Doctor Who Review: The Magician’s Apprentice

Similarly to last year, I have taken it upon myself to write up reviews for the ninth season of Doctor Who. They may not be reviews in the traditional sense, probably more like extended ramblings of my general impression, but there will be spoilers. You have been warned.

Still here? Okay, you can’t say I didn’t warn you.

The big stupendous reveal of the day was not that Missy is back but that Davros is back. Yes, Davros, the mad creator of the Daleks whom we all believed perished in “Journey’s End” back in season 4. No, we do not get an explanation for this. The even bigger reveal is that the Doctor had encountered Davros as a child and had a chance to save his life. He eventually gave up that chance because he knew what Davros would do when he was older, but it appears this decision has haunted him. With Missy and Clara dead and the TARDIS destroyed, the Doctor is now completely at the mercy of Davros and his Daleks.

I wanted to like this story, but I felt a bit underwhelmed. The pacing seemed too slow to me–yes, I know it’s a two-part story that will conclude next week, but the buildup just felt really, really slow. Granted, I did like the parallels they were drawing to “Genesis of the Daleks”; I thought those were clever. Also, I did grudgingly like the friendship between the Doctor and Missy; it was nice to see them more or less on the same side for once. I’m still not a fan of having a female Master, though. Don’t get me wrong; Michelle Gomez is a good actress; I just still thing making the Master a woman was a mistake.

Overall impression–I wasn’t that impressed. Moffat’s written better two-parters in the past, so here’s hoping “The Witch’s Familiar” next week will be stronger.

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