Doctor Who – The Magician’s Apprentice Review (or ‘By Avoiding Spoilers, You Get A Nice Surprise’)

Yay, Doctor Who is back!

And here’s the thing; since I have absolutely no interest in checking out spoilers – unlike a great percentage of the Who fans out there including my brother – I didn’t actually know that this episode had Davros or the Daleks in it. I didn’t even know Missy was in it.

So it was a nice surprise. If you knew all this stuff in advance, the chances are that you’ve ruined what would have been a cool moment for yourself.

Anyway, I’m led to believe that for the most part, this season of the show will have a number of two-part stories, and much like last year with Dark Water, I’m not keen on the idea of ‘reviewing’ half a story every

It's a bit like visiting your gran in a nursing home.

It’s a bit like visiting your gran in a nursing home.

second week.

Therefore, my plan is to do the full write-ups when each story concludes, but to keep my finger on the pulse, I’ll do these little placeholder articles at the end of the ‘Episode Ones’ if that makes sense.

So how am I feeling about The Magician’s Apprentice so far?

Here’s a brief Random Observations section to tide you over until next week.

  • The buzz on social media is that this felt like a Season Finale in terms of scale, budget and gravitas, and I’d agree. Usually the opening episodes have a tendency to be a bit flat, but this was straight in at the deep end level stuff today. I thought it was great.
  • Like I said above, Davros returning was a nice surprise, as I was hugely praising of Julian Bleach in his last appearance in The Stolen Earth & Journey’s End. He was just as good here. His line delivery is just fantastic.
  • Of course, with Davros must come the Daleks too unfortunately, and a bit like Asylum of the Daleks, I think that having lots of different Dalek designs was there purely to try to disguise the fact that they are such a busted flush these days. The Daleks have been done to death and have no appeal to me anymore.
  • But hey, when writing is as good as it was here you can’t fault it, and in spite of the Daleks, this was a great episode.
  • And maybe if we all cross our fingers, next week will result in them being written out for ever. That’s certainly what the exciting cliffhanger suggested. I doubt it’ll happen though.
  • There was a definite element of Star War-ishness to this. The scale, the ‘Cantina’ scene, the light speed stuff. But it worked.
  • If I was to be critical, I’d suggest that maybe though there was too much knowledge expected of the viewer for everyone to enjoy it as much as die-hard fans.
  • Although I suspect that line about the Doctor being a little girl was put in to enrage those very viewers.
  • When I come to review the entire story next week, I imagine I’ll dismiss the opening scenes with the planes as being unnecessary.
  • Capaldi is beginning to look a bit like Pertwee isn’t he?
  • The opening scene with the hand mines was about as ‘Moffat’ as it gets.
  • How did Davros get a copy of the Doctor doing his speech about killing the boy in Genesis of the Daleks. Was he under observation all the way through that story?
  • In a world of predictability, I’m not actually sure how the cliffhanger is going to be resolved. So that’s something to look forward to.

And on that note, I’ll leave you until next week.

Remember that although some of my Doctor Who reviews from An Unearthly Child onwards are hosted on this site, you can read them all by purchasing the eBooks over on Amazon. For more information, read this.



3 Responses to Doctor Who – The Magician’s Apprentice Review (or ‘By Avoiding Spoilers, You Get A Nice Surprise’)

  1. Frivolous Monsters says:

    I didn’t know it had Davros or the Daleks in either. Best way to find out. Live.

  2. Despite more or less knowing that Davros was going to be in it it still felt chilling to see Julian Bleach back in the role.

  3. Slavin says:

    Yay! It’s back!
    While I knew Missy was going to be in it, Davros took me by surprise.
    That’s it for now!

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