TV Review: Doctor Who Series Nine Episode One “The Magician’s Apprentice”

Enemies Reunited

After a wholly unbearable wait of almost nine and a half months, Doctor Who has finally returned to our screens with the wonderful Peter Capaldi reprising his role as the 12th (13th or 14th depending on your own POV) Doctor with trusty Jenna Coleman keeping her place as loving assistant Clara Oswald, albeit for the time being with it being confirmed that she is set to leave the programme at the end of the series. Her departure will be examined at a much later date but for now, the return of Doctor Who featured everything you could possibly desire from a programme that even in its’ ninth season since its’ return in 2005 is running strong and arguably, is better than ever, with the overly dark, adult tones prominent in series 8 being continued upon, with themes of genocide, child killing, and regret all resulting in “The Magician’s Apprentice” being a booming, if rather eerie, return for the Doctor and his TARDIS.

When a programme such as Doctor Who has been running for longer than half a century, certain plot threads and storylines are inevitably going to either end up tangled up in knots or re-visited, something of which can be said of “The Magician’s Apprentice”, an episode that borrows heavily from themes first presented in Tom Baker’s classic episode, “Genesis of the Daleks”, a story in which the Doctor is sent back to Skaro by his fellow Time Lords in order to prevent the creation of the Daleks from ever occurring, yet instead of simply hiding from such, series nine’s opening episode takes one step further from the Fourth Doctor’s attempts by asking the question whether the Doctor would kill the creator of the Daleks if he met him as a child? The revelation of Davros in the opening scene in which the creepy, yet rather brilliant hand-mines are the cause of almost certain death for the young creator of the Daleks was simply excellent particularly if you, like me, refrained from spoiler-tastic Twitter feeds and journalists who stupidly revealed the return of one of the Doctor’s biggest enemies before the episode’s launch.

Of course, Peter Capaldi is excellent as the aging Time Lord running from the threat of Davros’ hate, whilst the rather anti-climactic return of Michelle Gomez as Missy sought to highlight the rather bonkers approach she has taken to the role of the Master who even through their many battles, still remains one the Doctor’s oldest friends, evident with Missy receiving the last will and testament of the Doctor, something of which was not sent to Clara, much to her distaste. If their are problems with the episode, these include the rather overlong guitar-wielding scene, and the cringe-worthy, almost wooden performance of Jemma Redgrave as UNIT Director Kate Lethbridge-Stewart, but with these being swiftly looked over, “The Magician’s Apprentice” is a solid return for the Twelfth Doctor, with the return of Davros being a rather unexpected bonus resulting in an eagerly anticipated climax to the story which is set to air this coming Saturday. Welcome back, Doctor Who!

Overall Score: 8/10 

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Posted on 21/09/2015, in Film & TV, Reviews and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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