The Magician’s Apprentice, Series 9 opening, it’s the first episode of a two parter (the second part is The Witch’s Familiar) and kind of sets the tone of this series; it is a good balance between adventure and drama, has some hidden surprises here and there, brings back old friends and foes as much as introduces new characters. It also has a good cliffhanger that makes everybody keen to see the next episode.
In the prologue, the Doctor (Peter Capaldi) is at the planet Karn, where he talks to Ohila (Claire Higgins), the head of the Sisterhood of Karn. She asks the Doctor if he is going to meet the one that is looking for him everywhere and he tells her that yes, he will, but first he will hang around for a bit. Before he leaves, he gives Ohila his confession dial and tells her that she knows to who she should give it.
This episode has also a prequel, The Doctor’s Meditation, that shows the Doctor in medieval times talking with Bors (Daniel Hoffmann-Gill), a man the Doctor had befriended after saving him, and we learn that the Doctor is troubled about events yet to come and needs to meditate before he can face his destiny.
With all the planes frozen in the skies all around the Globe, UNIT calls Clara Oswald (Jenna Coleman) asking for her help to find the Doctor. At UNIT’s headquarters, Clara joins Kate Stewart (Jemma Redgrave) and Jac (Jaye Griffiths) in a mission of trying to locate the missing Time Lord and solve the mystery of the frozen planets. But their plans are quickly interrupted when UNIT’s computers receive a very strange transmission that ends to clear up who is the mind behind the current problem: Missy.
The revelation that the Time Lady is alive surprises Clara, who had found her dead after the incident with the Cyberman. But Missy has an agenda of her own and persuades Clara to come to meet her in a cafe, only to confirm that she had frozen the planes to catch her attention to a bigger problem: find out where the Doctor is because he thinks he is gonna to die. The Time Lady shows Clara the Confession Dial and explains her that that piece of Time Lord technology is the equivalent of the Doctor’s last will and testament, delivered to someone of his trust at the day prior to his death.
With Clara’s help, they finally track him down on Essex at 1138 where he had been partying for the last three weeks. Teleported to the place using a portable Time Vortex, Missy and Clara scan the arena for some sign of the Doctor, but the Time Lord was never known by his discretion. The first appearance of the Twelfth Doctor at this series is something of epic and will last as one of the most memorable scenes of this episode: he enters the arena on the top of a war tank, shades on and rocking a guitar in all rockstar mode.
Clara is completely surprised because that is so not like him but Missy, obviously knowing the Doctor for longer, is just amused. They watch him from their hiding place while the Doctor charms the crowd until he notices their presence and use his charms on Clara only adding to her amazement of the Doctor behavior. The exchanges between the Doctor and Clara are quite warming and it is easy to notice how things have evolved in their relationship since Last Christmas. At the other side, the interactions between Missy and the Doctor are still quite funny, heavy with the old sarcasm and antagonism that permeates the old friendship between the two Gallifreyans.
The arrival of an uninvited guest puts and end to the funny moments and we see a very angry and also ashamed Doctor face the strange and almost magical creature called Colony Sarff. With the knowledge that he is an emissary of his ancient enemy, Davros, the Doctor accepts to go with him, but Clara and Missy don’t let him go by himself, despite his protests.
Colony Sarff takes them into his ship to a remote place where the Doctor will be put face to face with the creator of the Daleks, Davros in an encounter that will test the limits and the force of the Time Lord.
|Peter Capaldi||The Doctor|
|Jenna Coleman||Clara Oswald|
|Jemma Redgrave||Kate Stewart|
|Jami Reid-Quarrell||Colony Sarf|