been warned.

Still here? Okay, you can’t say I didn’t warn you.

The big stupendous reveal of the day was not that Missy is back but that Davros is back. Yes, Davros, the mad creator of the Daleks whom we all believed perished in “Journey’s End” back in season 4. No, we do not get an explanation for this. The even bigger reveal is that the Doctor had encountered Davros as a child and had a chance to save his life. He eventually gave up that chance because he knew what Davros would do when he was older, but it appears this decision has haunted him. With Missy and Clara dead and the TARDIS destroyed, the Doctor is now completely at the mercy of Davros and his Daleks.

I wanted to like this story, but I felt a bit underwhelmed. The pacing seemed too slow to me–yes, I know it’s a two-part story that will conclude next week, but the buildup just felt really, really slow. Granted, I did like the parallels they were drawing to “Genesis of the Daleks”; I thought those were clever. Also, I did grudgingly like the friendship between the Doctor and Missy; it was nice to see them more or less on the same side for once. I’m still not a fan of having a female Master, though. Don’t get me wrong; Michelle Gomez is a good actress; I just still thing making the Master a woman was a mistake.

Overall impression–I wasn’t that impressed. Moffat’s written better two-parters in the past, so here’s hoping “The Witch’s Familiar” next week will be stronger.

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