Peter Capaldi as the Doctor: S9 E1 The Magician’s Apprentice

Summary: Everyone’s Looking for the Doctor but he’s throwing a Going away party for himself

Plot:   The Doctor’s meeting with the Pre-Teen Davros so affects him he withdraws, prompting Davros, Missy, Unit and Clara to go on a full court press to find him. Where is the Doctor? Why has he sent his confession dial to the Master/Missy and why is Davros so eager to see him before he (Davros) dies?

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Writing:  This episode is part one of a two parter which makes the story deceptive. When viewed alone it seems completely discombobulated, but when viewed as a two parter (Which is a traditional 2 hour four part Doctor Who story) it’s a lot better. There is a lot to take in here and while there is plenty to like it’s very hard to follow, particularly if you haven’t seen the prequel. The real problem with the episode is the amount of throw away in it that wouldn’t’ be throw away in the old 30 minute episode format of the 70’s 80. Or to put it another way, good writing in a so so cover.

Acting:   Capaldi and Coleman as usual are strong, both get some fun time but even in her short time on the screen comparatively Michelle Gomez really dominates the episode. I thought gender bending the Master was a cheap stunt but Gomez is just so damn good that it’s impossible to not like her. Julian Bleach’s plays Davros as if he never left the role Colony Sarff is a cool villain as sidekick to Davros. Jemma Redgrave doesn’t get her due here and the cameos of Claire Higgins & Kelly Hunter as the head of the shadow proclamation are cute but have little purpose.

Memorable Moments: help me? Guitar Solo, Pretty Woman, Mickey becomes Missy, Would you rather kill me, The hunt.

Doctor Who Flashbacks: 4th Doctor’s moral dilemma (Genesis of the Daleks) , A series of voice overs from doctors 5 Resurrection of the Daleks, 6 Revelation of the Daleks, 7 Remembrance of the Daleks & 10 The Stolen Earth are played.

Oddities:  Getting the Tank in and out of the TARDIS would have been odd, and the Dude stuff was a bit weird.

Pet Peeves:   If Colony Sarff & the Daleks don’t know where the Doctor is Bros a Dalek slave, and if all it takes is one snake to make one into a Dalek why isn’t he just converting Clara & Missy. Do we really need the lesbian hint stuff?

Great Quote(s) 

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The Doctor: Davros is my archenemy. Why would I want to talk with him?
Missy: Now wait, hang on a minute. Davros is your archenemy now? I’ll Scratch is eye out

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Colony Sarff: Are you so dangerous, little man?
The Doctor: You want to know how dangerous I am? Davros sent you. You know how stupid you are? You came.

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Clara: OK, look. I guessed a party, but not like this. What is this? This isn’t you.
The Doctor: I spent all day yesterday in a bow tie, the day before in a long scarf. It’s my party, and all of me is invited.

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Davros: Do you know why you came, Doctor? You have a sense of duty. Of guilt, perhaps. And certainly of shame.
The Doctor: You flatter me.
Davros: Pity. I intended to accuse.

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Davros: See how they play with her. See how they toy. They want her to run. They need her to run. Do you feel their need, Doctor? Their blood is screaming kill, kill, kill! Hunter and prey, held in the ecstasy of crisis. Is this not life at its purest?

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Final Verdict:   4 stars. When I Watched it my reaction was What the hell was that?   This needed to be two 30 minute episodes

Ranking of Season:   1st of 1.

1. The Magician’s Apprentice

Top 10 Ranking in the Capaldi Era: 9th. My opinion of Robots of sherwood has grown and if it was considered a single episode with the next one it might have ranked higher.

1. Last Christmas
2. The Caretaker
3. Mummy on the Orient Express
4. Into the Dalek
5. Dark Water
6. Listen
7. Flatline
8. Robots of Sherwood
9. The Magician’s Apprentice
10. Time Heist

FYI you might be wondering why I took so long to start reviewing this season, it’s because no season required more thought to figure out.