back to article Doctor Who storms back in fine form with Season 9 opener The Magician's Apprentice

Readers please note: THIS IS A POST-UK BROADCAST REVIEW – THERE WILL BE SPOILERS! Jennifer says: Last season, Doctor Who came in for some harsh criticism. Many felt it was poorly written, while others laid the blame at the feet of Peter Capaldi. And some of us, including this reviewer, would sooner have chewed off their own …

  1. davidp231

    The appearance of the Heavy Weapons Dalek was unexpected too.

    1. Anonymous Custard Silver badge

      Yes, it was indeed nice both to see the Special Weapons Dalek again, and also to not see the new abominations that got foisted on us a while back (the ones that look like they're made of melted plastic).

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    It was awful imo, the only redeeming part was clara getting bumped off.

    I mean seriously, dr who playing a guitar on a tank in the 12th century with no explanation as to how he got it there, wtf.

    I'm seriously beginning to wonder if the american bastardisation of dr who is becoming a bad thing.

    1. DJV Silver badge
      Thumb Down

      Grumpy Anonymous Cowards are gonna Grump

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        I shall become unanonymous and no I'm not grumpy I just thought it was crap. If I had wanted to see someone playing a guitar while riding a tank I would have watched mad max again (which btw was devoid of story but thoroughly enjoyable all the same)

        It made no sense whatsoever and it lacked a quarry.

        1. steamrunner

          Question: why do we need an explanation for how he got a tank there? He's a Time Lord. It's there. Explaining it might have have been fun and/or interesting, depending on the method, but it's hardly important to the ongoing plot at that point. He has a tank. And a guitar. So bloody what. PS: it was a fabulous entrance - my youngest son was all "he's on a tank! wow!" and loved it. Ergo, it gets my vote.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            because it's just silly, don't get me wrong I am a Dr Who fan but I do like it to be a bit realistic, imho it adds a bit of weight to the story. Tanks and guitars in the 12th century just looked and felt wrong, I mean seriously if you hadn't seen either what would your reaction be?

            This is just my opinion and as opinions are like arseholes, Everybody has one and most of them stink.

            1. JonP

              Tanks and guitars in the 12th century just looked and felt wrong I think it was just supposed to be absurd - it was an entrance, mostly irrelevant. The significant bit (possibly) was when Missy said something about the doctor kidnapping the presidents wife and being a she - one of which was lie (not verbatim obv), maybe building up to the next re-incarnation...

              I thought it was good - nothing particularly original, but nicely done all the same.

            2. Trooper_ID

              And my opinion is different. I loved the 'bring your axe' joke. It is light entertainment at its best, it really is. Full of homages to the past, a little pathos, and some humour. I am not even going to worry about why Clara is suddenly the essential UNIT go to girl, she just is, just like Martha [washes mouth with soap] was. A great great episode. Incidentally, just how did 11 get out of the Pandorica to give Rory the sonic and put Amy inside?

              Personally I just sit back with a tinny and slice of pizza and enjoy. I save my analysis for the rewatches. And boy, I enjoyed this one. This by the way, is the first Capaldi episode I have enjoyed.

            3. Jagged

              "I am a Dr Who fan but I do like it to be a bit realistic"

              - when in the history of Doctor Who did that ever happen?

              1. TRT Silver badge

                I have to admit, the "hand mines" were totally rubbish. Like some random idea thrown in there for no apparent reason whatsoever other than to give a little bit of peril.

                Awful, terrible.

                And then the Doctor was always lecturing about not contaminating the time line of a Temporal Nexus like Earth... I mean, fine if he was going to flashy flashy them like MIB, I guess he had a neuraliser because they had a villain on a Segway like MIB2, yes?

                though I did like "The Doctor is required", very WOTAN (except Doctor Who is required), and the 4th Doctor's little evil child speech was such a good circle that it just had to be done. The Daleks through the ages collection was brilliant.

                All in all, I'm kind of on the poor side of neutral on this one. I think it'll have to be a stunning 2nd part.

              2. Dadmin

                Only every episode. Do they not have mostly Earth-like gravity? Does the futuristic technology they dream up come out of nowhere? No, the great thing about Dr Who, and I've been a fan since the 70's (my first Doctor is number 4) is that the writing of science and technology into the show has been nothing but forward thinking, using realistic technologies and the latest scientific theories. Wrap that up in a fun show, and I was hooked for life. Rather the greatest thing about the "off-the-wall" technologies and the science in the show is that it stems from the real world and then is extended is a marvelous way that makes a great show. I had to erase the last season, and rightly so, as I began to watch it only to be foisted into a clumsy date with Clara. No thanks. Delete. Then I watched the prequel, then this new episode and I'm back on board. The show is heading in the right direction. I should know, been watching quite a while here. It's fun to act a high-and-mighty expert about how the show is so awful, or going off in the wrong direction. Just watch it and enjoy it. If not don't watch it and also keep your opinions to yourself, if you're such a negative-nancy. Shitting on things on the Internet is old a tired, get a fucking clue and enjoy your Dr. Who. Prats.

        2. heyrick Silver badge

          Did you watch the same episode I did?

          The Doctor wanted to make "an entrance". Now what would be cool in medieval times if you were a time traveller? How about rolling in on a tank while belting out some power chords? Anachronisms be damned, that was sort of the point (and how Clara tracked him down).

          FWIW, I thought that part was great. I also could have believed in bumping off Clara and Missy; but to also destroy the Tardis, it's a step too far. Something else is going on here...

          1. Spleen

            Re: Did you watch the same episode I did?

            The axe and the tank were a punchline. The setup was Missy's line about finding the Doctor by looking for "even the slightest anachronism..." which trails off as the first power chords split the air. Classic subversion of expectations. It was actually a double punchline - first The Doctor emerges with an absurd anachronism - the electric guitar - then an even dafter one emerges - the tank. Brilliant.

            And the handmines were great as well. Straight out of a small boy's nightmares, which is entirely the point.

        3. sisk

          which btw was devoid of story but thoroughly enjoyable all the same

          That tells us all we need to know of your taste. You're welcome to your own opinion, of course, but if you can call a movie "devoid of story" and "thoroughly enjoyable" in the same breath then I've got to say your taste in entertainment is sorely lacking.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      What has happened to British SciFi TV? What's gone wrong with Dr Who? Why does the BBC insist on pushing a self indulgent piece of drivel down our screens?

      I want to see Dr Who doing what he does best - going and dealing with scary situations and being mysterious and yet so familiar. Clara going is long overdue. Missy is not scary or worrying or challenging. A gender realignment has done nothing for the character and is another self indulgent piece of writing. The writers need to get over their fascination with trying to be hip with having a man-lady villain who is so keen to tell everyone how 'close' they are to the doctor. We get it and the transgender gag. What happened to subtlety?

      I wish the writers would just concentrate on innovative story telling. Perhaps there's just a few of us who didn't like it but I think when my whole family thinks it sucks and we're a wide age range, there's a problem. If the argument is that -hey it's for the young generation I think most don't bother watching it.

      Dr Who is now stupid. It's silly. It's not scary. It's not dark. It isn't clever. It wallows in it's past glory and cannot let go of a Dr Who who is fixated on his own guilt over and over. So Dr Who is amoral, guilt ridden, manipulative, and has lost his purpose. What is the point of the Doctor? He is less and less what makes the Doctor great. That perhaps reflects attitudes of our society, but personally I think that's an attitude that stinks.

      I think I'm done with Neo Post Modernism or what ever you want to call this incessant fad of the televisual equivalent of regurgitation and re-consumption of tired old ideas.. I want something new.

      1. Jyve

        Gimmicks over story. The last season was painful to wade through, but Clara leaving gave me hope. Now she's back, and... it's... I give up.

        It's jumped the shark, or Guitared the Tank.

        Maybe it's too much budget, where someone saying "hey, what if we get a tank, and the doc rides in playing a guitar, and... we have a castle set, with... 20? 30? extras? All garbed up? and some pyrotechnics on the tank, it's only a 2 minute scene, missy/clara collecting the Doctor who could have been pondering things by sitting nearby some water, eating jelly babies, lost in thought as Missy/clara walk up behind him, "oh, you 2, well, lets get this started then, again, eh?". Or even a several minute chat between Missy/The Doctor, with more backstory on what Missy is thinking/doing, and that she understands the Doctor's position, she too misses Gallifrey, but perhaps the TimeLords had their chance, after all... 'brief exposition', then arguments about their roles in the universe, how each see things differently, and something that EXPANDS the characters, the story, the plot.

        But no.

        Guitar playing, tank riding nonsense.

        Think I'm done for now, someone prod me when Moffat moves on.

      2. illiad

        Hey, dont worry... This is just the **first** episode!! :E Its good to see the doc 'messing about' for a change...

        And the BBC would have got twice the viewers, if it was not 'in the way' of X factor' !!

        Missy was 'leading' the daleks, she wanted to get 'exterminated'.. :) I am guessing next ep, we will have..

        Clara: " huh? where are we??"

        Missy:" why, this is the nethersphere, dear... :) "

        Or some dark thing about the doctor and davros...

        1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

          "And the BBC would have got twice the viewers, if it was not 'in the way' of X factor' !!"

          It will. Viewing figures "on the night" are dropping but "catch-up" figures are climbing. People (or families) who want to watch both will watch the live show and record the "not-live" show. Likewise, people watch TV in different ways now so not necessarily at time of broadcast.

          Don't believe the papers when they run stories of viewing figures immediately after any TV show. Wait and see what the revised figures are the following week when iPlayer etc figures are added in. I watched it on Sunday. I assume that because I recorded it on my VM Tivo box that VM will have figures showing how many of their devices recorded it and when it was eventually watched. THose figures won't show on the initial "day after" viewing figures.

      3. Simon Harris

        "Missy is not scary or worrying or challenging. A gender realignment has done nothing for the character and is another self indulgent piece of writing."

        Probably nobody can live up to Delgado's Master - I didn't like the John Simm interpretation either (although I feel Derek Jacobi might have had a good crack at it). I like Michelle Gomez (loved her in Green Wing), but might have made her a new incarnation of The Rani rather than The Master.

        1. Voland's right hand Silver badge

          "Missy is not scary or worrying or challenging. A gender realignment has done nothing for the character and is another self indulgent piece of writing."

          It is difficult to break out of the mould of the "Scottish Robot Woman". Her role in Green Wing was so brilliant that whatever she does for the rest of her career will always have a comic aspect to it. And frankly, she is a comedian anyway.

    3. Tony Paulazzo

      It was awful imo

      You spelt awesome wrong! Seriously (apart from the incongruous tank scene & Clara being an all important attachment to Unit), this has been the best Doctor story in too long a while.

      I thought Missy coming back would be a bit annoying, dead characters usually get a few episodes off, but she was brilliant!, and the episode was actually about the doctor, with a throwback to Tom Baker (I loved that storyline, Tom Baker agonising over killing the Dalek startup, asking his companions if they had the chance to kill baby Steve Jobs... er, Hitler, would they, could they do it).

      - and what's with all the Clara hate? I know she kind'a took over the show last season, and her love story was a bit sickly sweet... oh yea, ok, but I like her, especially in a good storyline ( for eg.

    4. MrXavia

      The Tardis is bigger on the inside... its been shown to tow things in the past.. .teleportation seems to be a simple matter for the Dr (he just doesn't use it much) so I have little doubt it would be fairly easy to bring one with him from the future if he wanted...

      Of course the key thing is this is fiction, and Dr who has never been a show to get stuck on things like science or the laws of physics... (the 'moon egg' one just made my blood boil... I can forgive many things, but that abomination?!? never)

    5. PassiveSmoking

      No explanation how he got there? He owns a time machine.

  3. cosymart


    What more is there to say. It had the lot... Daleks, snakes, more aliens than you could throw a sonic screwdriver at, Missy, Clara, Exterminations and exploding Tardis. :-D

    1. Dan 55 Silver badge

      Re: Fan-Tast-Ic!!!!

      I thought the last time the Tardis exploded it took the universe out and previously the Darleks couldn't just shoot the Tardis because it had a shield?

      I quite liked the last series, on the whole but this episode can be summarised as: Random shit happens. If it carries on like this...

    2. Zog_but_not_the_first

      Re: Fan-Tast-Ic!!!!


      You say that like it's a good thing. Where was the homage to Adam West's 60s Batman? And still no kitchen sink. C'mon writers.

  4. Tom Chiverton 1 Silver badge

    Clara's death ? Please, she and The Master are both wearing Vortex Manipulators remember.

    1. ArrZarr Silver badge

      Yep, and usually when the dalek weapons kill somebody, a body remains. Not true in this episode.

      Also, about the comment in the review that this could be why The Doctor was more secretive in series 8 after leaving Davros, it has to have happened after series 8 (I think) as he said that he didn't have a sonic anymore from leaving it with child Davros. Not bothered enough about the point to rewatch the end of series 8 to make sure he still had the sonic but I think it had to have happened afterwards.

      1. Trooper_ID

        er, the opening bit

        Did you watch the beginning before the credits where 12 threw his sonic to the boy davros in order to create a audio link, and then when he found out the boy was Davros, he left, leaving behind the sonic. Did you perhaps miss that? Or, as is always possible, I completely misunderstood the opening bit :-D

        1. Dan 55 Silver badge

          Re: er, the opening bit

          Yet the Sonic Screwdriver's hardware is replaceable, the software is synced when it's docked in the Tardis' console (The War Doctor). There was no reason for him to go without it.

          I'm not dragging stuff up from the original series like some do, just a series or two ago. Could we have some coherence from Moffat?

          1. Paul Shirley

            Re: er, the opening bit

            The Sonic may be replaceable but it's being misused (again) to solve every problem. Time to dump it, again. Only problem is this geriatric Doctor needs gadgets to paper over the lack of action :(

            1. Simon Harris

              Re: er, the opening bit

              At least this time it was being used to do something actually sonic (although a cheap walkie-talkie might have done the job just as well!)

          2. Tom 13

            Re: Could we have some coherence from Moffat?

            It's not just Moffat, the series invites contradictions. Remember, Mars is home to not one, but two ongoing threats to Earth. I do grant Moffat seems to be a bit more casual about it than most.

    2. frank ly

      "... she and The Master ..."

      That's " ... she and the Mistress (Missy) ..."

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Page #2, 2nd photo, CAPTION!

    "See you, did you just take a widdle in my TARDIS?"

  6. PiltdownMan

    I suspect Russell T Davis has had a quiet word in Moffat's ear...

    "You fuck up another season of MY Doctor Who, and you'll be next for extermination. GOT IT!!!"

    1. Vulch

      I suspect Mr Davis had a lot less, erm, "guidance" for his little revival of a minor science fiction series that had been cancelled years before, and was better placed to resist the increased level of "advice" as it returned to being a flagship programme. Hopefully Stephen Moffat is managing to shake off some of the barnacles that attached when he took over. Scripts like Blink and The Girl In The Fireplace along with his work on Sherlock show he can produce excellent work when he's allowed to get on with it.

      1. mafoo

        I got the impression last season they tried to target the show at a younger audience and pander to the kids a lot more.

        This culminated in the horror that was the forest episode.

        I still see that girl, failing to act - pretending to catch invisible butterflies - in my nightmares.

        1. graeme leggett Silver badge

          It is supposed to be a child-friendly programme. And taking risks with story-telling styles needs to be part of the mix to avoid staleness or repetition.

          1. Tony Paulazzo

            It is supposed to be a child-friendly programme

            No, it was supposed to scare children. In 1963, the BBC heads wanted the title credits changed and no daleks because it would be too scary, and the shows producers fought to keep them (if I'm not wrong, Verity Lambert, the first female producer for the BBC, but citation needed).

            In PC 2015 nothing scares the children cause they're downloading the worst that can be found (The Human Centipede) off the net.

      2. admiraljkb

        @Vulch - Moffat has done some awesome things, and I'm quite the fan of his work, but he spent most of his creative energies on the excellent Sherlock (but much of the time writing Sherlock like it was for Matt Smith). He's neglected Doctor Who for some time.

      3. sisk

        little revival of a minor science fiction series

        How could Doctor Who ever be considered a "minor science fiction series"? The classic series ran for over 25 years, which utterly smashes the record of any other sci-fi series. Not to mention that when it came back it already had a following to rival any of the Star Trinity (Star Wars, Star Trek, Stargate) before the new series even started.

    2. graeme leggett Silver badge

      Some speculate Moffat has been working on taking things that RTD did, and rewriting them "better"/bigger/differently.

      But my memory fails me as to what the examples were.

      Certainly Moffat can slip references/use past continuity as required subtly if he desires. (namedrop 'Planet of the Dalek'?)

  7. Zog_but_not_the_first

    At least it's eco-friendly

    Much recycling.

  8. trance gemini

    Oh my god they killed Clara!

    That was so good they should do it every week - South Park stylee.

    1. steamrunner

      Re: Oh my god they killed Clara!

      They could. There are many of her, scattered all over time and space, remember? :-)

      1. trance gemini

        Re: Oh my god they killed Clara!

        A new online mini-game methinks - how many Claras can you exterminate before the Doc gets medievil on yo ass ...

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Oh my god they killed Clara!

          with his medieval tank?

  9. Chewi
    Thumb Up

    To the point

    I'm just glad that they got straight to the point this time instead of fannying about for most of the series before finally ramping things up in the last two episodes. That was getting seriously annoying. And an actual bona fide cliffhanger? I can't remember the last time we had that.

    1. Paul Shirley

      Re: To the point

      What cliffhanger? He can't kill Davros unless they really intend to reboot the entire Who universe back to Hartnells stories. Rather obvious he's going to exterminate the handmines, then we'll be treated to 30min of idle chit-chat before Missy rescues us from boredom.

      That's the perpetual problem with Who cliffhangers, the resolution is normally limp.

  10. mi pen

    Its was actually the first decent Dr who episode in ages...and like all bad endings with the doctor it will probably be ruined next week with a soppy lame " Nah I wont shoot the evil Davros kid" bit and it will be awful.

    Like a lot of the decent ones (the few there have been).

    Overall the new 8 previous Dr WHO series have been cheesy and lame. About time it grew some balls like the old ones used to have.

    1. GitMeMyShootinIrons

      "Overall the new 8 previous Dr WHO series have been cheesy and lame. About time it grew some balls like the old ones used to have."

      Cheesy and lame - like the terrible, kids show scripts that poor Sylvester McCoy had to put up with? Or how about the third Doctor's Whomobile? While the newer run has had ups and downs (Clara...), the good old days weren't always that good.

  11. xeroks

    Nice choice of guitar too

    I'll bet the "which guitar would this doctor play?" was interesting:

    Strat - too "establishment".

    LP - fractionally less so (though Les Paul's personal guitars had a touch of the Tardis about them).

    Gibson SG/Tele/Jaguar have the rebel edge but are a bit too predicable.

    Flying V and Explorer - a bit impractical and 70s.

    The answer - a Yamaha SG7 (remake?) is a great one: A well respected, cult, mid-sixties guitar which still looks (to me) a bit ultra-modern.

    1. Admiral Grace Hopper

      Re: Nice choice of guitar too

      John Pertwee would have had a Gibson 335.

      1. werdsmith Silver badge

        Re: Nice choice of guitar too

        Hey, I have an ES-335. I have to rule it out of this because it's similar (though not exactly the same) as the Bigsby equipped ES-345 that Michael J. Fox used in back to the future.

        Pertwee would have had a Gretsch 6120 Chet.

        Capaldi should have had a PRS.

        1. xeroks

          Re: Nice choice of guitar too

          I can see where you're coming from , but a PRS is a bit bland.

          A good alternative I heard on twitter was a classic 60's Burns: British and a bit weird.

          I can easily imagine Tom Baker hamming it up with a wild sparkly reverse body flying V...

          Jon Pertwee might have borrowed one of Prince's custom jobs?

      2. Rich 11 Silver badge

        Re: Nice choice of guitar too

        Patrick Troughton would have had a banjo.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Nice choice of guitar too

      I didn't see the guitar, but it sounded like a 90's guitar. A Charvel & some active Jacksons or something.

  12. Anonymous Coward

    The most ludicrous bit for me...

    The most ludicrous bit for me was the UNIT 'Doctor Tracker Machine' that worked out where he had been. Clearly ludicrous because it showed him as having popped-up all over the world when actually he only ever goes to London or that quarry pit in Essex. :-)

    1. Simon Harris

      Re: The most ludicrous bit for me...

      They didn't really need a Doctor Tracker Machine in the episode, but they missed the opportunity of a guest appearance:

      Tony Robinson: "Well, we didn't expect to find a Challenger tank in this week's Time Team Mediaeval Special".

      That should have given UNIT the information to trace the time-line.

    2. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      Re: The most ludicrous bit for me...

      "he only ever goes to London or that quarry pit in Essex. :-)"

      He did spend some time in Spain when we all got to go diving down Peri's cleavage.

  13. Sporkinum

    Laffs were had when the unlimited rice pudding rant went by in the doctor-davros flashback montage.

  14. Alan Brown Silver badge

    Nick Cave appearance

    Or his music at least.

    Who's the fan that managed to sneak the Weeping Song into the Cantina scene?

    (The hook there is that it's from the Album "The Good Son" and as all Who fans know, nothing appears anywhere in the series without a reason)

  15. Whistlerspa

    It's just for fun

    Quite entertaining but I'm not a fan of the current Dr. Too intense and guilt ridden for my liking.

  16. Simon Rockman

    Loved it

    But then A knights tale is one of my favourite films.

    1. Doctor_Wibble

      Re: Loved it

      This was what sprang to mind for me too - I also liked his opponent's 'oh ffs is he every going to take this seriously' look when the tank barrel was pointed right at him, not 'omg what is that iron beast' or 'I surrender, this is not the Challenger I expected'.

      edit: I might have missed someone ID'ing the tank whilst concentrating on the pun but it looks like (+/- variants) it might be a 'Sword' which would fit the bill - in appearance and of course name, no such thing as coincidence I suspect...

  17. Boris the Cockroach Silver badge
    Thumb Up

    Well it

    hooked this jaded old cynical roach when the child said at the start "My name is Davros"

    And the entrance on a tank carrying a guitar to an axe fight I suspect owed more than a passing nod to Bill and Ted's excellent adventure... dudes

    Anyways... lets see what next week's brings...

    My only wish is that they start it at the right time at the same time every week grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr

    1. TRT Silver badge

      Re: Well it

      A Dr Who rip-off homage to a film that ripped off Dr Who in the first place?

  18. Trooper_ID

    Dear armchair critics that didn't enjoy this episode, next week, select one of the other quadzillion channels available and watch something else, a rerun of Top Gear perhaps?

    I hated, sorry, really disliked, the last series. I thought the stories poor and the Capaldi seemed just wrong. I know he is a fine actor, I put it down to the writing and direction. I was not alone, judging by the comments in online forums. Perhaps the production team (AKA The Moff) sat down and went back to basics a bit. If this new series continues in the way of The Magician's Apprentice, then we are ( sorry, I am) in for a treat. This is light early evening entertainment, and I was really entertained, throughout. Superb stuff BBC.

    1. IsJustabloke

      I'm glad you enjoyed it....

      But it seems a number of people didn't. I certainly didn't. Sadly for you I and others are as entitled to say " I didn't like it" as you are to say " I did like it" and they're entitled to make that observation without having some fuckwit say "don't like it? don't watch it!"

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      "I hated, sorry, really disliked, the last series. I thought the stories poor and the Capaldi seemed just wrong."

      But surely you don't know how good a story is until it ends?

      Episode 1 seems a bit early to declare the inclination to rely on 'magic' or 'metaphysical' crap to resolve a poor story, a thing of the past.

  19. djack


    I'm not sure whether I want the doc to 'exterminate' Davros or the hand mines. Either could work to be honest.

    However I have the feeling that this story is going to go the same as most of the big bad storyline - Moffat can't think of a clever solution so they hit the metaphorical reset button and the universe goes back to how it was.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Worried

      maybe they should bring in J J Abrams? It is missing a lens flare....

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    fan reactions

    It will be interesting, if not informative, to see the outpourings in the forums at Gallifrey Base. "hive of villianry" doesn't cover that ball-pit. I think those sorts who tick "I'd rather listen to a leaf-blower" in the episode poll must be trolls.

  21. Graham Marsden
    Thumb Up

    Magician, but no Magic Wand!

    Hopefully, therefore, in this series we're not going to have so many stories which end with a wave of the Magic Wand (sorry, Sonic Screwdriver) which were such a cop-out last time around.

    This series is definitely looking better, simply for the "Holy Shit" moment that followed the lines "What's your name?" "Davros"!!!

    1. TRT Silver badge

      Re: Magician, but no Magic Wand!

      The Magician... a throw back to the 3rd Doctor? The Time Warrior.

      1. Robert Carnegie Silver badge

        Re: Magician, but no Magic Wand!

        I think the first episode titles refer to Narnia books - although that probably doesn't help with guessing the outcome: "The Magician's Nephew" and "The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe". Although they've already had (1) "The Doctor, the Widow and the Wardrobe", and (2) Santa Claus pitching in last Christmas in "Last Christmas".

        Next episode "The Witch's Familiar" should be an animal, and may refer to Missy having reprogrammed K-9 or maybe the robot parrot from "The Pirate Planet", but I don't really think so.

  22. Six_Degrees

    I really wanted to like this episode, but the whole, pointlessly over-the-top medieval scene - or whatever the hell it was - ruined it. There was nothing at all about that scene that made any sense whatsoever. It was just plain annoying.

    The rest of the story was actually pretty good, but got dragged down into the muck by that scene. It served no purpose at all, other than to drop the audience IQ several points and prove that, to date, Moffat has still not been able to figure out what sort of personality his current Doctor is supposed to have.

    It may well be time, or past time, for this series to end. Or for Moffat to move on and turn the reins over to someone who can write.

    1. Elmer Phud

      It's my party and I'll die if I want to

      I thought Misssy explained it rather well.

      The Doctor was having a leaving do -- such a good time that three weeks had passed when he thought it was one day (that's Time Lords for you).


      1. Six_Degrees

        Re: It's my party and I'll die if I want to

        It reminded me unpleasantly of the faux character gits who show up and Renaissance Festivals, not in a good way at all.

        It also had the stench of so many Moffat episodes as being stuck on without much thought at all simply to satisfy some bizarre Moffat conceit, rather than to further the story.

    2. Jason Bloomberg Silver badge

      I survived the Bonothon

      I was reminded of many DVD 'making of' programmes where the cast and crew all high-five and back-slap themselves for having been incredibly clever and funny when they have in fact been neither, think it's the best thing ever done when it really isn't.

      I don't begrudge them the occasional slapstick but it could have been much better done; cut short with a "WTF?!?", a "Hello Clara, hello Missy", and on with the show.

      I actually enjoyed the episode apart from that. I usually let any nonsense just wash over me, but that was very out of place with the rest of the episode.

  23. picturethis
    Paris Hilton

    A season behind

    So across the pond, we're a season behind (just starting season 8 on public tele), I'm not really a fanbois, but I enjoy watching the series. I don't really care about the spoilers either, I still want to see the actual episodes, how their done, even if I know key events that will happen.

    Re Clara: I think the concept of (the impossible girl) is both a "blessing and a curse": blessing in that it's nice to see new concepts introduced which open up new possibities (for story lines) and a curse in that it gives the writers the ability to be able to escape situations with no reasonable resolution. This temptation leads to less actual thought required by the writers which leads to them becoming lazy with the story lines which ultimately yields a less satisying series.

    I like Jenna and the character she portrays (portrayed, apparently), I just wish the writers had given her a role in the grander scheme.. But since she and producers have been discussing her departure for over a year now, maybe that's understandable. But at least the producers (or whoever), knowing that she was leaving the series, should have used the time since to start planning for that departure. It sounds like they have from the season 9's epsisodes, but what happens next? It doesn't sound like they've figured that out yet, or if they have, they aren't telling.

    Is my mind failing me or when did her credits change from Jenna Louise-Coleman to just plain Jenna Coleman?

    Paris (sniff, sniff), for sorry to see her leave the series, or for "we'll always have Paris"... (I'll get my coat...)

    I know, TL:DR. Oh well...

    1. John Geek

      Re: A season behind

      re: losing louise, I found this article,

      which basically says, she dropped the hyphenated name going forward, no reasons given.

  24. Elmer Phud


    Wearing the hat that says 'pedantic git', did we actually see the Tardis destroyed or just loads of bright sparkly stuff followed with a couple of minor distractions with Missy and Calara getting the old 'EXTERMINATE!' treatment?

    Shirley any self-respecting Tardis would have the decence to explode!

  25. Alien8n

    The ultimate paradox question

    On the one hand I didn't enjoy the opening scenes, The Doctor as medieval jester doesn't ring true. But the main storyline was fantastic. The reminder that The Doctor and The Master (Missy) were the oldest of friends as well as comrades in arms before going their separate ways was good, but for me the best bit has to be the ultimate paradox question. Will The Doctor kill the child Davros to prevent the Daleks ever being created, preventing the Time War, or will he save him and hope that in saving him he influences Davros enough that he becomes a force for good instead of evil. Either at this point is a viable option given that it would appear to be The Doctor's abandonment of Davros that turns him evil.

    1. David L Webb

      Re: The ultimate paradox question

      Assuming that the child really is the Davros - rather than Davros turning out to be a very common name on Skaro and this all beng a misunderstanding with Davros having remembered something else entirely - then can the Doctor actually produce a Paradox ?

      Will Davros either have escaped on his own or always have been helped to escape by the Doctor ?

      From previous episodes we know that bad things happen when a paradox as simple as saving Rose's father occurs and killing Davros would be a major paradox. The Timelords at their height would be able to deal with such a paradox (and possibly the Daleks at their height - though they would have trouble supporting a paradox which resulted in Davros' death and their own nonexistence). The only thing comparable was the Master's Toclafane paradox but to maintain that he had to convert the Tardis into a paradox machine.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: The ultimate paradox question

        There's a Davros at my local greek kebab shop should I be worried?

        1. Darryl

          Re: The ultimate paradox question

          Does he remember?

  26. Trollslayer

    Getting there

    Missy is certainly livening things up, they just need to reduce all the angst.

    1. TRT Silver badge

      Re: Getting there

      No. Although Michelle Gomez is brilliant, the characterisations... they HAVE to make the evil one totally and obviously psychopathic which isn't what the old Master was like at all. He was selfish and scheming but totally rational.

      You see, the thing is, you can't have someone who is rational being classed as evil nowadays. The old master was very acquisition focussed, power, money, control etc. Very Tory-like, perhaps?

  27. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    2 MILLION viewers down from last season..............i'm sure its just a blip.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: UPDATE!

      Well the only way the BBC will be allowed to keep a program in the future is if its commercial success is low or non-existent, so maybe its all part of a cunning plan...

    2. hplasm

      Re: UPDATE!

      Sheep went to X-factor.


    3. lorisarvendu

      Re: UPDATE!

      Don't panic about the 4.6 million overnight figure. Doctor Who's overnights have been dropping steadily since 2007, not because it's shit and no-one watches it, but due to the increase in "record then play back later" equipment. All TV drama's overnights are down for the same reason, and all are experiencing increases in "watch later" viewers. Who is no exception.

      Back in 2005 8% of Doctor Who viewers recorded Chris Eccleston's series and watched it later. By the time Peter Capaldi came along, that figure was almost 30%. But the final figure is always the same - between 7 and 8 million watch Doctor Who nowadays, just less of them on the night. I'm a Who fan, but if I'm going somewhere on Saturday or watching something else, I'll record it for later too (though I still like the little buzz of watching it "live"). It's no biggie, and I'm sure most of the country feels the same now.

      Anyway, the X Factor is always going to beat Who on the night, because there's not much point in saving X Factor to watch later in the week, as you'll miss the chance to phone in and vote. Doctor Who (thank Christ) doesn't have a phone in.

      1. Number6

        Re: UPDATE!

        Yes, I watched it on iPlayer on Sunday, the broadcast time was not convenient to me and unlike when I watched it in the 70s, I can defer viewing quite easily.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: UPDATE!

        Just seen that Magician's Apprentice was top-rated drama of the day in Australia, and 8th highest programme overall.

        Also that it's already picked up 1 million plus on timeshift in UK. And an audience Appreciation Index of 84. So those who did watch it, thought it was good TV. Which is nice

      3. Anonymous Coward

        Re: UPDATE!

        > Doctor Who (thank Christ) doesn't have a phone in.

        Thank-you for phoning into the Doctor Who show. You now have the chance to decide what the Daleks should do with Clara next. Please make your selection now:

        Press 1 to EXTERMINATE

        Press 2 to ...

        1. illiad

          Re: UPDATE!

          press 2 to...

          delete all clothes!!! :P

  28. mlhifi


    OMG! I've taken this off series-link! I'm a HUGE Dr Who fan, but it started to go wrong when Peter Capaldi was cast! Sorry Peter; he's a great actor but wrong for this part!

    I won't be watching this new series ever again! I just watched a repeat of the Matt Smith episode set in Venice! Thoroughly enjoyable, funny, well acted and fantastically presented! Bring back Matt Smith although personally, I think David Tennant was "the" best Dr Who EVER!

  29. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    (I'm surprised that the GOLD TV channel reaches all the way out to Skaro, but there you go).

    It doesnt , you made it up.

  30. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "Springtime for Davros and Skaro"

    I was born in Alpha Centauri, and that is why they call me Rory!

  31. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Didn't watch it, however...

    The Guitar, is that the new 'Sonic Screwdriver'? Did laser beams come out of it? Was it plugged into the TARDIS and did the TARDIS change into an AMP and did the Doctor turn it all the way up to '11'? The Bird, who was in Green Wing, did she 'Gurn' all the way through the episode?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Didn't watch it, however...

      Posting when drunk - rule 1: your text wont be as funny/clever/witty (or just plain coherent) as you think it is.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Didn't watch it, however...

        Just questions, that's didn't have to downvote me cos you don't know the answers.

    2. Dan 55 Silver badge

      Re: Didn't watch it, however...

      Careful, if Moffat reads this you'll give him ideas.

      1. Crumble

        Re: Didn't watch it, however...

        Mr Moffat already has far too many ideas and insists on including all of them in whichever episode he is working on at the time. Result? Plot holes, continuity gaps, unexplained non-sequiturs that seem to be thrown in just for the fun of it. He needs a script editor with discipline.

  32. CanadianMacFan

    Was anyone else reminded of

    the snake bursting from the elderly author in Harry Potter when the servant turned into a snake?

    1. TRT Silver badge

      Re: Was anyone else reminded of

      It reminded me of Dylan Moran, actually. Petulant teenagers... they're just S shapes in hoodies.

  33. CanadianMacFan

    Promising at first

    When the child said his name I was really excited but then when the Doctor came riding in on the tank playing a guitar I was tempted to turn it off. I didn't really see much after to change my mind. I really wish Moffat would move on. I haven't like anything he's done in years.

  34. Number6


    Clearly the TARDIS escaped - I can't believe that such a piece of advanced technology wouldn't find a way to dematerialise pretty smartish if its existence was threatened. It's gone somewhere safe and the Doctor will summon it when he's ready for it. As for the others, you can't kill off Missy/Master, there's always a plot twist. Davros probably staged it all because clearly he already knows what happened when he was a child, the Doctor has to be pushed into doing his part.

    Anyone else notice Missy's reference to Danny? I assume he'll reappear by some means in this series and he and Clara will go off together and live happily ever after.

    1. lorisarvendu

      Re: Spoilers

      "Clearly the TARDIS escaped - I can't believe that such a piece of advanced technology wouldn't find a way to dematerialise pretty smartish if its existence was threatened."

      Providing the Doctor remembered to set the HADS.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Spoilers

      "notice Missy's reference to Danny"

      Just a psycho/sociopath yanking Clara's chain to see if she can provoke an "interesting" reaction.

    3. janimal


      Based on the quality of the writing in the last few years, it wouldn't surprise me if they use the "it was all a dream" plot twist.

      Or maybe 'love' will fix everything?

      1. Number6

        Re: Quality

        it wouldn't surprise me if they use the "it was all a dream" plot twist.

        No, this is Dr Who. They're more likely to reveal that this was a possible future depending on the Doctor's actions. Davros probably has a time TV in his office.

        Still, if the TARDIS was destroyed, how did he get back to save the boy?

  35. Grunth0s_T_Flatulent

    Seriously people ... can't you see what is coming?

    "Davros knows. Davros remembers'

    There is a debt to be paid ... and it's coming in the next episode.

    Now, as for this particular episode ... I actually thought it was pretty good ... they've gone back to a more 'jovial' Doctor character, whilst still maintaining the 'dark' Capaldi character.

    Shaping up to an interesting season.

    1. Super Fast Jellyfish


      Zathras knows, Zathras remembers...

  36. Archie Woodnuts

    I must be getting cynical in my old age

    Because I thought it was shite.

    Actual shite.

    I mean, I'm going to stick with it because I'm interested to see whether he kills young Davros - spoiler. He doesn't, obviously. - but I found his nervous breakdown with the tank et al to be tedious. Hopefully it'll be a clever plot point later.

  37. Dave Ross

    More ham...

    than David Cameron!

  38. JasonB

    Tto be honest ...

    ... I enjoyed every minute of it.someone seems to have realised that Capaldi can act, and for me he held the whole thing together from beginning to end. He went seamlessly from comedy to tragedy.

    I can't predict how the destruction of the tardis etc will be resolved, and am really

    looking forward to the next episode.

    Now Capaldi is beginning to look like the best Doctor to date. As for Missy, more of her please!

  39. msknight

    Meh sandwich

    Pre-Capaldi, I would make a date in my diary to see Who. Now, I missed this because I was doing other things and plain forgot. That's how much impact the Capaldi Who is having on me.

    I talked with a friend of mine who said it was an awful let down in the middle, but reasonable at the start and decent at the end. Sort of a meh sandwich, if you will.

    The other thing worthy of note was a discussion with another friend (a Who fan) where he asked me how I was getting on with Who. I said along the lines that by the end of the first year of a new Dr, they have grown on me; but strangely not this time. More surprising, was that he agreed with me.

    Capaldi is in danger of going down as one of the worst Doctors, but I think that the bad writing will play a large part in what could be an undeserved legacy.

  40. msknight

    Episode idea...

    Now, I'm penning this here, because I know that ideas go nowhere. Writers can't take fan-fic because of the risk of being sued, but here's something that I thought of.

    An alarm sounds. The Doctor responds and the Tardis turns up at a planet used by the Time Lords to store energy. It's bad energy; the energy that Tardis force fields have to put somewhere. After all, when energy hits a force field, it has to go somewhere, right?! So the Time Lords force fields work by deflecting attacks ... sending them through time and space to this storage vault ... but now, it is full to overflowing, and about to explode....

    Dum, dum ,daaahhhhhhhh.......

    (yeh, there's more in my head on this, but that's all I'm penning!)

    1. Chozo

      Re: Episode idea...

      Crossover with EastEnders special so you have to watch both shows that week to follow the story.

      1. graeme leggett Silver badge

        Re: Episode idea...

        An interesting idea, I wonder why they haven't tried that one before?

  41. hugo tyson


    The "Handmines" is just a crap pun on landmines innit. Cute that they're like the hand-from-the-grave thing in every zombie movie, but with dalek (biological) eyes spliced in.

    And my bet is it's the handmines that he's going to exterminate in the opener for Ep.2.

    1. Known Hero

      Re: Handmines

      I didnt get the handmines, "You cant move otherwise they will know your there", but they damn things have eyes they can see you !!

      Could just throw mud in their eyes.

      1. Matthew 3

        Re: Handmines

        I took this as movement-detection, rather than just seeing who was there. Many animals (including humans) are able to pick out movement more easily than a stationary object.

      2. Jagged

        Re: Handmines

        " just throw mud in their eyes."

        - invite them for a drink?

    2. Dan 55 Silver badge

      Re: Handmines

      And also the eye-on-hand design is taken straight from Pan's Labyrinth. Well, originally from Japan, but it's doubtful that they'd be in Doctor Who if it weren't for Pan's Labyrinth.

  42. Daz555

    I found them scary as a 6yr old (Cybermen and Daleks had me behind the sofa) but as an adult, how can anyone look at them without laughing?

  43. Anonymous Coward

    A real "timewar"?

    When reading the comments and checking the episode myself I have to wonder if we're not having a real timewar on our hands: that of the generations. It looks to me as if a majority of younger viewers seems to like the episode whereas more seasoned who fans don't care for all the "shallow" (action) twists.

    And I have to admit that I'm also cynical. My main gripe here is that the popularity of the series has heavily declined with the last season and as such they needed to make this work. My main dilemma is simple: when is something a harmless tribute and when does it become a shameful attempt to share in the others popularity? This episode is surely testing that dilemma because its "borrowing" settings from all over the place. From Star Wars right down to Ghost in the Shell. And I'm not sure I like that approach because Doctor Who should be setting the standards, not borrowing them.

    Then another issue: plot twists. Collect everything good about Doctor Who (Master, Daleks, time based plot twists and a bit of obvious mystery), add some spectacular scenes even if they are plain out ridiculous (tank scene) and you'll end up with this episode.

    The main reason I'm a bit meh myself is because apart from heavily borrowing plot twists from other work out there the series is now also heavily contradicting itself. There was once a time where the doctor was careful with influencing the time stream, this was even made obvious when he brought Vincent van Gogh to a modern museum. Yet now we roll tanks into ancient history, leave people to wonder where the electricity for the guitar is coming from and we don't care about the possible consequences. One would say nicely dramatic introduction, I can't help thinking: "fillers".

    And so we enter the real timewar: the older generation who lived the Doctor Who history and who valued some of the serious parts in the series and the younger who are more drawn towards the more action and less serious (dare I say shallow?) approach, at least that's my impression of it.

    Yes, it was enjoyable to some extend, but I also think the overall quality dropped a bit. Especially if you start using other peoples popular work in an attempt to repair the decline of yours. But of course people like it. The modern generation is, after all, generally more centered around itself and doesn't really care too much of their surroundings anymore. Who cares if I bother others when I park my car here, I should be allowed to, right?

    SO yeah, I say a battle of the generations.

    Personally I foresee an enjoyable yet incredibly shallow season.

    We'll see :)

    1. lorisarvendu

      Re: A real "timewar"?

      "My main gripe here is that the popularity of the series has heavily declined with the last season..."

      I have to question this statement. Disregarding comments on forums and noticeboards, the only real way the popularity of a TV series can be gauged is by audience ratings. Overall, 8.3 million viewers watched Series 8, compared to 7.8 for Series 7, 7.5 for Series 6.

      The corresponding AI figures are 83, 86 and 86, so yeah viewers didn't like the 12th Doctor as much as they liked the 11th. But then when Matt Smith took over the AI dropped from 88 to 86.

      So it appears that although more people watched Capaldi's first season, they didn't like it quite as much.

      I don't think even the most cynical of us could really call this a "heavy decline".

  44. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    At the end of the day it's science-"fiction", I get that but really it was crap. The last really decent episode I saw was blink, there have been other good ones but this was just crap for obvious reasons that myself and others have highlighted.

    Personally here is what I would like to see.

    Rules - You can't have time travel without rules, see every other show or film based on time travel, start messing about and it becomes stupid.

    Plot - I liked the introduction of Davros, it makes sense and it adds a nice plot line to be explored but to give it all away near enough in the first episode is a bit silly, audiences like to be made to think not have it all handed on a plate (at least I do, watch mr robot and see how a proper plot is done, one that will throw you a curve ball or 4 you never expected in a million years)

    Assistants - They are supposed to be just that, not romantic interests or main characters but there to assist and sometimes outfox the doctor.

    Again this is just my opinion but I can't help but think the show is taking a turn that will ultimately lead to it's demise. Putting it on while that god awful x-factor program is on is an indication of the direction and audience they are trying to get.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      The companion/assistant is there to be the point at which a viewer can connect. It is expected that the average viewer will imagine what it is like to travel with the Doctor, not be the Doctor.

      That's been the case from the very beginning (father mother and child ) to the "reboot" (Rose as the ordinary youth) and onwards. But modern TV demands more characterisation, the story is about the travellers more than the plot alone, so we get more feelings/background out of the companions.

    2. Spleen

      "Rules - You can't have time travel without rules, see every other show or film based on time travel, start messing about and it becomes stupid."

      On the contrary, no set of time travel rules has ever made any sense. There is no getting round the grandfather paradox. If you're writing a time travel story and you get hung up on "rules" all you are doing is storing up trouble for yourself - the plot holes just get bigger and bigger.

      Mostly time travel stories are just a variation on the "prophecy" plot device that has been around since ancient Greek theatre. We know what's going to happen and the drama is in finding out *how* it's going to happen.

  45. xeroks

    there are a few potential "outs"...

    without having to go down the "impossible girl" route of survival...

    We know that the doctor knew about the message long before the medieval tourney. He's manoeuvred the ladies and the tardis to get picked up by snakeboy at the time of his choosing.

    "did you suspect it was a trap?"

    "I still do..."

    Not sure who is being trapped by who at this point though.

    A previous posted noted that both ladies were wearing handy time machines, begging the question - why were they effectively jumping up and down shouting "shoot me?"

    From a plot point of view, I'm expecting more from the invisible planet thing. That's such an awesome concept that it demands more use as a plot device, and not just a way of dropping the characters onto a planet they supposedly weren't expecting. If this one wasn't going to be used later, moff would have just had the daleks teleport them there directly, saving that further star wars reference to hyperspace.

    1. Robert Carnegie Silver badge

      Re: there are a few potential "outs"...

      I've been pondering why Clara went into the trap with the Doctor, my answer: to bring Missy along. If the Doctor's going to certain death and Missy is free, then Earth is in big trouble. So Clara sacrificed her life to take out Missy as well.

      Obviously the Doctor went back in time to change the past and stop it from happening. Maybe he did zap Davros dead as a boy and we'll spend a while in a Dalek-free timeline, maybe where the Thals (generally not nice in Genesis) replace them as cosmic fascists.

  46. Toltec

    Sapphire and Steel?

    The plots seem to be more meta-physical than SF-physical, fun, but not really Dr Who. Having said that some of the earlier Drs had some pretty trippy adventures.

    In the next episode hopefully the Doctor is not going to return to a time and space that he has already affected, unless there is a good reason why the 'fixed point in time and space' rule can be broken this time.

  47. Ugotta B. Kiddingme

    happy happy happy

    Thank you BBCA for running Genesis of the Daleks on Sunday morning and thank you Tivo for enabling me to watch that BEFORE the current season opener. To see/hear quotes from Genesis at the end of the Magician's Apprentice was very pleasing. There have been a few times where "canon" was tweaked a bit or even completely disregarded. I am very happy this was NOT such an instance.

    I am also very happy that (apparently) Capaldi won't be dragged down with more terrible writing. There were a few bright spots last season (Listen, Time Heist, and one or two others) but most of it was truly awful. Looks like they've shaken out the cobwebs and are back in proper form. Eagerly anticipating the rest of the story.

  48. TRT Silver badge

    Davros really is ancient...

    his VCR only did black and white.

  49. lee harvey osmond

    "Magician's Apprentice" what?

    C'mon, you know the story even if you've only ever seen the sequence from Fantasia ... Mickey Mouse is the magician's apprentice, bored with carrying buckets of water, so he goes to the forbidden Teach Yourself Spelling book (a volume which I can recommend to many of my fellow commentards...) and changes a broom into an automaton to fetch and carry for him; but matters get out of hand, with hundreds of automata, and flooding.

    Let's select some events we saw and arrange them in timeline/parachronological order...

    (*) The fourth Doctor discusses "What would you do if a child you saved became a dictator responsible for the deaths of millions?"

    (*) The current Doctor finds he's encountered that dilemma, and he leaves Davros to die

    (*) Clara and Missy get zapped

    (*) The current Doctor returns that dilemma, or close nearby, and threatens to kill Davros himself


    (*) If the Tardis has been destroyed, how did the Doctor return to Skaro bearing a Dalek weapon?

    (*) How did the Doctor find himself being manipulated into saving Davros in a way that leads to Davros creating the Daleks?

    (*) The fourth Doctor chose not to destroy the Daleks saying that much good had come about because they'd existed, and there would be other opportunities to stop them ... has he set himself up with an opportunity?

    I'd say: the Doctor has broken one of the fundamental rules, he's returning to an established timeline to change events, and there will be a spew of events that get out of hand, and causality paradoxes galore. He wants to change events so that Clara and Missy do not die, and defeating the Daleks is a handy pretext to justify changing events. We've seen Clara in scenes pre-series trailers that we haven't seen yet; there will be more Clara, for a bit at least. I'm guessing we shall see the origin of the Impossible Girl, but, eventually, the Doctor will have to choose between letting Clara die and destroying time itself.

    Of course, all this is good for those of us wanting the lid to pop off the Time War, because then somehow we get both more Daleks than you can count, and the return of Gallifrey and the Time Lords -- except we won't, because that's the special sauce Moffatt uses to keep us wanting, and anyway there isn't the budget.

    I'd also compliment the production crew for the sets and sound effects ... Dalek architecture, ambient ticking noises etc are present as per both the DVD releases of Hartnell-era stories and the recent "An Adventure In Time And Space".

    1. Jagged

      Re: "Magician's Apprentice" what?

      "If the Tardis has been destroyed, how did the Doctor return to Skaro bearing a Dalek weapon?"

      - presumably happened before the Doctor went to see Dying-Davros.

  50. ShadowDragon8685


    The ending was second-most disappointing bit for me, honestly. Missy's reintroduction was the most.

    Handmines? Scary. Cheesy, but scary.

    Child Davros: dropped a WTF.

    Missy's back? First off, didn't the Brigadier take care of her so the Doc or Clara wouldn't have to? I'd have thought an overcharged Cyberman gun enhanced by Time Lord tech should have done the trick - or, if not, would have at least triggered a regeneration!

    Then, of course, there's the "no body" question. And, thinking about it in hindsight, Missy did "die" then, under very similar circumstances to the way she "died" now. Clearly, that vambrace time-machine of hers teleported her away and made it look good to those doing the "killing." This clearly also happened with Clara and the TARDIS.

    We've seen what happens when the TARDIS dies. It creates a vortex of time and blows up all of space and time, getting rid of stars and such, and replaces the sun of the local system with itself, blowing up perpetually. That is not what happened here.

    So, presumably, a TARDIS has a similar "get out of destruction" system in place.

    No, where I'm disappointed? We've already seen that the TARDIS will admit the Impossible Girl with nothing more than a finger-snap. I was fully expecting her to fake-out the Daleks, dodge towards the TARDIS, snap her fingers, bolt in through the door and shut it behind her, then leg it to the console and throw the old girl into gear as a dozen Daleks and their ceiling turret did their level best to exterminate it. Could have gone full Star Trek with that, sparks flying, instrumentation exploding, ceiling girders falling, etc.

    But the worst part was Missy's "reintroduction." Frankly, the idea that an entire team of snipers - whose whole JOB is to put the target down if they do something untowod - would hold fire while not just one but TWO of their fellows are just disintegrated - is absurd. Why even bring them - why bring ANYONE!?

    Frankly, Clara should have said "You know something, Missy? I have three words for you: All units, fire." Missy then does her blue "disintegration" trick under a hail of projectiles, causing Clara to say "well, that at least clears up how she did it. I know bullets aren't supposed to do that, and I've seen a Time Lord regeneration, and that was not it. Now, where's that time machine we should have in our own archives, eh? I need to go find my friend."

    The Doctor, rocking out with an electric guitar, riding a tank, however?

    Awesome. Entirely nonsensical, of course, but when you're a Time Lord and you're convinced that it's the end of the line, you may as well go out rockin'.

    1. davidp231


      There's nothing to say that Missy didn't regenerate.. Time Lords/Ladies don't necessarily have to change their look after a regeneration. Romana is a good example, and they can revisit 'old faces', as we saw in the anniversary special.

    2. Daggerchild Silver badge

      "We've seen what happens when the TARDIS dies"

      Alas that can be explained away - It was said that the Daleks got quite good at killing Tardis's (Tardii?) so, while making them nova would have been fun, it might also be tactically disadvantageous depending on the situation. So they also developed ways to 'kill' one without splattering its dimensional guts up the walls. It is possible, because we've seen a graveyard full of them.

      I would have liked to have said that there was no proof that actually WAS the Tardis (tricksy time lords), but the interior shot makes that hard to evade. I'm probably not going to like the eventual explanation.

      Why was Clara there at all? Snakehead was tracking her. If Snakehead's a double-agent, hurm.

      Why does the Doctor need the Master? Maybe the Doctor needs to fix his own timeline, and he can't cross it himself. ("*I'm* cleaning up the mess *you* made - Har Har!")

      1. Daggerchild Silver badge

        "I'm probably not going to like the eventual explanation."

        Called it. Daleks that could previously chronon-loop, disable and roast a Tardis alive (in the presence of Davros), have now collectively (including Davros) forgotten how to, and can only succeed in scaring it away, partially, leaving an invisible obstacle in their own control room. That they didn't notice.

  51. Daggerchild Silver badge
    Thumb Up

    Wow. Fantastic schisms :)

    Reading these comments really underlines to me how humans cannot (and should not) wholly agree on anything they care about. You could probly write a good thesis mapping the psycho-topology and frontlines of the Whovian battlefields :)

    I loved it, didn't like Russel Davies, and like Moffat! *throws himself into the melee!*

    PS: If handmines replicate by recycling their victims, they *might* even practical :)

  52. Borg.King


    Hopefully the youngsters won't try to recreate this by burying each other arm-length deep on the beach.

    1. TRT Silver badge

      Re: Handmines

      Come on. They've all got an iDevice in their hand nowadays.

      Boom tish.

  53. Morvellan

    Susan should return, played by Carole Ann Ford

    Peter Capaldi has commented that the Doctor's grand-daughter Susan should feature. Of course there is a certain amount of popularity to it but with Capaldi referring to it that may make it more likely. Of course Carole Ann Ford is older than all the 8 surviving Doctor actors but this is science fiction so there is no problem. I would like Susan to occasionally feature, played by Carole Ann Ford, not just a few seconds of her appearing and then re-generating (if she is a Time Lady). In the audio series Susan's son and husband have been killed so maybe she then found a way back to Gallifrey prior to the Time War. Maybe she survived and can somehow send a signal for the Doctor to home in on and thus locate Gallifrey.

  54. Stuart Elliott


    I was slightly miffed about the "dude" bit, but I coped, what bugs me in a time travel program is paradoxes, there are many in that episode, but I'll just give you two from the last 30 seconds.

    1. Getting to Skaro to potentially killed Davros again: erm, his T.A.R.D.I.S. was just blown up.

    2: Killing Davros with a Dalek weapon: hello.. WHAT weapon when Davros is dead?

    1. TRT Silver badge

      Re: Paradoxes

      Ah! Many people thought he did, but it turns out Capaldi doesn't have a paradox. They're made by Loake, a Kettering based shoe manufacturer.

  55. janimal

    magic crap

    The trouble with Dr Who is that it is kid's fantasy dressed up as sci-fi. These days I feel like I'm watching the truly terrible Merlin rather than so9me sci-fi.

    In story telling ultimate power must come at a price otherwise you can magically extract yourself and your friends from any peril.

    Time travel is supposed to be fraught with difficulties and potential universally apocalyptic paradox scenarios etc... These things should constrain the protagonist's ability to solve a situation and thus force some clever solution to be thought of rather than 'magic'

    For example if it is OK for him to dump 20th Century military hardware in the middle ages, then surely it is acceptable for him to use that same hardware (or future military hardware) to defend humanity.

    In fact, if time travel is so non-trivial that he doesn't have to worry about paradoxes or ripping the universe to pieces at the quantum level or whatever then a great many of hius problems can be solved by simply going back in time & removing the baddies at birth or going to the future and returning with OP future tech for the potential victims of evil to defend themselves.

    It doesn't have to be realistic, but it should at least try to be internally consistent. The trouble is that next time a 20th Century tank (or 24th Century armed flying car) will solve the problem that's what I'll be erroneously expecting.

    Series 1 of renta ghost was more consistent than this garbage. I'm forced to watch it because the missus does. At least it now has Michelle Gomez in it I suppose. I can watch her hamming it up all day.

    1. Paul Shirley

      Re: magic crap

      You've assumed a few things: that those middle age people were human, that the Doctor didn't know it was a trap, that what you saw was what was really there, that there was evidence left or anyone left to influence after that scene.

      It's a clever ploy, guaranteed to get watchers debating furiously till next Sat, when we'll find out how much the Doctor and the story teller lied this time.

      1. TRT Silver badge

        Re: magic crap

        As the UNIT team picked up the anachronism by searching history databases etc. AND that Missy managed to point her Vortex manipulator to the event, then I'm guessing it was on Earth at the time they said and was recorded in the history books. Something to do with the words 'Blue Box' and 'Doctor'.

  56. MJI Silver badge

    Better than the last series.

    That was not good, but this shows more promise.

    As to show running?

    Who else could do it?

    I generally like Moffats stories but his best were under RTD, and RTD stated he never touched a SM script.

  57. illiad

    If you dont want SPOILERS why are you reading???

    well you know by now it is something much more strange....:)

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