Press reaction to the second episode of Series Nine is once more overwhelmingly positive.
The Independent felt much of the success of the episode was down to Julian Bleach's performance as Davros. "Steven Moffat’s dialogue was on top form this week, but it shone thanks to Bleach’s superb performance. It’s incredible how much physicality he brought to the role considering how limiting the costume is, utilising body language and facial expressions to maximum effect and pairing them with a powerful vocal performance"
The Guardian also liked the Davros/Doctor dynamic. "Peter Capaldi and Julian Bleach crackled with such warped chemistry", with Radio Times agreeing "Capaldi and Julian Bleach are superb in these moments. There’s a coup de théâtre when, for the first time, the wizened Davros opens his eyes. We’d always assumed he had none. No one but Steven Moffat would have thought to do this."
The Express said you can't help but love the villains."Missy is like a deliciously dangerous cocktail of dry wit laced with a sneaky shot of psychosis. She pulls you in with hers charms and makes you feel comfortable, then the moment you let your guard down or even consider trusting her, she'll have you strung upside down from a tree". The Registrar also loved Michelle Gomez. "Missy once again delivers some of the best lines, such as: "The friend inside the enemy, the enemy inside the friend. Everyone's a bit of both. Everyone's a hybrid.".
TV Fanatic loved the pairing of Clara and Missy "I lost it when Clara mentioned throwing a stone down into the sewers and Missy pushing her in saying. I'm sure we haven't seen the last of The Mistress, but I already can't wait for another team up like this one. " Mashable also loved the duo. "A fantastic comedy double act of psycho and straight person, fighting their way through Skaro towards the Doctor with nothing but a sharpened stick", a sentiment agreed with by 411Mainia. "I know not everyone is in love with Missy, but Michelle Gomez is a highlight of the first two episodes. She is able to have some more wicked fun, which is an important balance since the Doctor is busy being deadly serious"
The Metro loved the pace of the story. This was a thoughtful character piece in which the Doctor saves the day with an act of mercy rather than a simple wave of his sonic. I found that pleasingly old-school, while The Daily Mail loved the fact that Doctor Who can still come up with something fresh. "Seeing the Doctor’s assistant Clara Oswald strapped, trapped, inside a Dalek and only able to communicate like them was ingeniously vivid – palpably claustrophobic and perilous: the fairground ride from hell.".
Not all was positive with TV.com disliking the conclusion to the episode "this climax was dumb. Daleks turning on one another is fine enough, but the sludgey poo of not-quite-dead Daleks attacking their comrades was just... dumb.", while IGN thought the episode a bit of a letdown. "It just can’t satisfactorily resolve some of the bits and pieces showrunner Steven Moffat left dangling last week in the grand first episode."
Digital Spy however thought the episode bleak but rewarding. "Scenes between our effusive hero and a creepily still Davros are dark and uncompromising, they're also utterly scintillating."
You can read Doctor Who News's review of the episode on our reviews site.