Friday, October 23, 2015

The Resist Stance: An Overanalysis of "The Girl Who Died"

If on your journey should you encounter God, God will be cut.
I stand by my belief that an episode being "co-written" by Steven Moffat is just a sign that Moffat wanted to insert some of the season-long plot arc's narrative into the script and give himself credit for it.  There was absolutely nothing Moffat-esque about this episode.  The episode wasn't particularly creepy, there was nothing darkly fantastic about it, and nothing mundane was trying to kill people.  There wasn't even really anything that rung of the writing style of Jamie Mathieson, who gave us last season's "Mummy on the Orient Express" and "Flatline," two episodes so good that it led both myself and my podcast co-host Shelly to start calling for him to become the next in line to Moffat's throne when he's ready to leave the show, even though Mathieson had only given us two episodes so far.  Really, there was nothing about this episode that was exciting and super fun, but it felt like it was a huge build up for something.  I have no doubt anymore that "The Hybrid" is this season's plot arc.  Now it's a question of where is it going, what does "The Hybrid" refer to, and, the clue I forgot to speculate on last week:  Who the hell is the minister of War?

The episode, by and large, was setting up something, and I predicted that it was probably going to be the first part of a two-parter.  Moffat has told us that he's going to make it hard to tell whether something's a two-parter or not this season and, even though "The Girl Who Died" wasn't officially listed as a two-parter, I noticed that the episode following it was going to be called "The Woman Who Lived," and I assumed the titles were implying that they were connected.  Because now the Doctor has created something that has gone a step too far.  A young girl who can never die and, from the looks of what's coming up, will never even be able to age, suggesting that the chip the Doctor put in her head will interpret any sign of aging as damage and correct it, keeping her a child forever.

Trust me, Ashildr, it sucks!
Also, I was really excited when I heard that Moffat was putting into place Davies idea about why there are multiple Peter Capaldi's in the Doctor Who universe, and that Mathieson would be writing the first episode about it.  I even rewatched "Fires of Pompeii" that morning to get me prepared for "The Girl Who Died."  However, what came up could not have been the infamous plan that Davies thought up, and that Moffat asked him about when Davies called to compliment him about choosing Capaldi for the 12th Doctor.  Davies was thinking of writing this idea into the show at a time when there was no plan to make Capaldi the Doctor yet.  Davies's plan was supposed to be to explain why Caecilius and John Frobisher had the same face.  So either something's changed about the plan, or there's more to come about the connections between Pete, Pete, and Pete.

There have been reports out in the press questioning about whether Maisie Williams's character is going to be coming back after "The Woman Who Lived."  I feel like the idea of a girl who can never die is such an interesting idea that I can't see this just being an idea for a two-parter.  I feel like this has to come around to the larger season arc.

But how?  The dialogue hinted at there being some connection to The Hybrid, but a lot of dialogue in Doctor Who that hints at being connected to the larger plot arc turns out to be a complete red herring.  Remember the ending to "Vampires of Venice" where the Doctor pointed out that there was some strange silence in Venice?  Remember how that had absolutely nothing to do with what The Silence were (even though we flashed back to this moment anyway when The Silence were first identified by name)?  It could be a pretty simple mislead.  But The Hybrid is coming up a lot this season, which leaves me wondering, are the Daleks created in "The Witch's Familiar" The Hybrid, or is Ashildr?  Or were both mentions misleads and The Hybrid is something completely different?  If you think about it, a lot of things in the Doctor Who universe could be called hybrids.  Both Daleks and Cybermen are, by definition, hybrid creatures.  Donna Noble is a hybrid.  If you take the most hated line from the 1996 Doctor Who movie to be true, the Doctor himself is a hybrid.  So it could be anything.

It could even be...

I'm half attractive, half horrifying
I still stand by the fact that I think there's something more that's going to happen to explain the events of "Listen," so I do think it's possible that Danny is coming back some how.

Also, Davros was a little vague about this prophesy of The Hybrid.  What's supposed to be so terrible about it?  Why is the Doctor running from it?  What makes it so terrifying?

I made this blog primarily to make predictions about the show based on clues, and I totally forgot to pick up on the huge, huge, huge clue that was dropped last week, when O'Donnell, who like Osgood seems to be a real life Doctor fan (and who, liked Osgood, is dead because of it), mentioned a whole bunch of stuff that happened to the Doctor between 1980 and 2119 and she brought up one phrase that the Doctor did not recognize yet:  "The Minister of War."  Sure, it could be a throw away line that has no bearing on anything, but I really feel like Whithouse was just shouting "Clue!" at us pretty loudly at that moment.  It's possible that it's not a clue for this season's finale, as we all know that, in the Moffat era, big twists can be set up many seasons in advance ("Silence Will Fall," "The Woman in the Shop"), but I have a feeling that Missy is the Minister of War, possibly the title she's assumed by staying behind on Skaro to join forces with the Daleks.

Moffat hasn't left us this vague of a mystery in a while, but it's an interesting one to start speculating on.  I'm really curious to see where this is going.  Missy has a plan, I'm sure of it, the Hybrid is a dubious evil lurking in the background, and Ashieldr is now a poor, cursed girl who can never die or even age.  So what's the connection?  How does this all lead us to a season finale two-parter called "Heaven Sent" and "Hell Bent," the former of which is supposed to have no other actors but Peter Capaldi in it for the whole thing?!  I'm so curious about what Moffat is building here.  But I'm ready for the ride, because so far, it's been fun.  While this wasn't my favorite episode, I get the feeling it's building so, so, so much more, and I'm really intrigued to see where we go from here.

Next week, I look forward to Torchwood writer Catherine Tregenna becoming the first woman to write an episode of Doctor Who since "The Sontaran Stratagem"/"The Poison Sky."  Really, that writing staff has been far too much of a sausage party for several seasons now, and this season we have not one, but two different female writers for the first time in far too long.  Catherine Tregenna is the only writer to have been nominated for a Hugo award for working on Torchwood, so hopefully we're going to get something really special next week.  I really look forward to it!

And now, this!:

Saturday, October 17, 2015

Words and Guitar: An Overanalysis of "Before the Flood"

"I drink your milkshake!"
I've taken a lot of time to explain bootstrap paradoxes on this blog.  Mostly it's because I love the phrase bootstrap paradox.  It's my username on a couple websites, most notably, one of the larger Doctor Who message boards on the Internet, Gallifrey Base: 

I hope a lot of people tried to register with this name on Saturday!

So I was very happy to see the phrase show up in the beginning of "Before the Flood."  It's hardly the first bootstrap paradox we've seen in the show.  The Moffat era is riddled with them.  The Doctor getting himself out of the Pandorica is a bootstrap paradox.  The Doctor finding Craig's apartment in "The Lodger" was entirely thanks to a bootstrap paradox.  "Blink" is literally a bootstrap paradox from beginning to end.  So I'm glad someone finally gave an explanation of what it is so I don't have to explain it over again to every person I try to talk to about Doctor Who.

Part one of this story was a lot more exciting than part two, because part one was about building a very intricate mystery, and part two was about bringing that all back down to Earth and explaining everything.  But "Before the Flood," much like "Under the Lake," benefited from some really great work from multiple different departments.  Doctor Who doesn't particularly scare me much (with the delightful exception of The Silence) and almost nothing scares me in broad daylight, but this particular shot takes the cake for the only thing I've ever seen in any media that was still fucking terrifying despite being shot in broad daylight (or, well, cloudlight as the case may be):

Wow, the Fisher King was one of the most terrifying Doctor Who creatures I've ever seen.  This is not cheap prosthetics, this is a very well thought out and detailed construction of someone's worst fucking nightmare.

The Doctor's electric guitar is, thankfully, becoming a recurring part of the 12th Doctor's persona, with clips from next week's episode, "The Girl Who Died," showing brief flashes of it as well.  The 2nd Doctor was known for playing a recorder sometimes when he was trying to think, while the 12th seems to absently strum at an electric guitar with his special sonic sunglasses for much the same reason.  Regardless of how much cooler the guitar and sunglasses may seem to us than the recorder, its all ancient artifacts to the Doctor.  Yet, somehow it seems so appropriate that the man who is tied for the oldest actor to ever play the role would adopt such a "cool" look to him.  And why not, if it's Peter Capaldi.  He's a total punk rocker.  He was in that band in a punk band when he was younger with Craig Ferguson.

What's even more freaky is that the guy on the right is Geoff Peterson.
Peter Capaldi can pull it off because we know that that's who he is.  Have you ever known someone who had been a big punk rocker in their teens once they got older?  Because I know quite a few of them, and they all remind me of Peter Capaldi.  I'm glad he's building a persona for this particular Doctor, and I'm glad that it seems to reflect quite a bit of Capaldi's real personality.

Last week I was left confused as to why the ghosts had no interest whatsoever in Lunn.  This week, when Clara figured out it was because he was the only one who hadn't seen the writing yet, I literally had to smack myself in the head for never having figured that out.  I guess you are a smart one, Clara.  I felt an equal smack to my head at the reveal that the Doctor's ghost was a hologram, after we had already established that the Drum can create holograms.  Wow, I feel like a doofus now.  I had already figured out that the Doctor was in the stasis chamber, but admittedly only because I had seen someone else guess it on Facebook and said "Oh, yeah, of course, that's who's in there."  It was an interesting take on the concept of fixed points in time.  It's not the first time that the Doctor has found a way to change the future by simply tweaking and modifying events he knows are going to happen but creating a scenario in which he doesn't have to die.  He essentially found the same loophole out of his death at Lake Silencio.  History said that the Doctor had to be there on that beach, and that someone looking like the Doctor had been killed, but that was it.  As long as he found a way to keep all of that true, nothing negative happens if he still walks away from it.  I liked that trick in "The Wedding of River Song" (regardless of what anybody else thought about it), so I liked it again now.

I keep trying to figure out if there's any larger plotline that this episode is setting up for farther down the road.  Frankly, there isn't a very clear indication that there is an overarching plot.  I'm presuming that Missy staying behind on Skaro in "The Witch's Familiar" was probably part of a set-up for the season finale.  I'm also guessing that the prophesy of the hybrid from that same episode is part of a set-up as well.  But other than that, I've seen nothing else in this season that is very clearly constructing a mystery or a plot arc that is leading us towards something specific.  I haven't seen this from Moffat since his largely disappointing series 7, which I found to be his weakest season-long plot arc if for no other reason than very little was done to advance the larger plot arc as the season moved along.  Yet, this series, so far, has me mesmerized.  So I'm hoping that we're moving towards something a little larger, a little arc-ier.  Is that a thing?  No, it's probably not.

And the next episode will likely grant my wish.  As I write this, it has technically already finished airing in the UK (sorry, I'm late again), but I'd heard reports before that "The Girl Who Died" would finally explain to us the big mystery of why Peter Capaldi's face appears three different times in the Doctor Who universe.  I've just rewatched "The Fires of Pompeii" because I understand that "The Girl Who Died" is going to call back to it somehow.  How, I do not yet know, but I'm thrilled to see what it is!  An idea thought up by Russell T. Davies, executed by Moffat, with the assistance of my first choice to follow Moffat when he finally does leave, Jamie Mathieson.  All with Maisie Williams as a guest star.  I can't wait to see where we're going with this.

Saturday, October 10, 2015

The World's a Mess; It's in My Kiss: An Overanalysis of "Under the Lake"

Day Mode.  Whoa-oh.  Fighter of the Night Mode.
Every time I try to think about why I love "Under the Lake," words and specifics fail me. I can't really give a good reason why it's special, why it's anything more than a middling, filler episode. There's not a huge, glaring reason to point to why this episode is significantly better than some of the other "Who cares?" boring episodes like "Curse of the Black Spot," or "Rings of Aka-Something or Other"--or, to pull from the same writer as this episode, an episode like "Vampires of Venice." And yet, every time I go back to rewatch "Under the Lake," I fall in love all over again. I don't know what it was I loved about this episode. Perhaps it's that the show's brilliant music producer, Murray Gold, has outdone himself yet again with this episode. Perhaps first-time Doctor Who director Daniel O'Hara is just the best director the show has ever seen and we've just never seen him before. Perhaps it's the stellar performances all around, including the most dignified characterization and portrayal of a deaf person I have ever seen seen in media (admittedly, I've never seen Children of a Lesser God). Perhaps it's that Toby Whithouse is a pretty amazing writer, albeit with a few duds here and there. Or maybe it's a combination of all of those things that results in an episode that fires on all cylinders.

It was so exciting that, at the point of the episode where the Doctor looks at the ghosts and says "What are you?" I caught myself literally saying the same thing as the Doctor at the exact same time. He owes me a coke.
I only accept Mexican Coke, Doctor.  Fuck corn syrup.
Toby Whithouse has been rumored more than once to be the successor to Steven Moffat for when he's ready to leave the show.  Moffat has not really given any indication that he's quitting anytime soon, but Whithouse has been thought of as a natural successor.  As I've been mostly saying I just want #anyonebutgatiss, I'd be happy to see Whithouse take over.  If we think back on his few episodes he's written, there are some pretty good ones.  He brought us the fun romp of "School Reunion" where he triumphantly brought back the most popular companion(s) of the classic series.  "The God Complex" is one of the smartest episodes of its or any other season.  The worst episodes he's written, "Vampires in Venice" and "A Town Called Mercy" are really only guilty of being dull, never of being silly or stupid.  Perhaps "Vampires in Venice" was always as riveting as "Under the Lake" in Whithouse's head, and the director and cast could never fully pull off his vision.  Whithouse is, of course, also responsible for the show "Being Human," which I still need to go back and finish, but which I do highly recommend (what I've seen of it, anyway) and I've even heard positive comments about the American adaptation of it.  So, overall, I wouldn't hate it if he took over for Moffat eventually.  Him or Jamie Mathieson.  Or Neil Gaiman, but that's a pipe dream and we all know it.

Whithouse is already building his own trademarks, though, as this episode actually sees the return of a species he created for one of his previous episodes.  Remember the Tivolian from "The God Complex"?  The most invaded race in the galaxy?  The one who surrenders so easily that their planet's anthem is called "Glory to <Insert Name Here>"?  

It's like having an entire planet full of Adrics!
Yeah, in case you didn't catch it because he was speaking so fast, the Doctor did identify the first ghost in this episode as another Tivolian, and points out how odd it is for them to become violent like that, because they're known for surrendering so easily.  The Tivolian is named "Prentis," something we only know so far from press releases and credits, because he didn't speak a single time in this episode, but he's clearly meant to be a much larger character in the next episode.  Creating your own recurring species?  That sounds like someone is setting up the Doctor Who universe for some plans he has down the road when he becomes showrunner.  However, where Steven Moffat did that in the Davies era with some of his creepier monsters like the Weeping Angles, Whithouse's creation of the Tivolians seems less terrifying, and more Terry Pratchett-esque in nature.  (The girl I'm dating has me reading the Night Watch books.  I'm hooked.)

I keep trying to think up some way that this episode is going to link into larger plot arcs in the greater series, and I keep coming up with nothing.  I get the feeling this two parter is probably going to be self-contained, but then again, you never know.  Remember how much "The Rebel Flesh"/"The Almost People" felt like a self contained episode until about 30 seconds before the ending?  I keep wanting the coordinates that the ghosts are shouting out to be the coordinates to Gallifrey, but try as I might, I can't quite get that scenario to make sense in my head, and I don't think we're going there in the next episode.

In the next episode, the Doctor blindly follows the coordinates like an idiot following a GPS.
Also, I have to take a moment to acknowledge the brilliance of the Doctor's cards.  Not just a great one-off joke, but also something that really taps into who the Doctor is right now as a character.  Plus, one of them, if you freeze frame the episode, is a joke about the Fourth Doctor dropping Sarah Jane Smith off in the wrong town, something that Toby Whithouse also referenced when he brought Sarah Jane back in "School Reunion."

I also have to give Whithouse some real credit for his diversity of characters.  In "The God Complex," I was very impressed not only that he included a Muslim woman as a character, but that in an episode about religion, Islam was the only major, real-life religion actually referenced.  Whithouse gave a lot of dignity to a religious and ethnic minority that is often maligned in media, and I thought it was very refreshing.  He does that again, this time for the hearing impaired, as Cass is not only a strong and capable deaf woman, but one that the Doctor refers to as the smartest person in the room.  She's a powerful leader, and a loyal one to her people, too.  I think Whithouse should be applauded for that characterization.

I'm really curious to see what these ghosts are.  They aren't just going to be ghosts.  As the Doctor already figured out, these are not a naturally occurring phenomenon.  Someone has created this situation, and trapped these souls somehow to be used as communication tools.  The Doctor is tremendously curious right now, and his curiosity is infectious.  But, in the end, they're not going to be significantly different than other types of "ghosts" we've seen in Doctor Who, from the digitally saved consciousnesses in "Silence in the Library"/"Forest of the Dead" or even in "Dark Water"/"Death in Heaven," to the psychic impressions left behind in Amy's house in "The Pandorica Opens," to the woman trapped in time in "Hide."  The Doctor is thrilled about finally having found real "ghosts, but ultimately, these souls are somehow trapped in something that's specifically linked to this ship, and that's going to turn out to be very technological, not otherworldly.  In Doctor Who, the explanations are almost always scientific and never otherworldly (with the ambiguous exception of "The Impossible Planet"/"The Satan Pit"), although, as we were reminded back in "The Shakespeare Code," there's a thin line between science and fantasy in the Doctor Who universe.

A theme that Whithouse is playing with here, and one that I don't think is seized on enough, is the idea of the Doctor as an adrenaline junkie.  Clara's catching it, too, and it's starting to scare the Doctor, as witnessed by his little speech in the TARDIS.  But clearly, there's a sense that the Doctor is too invested in his own thrill seeking right now, and the ghost of his future self that appears at the very end of the episode suggests a Doctor that inevitably lets his addiction to adventure take him down a dark and dangerous path.  In a way, he lost his last set of companions, and I don't think he's going to take it very well if he and Clara are separated, not by choice, but by force.  The Doctor might be learning by the end of part two that he needs to slow down a little.  But while he may have to, the pace of this two-part episode doesn't have to slow down at all, and I'm excited to see where it goes from here.

When I first heard the "I want to kiss it to death" line in the trailer, it really bugged me, but I like it in context.  So in honor, here's a little X!:

Mercy Me: An Overanalysis of "The Witch's Familiar"

Maybe if I stand in the most effeminate position possible, they won't see me...

I guess I have some apologies to make.  I've got some catching up to do, which is partially due to some slight ambivalence about this blog, but also partially due to being somewhat busy with a new relationship starting up.  And I've been trying to get her caught up on Doctor Who as well so we can watch it together but, ironically, she kept falling asleep during "Last Christmas."  I spend the whole of my weekends with her, so I won't really be able to watch the new episodes on the day they come out until she's caught up, which she will be soon.  Until then, I'm going to play a little catch-up.  So sorry that this blog is about a week late.  I'll work on that.  For now, on with the show:

The Daleks have always been a moral quandary for the Doctor.  The Doctor is the ultimate pacifist, at least in his philosophy if not always in his actions. His goal is always to prevent as many deaths as possible, including the deaths of his enemies.  The Daleks have shown up to throw a wrench in this philosophy more than once, because if your enemy serves absolutely no purpose in the Universe other than destruction, should your pacifism extend to them? He's been fighting the Daleks for almost 2,000 years now, and he has still failed to come up with a definitive answer to this moral dilemma.  Each regeneration seems to attack the problem again and each regeneration comes up with a slightly different answer.  That can be expected, as there isn't an easy solution to the quandary that the Doctor faces.  But when the option comes up in the shape of the opportunity to murder a young boy who hasn't done anything yet, the Doctor finds the question even more troubling than usual.

Could you kill baby Hitler!?  Look at him!  He's adorable!
My new go-to question whenever I have the honor of meeting one of the actors that has played the Doctor is to ask them what they think is consistent across all the very, very different incarnations.  I didn't think of this question until after meeting Colin Baker, so I never got to ask him, and when I asked Peter Davidson and Sylvester McCoy the question McCoy copped out and avoided the question with a "Well, that's the writers' job."  (You do Shakespeare, McCoy, I know you give more thought than that to your characters!)  However, Davidson gave a very interesting and insightful answer about the Doctor's recklessness.  If you ask me, the two traits that are consistent to all of the Doctors are curiosity and compassion.  That second one is big, even with regenerations like 6, 9, and now 12 who are notorious for how rude and pompous they can be to other people.  Their compassion may not be the first thing you notice about them, and they may not be the kind of person to stick around and put a blanket around you after they've saved you, but it's still very important to them to rescue all living creatures and ensure their survival.  Even when the Doctor's not particularly nice, he's still full of love and compassion, even for someone as terrible as Davros.

I've said before that I think the 12th Doctor is embarking on the redemptive arc that the writers originally planned for the 6th Doctor, the one that was never carried out due to Colin Baker's era nearly getting the show cancelled.  The low ratings, combined with the fact that the average fans were starting to agree with the conservative fanatics who thought Doctor Who was too dark and violent, led the production team to quickly cancel their plans and scramble to find solutions to save the show.  Their first solution was the bizarrely nonsensical "Trial of a Timelord" story arc, which only made things worse.  The abrupt firing of Colin Baker and hiring of Sylvester McCoy bought the show a few years of mercy from the BBC, but not much, and the show only lasted a few more years.  In the meantime, the long redemptive arc that was planned for the 6th Doctor never got carried out.  At the same time, though, I wonder if Jonathan Nathan-Turner and Eric Saward had the talent to carry off such a delicate arc.  Steven Moffat, on the other hand, does, and "The Witch's Familiar" is the episode that really makes it clear that we've set off on that path.  The Doctor is really trying to figure himself out, what his morals are now, if he is a good man, and if he's stronger than the darkness in his heart.  Never is that put to the test quite as much as it is in this 2-parter, and thankfully, the Doctor passes with flying colors.

Missy is having a big ball of fun in this episode, and we finally get to see how she managed to survive the end of "Death in Heaven."  Considering her quick return, I can only assume that Steven Moffat has been planning this for quite a long time.  The only real complaint that anybody (anybody with taste, anyway) had about Missy in "Dark Water"/"Death in Heaven" is that there wasn't nearly enough of her, especially considering that we got a chance to get to know John Simm's Saxon Master over a 3-part episode.  Granted, he only showed up at the very end of the first part of that episode, but it still means we got much more of him, as the reveal that Missy was the Master didn't even come until the end of the first part of her two-part introduction.  Finally, "The Magician's Apprentice"/"The Witch's Familiar" gives us some time to get to know Missy.

Doesn't she just look so inviting?  Don't you want to get to know her better?
As delightfully warped as Michelle Gomez's performance of Missy is, she also proves herself to be incredibly intelligent.  She has a very different moral compass from the Doctor, but that's about the only difference between them, as Missy demonstrates that she has as much intelligence and ingenuity as the Doctor.  Clara, in this episode, serves more as a companion to Missy than the Doctor, hence the title of the episode, making it the first time since the 1996 movie that the Master has truly had his own companion.  Missy's explanations of the Dalek homeworld and how it functions sound quite like the Doctor's explanations, but with the added danger of being willing to murder anyone without a moment's hesitation.

Michelle Gomez brings out a very interesting aspect of the Master that we've never really seen before.  We've known since back in the 3rd Doctor serial, "The Sea Devils," that the Doctor and the Master had been friends once at school, and we've seen glimmers of that friendship before.  There's been a begrudging respect between them, and a few temporary truces so that the two former friends can put their heads together to defeat a common foe, but Missy is the first version of the Master to make it absolutely clear how much the Doctor means to her, and is adamant that her multiple attempts to murder him over the years do not change how she feels about him.  Perhaps it's that her last regeneration (presumably) met his end trying to protect the Doctor (a long lost 3rd Doctor era plotline that Davies finally brought to fulfillment), but Missy genuinely cares about the Doctor.  In "The Magician's Apprentice" she expresses her friendship with the Doctor and explains why it isn't a contradiction to two people as ancient as herself and the Doctor, but it's only in "The Witch's Familiar" that she puts her money where her mouth is and mounts a rescue mission to save the Doctor.  In a way, she almost becomes a second companion in this episode, which is extremely refreshing.

Now, some people may have had a moment of hesitation that the Doctor is surprised at Clara's ability to get the Dalek tank to say the word "mercy."  Most notably because of this famous scene, which was also written by Steven Moffat:

This made me do a double take as well, because clearly, River gets the Dalek to say the word "mercy" a long time ago.  However, it occurred to me, the Doctor wasn't present for this scene, as he was busy wiring his vortex manipulator into the Pandorica.  (That might be the nerdiest sentence I've ever written.)  River is a brilliant woman, who knows a lot about the Universe, and certainly more than the average companion, but in many ways she is still a companion.  It makes sense that she wouldn't know as much about Daleks as the Doctor does, and that she would not notice that it was strange for a Dalek to know this word.  There's a good chance that she never got around to telling the Doctor about the time she made a Dalek beg for mercy, as whether or not he approves of this will largely depend on what mood he's in.  Even if she did tell him, it seems likely that he wouldn't have believed her.

The bigger discrepancy is this, which is also Steven Moffat's writing:

We don't actually see a shot of the Dalek from the outside saying the name "Oswin Oswald," but we do get it saying "I am not a Dalek" and a few other things which it seems, from Missy's demonstration, would be impossible.  Similarly, "Into the Dalek" features a Dalek saying a lot of things that "The Witch's Familiar" implies would be impossible for a Dalek casing to be able to interpret.  It's worth noting that Moffat is also credited as a co-writer on "Into the Dalek," although I do believe that's largely because Moffat gave himself partial credit for every episode in Series 8 where he threw in a little bit of story for the overall plot arc.

So yes, Moffat has created a bit of a plot hole here.  There are ways to rationalize this away.  We could say that this is a trait particular to the newly revived Daleks from after "Victory of the Daleks," but more likely than not it's just because Moffat decided that it was convenient to the plot, so fuck all those scripts he wrote in the past.  Personally, I think Moffat and Davies together have patched up almost every major plot hole leftover from the classic series, including the bizarre prophecy that the Valeyard would appear between the Doctor's "12th and final incarnations," and because of that I think Moffat can be forgiven for leaving a few very small holes of his own.

I got the distinct feeling that this episode was setting up the season-long plot arc for Series 9.  It would be very unlike Moffat to leave the series without a larger, overarching plot, and the stuff about the prophecy of the "Hybrid" sounded far too foreboding and interesting to leave it where it stands right now, especially considering that Missy continued to reference the prophecy after the Doctor had already defeated Davros.  At first, I thought the prophecy sounded too mystical for as scientific a race as the Time Lords, much like their "Visionary" from "The End of Time," but I decided that a time travelling race could have many non-magical or mystical ways to predict the future and see a "prophecy."  The fact that Missy said that she had just come up with a very clever idea once she was cornered by the Daleks seemed like it was also pretty clearly Moffat setting up a larger plot arc, with a return for a Dalek attack led by Missy later this season.  Remember, the Master has teamed up with the Daleks before, and last time the plotline was cut short due to the untimely death of the actor, Roger Delgado, so we never really got to see what comes of a Master/Dalek team-up.  Perhaps this is another lost plotline that Moffat intends to finally bring to fruition.

I've decided to do a little thing that's fun for me.  This series, I'm naming every Overanalysis after a punk song I like (that I think is appropriate) then putting the song at the end.  So, enjoy!