The nine months between Series 8 and series 9 felt like an eternity. We counted down the months, weeks, days and hours until the beginning of Series 9. We’ve had teaser trailers and interviews keeping our enthusiasm high as we wait. Finally, the new Series has begun and the wait is over. Sync your time travelling diaries as we explore The Magician’s Apprentice.
This episode is a perfect example of how to begin a new season. It truly is a testament to the writers, producers and show runner, that a show that has been on the air for over 50 years to surprise us so much. In the first 5 minutes of the episode we learned the origin of Davros, father of the Daleks. A bomb had been dropped and everything I knew, or thought I knew, of Doctor Who changed forever.
There have been a lot of naysayers with Steven Moffat, Capaldi’s Doctor and Series 8. Series 9 may put all that to rest. The Magician’s Apprentice was loaded with surprises. If a show can keep me guessing, I’m happy. We see the Doctor much more relaxed and comfortable in his new form. Watching him let loose and wail out on the guitar was a treat. You could see bits of previous Doctors in him now. He’s as snarky and charming as ever. Clara has shown some real character development and is no longer the young doe-eyed girl chasing after the Doctor. When he was unable to be located by U.N.I.T. they conferred with Clara for assistance on an alien matter.
Davros is dying and seeks audience with the Doctor, but of course we know he has more sinister plans. Missy is back and even more bonkers than before. She helps Clara locate the Doctor and also helps her escape the clutches of the Daleks. Missy has revealed the complexity of the Doctor/Master relationship. They do care for each other deeply but have completely conflicting ideologies. I would not hold my breath that Missy has turned good. She intentionally vaporized several innocent people merely to prove that point.
The episode ends with the Doctor on Skaro witnessing Missy and Clara being exterminated by the Daleks. It cuts to the Doctor on a battlefield with a young Davros saying he is going to save his friend the only way he can and he yells “Exterminate!” He has nothing to lose at this point but will he really exterminate Davros?
Series 9 will have multiple 2 part episodes and if they are anything like this first episode, they will be action packed. I for one, cannot wait to see the second part, “The Witch’s Familiar”.