Review: The Magician’s Apprentice
Series: Doctor Who #254
Also in this series: The Day of the Doctor *, Doctor Who Series 8 *, Doctor Who
Released by BBC on 19 September 2015
Genres: Science Fiction
Source: Seen on TV
Cast: Peter Capaldi, Jenna Coleman, Michelle Gomez, Jemma Redgrave.
When the skies of Earth are frozen by a mysterious alien force, Clara needs her friend, the Doctor. But where is he and what is he hiding from?
Doctor Who has started again last Saturday, and I thought it might be nice to write a short review about the first episode, The Magician’s Apprentice. This is the ninth season already, and though I still enjoy watching it, I have to admit the show is not as good as the first couple of seasons.
I do really love this Doctor, played by Peter Capaldi, and I really like Clara – played by Jenna Coleman (who announced this season was her last) – but I don’t know, it just feels a bit the same. Of course, with the show being on for over fifty years now, there are bound to be some repeats, but yeah I just don’t know what to say.
This first episode was a strange one, it felt too cluttered. There was too much going on in one episode – it felt like there were three different plotlines all pushed into one forty-five minute episode. First there were those hand things with eyes, and the kid whose name I shall not say because it’s a bit of a spoiler. Then we go to this creature that was DEFINITELY wearing wheelies looking for the Doctor in all kinds of places (The Maldovarium, the Shadow Proclamation, Karn – all places that the Doctor has been before in previous episodes); and then there is Clara in modern London and the planes have stopped – in mid-air.
I thought it was enjoyable, but the cliffhanger was just a bit – meh. I already knew that what happened wasn’t true, and that didn’t really make me want to watch the next episode that badly – because I just really hate two-parters and cliffhangers. Apparently, this season is full of two-parters. *sighs* The part I liked the best was the part where the Doctor rides into an arena on a tank, playing an electric guitar. I believe he was playing the Doctor Who tune, but that might have just been me? What also may have just been me; I thought a certain part of this episode was a bit of a parallel with season 1’s Bad Wolf episode. I’ll link you to a gifset of this episode that is a SPOILER IF YOU HAVEN’T SEEN IT YET! (Click here for the SPOILER-FILLED gifset)
The characters were nice, I loved Twelve and Clara; Missy not so much (I mean I like the Master as a character, but the Missy incarnation is very annoying). We saw some old characters (like that woman from the Shadow Proclamation and a Judoon) which I liked, and some which I didn’t like (again, spoilers). I think my favourite in this episode was Clara, because she kind of took control of the whole plane-situation in the Doctor’s absence. And I just really like Jenna Coleman.
But yeah I just don’t know what to really think about this episode. Maybe the second part of this two-parter – The Witch’s Familiar – will be a bit better, maybe it’ll feel more like one episode. I am going to watch it, of course, but honestly I won’t be too upset if I forgot about it and had to watch it later in the evening (or the next day). I personally just think that the first episode of a season has to be super strong in order to get your audience to keep watching. Maybe Steven Moffat thought that having a two-parter start the season was a good idea, but it just forces people to watch the second episode to know what happens to their favourite characters.
In the end, I did enjoy this episode, like I said, but I would have loved for it to feel more ‘whole’, not like they had five different ideas and decided to put it into one episode. I won’t be writing a review about every episode, perhaps just the first one and maybe one general review at the end of the season? I’ll see about it.
My opinion in one gif: