Well this was an interesting second part wasn’t it. It’s probably gonna be harder to construct coherent thoughts in comparison to the first but let’s make an attempt anyway.
You certainly can’t fault Moffat for not taking risks with this story. Threatening to reveal the Doctor’s confession (though apparently it will come up again in the finale), revealing that Davros can open his eyes and of course the first use of the word “bitch” in a televised episode as far I recall which is probably going to be more controversial than most of the other stuff in this episode. I actually had to go back and make sure she didn’t say “witch” just to make sure I hadn’t misheard it. I am also aware that Celestial Toymaker also brought out the big no-no words wit the use of the N-word but this instance will probably be more shocking right now since the use of that word was less controversial in it’s day and it’s in an episode that no longer technically exists. No matter when Steve eventually leaves he’s gonna have trouble dragging his huge balls out of the door.
Edit: Apparently Rose Tyler used the phrase “bitchy trampoline” at some point so I guess it wasn’t as crazy as I thought. Though to be fair it’s been a while since I’ve seen the episode.
We got quite a few interesting new tidbits about Dalek mythology that are sure to disturb people for a while ala Don’t Cremate Me. First we got the idea that Daleks don’t really die and are pretty much forced to live like in Miracle Day even as they are living as goo (it makes getting blown up seem preferable). And we have the disturbing concept that even if the Daleks are saying nice things what comes out is a bunch of nasty stuff. This of course leads to the implication that the Doctor may have killed a few not so bad Daleks every once in a while which certainly does add a bit of grey to the mix. It would also appear that Moffat has given us a connection between the Dalek’s use of mercy back in The Big Bang and given it a canonical explanation in this tale by showing that by being rescued by the Doctor did manage to leave a bit of an affect on young Davros.
This episode seemed to be about the blurry line between friends and enemies as Missy said at the end with Davros and her having qualities of decency and Clara being in a Dalek shell (Asylum flashbacks anyone). This is probably the closest explanation we can get to the meaning of the titles since both describe people who have relationships with magical people (most likely Davros being the apprentice to the Doctor and Clara being the familiar to Missy). Appreciation also has to be given to the fact that Missy’s mistreatment of Clara (which I sure some people out there appreciated) managed to go from funny to pretty disturbing when she almost got the Doctor to kill her. That would have been a bummer.
It would appear this second part reveals that the event with the Handmines is not what caused Davros to be the way he was after all and that it was due to some unseen events later down the line (probably in the I, Davros audio). Still at least it gave us an interesting reason for the Doctor to save Davros outside of pure goodness by having him save him to ensure that a little mercy got into the Daleks somehow. Some could consider the reveal that he didn’t go back to kill Davros, the fact that Missy and Clara weren’t exterminated (which at least explains how she escaped the Series 8 finale) and the fact that the Doc and Davros were lying to each other the whole time to be cop-outs and they might be right but at the very least we had some interesting story opportunities to ponder in the meantime. Credit definitely has to be given to Julian Bleach in this story who really sold the mournful Davros to the point you’d be surprised that the Doctor was able to see through the ruse. The opening of Davros’ original eyes definitely helped with this deception as he really seemed a lot more sympathetic. Overall this is still probably the best Doctor/Davros pairing since Genesis mainly cause the two were able to express a lot of deep emotion (even if it was a long con). Praise for everybody!
The idea of Time Lord/Dalek hydrids is certainly an interesting one and I suppose it would have been the only expected means that Davros would have been able to survive his dying. At the very least it’s a far better idea than certain Human/Dalek hybrids (easy target) and it would have been a decent escalation of Time Lord/Dalek conflict had those Sewer Daleks not mucked it up (incidentally I Moffat may have gotten that “revolting” pun from the title of a Futurama episode). Though I do have to wonder what the end result of those hybrids would of been. Would they look more humanoid, could they regenerate, would they start wearing those silly hats? Perhaps it’s best left to the imagination (we don’t need another tentacle head right?).
It was nice to have Missy finally get to be able to meet Davros and poke his eye (it’s not quite the meeting I had in mind between these two giants but I’ll go for it). Still we didn’t see what happened to either of them so perhaps we can have that Davros/Master team-up after all? I guess we’ll have to wait and see.
Some additional bits to mention include the Master’s mention of having a child (that must have been an awkward household), Capaldi looking pretty rocking in that chair and easily the funniest bit in the whole episode “the only other chair in Skaro” (which I believe may be another Curse of Fatal Death connection “why do Daleks ships have chairs?”
Either way as a whole this was a pretty solid story and probably the best premiere the new series has had outside of maybe The Eleventh Hour though of course both were aiming for very different things. While probably not a perfect story there were a lot of great scenes to be found, some good fan service and several interesting ideas on display (a sign of that is that there’s probably a bunch of other stuff I could mention were it not for a lack of time and need for sufficiency). Overall a very enjoyable two-parter.