Doctor Who is back! Check out Violet’s recap of the Season 9 premiere, titled The Magician’s Apprentice, where the Doctor has gone missing! Following the recap, both Violet and Josh share their thoughts about the episode.
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To see Josh’s thoughts on this week’s Doctor Who episode, The Magician’s Apprentice, click here to get directly there!
Episode Recap of Doctor Who, Season 9 Episode 1: The Magician’s Apprentice
The episode opens on a war. A soldier notices a child and tries to help him. A “hand mine” (a hand with an eye in its palm) reaches up out of the ground, grabs the soldier, an pulls him underground. More hand mines pop up through the ground and surround the boy. Just then, the Doctor shows up a little past the hand mines, and tosses his sonic screwdriver to the boy so that they can talk to each other from far away. The Doctor reassures the boy that he isn’t going to die, and asks his name. It’s Davros. The Doctor freezes upon hearing the name of the person who will become his archenemy and create the Daleks.
Over at the Maldovarium, Colony Sarff, a snake-like creature, searches for the Doctor. He then goes to the Shadow Proclamation to inquire about the Doctor, and then to Karn. On Karn, he says that Davros is dying, and delivers a message for the Doctor: Davros knows, Davros remembers, and that he must face Davros one last time. It turns out that the Doctor is in fact hiding on Karn.
Colony Sarff returns to Davros and tells him that the Doctor cannot be found. Davros, who still has the Doctor’s sonic screwdriver, says that the Doctor has a weakness: if you seek the Doctor, first seek his friends.
Meanwhile, Clara is at school, teaching, when she looks out the window and realizes that planes are frozen in the sky. UNIT calls Clara in. Kate Stewart and Clara try to figure out what’s going on. They get a message that comes through on the Doctor channel – it’s Missy. She arranges to meet with Clara and says to bring snipers.
Missy says that she can’t find the Doctor, that no one can. She brings out a confession dial, the equivalent of a Will, to be delivered to the Doctor’s closest friend on the eve of his final day. Clara reaches for it, and it zaps her. Missy makes her case about why she’s the Doctor’s best friend, not Clara. Clara asks Missy if she’s turned good, which Missy responds to by killing two people. Clara convinces Missy to make the planes move again. Missy and Clara work with UNIT to use an algorithm to figure out where and when on Earth the Doctor would go if he’s sure he’s facing the end of his life. It turns out to be where the Doctor is making the most noise but there isn’t any crisis.
Missy uses her time vortex manipulator to bring herself and Clara to medieval Essex. They watch as the Doctor makes an entrance playing guitar on an army tank as a group cheers him on. He notices that they have arrived, and introduces them to the crowd. He hugs Clara. Colony Sarff arrives and snakes come off of him, frightening the crowd away, as Sarff turns into one large snake. He tells the Doctor that Davros wants to talk to him, that Davros knows, Davros remembers.
He then tosses the sonic screwdriver toward him. Clara and Missy notice that the Doctor has a look of shame on his face.
In a flashback, we see that the Doctor abandoned the young Davros as he was still surrounded by hand mines.
The Doctor says that he is prepared to go with Colony Sarff. Missy tries to warn him that it’s a trap, but the Doctor merely tells them goodbye. Missy and Clara volunteer to go with the Doctor, despite the Doctor’s protests. The four of them teleport to Sarff’s ship, and it turns out the Doctor’s medieval friend, who finds the TARDIS, is actually a Dalek.
On Colony Sarff’s ship, the Doctor explains to Clara that Davros made the Daleks. Then he wonders who made Davros?
They reach their destination, what appears to be a space station, and are placed in a holding cell. Colony Sarff comes to retrieve the Doctor, and as he leaves, he says “Gravity” to Missy. She says she knows. After he leaves, Missy opens the airlock.
The Doctor is brought to see Davros, who wonders why the Doctor would come if he thought it was a trap. Davros thinks it was because of his sense of duty, and because of guilt and shame. Davros still believes that he was right to create the Daleks, and the Doctor says he was wrong.
Meanwhile, Missy and Clara exit the space station and appear to be walking in space. But it turns out that the “space station” is a building, and that they’re actually on a planet. Suddenly, the space facade disappears, and they’re able to see where they really are — Skaro, the planet of the Daleks. As they discover this, Davros explains to the Doctor where he is.
Daleks appear and bring Clara and Missy back into the building, where they have the TARDIS. They say that the TARDIS will be destroyed. The Doctor watches on a video monitor as Missy makes a speech, saying that they need her to show them how the TARDIS works. But the Daleks kill her. The Doctor gets down on his hands and knees, begging Davros to save Clara. But Davros says he does not control them. Clara tries to run, but they exterminate her as well.
The Doctor wonders why he has ever let Davros live. Davros says it’s because of compassion, which has always been the Doctor’s greatest indulgence. Davros wants this to be his final victory, and wants to hear the Doctor say it just this once. Meanwhile, the Daleks destroy the TARDIS.
We see the Doctor appear in front of young Davros, who asks if he’s going to save him. The Doctor says that he’s going to save his friend the only way he can: exterminate. And he points a gun at the boy.
Violet’s Thoughts on Season 9 Episode 1 of Doctor Who: The Magician’s Apprentice
So, I was actually quite on board with the Season (Series?) 9 premiere of Doctor Who. As you may remember, I wasn’t really all that excited about last Season, though I did really end up liking the Christmas special, which turned out to be my favorite Christmas special to date! If the episodes can continue to have that kind of intrigue, and be thought provoking like that, then that will really keep my interest in Doctor Who. I thought that this episode was a good indication of that being the case, with its very timey-wimey aspect that really makes you think about what’s going on. Did the Doctor cause Davros to become evil by abandoning him to the hand mines, but young Davros happened to escape somehow anyway? Was this something that had always happened? Or was this a new occurrence, something that the Doctor just now did to change something that already happened? Doctor Who tends to go both ways on its time travel rules, so you never really know.
It might have been easier to get into this episode because it’s a Doctor that I’m already familiar with, and already have decided that I like, unlike last season, when it was an all new Doctor that I had to get used to. And I’m realizing that I like Peter Capaldi as the Doctor more and more. This could be because I’ve found that I like Peter Capaldi himself, especially after seeing him on the Doctor Who panel at San Diego Comic-Con this past summer. I really enjoyed seeing the Doctor’s entrance on that army tank while playing guitar! I thought it was really awesome, especially knowing about Peter Capaldi’s background of being in a punk band called The Dreamboys with Craig Ferguson (yes, THAT Craig Ferguson) back in the day. (Click here for your listening pleasure of their 1980 EP, with Capaldi on vocals and lead guitar. You’re welcome.) Did anyone else think of Bill & Ted during that scene, or was it just me??
In any case, this was just Part One of a two part episode, which I didn’t realize it was going to be! Now it makes sense why the people who attended the New York premiere got to see the first two episodes! Jealous. I don’t like having to wait! So far, I am enjoying having Michelle Gomez back as Missy, even if they didn’t explain how she survived (though we knew she couldn’t have really died) at the end of last season. I continue to enjoy her performance. I’m sure you’ve heard the news that Jenna Coleman will be leaving Doctor Who soon, which I’m not really too broken up about. It seems like it will be about time for a new companion by the time she leaves. Honestly, I never really got too attached to her. But you never know, this season might change that…
But anyway, this episode is making me optimistic about this season of Doctor Who, and I can’t wait to see more!
Josh’s Thoughts: Doctor Who, Season 9 Episode 1: The Magician’s Apprentice
So I am not too familiar with Davros so far, as I have not seen the older episodes to become acquainted with him, but he seems like an interesting villain, and quite a formidable one as Missy indicates. I have liked his portrayal so far, and is more menacing than other villains in the Who-verse, including the Master/Missy.
I actually like this interesting situation the Doctor is in, but I am still trying to wrap my head around it. It sounds like we might be seeing the Doctor find Davros after the events of Clara and Missy dying, but I am not quite sure. Obviously if a “future” Doctor encounters Davros as a kid, he can completely change the future, thereby saving Clara and Missy, as well as preventing the Daleks from ever existing. Of course this would have cataclysmic effects on the “space-time continuum” (to borrow the phrase used in Back to the Future), undoing much of the world I would imagine, as the Daleks, for better or for worse have had a huge impact on not only earth, but the universe.
I do like that Missy has not folded and become a good guy in this episode. I had concerns that would happen, but she clearly seemed to keep her villainous self while at the same time maintain her “Batman/Joker” like relationship with the Doctor.
So as to what happens next, I am not sure. Obviously Clara and Missy are not going to remain dead. But I don’t see the Doctor killing Davros as a child. I have thought this iteration of the Doctor has seemed darker than the past ones, but I still do not think he is dark enough to kill a boy. But I am not sure what other way there could be. Hopefully when that other way happens, it is something interesting and not just some easy fix with a deux ex machina. The show unfortunately has a bad habit of using a lot of these, which is one of the pet peeves I have with it.
So far, I am excited to see what is in store this season. I am liking Capaldi as the Doctor so far, and I like his rock ‘n’ roll attitude he has. It seems he uses a guitar more than his sonic screwdriver lately, but I find it a pretty entertaining time. Especially the scene with the tank.
Scenes from Doctor Who, Season 9 Episode 2: The Witch’s Familiar
Here are scenes from the next episode of Doctor Who, titled The Witch’s Familiar: