Well that was quite something! There was so much to enjoy. It was high time the daleks had a decent two parter. This one felt satisfying. It was scary. It challenged many conceptions. It had fun moments. There were moments of horror, some new developments and plenty of excitement. Let's take a few of the elements and examine them.
Not since 1973's Frontier in Space has the Master appeared alongside the daleks and even then it was only briefly. Both were in The Five Doctors, but the dalek was only really a stand alone cameo in that adventure. This time Missy had lots of screen time with the daleks and she was wonderful. In turns charming, irreverent, devious and just plain bonkers, her every moment on screen was a delight to watch. Michelle Gomez has breathed new life into the character. I didn't feel that the revived series ever quite got the Master right, but that's all changed now. She fits the role perfectly and there's no doubt in my mind that this is the same character that Roger Delgado first brought to the screen.
Missy had some wonderful moments: throwing Clara into a hole to find out how deep it was; turning her back to call Clara's bluff about killing her; poking Davros in his eye, to name but three. She also had the most deliciously devious and downright evil moment, but I'll avoid spoilering the whole episode.
Julian Bleach's portrayal is brilliant. My only complaint is that he isn't Terry Molloy, although he's every bit as good. He had me believing in Davros' remorse and his manipulation of the Doctor. He was chilling and very watchable. The moment when his real eyes opened for the first time was compelling. This was like the moment a dalek was first shown going upstairs. The shock and awe was punctured somewhat later in the evening when I read Sid Trotter's tweet:
Davros being able to open his eyes means he'll get his benefits cut. Trust me.
Clara had her work cut out dealing with Missy in this episode. She started tied up and suspended from a rope and frankly things didn't get much better for her. When hiding inside a dalek casing we learn for the first time that the casing doesn't let its occupant express certain feelings. This is different to the experience Ian had in the first dalek story when he was able to talk without software restraints. Perhaps the casings have changed since then? Had Clara found herself in one of the sixties dalek cases, would this have been the case. too? Again, Twitter provided a plausible explanation: