Doctor Who : The Magician’s Apprentice
This episode of Doctor Who has a fine pre-titles sequence when the young boy that the Doctor is trying to save from a group of hand mines (and how scary are they? I would have been shit scared of them if I was a child) is actually called Davros, and the look of shock and horror of the Doctor’s face says so much about what he is feeling at that moment. Capaldi really sells that moment and all long term Doctor Who fans will understand why he looks so aghast.
Up until that moment the planet could have been any planet and the war could have been any old war but, once that name gets mentioned, you know exactly what planet they are on and also what war was being fought.
We then got some visits to a few different planets with some cameos from old Who monster such as Judoon and Ood as well as the Sisterhood of Karn with the same leader of the Sisterhood as in the short McGann film for the fiftieth anniversary.
The character of Colony Sarff was interesting with his rather unique look and his rather familiar way over moving over ground which just screamed Dalek, especially after the Davros revelation so it was hardly surprisng that he was working for Davros, and looking for the Doctor, but why chose the places that he chose, does he even know anything about the Doctor?
It must be said that he probably does know much about him given his choices of places to find him. He also had him right under his nose on Karn but wasn’t quite able to find that out no doubt due to the Sisterhood’s influence.
It was definitely a jaw dropping moment when the segments of his face started to twist around and he turned into a giant snake as I wasn’t really expecting it but it was definitely a spectacle that some viewers won’t forget in a hurry.
One of the best scenes in the episode was the scene when Capaldi made perhaps the best, and coolest entrance of any Doctor before on a tank playing an electric guitar. I just couldn’t help smiling at that, it did seem a bit odd for the Doctor to do that, but not for this Doctor. This is exactly the sort of thing that you would expect from this Doctor and, therefore, entirely Doctorish. Yes there were some terrible jokes in that sequence but Capaldi was totally spellbinding in those scenes and you couldn’t take your eyes of him, he totally owned the screen at that point in the episode.
In this episode the Daleks and Davros aren’t quite enough for Moffatt so he brings back Missy after apparently getting blasted by a Cyberman in the series finale last year and Michelle Gomez is on fine loopy form as Missy in this episode and her banter with Clara is great in this episode and that is good because for the majority of this episode Missy’s scenes are with Clara and both Gomez and Coleman aquit themselves very well indeed in this episode with Clara always on her toes when she is around Missy as you just can’t trust her for one minute, even when she is appearing to be nice as it is likely one big ruse.
When Davros did appear in this episode he didn’t look very good at all and you can really believe that he is actually dying. Despite this Julian Bleach gives a great performances as the now seemingly weak and helpless creator of the Daleks who now doesn’t seem to be half as threatening as he normally does.
It is hard to imagine Davros as a young boy but this story does exactly that. On the face of it when Davros was a kid he was just an ordinary kid and you wouldn’t look at him and think that was he evil or calculating or anything like that, he would just be seen as an ordinary kid, to everyone but the Doctor who knows what he will become in later life.
When faced with the fact that he could stop the creation of the Daleks by allowing this innocent young child to die I just don’t think that he could go through with it much like the fourth Doctor said in Genesis of the Daleks as what right did he have to kill him at that point in time when he was just a snotty nosed kid.
Even when given the opportunity to kill him after he became the Davros in the chair he couldn’t do it, and then you could argue that he would have deserved it, so he was never going to be able to do it when Davros was merely a a defenceless boy I would say as that would probably have changed the course of history far too much for even the Doctor to cope with so the clifhanger ending where it appears that the Doctor is going to kill the child Davros is probably going to be totally the opposite of what I think it is supposed to suggest.