JReviews: Doctor Who Series 9 Episode 1- The Magicians Apprentice

So, a new series of Doctor Who has begun. And we all know what that means. I am back again to ramble on in a timer-wimmy wibbley-wobbley fashion about the episodes. And due to the fact that I don't have a TARDIS of my own, I guess that the beginning is the only place we can really start.

Oh and by the way, River Song alert (a.k.a SPOILERS BELOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Not that River Song was in this episode, because that wouldn't be true. Anyway, getting on with it).

So. We kick off in the middle of a war were bi-planes have laser guns and foot soldiers are wielding bows and arrows and there are mines shaped like human hands with eyes in the palms in the ground all over the place. Anyone else guess where we were straight away. And even though I got it immediately, the revelation that the kid was Davros still made me flinch. Do I like this new revelation that the Doctor saved Davros' life. No. He already had to have the burden of not averting the Daleks creation and being the one who showed them that there was life on other planets, so why make him the reason their creator didn't die. Well, because it makes for an episode that's why.

Next thing I must note is how I love the old stuff they bring into this episode. The Maldovarium from a Matt Smith's time, the Shadow Proclamation from David Tennants era (we even got a glimpse of a Judoon, sadly not standing on the moon, nor holding a spoon) and finally Karn from way back in the sixties (and one of the 50th anniversary preludes). And I have to say, the snake guy is awesome, such a great idea for a villain (though it did make me think, is this guy trying to be Voldemort?), plus I cracked up when he said that he was a democracy. That was a good line.

Big news in this episode is that we have not only Davros coming back, but the Master (Missy) as well. Davros and the Master in the same episode. Very nice. And I guess that time freezing all the worlds planes is one way to get peoples attention. The obligatory hiding in plane sight joke must be made here, because reasons. Special "I actually liked something from Clara" award has to go to the UNIT scene, where Clara takes control of the situation, logics the whole thing and actually makes me think "yeah, this is good. And it's Clara?"

The medieval scene next. That whole guitar solo on a tank thing was ridiculous, idiotic and quite honestly one of the most wonderful things I've seen on Doctor Who. The jokes were brilliant and the fact he made a Mott The Hoople reference was pure, pure magic. So that is number one on my list of yay and nay for this series taken care of. Pete Capaldi certainly had charm and likability in this scene. And I've never mentioned before how much I like the Dalek puppets. It gives them a lot more flexibility as villains to have infiltration units, because, let's face it, even though it's not a usual Dalek tactic (i.e. not going in an killing everything) Daleks are way to conspicuous for stealth.

And finally, the last part. Now this is where the episode kinda slowed down for me. It's great that we have two characters of the same smarts (The Doctor and Missy) around, because one can go off and do the "confronting the villain bit" while the other can stay back and do the "I'm smart, here's some technobabble about how gravity tastes, then I'll get us out of here" bit. All of my yes to that. But I'm not so keen on the whole invisible planet thing, that's just a WHAT?! What I am keen on is First Gen Dalek designs making a reappearance. So much yes. Silver and baby blue baby, ready to roll across London Bridge. "Steven Moffet can't stick to continuity" point here though, Skaro was meant to have been destroyed in the Time War, so how did the Daleks rebuild it? Also, the final scene where Missy, Clara and the TARDIS get exterminated was painfully over-raut and even more painfully obvious that it was going to be reversed or an illusion or some other cop-outy way of undoing it. But, it's only the first half of a two parter (which this entire season seems to be made up of, which is nice). And judging by this episode and the preview, the next episode is going to be a blinder.

JR out.

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6 Responses to JReviews: Doctor Who Series 9 Episode 1- The Magicians Apprentice

  1. Nug says:

    Sorry to hear that you don’t have a TARDIS. I know what someone is getting in the Santa Swap this year. 😉 According to the Inter Webs they supposed to be changing the TARDIS in season 9… should be interesting.

  2. JR19759 says:

    @Nug- Oh, so they’re redecorating!

    I won’t like it.
    Also can’t ask for a TARDIS in the Santa Swap because of copyright. But I did one time get a chance to wander around the props area of one of the London studios and they had a TARDIS, so I have actually seen (and touched) one in real life. Didn’t have a key though, so I couldn’t “borrow” it.

  3. dreadyacht says:

    Ya forgot the end, where Davros (might) get shot by the doctor. However, I have a theory: I think the doctor will shoot the Handmines, and then Davros will become good, but then he’d revert due to paradoxes.

  4. Nug says:

    @JR: Hmmm… Perhaps a “Sidrat” then? 😉

  5. Malfar says:

    Yeah baby! JReviews are back, and so am I.

    First of all, just for the sake of tradition – a few words about the fact that this show is perfect in each and every detail and I love all of it. I always say that. Some tradition, eh?

    Anyways, the episode made me squeal. Maybe it was just because I missed Doctor Who so much. But even then, there were some amazing episodes. First, I loved the hand mines. They look very alien and that’s what I missed the most. Because alien weapons that look like human guns are ok, alien weapons that look like guns drawn by Jack Kirby are fine – but most of them lack the feel of alienness (does this word even exist?). But the hand mines – that’s what I call truly Alien.

    Now Missy. She so fine! No, really. The character is really amazing. Looking at Missy I can see the craziness of Simm’s Master – and somehow some character traces of Delgado and Ainley. Oh, and do you remember when she told about the Doctor abducting the moon and being a little girl and so on, and that one of these things is lies. Well, I bet you thought that the Doctor couldn’t have been a little girl…
    Or could he?
    That’s actually an easter egg from Missy. There you go (http://40.media.tumblr.com/bfac8e25e60dc7c3cd5a2d640780cdb7/tumblr_n6jdwxzLZV1qlwd7so1_250.jpg)
    You see this adorable creature? This is one of the first, if not the very first, photos of William Hartnell – the first to play the Doctor. There you have it – The Doctor was a little girl.

    Yeah, the episode was great and full of surprises and easter eggs. Like the moment where the Doctor started playing “Pretty Woman” when approached by Clara and Missy. And some moments were truly epic. Hearing “Exterminate!” from Doctor in serious, decisive voice was thrilling. And of course, the flashbacks to the classic series. The dialogues, the Fourth Doctor – fantastic. Absolutely fantastic. As it always was.

    But Boy did I have to endure lots of whining when I peeked into some of the Doctor Who fan communities. While waiting for the new season I forgot how much whining each new episode used to caused – and this tradition continues even now. Listening to some fans, ou could conclude that the visuals are still as awful, as Rob Liefeld’s approach to anatomy, the episode plots are written by a disabled coala and the actors can’t play at all, oh, and they are all awful. Guess I’ll have to get used to it again – the season has just started.


  6. JR19759 says:

    @Malfar- I tend to stay away from fan forums and stuff like that, because all people do is complain. People on a fan forum could find fault in the Mona Lisa or Dark Side Of The Moon. Although I have to say the plots aren’t as good as they used to be, but that’s comparing to David Tennant’s last series and Matt Smith’s first two, so saying that the writing is lesser than that isn’t exactly damning.