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[–] InternetUser 0 points 5 points (+5|-0) ago 

That was one of the most bizarre episodes of Doctor Who I've ever seen and I loved it.

Both Davros and the Master in one episode

The Master as a companion!

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[–] Agedwithaview 0 points 0 points (+0|-0) ago 

awww nuts, a spoiler (just kidding)

I personally am really enjoying the evolution of Capaldi's Doctor....

MA won't air here until 9:00 this evening (BBC America) - looking forward to posting how much I enjoyed the episode...

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[–] thoughts-from-alex [S] 1 points 0 points (+1|-1) ago 

I agree completely!

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[–] thoughts-from-alex [S] 1 points 2 points (+3|-1) ago 

Really, really enjoyed this. Thought it was excellent. I'm inclined to suggest this is one of Moffat's best - but, admittedly, that's true of every new episode he writes.

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[–] leon_hellppp 0 points 1 points (+1|-0) ago 

I don't want to be a Debbie Downer, but I thought it was a pretty bad episode. What did you like about it?

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[–] guinness2 0 points 2 points (+2|-0) ago 

I also enjoyed this more than almost all of Capaldi's episodes because it seemed more theatrical with a focus on constructing a meaningful and grounded story that both expands on the Dalek mythos and builds on the Doctor Who character.

This story seems meaningful and deliberate and well crafted thusfar and I hope it continues without the regular mess of irrational shit that just happens *(i.e. shooting a space ship with a golden arrow to "give it enough gold", the magical forest and all the lions that just disappear when the script no longer requires them, a new moon is created to replace the old moon etc).

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[–] facepaint 0 points 1 points (+1|-0) ago 

Not as bad as the trees episode.

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[–] thoughts-from-alex [S] 1 points 1 points (+2|-1) ago 

Well, all of it, to be honest. That's not so helpful, is it? I'll have a more cohesive and articulate response for you tomorrow, once I've mulled it over a little more.

What weren't you so keen on?

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[–] Project2501 0 points 1 points (+1|-0) ago 

Torn, watched it twice.

The good. Davros + the Doctor scenes. Every bit with Missy. The culmination of the three week party. Even if the hand mines reminded me of playing Zelda, they still were well done.

The bad. No real consequences, not for Missy and her past transgressions on earth, not for the cliffhanger. I really dislike the relationship of manipulation between Clara, and the Doctor. Then again, while I may like Moffat's writing for stand alone episodes, it gets stale for series long arcs.

The problem with discussing this episode. It really is only half an episode. Next week, some of my criticisms can be solved. Overall, if this series just doesn't have episodes as bad as some of the ones from series 8, it will be an improvement. And I like Capaldi, and Gomez, the two of them alone will be enough to carry this series, once again.

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[–] thoughts-from-alex [S] 0 points 0 points (+0|-0) ago 

Next week, some of my criticisms can be solved.

Yeah, my immediate assumption when I read what you said about Missy and her past transgressions was that it was possible they'll be resolved next week. I get the sense they won't be, though.

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[–] Agedwithaview 0 points 1 points (+1|-0) ago 

Both liked and disliked the episode:

I like Missy (maybe the Master should have been a female from the very beginning), the idea that the Doctor may be responsible for the creation of the Daleks, bringing a tank to an "axe" fight, all really good stuff...

On the other side: the piling on at the episode end of "oh no they didn't" moments (were so many needed?) could have been used for more time on the backstory - overall left me feeling that the episode was more of a setup for future than actually just a two-part story.

Regardless, am liking that Capaldi is showing more of the "insanity" of the Doctor (good fun there)

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[–] thoughts-from-alex [S] 0 points 1 points (+1|-0) ago 

Rather interestingly, at one point, Barry Letts and co considered having the Master be a female character from the beginning, but ultimately decided against it, because they felt that people wouldn't believe a woman could be that evil, or some such similar.

I think Missy rather decisively proves that the concept works!

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[–] Jamie_Dodgems 0 points 1 points (+1|-0) ago 

And they originally intended to kill him off when his first actor left, by having him sacrifice himself to save the Doctor.

Al things considered, that sort of makes Simms final scene as the Master a multi-decade, fourth-wall-straddling date with destiny.

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[–] majestic_goat 0 points 1 points (+1|-0) ago 

This Episode didn't have the same feel as the old dr who. Or am I just getting old?

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[–] guinness2 0 points 0 points (+0|-0) ago 

Yes, this episode had a different style, more theatrical and closer to many of the Doctor Who audio episodes IMHO.

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[–] junesunflower 0 points 0 points (+0|-0) ago 

Melodramatic.

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[–] leon_hellppp 0 points 0 points (+0|-0) ago  (edited ago)

Good

  • The opening scene (pre-titles) was intriguing. Great setting. The greys, the browns, the fog etc. come together to create a gloomy, sombre atmosphere, which was very easy to sink into, and very Genesis-esque. You know what you're dealing with straight away. I think the danger with casting younger actors is that their inexperience can pull you out of a story (e.g. In the Forest of the Night), but the guy who played child Davros was really convincing in his brief bit of screen time – which is great casting, because it's very important that the viewer is fully immersed here, for obvious reasons. The handmines were a great touch, although it's a shame that they fell victim to the old Moffat "there all along" scare (e.g. the tape running out in The Doctor Dances, the broken clock in The Girl in the Fireplace, and so on). I don't mean this in a big-headed kind of way, but I predicted the identity of the boy straight away, so there was not really any shock there for me, although I'm aware that others found it to be a surprise, and the reveal commands your attention either way.
  • The scene set in 1138 was enjoyable to watch. 12 emerging from the smoke, on top of a tank, with a guitar, in sunglasses, to take on a viking – that's going to be one of those things that fans still remember 25 years later, and I'm not sure that any of the other actors who've portrayed the Doctor could have pulled it off with the same amount of flair that Capaldi did. He's fantastic in the role.
  • It seems like I've talked about the acting a lot already, but I was also impressed by Julian Bleach's more restrained portrayal of Davros. I don't think anyone could top his original appearance in Genesis, but what we've got here is far better than the last time we saw Davros in Stolen Earth/Journey's End, where the excessive maniacal laughter made him come across as more of a panto villain than a legitimate threat. In The Magician's Apprentice, I felt that he was genuinely menacing in the delivery of that line about the Daleks' blood screaming for Clara to run, and it's great to see that again.
  • Set design was a smart amalgamation of new and old that didn't make the appearance of older Dalek models seem wildly out-of-place. Haven't seen many people comment on this, so I thought it was worth putting out there. And speaking of older Dalek models...well, it was a an absolute treat to see them in action again – properly see them, as oppose to the brief glimpses in Asylum of the Daleks. Particularly the Special Weapons Dalek, which I think everyone is quite fond of.

Bad

  • I think the dialogue has been suffering since Moffat took over as showrunner, and it's not getting any better (although, to be fair, it's never really been perfect). There are a couple of triumphs ("You want to know how dangerous I am?"), but there are still run, you clever boy-esque lines every five-or-so minutes. Everything is either sexy or saucy to Missy, even when the connection is something as tenuous as snipers targeting a perfectly well-covered chest; there's the obligatory references to social media and technology, which are clearly being written by someone who is completely clueless; and unique to this episode was that weird line about Jane Austen being a "phenomenal kisser", which felt hamfisted in to appease people who think Doctor Who is sexist.
  • The music was overdone. At times, it feels like they're trying to force "epic" when nothing epic is really happening. Perhaps planes stalled in mid-air would have been more impressive if they weren't trying to beat you over the head with the fact via a loud score. Same applies to that scene where Missy was zapping the UNIT bodyguards away. The moderate level of tension did not warrant the music. This is another one of those problems that's been around since series 5 or 6.
  • I just can't overlook the fact that, twice in one episode, the Doctor failed to realise he was on Skaro (unless it's established that the pre-titles scene wasn't set on Skaro in the next episode). In the second instance, he didn't even realise he was on a planet. This is the same character who said that he could feel Earth "hurtling around the sun at sixty-seven thousand miles an hour" back in 2005.
  • Similarly, it was hard to maintain my suspension of disbelief when it was revealed that Missy needed the help of Clara and some UNIT office worker on £10 an hour to find the Doctor. This comes directly after the Xavier/Magneto nature of Missy and the Doctor's super complex friendship is asserted by Moffat. The Shadow Proclamation don't know where the Doctor is, but somehow this nonsensical piece of software does, if given a bit of a nudge by Clara.
  • The "the Doctor is dying" trope was already wearing thin the second time it was used on 11. Using it again in this episode, alongside another apparent destruction of the TARDIS, and the apparent deaths of Clara and Missy (again), further trivialises things that should make you gasp. This is perhaps my biggest issue with The Magician's Apprentice. The Master, the Daleks, Davros, all together in one episode – there should be stakes. We should be feeling that something big is at stake. But everything from the Doctor's final meditation, to him pointing a gun at Davros again, have no weight, because it's guaranteed that nothing will come of them.

tl;dr

I'm sorry for the length of this post. On the whole, I think no episoe of Doctor Who is purely good or purely bad, and this one's no different. There's some great stuff, and there's some not-so-great stuff. I'd just say that, in this particular instance, the balance is pushed the wrong way.

Edit: This duped about 10 times. Sorry.

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[–] thoughts-from-alex [S] 0 points 1 points (+1|-0) ago 

Interesting! I wrote a review here, if you're interested.

I think, to be honest, the things you highlighted as bad - I can understand entirely why you wouldn't like them, but they just didn't bother me particularly? The only one that stood out was the references to sexiness - specifically the gravity one - but the occasional weird line of dialogue didn't really have any huge impact on my overall enjoyment of the episode for what it was: pure, unabashed spectacle, revelling in the fact that Doctor Who is back.

If next weeks episode is lacking, I think this episode will probably go down a little in my estimations, because the overall story won't be quite as good. For now though, taking the viewing experience as it was... I rather enjoyed it.

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[–] chags 0 points 0 points (+0|-0) ago 

Wow. Just... wow. I'm looking forward to see how this ends. It can be an epic episode.

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[–] thoughts-from-alex [S] 0 points 1 points (+1|-0) ago 

Me too!

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[–] IPFreely 0 points 0 points (+0|-0) ago 

I liked the way the Doctor made fun of Sarff's robe and called it a dress, implying he was less than masculine.

That ought to throw the SJWs in a tizzy.

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[–] thoughts-from-alex [S] 1 points 0 points (+1|-1) ago  (edited ago)

You have such a wonderful sense of priorities. What did you make of the rest of the episode?

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[–] IPFreely 0 points 0 points (+0|-0) ago 

I'm sure you hated it because Moffat wrote it and the Doctor isn't a black, female, blind amputee yet.

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