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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