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Doc’s night out in Essex is cut short as we’re treated to the origin story of one of the greatest nemeses of Doctor Who

In the midst of The War on Skaro that started with some kind of referendum and lasted a millennium, the world’s last innocent little boy, a cherub by the name of Davros, is tossed a flashing stick by a crouching madman with a box, who promises to help evade the clutches of a hand-mine-field but shamefully breaks his promise by leaving.

Thousands of years later, that little boy has devoted his life to birthing and rebirthing an entire race for the sake of the universe, in spite of an incalculable amount of Time Lord meddling, but now nears his end. So he sends out Colony Sarff, a serpentine democracy on Heelys, to invite the Doctor around to witness his death rattle.

Meanwhile, the Doctor’s confession dial has made its way via the Sisterhood of Kaaaaaarn to Missy, who’s frozen all the planes in the world and rocked up in a hot-country piazza to sip espresso and take people from their loving families far too young. The universe is closing in on The Doctor; just how much has he got left in the tank?



Here's what we think of N118 The Magician’s Apprentice

We rate Doctor Who stories on a scale from 0.0 to 5.0. For context, very few are excellent enough to merit a 5.0 in our minds, and we'd take a 0.0 Doctor Who story over a lot of other, non-Whovian stuff out there.

Leon | @ponken


Drew | @drewbackwhen


Marie | @hammashandjelly


Here's what we think of N118 The Magician’s Apprentice

We rate Doctor Who stories on a scale from 0.0 to 5.0. For context, very few are excellent enough to merit a 5.0 in our minds, and we'd take a 0.0 Doctor Who story over a lot of other, non-Whovian stuff out there.

Leon | @ponken


Drew | @drewbackwhen


Marie | @hammashandjelly


Here's what you think 6 Responses to “N118 The Magician’s Apprentice”
  1. EcclestonIsBest

    The last Dalek 2-parter in NuWho so far. Davros wants the Doctor and the Doctor is going to die. Clara and Missy get shot. Hilarity (mainly provided by the Missy) ensues.

    Sontarans (things I liked):

    —return of Davros
    —return of the Missy
    —the widest variety of Daleks in one episode since The Asylum of the Daleks
    —everyone’s favorite thimbles are here: Supreme, Sec, Special Weapons, and even originals
    —trip back to Skaro
    —Cameos by the Ood, Hath, Sisters of Kahn, and the Shadow Proclamation (I liked them. Fight me)
    —Missy was funny
    —Medieval dudes
    —Return of the Dalek and Endless Dalek Night soundtrack
    —Handmines were creepy and we finally see a good child actor

    Pigslaves (problems with the episode)

    —Oh no! The doctor is going to die permanently no matter what. Where have we seen that before? Let me think. Maybe The End of Time, The Wedding of Riversong, or by chance The Time of the Doctor.
    —“You just need one thing: me. You need a Time Lady to show you how it [the Tardis] works.” BS. Missy haven’t you seen (he he) The Chase
    —Why the snakes? Yes, Davros is pure evil, but why walking (or slithering) serpentine democracies.
    —The moment I saw the “hospital” I knew it was Skaro.
    —How is that Dalek patrolling the perimeter of the city? It is an original Dalek type but it does not have the power dish on its back or the extra power cells.

    RATING: 3.9 muddy fingers on a weird eyeball ground hand.

  2. Guitar Playing Awesome Alfie

    The Magician’s apprentice was kinda cool. With the return of Missy with her sharpened stick and the OG Dalek at the end it gives a fan a lot to look forward to. However I don’t know why davros had to send Voldemort to tell the doc to see him. Also idk how they even can go to Scaro as I thought it was time locked. And how did old Davy Ross (that’s not a typo it’s just a cool new name 4 him) survive the explosion at the end of journey’s end. It was cool to see the shadow proclamation.

    The episode was on the ok to good scale so I will give it a 3.3

    From the tank riding, guitar playing awesome Alfie

  3. David E

    So…you’re telling there’s no Matt Smith, no Amy, no Rory and no Danny Pink!

    Can it really be? There isn’t an irritating fucker in Doctor Who for once!

    Capaldi looks better with more hair. While it feels a bit weird bringing Missy back so soon I really like her being a sort of pseudo companion for a bit. The whole stopping planes thing is best not thought about too much.

    Lots of Genesis of the Daleks callbacks..trying to imagine what a battalion of clan drones would look like. Good moral dilemma with young Davros and it’s so nice to see all the different daleks, even the special weapons one! Where’d they dig that up from?!

    All in all a genuinely fun episode…I’m usually disappointed by the second one of a Moffat two parter. We’ll see.

    I do wonder why it’s called The Magician’s Apprentice though. Random episode title generator?

  4. Eddie Rock | @TheEddieRock

    Hey there who back when. Long time listener, first time writer. What an episode for my first mini. Any episode with Missy is made exponentially greater just by her presence, needless to say, she blows my mind in this one. Her friendship with The Doctor is encapsulated perfectly here. She has so much fun it’s impossible not to love/hate her.

    Clara is a boss from beginning to end. Excuse me class, I know there’s crazy shit going on with planes but this secret government organization is calling me. As she then proceeds to stroll into UNIT and basically solve everything. Hands down the most capable modern who companion

    The Doctor somehow manages to pull off surly old guy and badass rock god cruising into a fighting pit on a tank dude! If the sunglasses weren’t sonic they would not have cost this episode points. Hate the sonic sunglasses.

    Davros is perfect in this. Even in his “weakened” state he manages to pull off his earned title of major series villain. He’s genuinely creepy and threatening without even lifting a finger. Though Colony Sarff is dumb and so cheesy he makes me cringe, in a bad way.

    In summary, I love this first part and give it a 4.5 out of 5 forehead stalked Vikings. Keep up the good work and see you in part 2

  5. Jim | @jimmythewho

    The life of little Davi Rosario hasn’t been easy up to now. He was born shortly before a galactic war spilled onto his otherwise insignificant planet, and he has seen more death than any soldier should have, let alone a child of ten.

    His days mostly consist of sheltering at home with his mother, and occasionally making raids on local food warehouses. It may not be much of a life, but his mother has a way of turning the most mundane things into games, such as Shadow Puppet Pictionary and Cockroach Buckaroo.

    There are still some other children around as well, and Davi’s mother lets him play with them at least once a week out in the nearby fields.

    War finally catches up to Davi, of course, when he’s separated from the other children in the field one day. Scared out of his mind, he freezes as he is surrounded by gunfire and soldiers.

    One soldier walks up to him, nonthreatening and calm. Without warning, a handmine grabs the soldier and pulls him into the ground. Tens more handmines sprout up and surround Davi. A voice comforts him through the mist, and an even stranger device lands at his feet. The owner of the device asks Davi for his name and he replies with the name he gives all the children: Davros.

    In summary: a generally decent episode with some massive liberties taken with character relationships, plot development, identification of mortal enemies, and the unquestioning march of inevitability. 3.6/5

  6. Michael Ridgway | @bad_movie_club


    • The return of the Seventh Doctor’s arch enemy…the Special Weapons Dalek! (Obvs. Davros and Missy were good too).
    • Snake dude on a hoverboard. More of him please.
    • The Sisterhood of Kaaaaaaaaarn!
    • Flashback to the Thal-Kaled War on Skaro, the bi-plane with lasers and creepy bio-hand mine things!
    • The ‘what-just-happened’ shock exterminations of Clara, Missy, the Tardis and Mini Davros. Gee wiz, I certainly hope you’re not just teasing the audience with a bunch of ‘deaths’ that you are going to wussy out of in Part II? That would suck.

    To Be Continued….(with many, many, Beefs).

    Summary: the medieval scenes (yawn) aside, Davros and The Master/Missy in ONE EPISODE! What a treat. Plus a soundbite of the Seventh Doctor’s famous ‘rice pudding’ speech to boot.

    Rating: 4.5/5 secret service dudes getting horribly vaporised for Missy’s amusement. That’s just mean, Missy. Just. Mean.

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