Doctor Who season 9 premiere ‘The Magicians apprentice’ review

So Dr Who is back finally and what just happened? That was a bit of a shocker opener. Starting off a child on an odd planet, asking to be saved from an ill fate – this child we later learn is… Davros, yep Davros. Then we transition to Earth, with planes mysteriously stopping in place on earth and the earth reacting to that, we find out that Missy was behind it and using a time trick to get Claras attention in order of finding the Doctor, who is in a different time currently.

The Doctor’s in ancient England as it turns out, messing with time and taking part in duels, acting way out of character, much to Clara (and my surprise), he’s not saving anyone or really being the Doctor as we know him, Davros assistant arrives and coerces the Doctor to come to meet Davros while Clara and Missy tag along. We find out that they were taken to the planet Skaro (home of the Daleks), seen in the trailer for this season and Clara and Missy are kinda screwed as they’re in a room full of ruthless dahleks who seem to kill them both and destroy the Tardis as things seem to be at their lowest point for the Doctor.

This season opener was different, decidedly dark and also non linear as it turns out, starting with a flashback and it was a tad off putting, simply because the episode took a while to really get going and for the Doctor to get serious, his antics in the past seemed a bit bizarre, although it was funny seeing him playing guitar… on a tank, playing up to the Doctors sense of having fun playing around with time. Getting into the meat of the story was good however, Missy was quite a welcome returning character even for a villain and Michelle Gomez is in her element, with some fun interaction with herself and Clara, who is seeming a bit surplus to requirements at some points, there to die or not know what’s going on, though she does have her moments of genius.

Clara on the whole is still a fun character and the dialogue involving her is always pretty solid and I like how she questions things and never just accepts supposed truths (well apart from the Tardis being  supposedly indestructable) and she has been a breath of fresh air for Capaldis Doctor, the show needs to really give her purpose and value and not just have her along for the ride.

The Doctor and The Masters relationship was questioned a bit by Clara and while not really explored here, it was interesting to see how Missy views the two of them. More interesting is the Doctors relationship with another old enemy, Davros, creator of the Dahleks and how the Doctor views him, the episode poses the question right at the end of stopping Davros as a child to stop his future endeavors and we’re left to question where it’s a good or bad thing. On the whole the premiere was… interesting, not spectacular but once it picked up, it definitely went to interesting places and seeing the Doctor in a position of real vulnerability was an interesting touch, piquing my interest to find out what happens next, how Davros became what he became and what made him.

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