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Saturday, 19 September 2015

S9E1: "The Magician's Apprentice"

This episode was the best Doctor Who I've seen in quite some time. mind you, in dealing with some major changes in my personal life (an explanation for my hiatus) it's the only Doctor Who that I've seen since probably the Christmas episode, but the point still stands.

So, why was it so good? The first few ten minutes of the episode brought us to the past of Doctor Who, with visits to The Shadow Proclamation and Karn (and the Sisterhood), glimpses of ood, and I believe one Sycorax, a new, em, creature, Colony Sarff. But before all that, the name of the boy who was not going to die that day: Davros. (It's not a spoiler if it happened before the title sequence, right?)

Doctor Who has a grand and rich (nearly) 52 year history of elements to draw on, and Moffat used that to his great benefit for "The Magician's Apprentice," even calling on some stuff that was previously RTD territory, and that part of what made this season's opening episode so amazing. As promised and expected, it tore at our heartstrings in big and small ways, from the mention of Danny to the (assumed) destruction of the TARDIS.

The moment I realised something was terribly, terribly wrong is when I saw Clara's skirt when she was leaving the school and heading for UNIT. I don't know if you caught it, because I'm obviously not you, but it was blue. Clara is red, that's just who she is. But no, the choice was made to put her in blue and so that should be a major tip-of that something bad is going to happen--and it did.

The early return of Missy is something that captivates me. In a nod to Classic and Literary Who, Moffat made mention of the fact that the character of the Master and the Doctor are actually childhood friend by giving Missy the last-will-and-testament. I'm wondering if she'll become some kind of companion-esque character or if she will just be popping in every once in awhile.

As with any first-half of a two-part story, it's hard to really sum-up the story with just the first half to go by. I'll have a companion (heh) post to this one next week once we know how it ends next week--unless its a threeparter, or maybe the entire series will be one big long story, à la Trial of a Timelord. I've heard a rumour that Series 9 will be done in two-part episodes (maybe the ToaT-style deserves more credence than one might give it off the bat!). We do know the first six episodes will be two-part stories.

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