The Magician’s Apprentice

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    jphamlore @jphamlore

    @juniperfish: Weren’t the Thals shown in the very first Dr. Who classic series as fighting the Daleks?

    @bluesqueakpip: You stated exactly what I have thought needed to be done with the Daleks.

    I congratulate Steven Moffat for finally apparently trying to lance the boil that has been destroying any chance of moral legitimacy for the Doctor. Before this storyline he was a murderer with the blood of possibly trillions on his hands. As I wrote in the spoiler section last night before this episode was shown, the Doctor wound up making the Dalek problem infinitely worse with his interference in Genesis of the Daleks. Even then it was clear the Doctor created the menace of Davros by showing Davros the possibilities of interstellar and time travel.

    I conjecture Davros at least has limited time travel, especially with the sonic screwdriver as a homing signal, at least relative to Skaro so he can send the Doctor back to when the Doctor first met Davros as a young boy.

    So I conjecture that Missy and Clara are actually dead, but Davros wants to force the Doctor to go back in time and try and alter it to save their lives.

    Because what really is the philosophical dispute between the Doctor and Davros? It is freedom vs authoritarianism. What Davros wants to do is force the Doctor to explicitly mold the future, to attempt to achieve perfection, as opposed to letting certain things have their freedom to make decisions.

    Anonymous @

    @thekrynoidman – Great jokes!! Equal to @pedant’s which stopped me from getting to the second post until I could recover. And Missy moves past Roberts on your list! Cool. Thanks for pointing out the 1960’s Daleks, I have no idea how you know that. I still can’t see the difference, except the new daleks and Supreme Dalek.

    I thought the first Doctor said that “you can’t re-write time, not one line” or something to that effect. So why does the Doctor introduce modern phrases and technology to medieval britain?

    That could be explained by catastrophe of some kind. The Doctor knows history so he could have picked a town he knows gets destroyed by fire, plague, dinosaurs (well maybe not but you get idea).  It would have to be one that is famous and can’t be changed, like Pompeii or the Doctor would try to stop it from happening.

    I think the Snakeman captured them and turned them into Daleks.

    The battlefield, with WWII weapons, biplanes, and bows reminds me of the matrix from Deadly Assassin? I have no idea how that makes sense, but that could just be a distraction.

    I like @bluesqueakpip’s theory that Davros got injured because of the Doctor. So Missy is working for the TL’s to stop the Doctor. That’s cool because that’s usually what the Doctor does. That would explain why Missy would be trying to help the TL’s return too.


    Nice idea about the Handmines, giving Davros the idea of eye stalks.

    bendubz11 @bendubz11

    First post in here and all I can say about that series opener is wow. This was the best episode I’ve seen in a long time, and the first time since “Forest of the Dead” that a cliffhanger has actually shocked me. It left two quotes running through my head, and I haven’t been able to remove them since.

    The first is “You either die the hero or live long enough to see yourself become the villain”. Pretty obvious why, and I have a feeling that may have been Davros’ attempt to get a final victory over his arch-nemesis. Especially when you consider he’s accepted he no longer has control over the Daleks, or at least that’s what he wants The Doctor to believe.

    The second one just shows SM probably started planning this storyline the moment The 50th anniversary special was written. “You would make a good Dalek”.

    bendubz11 @bendubz11

    Also I loved the massive hint that Missy may actually have been telling the truth about Gallifrey at the end of the last series with Skaro being invisible (remember Capaldi didn’t try to step out o the TARDIS, it could easily be there)

    jphamlore @jphamlore

    More horrifying since the young Davros will survive, the Doctor just taught him the Daleks signature phrase of “Exterminate!”

    jphamlore @jphamlore

    It is interesting to me the Daleks wish not to obtain the secrets of the Tardis, which they were offered by Missy, but to destroy it. Perhaps the Tardis does contain the Time Lord’s Eye of Harmony, the only captured black hole singularity that gives the Time Lord control over time. The Daleks must feel they are winning and that only time travel can defeat them.

    The series has gone partly medieval this season and I suspect will go even more so, based on current popular series fashion. This is a promising sign that something will be done to incorporate themes from the movie Interstellar, while it is trendy and remains in the mind of those who saw the movie.

    bendubz11 @bendubz11

    @jphamlore and if yound davros does indeed die it would change a massive amount of the Doctor’s own history, and we all know what paradoxes mean!

    jphamlore @jphamlore

    Colony Sav reminded me of the Mara.

    If Davros has had the sonic screwdriver ever since his childhood, has he deciphered the program the Doctors used to hide Gallifrey in the first place?

    Anonymous @

    Pretty comprehensive look at the references and continuity behind this episode here, might be helpful to those who aren’t as familiar with the classic series.

    Bluesqueakpip @bluesqueakpip

    Re: ‘puppy’. Remember this is Missy. She’s trying to twist the knife with Clara. So she describes the relationship as demeaningly as she can.

    What do a lot of childless people say? ‘My dogs are like my children‘. 😉

    Devilishrobby @devilishrobby

    Loved the episode, but I can’t shake the feeling that perhaps there is something going on that we can’t/haven’t seen yet. It seems just a bit too convenient that that the doctor is trapped with one of his oldest nemesis. One wonders if perhaps given what happened if the doctors perceptions of what happened are being messed with.


    Juniperfish @juniperfish


    Yes, Skaro was inhabited by two peoples, the Thals and the Kaleds. They were involved in a horrific war, and Davros was the chief scientists to the Kaleds. He invented the daleks (a re-working of the Kaled name) to give the Kaleds the advantage (see Genesis of the Daleks). So, if we are back on Skaro, it would be nice to find out what happened to the Thals. Presumably they were totally annihilated or enslaved. It depends what time-zone we are in on Skaro in Davro’s re-turn in The Magician’s Apprentice. Obviously, in the boy Davros flashbacks, the Thals were present (although not named).


    Welcome! I can’t find the Maisie Williams trailer on the BBC Who website for another look, so can’t speculate on her relationship to the Doc. I think @craig (the forum creator) has just started a new thread for discussing official BBC spoilers – trailers and the like. So that’s probably the place to discuss them now. Maybe someone can post a link to the trailer in question there?

    geoffers @geoffers


    “I can’t shake the feeling that perhaps there is something going on that we can’t/haven’t seen yet…”

    indeed. upon a second watch, i realized that the daleks knew exactly where/when the doctor was hanging out, because bors is one of their “puppets,” like the ones in ‘The Dalek Asylum.’ so, what reason do they have for keeping this knowledge of his location from davros? or were they just waiting for missy and/or clara to show up? if so, why?

    or was this just a sloppily written scene, meant only to get the tardis to skaro? (i fervently hope not!)


    Tennantmarsters2013 @tennantmarsters2013

    I absolutely loved this episode!


    Obviously if the doctor kills davros child that would throw up a lot of issues so doubt that will happen…If it does someone will need to create the daleks so I guess the doctor would have to do it


    As for Clara…wonder whether she is missy

    Craig @craig

    @petrichor (and @juniperfish) I have now posted the two trailers for the series on the new ‘BBC Approved Spoilers’ topic, which is now easily found from the Home page. But here’s the link anyway:

    That topic is where you should discuss upcoming events and information released by the BBC. Anything else you’ve heard about elsewhere should go in the ‘Spoilers’ topic:

    Mudlark @mudlark

    On second viewing this morning, with time to savour all the details and incidental references, I enjoyed it all the more; and there is so much worthy of comment that I am at a loss as to where to begin.  Perhaps the best place is with the heart of the story; the Doctor’s dilemma revisited.  In Genesis of the Daleks, however, he came into the situation fully briefed; here the Tardis has  brought him to the scene totally unprepared and, as @bluesqueakpip pointed out, he chose wrong.  He had three options:  to kill the boy; to intervene and help to save the boy’s life; or to leave him to take his chances.   Killing the child Davros would have major repercussions in the future of the universe – the kind of  overt changes which we have hitherto been led to believe are inadmissible for a Time Lord and could have disastrous consequences for the fabric of space time.  Helping to save him might make a subtle difference to what Davros and his creation, the Daleks  were to become, without altering their future history too obviously .  Leaving him, as the Doctor in hindsight quickly realised, was the ‘biggest mistake’ – the decision which probably scarred Davros’s psyche and contributed to the formation of the adult who came to believe that ‘compassion is wrong’.

    Having just witnessed the deaths of his friend and his oldest frenemy, it appears that he is about to make an even worse mistake.  In the events of Day of the Doctor, it was possible to change the past because, as far as the rest of the universe was concerned, it made no significant difference whether Gallifrey was destroyed and the whole of the Time War rendered inaccessible beyond a time lock, or whether Gallifrey simply disappeared from the observable universe. This would be have an all to obvious impact

    Incidentally, I think that Missy and Clara were really killed.  As usual when someone is blasted by Daleks, their skeletons showed briefly before they vapourised – they didn’t just disappear in a flash of light as Missy did at the end of Death in Heaven.  It is now up to the Doctor to find a way of changing the past just sufficiently to avert their deaths, without disrupting the entire universe.



    Mudlark @mudlark

    ‘How is a Time Lord supposed to die?’ asks Clara; to which Missy answers ‘Meditation, repentance, and acceptance. Contemplation of the Absolute’.   But we have seen how rubbish the Doctor is at meditation (repentance is another matter), and Clara knows him well enough to realise this.  “Do not go gentle into that good night” quotes the English teacher; ‘We’re looking for a party’.  Although she isn’t quite prepared for what they find.  ‘He’s never like this’.  To which Missy, demonstrating her infinitely longer acquaintance, responds ‘Oh, you really are new, aren’t you’.

    The Doctor is throwing a party to which ‘… all of me is invited’, and we are treated some dreadful and (in the context) anachronistic puns and some bravura guitar playing.  I was prompted into laughter, though, when the Doctor, having spotted Missy and Clara in the gallery, launches into the intro to Roy Orbison’s ‘Pretty Woman’.

    Among the things which I thought were particularly well handled was the confrontation between Missy and Clara, with Clara initially managing to play it very cool, almost deadpan in the face of Missy’s subtle and not-so-subtle needling, but finally losing it when Missy decides to kill a random couple of bodyguards, simply to demonstrate that she is ‘… not guid’.  Missy here is perhaps not quite as flamboyantly bananas as in Dark Water/Death in Heaven, but she is still a complicated psychopath, pursuing ‘…a friendship older than your civilisation, and infinitely more complex’ and she is still a bit nuts.

    I was also very taken with the snake colony creature, Colony Sarff  ‘We are voting. We are a democracy’.



    upon a second watch, i realized that the daleks knew exactly where/when the doctor was hanging out, because bors is one of their “puppets,” like the ones in ‘The Dalek Asylum.’ so, what reason do they have for keeping this knowledge of his location from davros

    Apparently they did not know where he had stashed the Tardis.

    Mudlark @mudlark

    @geoffers  @pedant   Given the preamble, it doesn’t look as if the Daleks knew where and when the Doctor was prior to Unit tracing him.  For a start, we don’t know when Bors was dalekised.  Colony Sarff might have been primed to ‘convert’ any suitable person once it/they had located the Doctor, and given the means to do so.  Alternatively, but more extravagantly, Bors was just one of a multitude of ‘moles’ planted by the Daleks in likely places throughout space-time, to be activated (by Colony Sarff?) only when the Doctor was found.

    Anonymous @

    I strongly suspect Bors was Dalekised when bitten by Sarff’s snake, as you mention.

    Bluesqueakpip @bluesqueakpip

    @Supernumerary and @mudlark

    Good spot. Yes, poor old Bors was almost certainly dalekised by the snake.

    Anonymous @

    Having re-watched it now, I have a few more thoughts of dubious quality.


    I think the core business of this episode, ‘Who made Davros?/Could you kill a child who will become a dictator?’, is a brilliant and ambitious extension of Genesis. The shocking reveal, Capaldi’s scenes with both young and old Davros, really fantastic.


    On re-watching, it does feel like that core idea unfortunately gets obscured by all the other manic derailments- not that the need isn’t there for Davros to seek out the Doctor, and for Missy to try to find him via Clara, but all that does seem very much over-extended and over-emphasised, filling up time in the two-parter, flitting between different ‘crazy’ things and then dropping them, at the expense of the main one. Not that I doubt that next week will focus more on Davros and the Doctor, but even so, it felt off.


    I was also less happy with the degree of Star Wars pastiche in the beginning- not just the Maldovarium, but the Darth Maul-esque Colony Sarff (even the name!), the Shadow Proclamation is reminiscent of Naboo or the like in this context, the classic diagonal transition between scenes, hyperspace, and so on. This is all nicely cut down by the Doctor’s taunting of Sarff in the amphitheatre which snaps us back into Who territory, but really, is that much homage necessary? Sarff, being a big talking snake who refers to Davros as ‘Dark Lord’, is of course also very Harry Potter. Also I now can’t see past the fact that he’s riding a Segway.


    I’m unsure exactly why this is all quite such a big deal for the Doctor, such a big deal that he feels death is inevitable and arranges his will, needs to meditate, completely loses character in the amphitheatre, it all feels slightly forced. It seems he’s so ashamed that he feels he deserves whatever punishment or death awaits him, he owes Davros. Next week I guess.



    On Clara & Missy:


    Look at how Moffat uses the characters to create an ascending scale of badass. Clara is set up as being as overwhelmingly cool and in-charge as Bond, PM’s on the phone, Earth’s defenders rely on her advice, she’s got all the answers, she sidles up to Missy with bravado. How badass is Clara!

    Then Missy effortlessly cuts her down, and suddenly Clara looks as out of her depth as she should be in context. Not the best friend- merely an insignificant pet compared to the lives of Time Lords. Missy demonstrates her  ridiculous power and conveys the overwhelming, timeless might of her civilisation over tea. Wow! How badass is Missy!

    Then they’re walking on invisible ground in space, and Missy’s playfulness disappears, and she- the Master- shows real fear and shock at the return of Skaro. How terrifying must Skaro be to do that to her? How badass are the Daleks!

    And the moment when they all turn towards Clara, as I think someone mentioned above, has now been perfectly set up to really make you afraid (even if slightly reduced by the Daleks being a motley assortment just milling about in a room).


    Missy, and her interactions with Clara, were fantastic. The importance of the plane plot, like I said, was emphasised too much I think, but the reason behind it does make sense- Missy needs to find the Doctor, best way to do that is via Clara, and the only way to do that without being captured is to hold a gun to their heads. And it’s an absolutely classic over the top Master scheme, so much her bread and butter than she can just toss the plan aside.

    And then the switching sides with the Daleks, is the most Delgado moment since Delgado, perfect.


    And between the Doctor and Missy: “Gravity.” “I know!” Two lines but you can see the age of the relationship in the ways they’re said.

    blenkinsopthebrave @blenkinsopthebrave

    Wow! Have not read any other impressions yet, but my initial response was…Wow! This is a perfect example of why I hold SM in such high regard. It is Moffat who is the magician. Still processing my thoughts but the whole premise of the plot is a brilliant blending of old and new. It is both faithful to BG Who and yet prepared to take the show to a new level in terms of tone.

    Best line: “See that couple over there? You are the puppy.”

    Off to watch it again.


    Serahni @serahni

    Hooray, a new Who series!  More craziness!  More bonkers theories!  The best part!

    I really enjoyed this.  Gomez stole the show for me and I am really looking forward to seeing how this dynamic plays out.  With the news that Coleman is on the way out for good this time, is it too much to hope that the Master and the Doctor might actually end up adventuring together for a while?  I think it would be delicious.  And of course Missy was sent the Doctor’s will; what is it the Doctor has to leave behind?  The T.A.R.D.I.S. might not count as property, she has a mind of her own after all, but in terms of tangible objects, she’s his most valuable.  Materialistically, the Doctor probably has no use for a will.  But beyond that, there is his legacy.  His duty.  His name.  Not something he’d ever send Clara’s way.  Something he’d probably only ever wish on his worst enemy.

    (Wait, that just makes it sound like Missy is set up to become the new Doctor…  Oh lord, what have I done.)

    Overall, a great start to the season and I love the fact that it’s a two-parter because I am definitely champing at the bit to know what happens next.



    Bluesqueakpip @bluesqueakpip


    Sarff, being a big talking snake who refers to Davros as ‘Dark Lord’, is of course also very Harry Potter.

    I suspect the tone meeting went something like this:

    STEVEN MOFFAT: Next, we introduce Colony Sarff. He’s a colony organism, who normally speaks and acts as if he is one person, but can break down into the colony’s separate beings. They’ll look rather like snakes.

    PRODUCTION TEAM MEMBER: So this is a walking, talking colony of snakes?

    STEVEN MOFFAT: Alien snakes. I’m thinking his face might look like something snake-like coiling round…

    PRODUCTION TEAM MEMBER: So he’s going to be a big, walking, talking snake?

    STEVEN MOFFAT: Colony of snakes. I want it to be a really terrifying and unexpected moment when he breaks into his component snakes.

    PRODUCTION TEAM MEMBER: So until then, he’s going to look like a big, walking, talking snake? ONE big walking, talking snake?

    STEVEN MOFFAT: Um, yes?

    PRODUCTION TEAM MEMBER: Bit Harry Potter, isn’t it?


    STEVEN MOFFAT: Let’s just have him call Davros the ‘Dark Lord’, shall we, and hope everyone thinks it was one of my little jokes…


    janetteB @janetteb

    Have finally caught up with the episode and read through all the posts with the voices of Davros, the Doctor and Sarah Jane in the background. The boys are watching Genesis of the Daleks in the other room.

    Lots of comments on other posts so here goes,

    @spider. I was also saddened by the dalekisation of Bors. As pointed out above  I suspect this happened when he was attacked by the snake. Hoping that he can be saved too.

    @bluesqueakpip It looked like Missy and Clara might have dematerialised as there were no bodies, but I suspect they are dead and the past needs to be rewritten to save them and maybe Bors.  Also next weeks trailer was remarkably spoiler free.

    I like you suggestion that the Daleks will be changed. This does seem to be where Moffat is heading with them, not only for the reasons you mention, that an inherently evil race is a racist concept but also from a story telling perspective. Enemies that are complex are more interesting and have more narrative potential than those that are simply bad. The Daleks are predictable however in Into the Dalek it was discovered that the Dalek had the potential to be good. That potential is inhibited, thanks to the information which Davros obtains from the Doctor in “Genesis.” If anything his botched attempt to stop the Daleks coming into existence only makes them worse.

    @jphamlore I think the Doctor has to save Davros in order to save Clara and Missy.

    @bendubz11 welcome and a good suggestion about Gallifrey also being invisible.

    And now some comments. I loved the Skaro interiors. They had a retro sixties “Who” set feel to them. I also like that now we see multiple types of Dalek. In the past the design changes were not part of the narrative. I guess back when old episodes were not available for rewatch changes in style were of little significance but now they need to be incorporated into the story in some way. I do like the original Dalek design and I guess there are a few floating around the BBC now after the making of An Adventure in Space and Time.

    As to the ending, I think, as my S/O suggested that it is the handmines that he is about to exterminate not Davros. The Doctor would never, can never kill a child. He has gone back to save Davros and to teach him the meaning of compassion which will lead to the development of a less evil Dalek as “Bluesqueakpip” suggested.

    To summarise, it was a wild ride of an episode with some wonderful dialogue, loved the scenes with Missy and Clara.  I think the Doctor’s behavior in the castle was meant to be OTT and to be out of character and OTT for the Doctor it would really have to be out of character and breaking some of his basic rules, ie messing with history.

    I am also guessing that Capaldi was really playing that guitar because it looked like a scene written for him.




    Mudlark @mudlark

    @bluesqueakpip   Exactly! I can just imagine it.

    @Supernumerary   The shifts in mood between light, serious and dark are to my mind very much a part of what Doctor Who has been since almost the beginning, with the segueing from sheer, frivolous fun to the contemplation of serious moral questions, and to me the balance here seemed nicely judged.  I certainly didn’t find it as jarring as you evidently did.

    You thought that the Doctor completely lost character in the medieval amphitheatre, but isn’t it typical of the ways in which he has so often tried to distract himself from feelings of guilt and shame? at least since the ending of the time war when, in the first iteration, he had destroyed Gallifrey and all his people with it.  Think of the abrupt mood swings and at times almost manic behaviour of the Tennant incarnation, and the restlessness and clowning of Smith’s Doctor.  After a long period of adjustment following his last, unexpected regeneration he has, it seems, integrated all his previous selves, so that ‘all of me’ could be invited to the party.  One of the ways in which Capaldi is, for me, absolutely the Doctor, is the way in which he is able so subtly to convey glimpses of those earlier selves.

    nerys @nerys

    @mudlark I noticed the same thing you did, that for both Missy and Clara, their vaporized “skeletons” appeared when they were shot. So I think they were either killed, or Davros has created some sort of illusion for the Doctor to witness. Either way, I’m thinking his plan is to coerce the Doctor to travel back in time and make a different decision about saving Davros. “Careful what you wish for”? We shall see.

    Overall, I loved this episode (though I shall love it even more without commercial interruptions). Capaldi’s Doctor is fully realized now, and I’m looking forward to seeing how this plays out as the season progresses. Also, Clara strikes me as being stronger than in her previous seasons. She now has the spark that I recall from Oswin, which is why I looked forward to the idea of her being a companion. And then I felt that spark was lost in her “Impossible Girl” incarnations. She regained it throughout last season, but I still felt there was something missing. Now, without Danny, and seemingly without any solid emotional grounding to her life on Earth, she seems more … not exactly reckless, because she does care about consequences. But she is not torn between the inner conflict of her “addiction” to time travel and her commitment to Danny (and the lies that conflict necessitated). So she can fully commit to her companionship with the Doctor. In my opinion, this was reason enough to bring the character back for one more season.

    One more thing: I was happy that we started out, crack off the bat, on some planet other than Earth. I can understand the reasons for sticking so close throughout much of last season, but I missed the alien locales that lend excitement and fear of the unknown to Doctor Who. It was refreshing to start this new season in that territory.

    janetteB @janetteb

    Another thought on the reformation of the Daleks. If Gallifrey is to be found there has to be some form of resolution of the Time War. Maybe the Daleks start infighting as a result of genetic modifications diminishing their power and thus no longer capable of destroying Gallifrey, just making a few small holes in it.

    As to the disk, given the Doctor’s propensity for lying it might not be what it is supposed to be. It might be some kind of “get out of gaol free card”.



    janetteB @janetteb

    Last post – I promise – before retiring to dream about Dr Who. I rather hope that the favour Clara requests from the Doctor before he goes in to see Davros is not the return of Danny, partly because death does have to be final some times and also because it would totally blow all my crazy bonkers theories about Danny, Orson and the Toy soldier. So for entirely selfish reasons I want Danny to stay dead. What does that say about me!!



    blenkinsopthebrave @blenkinsopthebrave

    Back after a second viewing. Still “wow!”

    In a way, this story seems to continue the question that Capaldi’s Doctor asked last season: “Am I a good man?” (but I think they execute it far more effectively here).

    I am assuming that far from giving in to Davros (who wants him to admit that compassion is wrong) that he will go back and exercise compassion to save the child Davros, and thereby save his friends, and yet end up making Davros, and by implication the Daleks, himself. (Of course, everything I have ever predicted turns out to be wrong…) And yet, the line he used: “Davros made the Daleks, but who made Davros?” must surely have relevance for the resolution of the story.

    Now off to read the comments.


    Timeloop @timeloop

    Hello fellow writers,

    I have just seen the newest episode.

    This is…. new/weird/odd/surprising/bold/fake/confusing/mind boggeling….

    I really just finished watching a second ago and my mind is completely blank. This entire episode is like when you know a good friend is telling you a fake story. Like you know it’s a lie and you still go “wtf just happened”. It’s so bold of Moffat to reach so deep into the core of Doctor Who to start the season off with a bang.
    In some ways he is going completely against what the Doctor should be, on purpose no doubt. Still i feel like only a fool would fall for such a big bluff.

    I liked how he started the episode, making the puzzle pieces slowly fall in  place, though I somehow am not a fan of reusing some places. It always starts with looking for the Doctor all over the universe..

    Since I feel like the episode was just a huge flashbang granade, I guess I have to wait for next weeks episode to make more sense of it. I wonder if the whole season will work around the “friendship” of Missy and the Doctor plus the Daleks, going into the Doctors past.

    I will read your thoughts on it now, looking forward to the next episode,

    See you soon, happy theorizing

    blenkinsopthebrave @blenkinsopthebrave

    Great to see that there is pretty much universal agreement (on this this civilized forum at least) on just what a great season opener this was. But…


    I thought the scene where he rides in on a tank with an electric Guitar was too silly and a bit cringe worthy to be honest.

    @supernumerary (on Sarff)

    I now can’t see past the fact that he’s riding a Segway

    Yes! I confess that both those thoughts occurred me as well!

    But in a funny sort of way, that helps make Doctor Who the brilliant and totally unique show it is.


    Timeloop @timeloop

    Looks like in general I am one of the more skepical ones on here. Most of you arent bothered by the sudden change of tone between Clara/the Doctor/Missy.

    I mean just a few episodes ago Clara wanted Missy dead. D-E-A-D.”If you ever let her live, today and everything that happened is your fault!” And the Doctor felt happy to oblidge as well.
    Whereas now Clara seems more than happy to just move along with the “deal with it” explanation.
    Make no mistake, I liked their banter too, but it was bending their relationship a bit far in my opinion.

    In this episode Clara was clearly the Doctors stand-in on earth in his absence, which is interesting to see. She sure has enough experience doing it by now and all of UNIT had no problem with it either.

    I, too, always like it when they add in old material from already aired episodes. It knits the story together in a neat way and makes it feel more wholesome. I really like how Moffat continiues to dot that.

    I am still trying to get the big picture of things,

    happy theorizing 🙂

    Bluesqueakpip @bluesqueakpip


    I’m unsure exactly why this is all quite such a big deal for the Doctor, such a big deal that he feels death is inevitable and arranges his will, needs to meditate, completely loses character in the amphitheatre, it all feels slightly forced.

    No, it’s the inevitable consequence of the 50th Anniversary. He committed genocide to kill the Daleks, but the thing that broke his hearts was that he killed billions of children. In the Whoniverse of Steven Moffat, killing a child is an unforgivable sin. The Moment knew that. The Moment changed time itself to save those children. Clara knew that. She told him: the Doctor does not kill children. The Doctor saves children.

    And what does The Name of The Doctor mean to him? A promise.

    Never cruel or cowardly. Never give up, never give in.

    And now, faced with a frightened child, he leaves him to die. Never mind that the child is Davros. That little boy hadn’t yet done anything, anything to deserve being left alone in a minefield. ‘The Doctor’ was cowardly, he gave up, he gave in.

    And he was cruel. To leave a frightened child alone in a minefield – that’s cruel. That deep hatred of the Daleks, of Davros – it made him cruel. We’ve seen that before – but the targets were always Daleks, who are cruel right back. But now, we see where that unreasoning hatred has finally led him. He was bitterly, horribly cruel to a child.

    So when Davros comes a’calling, he feels that he has to go; doesn’t deserve anything else.

    completely loses character in the amphitheatre

    Ah, yes, well. This being a family show, with many small children watching, I think they weren’t allowed to say that the Doctor’s response to all this was to get completely smashed and go on a three week bender… 😈

    jphamlore @jphamlore

    There is a pretty easy, too easy, way to “resolve” the problem of the Doctor changing time. He doesn’t.

    The Doctor reprograms a sonic screwdriver (he had a spare K9, why not a spare screwdriver?) and switches it with the one he gave the child Davros. This sonic screwdriver has subtle errors programmed into the information it contains. This explains all of the times Davros seems set for victory but something happens to leave him short. And when Davros programs the DNA of his Daleks, there is a time bomb set in the screwdriver’s information for the present time so that the Daleks regain all of their emotions, and their unity and civilization crumble.

    ScaryB @scaryb

    Before the events of this episode the Doctor didn’t know why Davros was the way he is. The fact that he now thinks he is responsible – whoah! that’s really dark.

    @bluesqueakpip deserting young Davros isn’t just cruel, it’s also cowardly.  He abandons him to a presumed certain death (by hand mine) to avoid taking responsibility. Which, it would appear, had the unforeseen result of actually creating the circumstances (presumably) where the child becomes the evil creator of the Daleks. Not that seeing him at the end, Dalek gunstick in hand, suggesting that he’s gone back in time to pro-actively kill Davros is any less chilling.

    What if he actually rescues the child instead…?  Would that avoid the Daleks being created at all?

    All the references in previous stories to the Doctor being no better than Davros in that he trains his companions to kill, Rusty saying that the Doctor would make a “very good Dalek”, to Davros in this one commenting on the similarity of their current faces… this is very dark, I love it! (Though I’m sure there’s a get-out – can’t have the Doctor going that much to the dark side. Maybe it’s all an evil plot by Missy)

    Also loved the Genesis of the Daleks riffs. in the opening scene, with the soldier and the actual bow and arrow (as referenced by Harry in GotD), the mist, the hand/land mines.

    Anyway I’m sure these points have been mentioned by others above, so off for (another!) re-watch, and a catch up on all the comments before posting again.

    What a cracking series opener. If the rest of S9 lives up to the expectations set here, it’s going to be possibly the best DW EVER! *does happy yeti dance of joy, scattering glitter on the sofa*

    Welcome back to @timeloop btw, missed you. (Although I have to disagree – going on a 3 week bender in 12th century, with a tank and an electric guitar – who wouldn’t, if they could?! (Fell off the sofa laughing at the Pretty Woman riff (now, was that for Missy, or Clara… or both? 😉 )

    They make these episodes in 12 days…! That’s incredible. (Though I presume it takes a bit longer in post production, adding the SFX etc)

    ScaryB @scaryb

    Oh… 1 more comment – just before Clara gets “exterminated” we are told the Daleks are waiting for her to run.  Like cats, they love the chase. And running is such a trademark of the Doctor to get out of trouble. Found myself mentally shouting “DON’T RUN!!”


    @bluesqueakpip So are you saying the tank and the noticeable very big gun etc are all just a metaphor…?! 😉

    Mudlark @mudlark

    @bluesqueakpip  @Supernumerary

    faced with a frightened child, he leaves him to die. Never mind that the child is Davros. That little boy hadn’t yet done anything, anything to deserve being left alone in a minefield. ‘The Doctor’ was cowardly, he gave up, he gave in.

    In mitigation, he had arrived on the scene completely unaware and unprepared and immediately received an enormous shock, and he reacted instinctively, without thought.  As he admitted in A Good Man Goes to War, the rules by which he lives are there because he needs them; because he is not, at least as he sees it, a good man. And now, in this instant of crisis, the rules are driven from his mind.

    Once he was thinking clearly, and certainly by the time he reached Karn, he would have realised that Davros must have escaped the minefield without help, since nothing subsequent to that event had changed but, as you say Bluesqueakpip, the betrayal of his own most basic principles, let alone what he now suspects were the consequences of that betrayal, was a torment to his conscience and something which he needed to face up to and atone for.  ‘Did something happen? asks Ohila; ‘Was it recent?  And the Doctor hesitates and looks away uncomfortably before admitting ‘Yes’.



    lisa @lisa

    Great to see the return of so many fellow Who-sters back again!! Hi Guys !
    @mudlark @geoffers @pedant I don’t think Colony Sarff would have been
    sent out by Davros to find the Doctor if it was already known where he was. Also, I
    totally think that Bors was ‘activated’ by Sarff. He was held in that jaws of life grip
    with Sarff and it was looking like something was definitely going on there.

    @scaryb @papermoon @missy thanks
    @bluesqueakpip I with your thinking re: what might need to happen with the Daleks

    I also noticed several references to Star Wars. SM must obviously be a fan and as the
    new movie is out soon it seemed very ok with me!

    Apologies cant find/recall who mentioned the invisible ‘ness’ when Clara and Missy
    step outside in space (sort of like a blank hollow deck) and the possible connection
    to the Doctor following Missy’s coordinates and not finding Galifrey. But he also didn’t
    try to step out of the Tardis. that has the feeling of maybe being onto something?

    lisa @lisa

    One more thought about the hand fields. That was very cool. I don’t think
    the Doctor was ever planning to exterminate Davros. I think it was the handmines.
    But I also think that Davros gets badly injured. I guess we get to see next week.

    JimboMcMaster @jimbomcmaster


    It is now up to the Doctor to find a way of changing the past just sufficiently to avert their deaths, without disrupting the entire universe.

    If the Master didn’t Vortex-Manipulate herself and Clara away, I reckon the Doctor will find the Manipulators before the Master takes them with her, modify them so that he can operate them remotely and then do so at the appropriate moments ie when they are ‘exterminated’. He wouldn’t be creating a paradox because all he saw on the screen was probably a flash, the screen resolution may well not have been enough for him to see the skeletons as Clara and the Master ‘die’, and therefore there’s no contradiction between his actions and his past. In other words, Clara and the Master are like Schroedinger’s Cat at the moment, neither dead or alive from the Doctor’s point of view.

    Juniperfish @juniperfish

    The Doctor’s “frenemy” relationship with the Master/ Missy is a tough one for Clara (and us, quite recently, thanks to the deaths of Osgood and Danny).

    The Doctor wonders whether he’s a “good man”. Thanks to Missy, no wonder Clara isn’t quite sure. His relationship with the Master/ Missy means a certain level of toleration for the many deaths Missy has quite maliciously caused along the way, and so brings Time Lord/ human relationships as between Gods and mayflies, rather sharply into focus. I like it!


    Mudlark @mudlark

    @jimbomcmaster   Hmmm…   Missy and Clara: wave forms ready to collapse when observed by the Doctor or by Davros.  I like it  🙂

    jphamlore @jphamlore

    There’s an astonishing possibility hinted at by Davros’ remark that he approves of the Doctor’s Capaldi older face. Davros is a role. What is done, what has been observed by the Doctor, cannot be undone. But it has been the role that has been observed. This could take the entire season to play out, but this could be the greatest Dr. Who twist ever, something to top everything.

    The Capaldi Doctor could save the child Davros by taking on the role of Davros throughout history. While playing the role, the Doctor could secretly hide in the Dalek’s DNA the unlocking of their potential as ordinary beings, with conflicting emotions, both good and bad, a genetic time bomb set to go off after the moment he decides to assume the role of Davros.

    So the end of Davros’ life could actually be the end of the Capaldi Doctor’s life. Have the season end of a cliffhanger of whether he can be regenerated or not.

    JimboMcMaster @jimbomcmaster

    @citizenvexx, @pedant and @supernumerary. Re: The Doctor’s approaching inevitable death.

    Add to that the end of the Tennant era. That’s four in total in the last 7 years! The Doctor knows he will die soon, without actually being in a state of dying, and, in three of the four examples, goes on one last sequence of adventures (mainly off-screen) as a last hurrah/delaying tactic, before realising he can’t delay any longer. Admittedly, for that to happen four times in a one-thousand-year period for a time-traveller I suppose isn’t unlikely, but I am tired of it as an idea in the show, at least for now. Either Moffat hasn’t realised the repetitiveness, somehow, or he’s got something up his sleeve to make it worthwhile.

    lisa @lisa

    @jphmlore -I like that theory. I’ve been thinking about the sonic screwdriver. Whether
    or not Davros always had that or did the Doctor go back and change history by letting
    him keep it at some later time? Doesn’t the Screwdriver have healing abilities? Maybe
    the Doctor had a plan? He gave a special screwdriver once before to River Song to change
    her ending. Maybe he is up to the same thing with a better ending for Darvos? Possibly it
    could be as you say give the Daleks better emotional choices.
    But still thinking that thru –

    lisa @lisa

    @jphamlore that previous post was @ you – oops!

    lisa @lisa

    BTW – Maybe that was the thing he had done when the Sister of Karn asked him
    ‘what have done and if it was recent’? Something about going back to the
    moment when young Davros was stuck in the hand field. Something to do with
    making sure Davros gets to keep a special sonic. That might be why suddenly
    Davos remembers. Was he ‘implanted’ with these newer memories more recently?

    Miapatrick @miapatrick

    OK, loved it. Had a friend over for his birthday last night so we had a poker and no TV rule, watched it this morning when I was still a little drunk (there’s only really one cure for a hangover…) and with a lot of non-fans, and everyone was impressed.

    @Mudlark- I liked- well I didn’t like- but its good that they showed Missy do that. It can be interesting to have her Master as a recurring character, and Gomez is a wonderful actor, but the Master is and must be… not good.

    @bluesequakpip- man is timelords best friend…

    Re: Clara and the Daleks- not strictly relevant but I wonder what is the difference between Clara and the Claracle that became Dalacized. @nerys- interesting that you say that. A lot of people like the Dalek Clara more than the person who eventually appeared. There was a kind of cockiness to her that I liked. Also re: location- I like the idea of seeing more space and time. Modern day Earth has quite a lot of Televisual attention as it is.

    @JanetteB- he is an old punk isn’t he? He looked so happy in that scene

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