MBR First Impressions: The Magician’s Apprentice

First of all, I’m starting this recurring feature on my blog called ‘First Impressions’ where I give an initial off-the-cuff review of something. It’ll be mostly Doctor Who Series 9 in the coming weeks 🙂


Bloody hell, I mean really bloody hell. I can’t be arsed being all mysterious and spoiler free so watch the episode first, then I’ll get straight to it.


~side note~ I’m never going to be a professional reviewer, ever.

That was far, far better than Deep Breath last year. If you’re going into this episode (like I did) with the Series 8 mindset of ‘this is gonna be poop’ then you’ll be blown away by the story. Capaldi is practically a complete new Doctor utilising comedy and charm and yet still being one of the most serious and scary Doctors. He’s now moved out of the bottom half in my big list of all the best Doctors. And yes it’s a big list because I’m counting most of these lovely people:


Could this be on par with Eleventh Hour for best series opener? I’m giving it a very close second place in that race. Can we start a petition to wipe Series 8 from history and have this as Capaldi’s first episode?

Three very different things happening in this episode, the UNIT plot, the medieval plot and the Skaro plot. Usually you’d look at that and say “Well it felt clumsy then!” But it absolutely didn’t.

The Earth plot needed a bit more developing, but served quite well as a push onto the next bit. Kate Stewart instantly improves every scene she’s in. A bit more information about how what actually happens when a plane is frozen would have helped.

The guitar scenes were my favourite. This shows The Doctor at his best: showing off and having a party! And the Dalek twist about Bors genuinely surprised me!

The Skaro plot? Oh my giddy aunt. Apart from an actual explanation of how Davros escaped that big exploding spaceship from 2009 he worked well. Julian Bleach has always been an outstanding actor, and withered dying Davros was fantastic! It’s so good to have a Doctor that can properly bounce off Davros, Four and Seven were the only other ones to do it this well.

And you know what else? Clara and Missy were a welcome addition! I’ve always been vocal on Twitter in my opinion that Missy is better than Harold Saxon’s Master and can bring much more ‘Classic Master’ to the show. And Clara wasn’t as over-the-top bitchy neurotic as she usually is! Yay!

Capaldi, Gomez and Bleach. Whoever had the idea to put these three together in an episode is a genius.

Now, the bits I didn’t like: That joke about Missy tickling the Dalek’s ‘balls’, the Special Weapons Dalek did diddly squat, UNIT shouldn’t be ringing Clara at her school for help nor telling some random secretary she might meet the Prime Minister, no explanation at all for what happens on the planes or how Davros wasn’t blown up back in 2009.

So to conclude: Probably going under the list of ‘instant classic’. The final MBR total: 8.5/10.


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