“The Witch’s Familiar” had a tough act to follow after Doctor Who’s exciting Season 9 premiere “The Magician’s Apprentice.” Extending this opening story into two episodes gave us a riveting first episode with an epic feel, followed by a thoughtful yet fun second episode. “The Witch’s Familiar,” wasn’t as strong as the first episode because the conclusion to the story followed a more convoluted path than was necessary, but it was fun to watch Missy lead Clara by the nose and Davros feign regret. “The Witch’s Familiar” gave us two fascinating duos with Missy and Clara engaged in a comedic buddy story, while the Doctor and Davros have a philosophical discussion.
In the opening episode of Season 9, “The Magician’s Apprentice,” Doctor Who reminds us that though he is a fearsome and dangerous opponent, that best part of the Doctor is his compassion. He may not exactly be a man of peace, but he is man that, at his best, finds the good in others. In the prologue to Season 9, the Doctor says, “An enemy’s just a friend you don’t really know yet.” The Doctor has lost many friends and loved ones over the course of his long life, and at the same time he has battled some of his foes for more than a millennium. In “The Magician’s Apprentice” we learn that being a Time Lord makes for some very complex relationships.