Doctor Who Series 9 Episode 1: Magician’s Apprentice Review

the-doctor-who-season-9-trailer-is-here-and-it-looks-amazing-featuring-missy-the-daleks-499279This is the first episode of the second series of Doctor Who starring Peter Capaldi.  We find someone hunting down the Doctor in all his usual haunts, as the Doctor is about to save a young boy in a brutal war.  It seems that the Doctor is in hiding and someone decides to freeze all aircraft on Earth, in comes in Clara to figure things out.  Then we find the Doctor hiding in the middle ages.  He is having too much fun avoiding what he knows is coming.  The hunter then takes him to his master.  I will not reveal the details, but let’s just say this episode involves multiple arch-nemeses of the Doctor.
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I liked the Twelfth Doctor in this one, last series was one where Capaldi was learning where he stood and who his Doctor was, so it did drag a bit.  In this series he is sort of a Punk Rock amalgamation of the cranky curmudgeon of the First Doctor with the grumpy man of action of the Third Doctor.  There were a lot of shout outs to popular culture including the Twelfth playing the Doctor Who theme on guitar. I am not much of a fan of Clara as companions go; this seems to be a better use of her than last series.  She used her knowledge of the Doctor to find him, but when she discovers what is going on things get very hairy for her.
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I am not going to spoil the reveals of the various nemeses that appear.  Let’s just say it is fun to discover who they are.  The episode is about the consequences of the Doctor’s actions.  One question that comes up, is he too brutal or too compassionate?  Overall it cover a good deal of the moral dilemma that is the core of the Doctor Who program, even back at it beginning fifty years ago.  I rate this episode a B+.
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