The Magician’s Apprentice
20 September 2015 at 22:47 #43082Anonymous @
it does feel like that core idea unfortunately gets obscured by all the other manic derailments
Yes, that might be why this episode didn’t connect with me as much. But your explanation of the underlying interactions between Clara and Missy scenes really helps. Missy did turn Clara into a puppy.
I thought the Doctor partying and Missy’s airplanes were both fun to watch. Missy said the planes were just a cheap trick to her, but they looked really impressive to humans. That fits Missy as the master, compared to Clara as a puppy. Michelle Gomez was on top of her game once again.
I love the handmines. They are creepy, even more so since they pull people into the ground. I first thought they were Weeping Angels, not anymore, but they could be related. Instead of pulling people through time, they could pull people to a different place?
Clara getting killed by the daleks should have been the saddest thing ever. The OTT moments make it feel like it wasn’t for real, it’s like everyone knows, of course Clara and Missy aren’t really dead. But it could be similar to River dying when we first met her, then she was still around later; Clara might be in the rest of the season, but she has been dead the whole time. I think the Doctor might bring Missy back, but he can’t save Clara.
I’m not sure I like that idea, but it could explain why Missy needed to get Clara and the Doctor together. Missy knows the Doctor might not try to rescue her if she died, but the Doctor will definitely try to rescue Clara. Saving Clara is what forces the Doctor to return to boy Davros.
Even if Clara isn’t really dead, it should have been sadder, to see the Doctor’s puppy die. That sort of thing usually makes me feel like having a cry, so something just didn’t feel right? I only watched it once so maybe that could change.20 September 2015 at 23:20 #43083Spider @spider
Although I kind of see what you are getting at, I disagree. Clara is NOT happy whatsoever with having to deal with Missy – but she has to go with it, for now, if she wants to get what shes wants – that is, finding the Doctor.
I think we need to to remember that just a few episodes ago for us is not the same timescale for the characters. As far as I can see, quite some time passes between death in heaven and last Christmas, and we do not know yet how much time has passed since then until this episode. Clara will have had a lot of time to think about things since then – so I don’t buy the ‘sudden change’ argument.
Even more than that, she is hurt that the confessional dial did not come to HER but went to Missy. She confronts the Doctor about is when they are in the cell (about him lying I think – I’d need to watch it back again to check the exact dialogue) but it is not completely resolved. This is in no way finished, Clara has not forgotten who/what Missy is and what has happened in the past – but there is far more at stake right now. OK, so technically they are currently both dead – but I don’t expect that to last too long. Time can be re-written.
For me the great change in tone was the kind of dumbing down of Clara here. Don’t get me wrong, I too loved her being the stand in for the Doctor with UNIT, that was fab! But with Missy I think it was a much needed slap to the chops of us the audience. We have got so used to seeing the Doctor though human eyes, through the companion and I think we forget how very VERY different he actually is. Clara (and us) thinks she knows him – we really don’t.
That was a real eye opener for me (but not in a nasty hand mine way!)
Oh and @missy – thanks for the hug! I needed that 🙂20 September 2015 at 23:28 #43084
Missy’s rather cruel jibe to Clara about Danny: “still dead is he?”. Why put this in? Blenkinsop’s (probably wrong) prediction: He either isn’t, or even if he is, he will return in some capacity. Missy’s line was preparing us.20 September 2015 at 23:41 #43085
And the Doctor is back! Lots to love here after first viewing. What a great opening, I didn’t see that coming. Should have recognized Skaro in retrospect, I suppose, but I didn’t make that connection.
I do love the Sisterhood of Karn: “Welcome… If you don’t leave immediately, we will take your skin.” It was fun seeing Clara in her new, post-Danny life, teaching, noticing the unusual, and running off to help UNIT- “Don’t send a helicopter.” I enjoyed the way she kept telling UNIT that they can’t just shout for the Doctor without at least trying to work out some things for themselves first. The appearance of the words “You’re so fine” on the computer screen made me smile. But we are really not being allowed to like Missy, are we?
I loved the Doctor at his end-of-life party. And when he spotted Clara and Missa, and started the opening riff of “Pretty Woman”, well, then I was just grinning. Dude! I really liked that Davros’ primary wish at the end of life was to have the Doctor acknowledge that he, Davros, was right. He just basically wanted to win an argument. It was also great, that while Missy was savvy to certain things about the Doctor that Clara didn’t completely understand, it was Clara who figured out that he would be doing the exact opposite of what he ought to be doing when faced with death, and was also able to identify shame in his expression, which was understandably lost on Missy!
That was not the cliffhanger I was expecting. Nice. Off to read your comments now.20 September 2015 at 23:58 #43086
Okay, for what it’s worth, on the subject of Daleks. The original version of the Daleks looked like this.
Pretty bog standard right. But note that between the Dome rings and the chassis, it’s just straight, no up and down slats. Also, note the small fender at the base. The blue Dalek that Clara and Missy encounter is an original dalek form. They seem to be a little bit shorter in height than some of the other Daleks. These original Daleks, by the way, relied on an external power source – static electricity from their pathways. Take them off the pathway, onto a blanket for instance, and they were powerless.
The Daleks in Dalek Invasion of Earth were essentially the same models (literally) but with parabolic dishes mounted on their backs so that they could receive broadcast power, enabling them to move off of trackways.
Now, starting with the chase, they started adding the Neck Slats, that surround the arm and sucker. As we see here:
The Black Daleks were introduced in Genesis of the Daleks.
That big red bastard on a Pedestal is the Dalek Supreme
He appeared to menace Jon Pertwee in Power of the Daleks. Note the large fender at the base. That’s because the Supreme Dalek prop originally appeared in the second Peter Cushing movie. Terry Nation inherited the Daleks. The BBC borrowed one from him and refurbished it into the supreme.
The Bronze Daleks are basically Ecclestone/Tennant era.21 September 2015 at 00:02 #43087
@arbutus I also grinned when I saw the words, “YOU SO FINE” on the screen. I wanted to point out that Missy is a well-made character, and I don’t she could be any more, “Master” than this too. On a different note, the scene where Missy was talking about how to spot the Doctor in a crowd, then the Doctor comes through the gates playing a guitar on a tank made me laugh SO hard. It probably made me laugh harder than ever before.21 September 2015 at 00:06 #43088
@phaseshift I noticed that revisiting of old eras but hadn’t thought of it in relation to the 10th anniversary. It’s nice to think we might see a bit more of that, I like little things that help us hang the whole of Who together into one world.
Especially the human infatuation with sex, which may as well be some sort of slap in the face to a certain class of Missy complainer. I also took that as a poke at “shippers”.
@juniperfish I also thought it unlikely that Missy had really died, although you can never be sure. Then when Clara was apparently exterminated so abruptly, I decided it must be fake, but again, there was a bit of doubt (was this why they decided to announce her departure, to instill that doubt?). But of course, the Tardis was a deal breaker! It could never die.
We know the Doctor couldn’t destroy the daleks at their origin-point way back during his fourth incarnation, even for the sake of millions, so his apparent readiness to destroy Davros at his origin point, for the sake of one companion, does pose interesting questions. It could be that the Doctor, however momentarily, has decided that his decision back then was wrong. A lot of death and destruction under the bridge since then.
@thekrynoidman – completely agree about the hand/eye monsters – very scary! And this: Maximum Extermination sounds like the title to a bad 80’s action film. Yes!
I actually loved the tank and the guitar, myself! He reminded me a lot there of DT in his more over-the-top moments. Again, Twelve channelling earlier Doctors.
@fatmaninabox Interesting point. I seem to remember some commentary questioning the presence of certain versions of the Daleks in the trailer. This is now explained– a clever way to forestall questions about the return of Davros
@timeloop – It seems to me that Clara is actually not at all happy with Missy’s survival, and especially the fact that the Doctor apparently knew about it. There is a reckoning to be faced there, I think.
And I agree with everyone about Missy. I liked her reasonably well before (although I found her a bit camp) but I loved her toned down version here. Note-perfect!21 September 2015 at 01:31 #43089IAmNotAFishIAmAFreeMan @pedant
Missy’s rather cruel jibe to Clara about Danny: “still dead is he?”. Why put this in? Blenkinsop’s (probably wrong) prediction: He either isn’t, or even if he is, he will return in some capacity. Missy’s line was preparing us.
Pretty sure we would have heard casting spoilers if he was. She was just being cruel, in about the most personal way imaginable.
Moffat needs to tread a fine line between making Missy entertaining and not losing sight of the fact that she is thoroughly unpleasant in every way that matters. So lines like this are essential (when the massive din created by squeeing Spuffistas is ignored, Whedon did a pretty decent job of this with Spike – but it requires constant diligence)
Clara is NOT happy whatsoever with having to deal with Missy – but she has to go with it, for now, if she wants to get what shes wants
And Missy knows that – hence the snipers.21 September 2015 at 02:04 #43090
@Supernumerary I took the Doctor is dying as referencing that he was going to see Davros, out of shame for what he had done, but believed it to be a trap and thought he was going to his death. If I am right, then the whole notion will shortly go away. @bluesqueakpip puts it eloquently: The Doctor left a child to die, something very much against his moral sense.
I really like your assessment of Missy in this, and how beautifully the writing and acting here invoke the overall historic character of the Master: the over-the-top plots, the turn-on-a-dime willingness to cut a deal with any enemy that might help him to survive, even as you say the brief exchange about gravity, all pay tribute to our original view of the Master as a mad genius. Later versions tended to place more emphasis on the mad at the expense of the genius. 🙂
@mudlark 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. I completely agree with this. And I too loved the “all of me are invited” line!
@janetteb It hadn’t occurred to me that the Doctor might be aiming at the hand things and not at Davros. It doesn’t quite seem to gel with his expression, but it would certainly make more sense with the Doctor as we know him.
I actually had assumed that “make it up to me” was a way to ensure that he wouldn’t simply let himself die in some way– “now you have to come back”. I didn’t have the sense that she had anything particular in mind. In any case, I think that in Last Christmas, she clearly accepted the loss of Danny and moved on from it. I am often wrong in my guesses, but it really seems hard to believe that Danny will come back after the eloquence of that farewell.21 September 2015 at 02:43 #43091
I’ve just been browsing comments on the Guardian, a good source of amusement while most people on this forum are safely tucked up in bed. I’m amazed at how many people seem surprised that Missy is back, because “she was dead”. But seriously? It never occurred to me for one instant after the end of Death in Heaven that Missy was actually dead. We know the Master doesn’t die, correct? And since it isn’t hard to come up with ways in which she might have survived, why waste precious storytelling time explaining it? She’s alive. Deal with it.
Incidentally, I have always assumed that @jimthefish looks a lot like Peter Capaldi. Turns out he looks just like William Shatner. 🙂21 September 2015 at 02:47 #43092UllyssesS.Archer @ullyssess-archer
Thanks for the info, but, um, Pat Troughton was menaced in Power of the Daleks.21 September 2015 at 03:03 #43093
The Doctor was looking for a bookstore. I wonder if he was going to Sally Sparrow’s. I wonder if he was investigating Weeping Angels and they made a diversion of him. I wonder if the Weeping Angels are fallen Time Lords.21 September 2015 at 03:39 #43094
Yeah, slip of the fingers. I meant ‘Planet of the Daleks.’
By the way, if you freeze frame at the right spot, you can see the Special Weapons Dalek from Remembrance of the Daleks, McCoy era.
Of course, it all begs the question…21 September 2015 at 03:58 #43096
Looks like the ratings dropped by a third. 4.6 million tuned in to see it, compared to 6.8 for Capaldi’s debut. The ratings seem to be in Trial of a Time Lord/7th Doctor Era levels now.
Seems it was beaten silly in its time slot by X-Factor by ITV which had 7.2 million.
To give you a not very historical comparison, consolidated television ratings show Christopher Eccleston’s average audience was 7.95 million. This rose to 8.33 million viewers per episode for David Tennant, while Matt Smith is watched by 7.66 million. ” Capaldi’s first season averaged 7.4 million.
Historically, Doctor Who in the classic era has generally averaged between 7 and 9 million, with occasional spikes or runs of spikes, particularly during the Tom Baker era. Despite the mythology, Colin Baker’s ill fated first season was quite within that range.
I guess the big wild cards are international sales. You’ll notice that Capaldi and Coleman went on an international tour to promote Doctor Who in Latin American and Asia. They’re pushing the international markets like crazy.
And then there’s the alternative TV viewing options, which may not show up in ratings per se.
The reviews have been very good. Let’s hope that the numbers climb back up.21 September 2015 at 04:10 #43097
“Davros created the Daleks. But who created Davros?”
The Doctor created Davros. He owes that kid, and if he’s anything of what I think the Doctor is, he’s eventually going to find a way to let that kid have his own destiny.
It might not be resolved next episode. It might not be resolved this season. But I’m really thinking that the Doctor will find a way to stand in for the kid in Davros’ role, especially when Capaldi is about to exit the role as the Doctor.21 September 2015 at 04:13 #43098
@miapatrick Yep, old punk; and he looked so happy that it almost made me wish I was one too. In reality, though, I was never punk in any way, shape, or form. So I guess I’m just old. *sigh*21 September 2015 at 04:14 #43099
It is amazing the lines one finds in “Genesis of the Daleks.” The Fourth Doctor asserts he KNOWS the Daleks existence will be for some good millions of years into the future.
And Davros actually asks his creations the Daleks for pity to spare the lives of Davros’ team of scientists.21 September 2015 at 04:43 #43100Anonymous @
@mudlark and co, my ‘lost character’ comment was more referring to him suddenly breaking down in front of Clara. I know that that has precedent in Smith suddenly crying in NotD, and probably Tennant somewhere in the End of Time or elsewhere, but I found it somewhat jarring on those occasions as well. But it’s made a bit more understandable now in my next reply.
(The guitar + tank entry, meanwhile, was just great. And it was something only Capaldi, of all the Doctors, could pull off, though Tennant and Smith might try. I wonder what, if any, Doctor moment in BG Who you could call vaguely similar to this?)
@bluesqueakpip (re: Davros, shame, and the 50th)
Fantastic post, great explanation. I did suggest that he thought he deserved whatever awaits, but tying it into the lessons of the 50th really nails down why this impacts him so much. Thanks.21 September 2015 at 04:45 #4310121 September 2015 at 05:38 #43102Anonymous @
“Having re-watched it now, I have a few more thoughts of dubious quality.”
Ah, don’t be hard on yourself. All relevant points you share.
“On re-watching, it does feel like that core idea unfortunately gets obscured by all the other manic derailments”
I think, personally, the core idea is the “manic derailment[s].” It’s the Doctor tuned into himselves. He would have a party: a final revel to out-class all revels. I’m surprised he didn’t play the riff from a very famous Doors song. But then the Doctor also recognises the Doors were over-rated 🙂
I didn’t notice any homage to Star Wars feeling the smart move would be locate the SP first and then find friends or frenemies. So it felt relatively seamless. What worked was the genuine feel for the Doctors which Capaldi summarised with intensity: I felt a whiff of Troughton, Hartnell, Tom Baker, McGann, and Tennant. The shouty, partying of Tennant blended nicely with what would be Baker’s frustration as well as his peculiar banter. Add that to a dollop of McGann-type shock and loss near the end and I feel I’m watching almost all of them.
I really like the ‘Badass’ quality you wrote about -the oneupmanship with Clara matched by Missy’s comments about ‘pets’ and the eye rolling accompanying the discussion of the embarrassing human obsession with physical attraction and the acting thereof.
I’m extemporising bits of Graun and other mags whereby posters have said, “thank God, the hero, the Doctor, is back and his companion is relegated to her normal position. No more ‘assistants’ thank you.”
I think we can have more than one hero, surely?
There was a feel that the Doctor’s fully cooked and confident but totally alien. Clara is quickly lost and frightened but then emotions (human and timelord) are pretty resolute and we’re on track to analyse the question from A Good Man Goes to War regarding the Doctor’s necessary ‘goodness’. There’s an unapologetic quality although I’m reminded of Smith, where he teaches the children in The Day of The Doctor that “the fez is not cool. Bowties aren’t cool.” Now it’s “dudes” at a slam party. He’s hamming it up and breaking down all at once.
@bluesqueakpip used to discuss the issue of viewership. I think the value of over-night stats is limited these days. Interestingly, I only tuned into TMA 4-5 hours ago, and others I know watched it on iTunes, saw various pirated editions and helped themselves to different platforms. In fact, many people in the 13-25 year category wouldn’t necessarily watch it on a Saturday evening (UK). Vacations in other places prevent tweens from tuning in on Sundays -7.30pm being a spot regularly used for other more timely revels 🙂21 September 2015 at 06:22 #43104
@spider For me the great change in tone was the kind of dumbing down of Clara here. Don’t get me wrong, I too loved her being the stand in for the Doctor with UNIT, that was fab! But with Missy I think it was a much needed slap to the chops of us the audience. We have got so used to seeing the Doctor though human eyes, through the companion and I think we forget how very VERY different he actually is. Clara (and us) thinks she knows him – we really don’t.
In that new interview with Capaldi, he says *he* doesn’t really know 12 yet either, is still finding his way there. Which is, again, part of the re-assertion of Capdoc as an alien. I wouldn’t say Clara got dumbed down; I think she got set into a much broader context — taking charge at UNIT, yes, but outclassed by Missy — that deliberately distinguishes her firmly from her “closest friend” (a man whose own closest friend is Missy, although he loves Clara perhaps as we love our pets (on an assumption of a short-term relationship with a sad ending).
@blenkinsopthe brave Missy needles Clara about Danny’s death to unsettle her; but we also need to be shown that Clara has long since accepted Danny’s death — not his being hit by a car, but his heroic Cyberdeath, which was not “ordinary” and “boring”, as she’d protested early in Dark Water. And she shows that acceptance to Missy, deliberately: “See, I’m not just some soppy, spoiled kid longing for the past-and-gone, here.” Worked a treat, I’d say. I don’t think Danny’s coming back.21 September 2015 at 06:31 #43106Kharis @kharis
Wow! Viewing down? Their loss. That was a jaw dropping episode. Way to start a new season. I feel like kid now waiting for the second half.21 September 2015 at 06:36 #43107
And for the nitpick of the day: How did the Doctor know that Davros wasn’t an extremely common name on Skaro? Just think if the original Terminator had assumed the first Sarah Connor was the only one. For all the Doctor knew that kid had nothing to do with the future Davros leader of the Daleks.
One big objection to the Doctor assuming the role of Davros is Davros used his own DNA to re-jumpstart the Daleks. Wouldn’t someone have noticed Time Lord DNA? However, Davros I believe is a mutant. He may have been mutated by the hand mines. Perhaps the hand mines would enable a Time Lord to be mutated to something unrecognizable from a Time Lord if processed in a certain way.21 September 2015 at 06:46 #43110
@denvaldron On ratings — I’d be curious to see how much of the drop (from Ep 1 S8 to Ep 1 S9) was in US viewership, because S8 came to us without adverts, but S9 ep 1 was chopped to bits so ads could be added — 21 minutes of ads, to be exact, vs. 45 minutes of show. This idiocy made a very complex and grandly expansive episode very difficult to follow even for a pretty experienced fan like me; I actually turned it off because the ads were driving me crazy (and watched it whole and uninterrupted next morning on Youtube, where it was released today by BBC). I’m sure I wasn’t the only one to give up in disgust on the commercial-ridden BBCA presentation.
Yes, reviews have been enthusiastic, which has made the haters go ballistic — I saw one lift a minor critical comment from a rave review and say, “I agree with this review — the show has gone stale, lousy writing,” the usual bumf. Getting to more accurate figures that include other sources besides the initial BBC/BBCA broadcast won’t be easy.
@jphamlore The Doctor created Davros. He owes that kid, and if he’s anything of what I think the Doctor is, he’s eventually going to find a way to let that kid have his own destiny.
Absolutely agree; Clara thought she was “owed” a big favor (Danny’s resurrection) by the Doctor; but Boy Davros is owed too — a lot. I can’t believe he’s going to kill Boy Davros, no matter how much he feels driven to do it. I think *he* is under the influence of something like the “sound of drums” (there is in fact a sort of snare drum riff going on in the background of his scenes from the extermination of Clara and Missy AND the Tardis on), but I don’t think he’ll let himself succumb to the madness of murdering an as-yet innocent child.21 September 2015 at 06:59 #43111
I’ve had a day to think about it now, and to sort out my thoughts. I’ve also had the benefit of reading various reviews, which didn’t really alter my feelings, but at least allowed me to clarify why I felt this way.
On the good side – the emotional through line was powerful. The opening and closing scenes with the Doctor and the boy Davros, jaw droppingly powerful. The notion of the Doctor coming to an uncontainable moral crisis that would destroy him is fascinating.
That said, much of that through line was undermined by ‘manic derailment’ – too far over the top and pointlessly over the top. The Mistress freezes every plane on earth in the sky and then requests…. a chat? That’s all? Hell, just making a phone call would have had UNIT freaking out. All the rest was unnecessary, even pointless, even for as extravagant a character as the Mistress. Then the whole ‘Ren Faire’ scene? Bullish, noisy and pointless. The whole ‘I’m telling jokes, that you’ll find hilarious in 500 years’ thing… awful. More than anything, it seemed to be a riff on both Bill and Ted, and on Back to the Future. Much as I love those movies, it dates the scenes badly. It’s like your grandparents bringing out their Disco albums.
Frankly, the Ren Fair scenes remind me of Rick and Morty, and the scenes where Rick literally jumps up and down and yells at the camera, ‘look at me, I’m Rick, I’m the Rickest Rick that ever Ricked.’ Except there it’s done satirically, a parody and showcase of Rick’s fundamental dysfunction. Here, there’s a sense we’re all supposed to go ‘Yay Doctor’ isn’t he the coolest!
I suppose that the point is that the ‘eat, drink and be merry’ shtick is supposed to represent or highlight the Doctor’s inner ‘crying on the inside’ turmoil that brings him to the edge of destruction. But I don’t get that sense. I get the sense that Moffat just wanted to go cool and big, that he had spectacular images in his mind ‘the Doctor rocking out,’ ‘the Doctor riding a tank’, ‘Missy freezing every plane in the air’, and just went with them, whether it made sense or was actually all that organic for the story.
I’m not knocking that approach necessarily. I had a friend who constructed a play entirely out of set pieces that she wanted to do, lines that she wanted to say, scenes she wanted to have. It turned out very well. Impressive and passionate drivers will put a lot of emotional or visual energy into a production.
Here though, I feel that there’s a mismatch between Moffat’s ‘need to impress’ and with the logic and heart of the story he’s trying to tell. They’re not merging, it doesn’t gel, and so we get two disconnected drives. It’s like watching two unrelated episodes simultaneously. It gives proceedings a choppy feel.
This is worst with the Doctor, that sense of choppiness. Capaldi seems to have a different performance going on in every scene he has, and they don’t connect. It’s just, every time he shows up, he’s going to do something different. You have to work to read any continuity into the performance, because the script doesn’t give it to us.
Then there’s the illogicality of events. The Doctor abandoning his Tardis to travel off on a comparatively slow alien spaceship. Even given the Doctor’s emotional crisis… abandoning the Tardis? And then there’s Missy and Clara opting to ride along for what they know is a trap. Characters move, not because their actions grow from the interactions of their personalities with events, but simply because the script requires them to move in those ways.
But of the characters, I think Missy comes off by far the best. Indeed, it’s literally her episode. If Capaldi’s performance is chopped, like an earthworm, into wriggling disconnected segments, Michelle Gomez’ performance is literally seamless. Literally. With Capaldi, he’s there, he’s gone, he’s there, he’s gone, he’s back. When Michelle Gomez steps onto the stage, she basically stays there. She doesn’t step offstage for plot points to happen, she sticks around, and she proceeds to advance the plot by herself. She’s vicious, playful, insightful, helpful, indifferent, mercurial, all of these things, but it all clearly emanates from a central core of personality, an identity which is the same, whether bantering over tea, incinerating an innocent, or protesting someone else as arch enemy. Her performance has a unity and therefore a force that Capaldi’s lacks.
Capaldi is too fragmented by the plot. He has to keep stepping off the stage for other things to happen and other people to have conversations or move the plot along. Although his personal narrative and his crisis is huge, the story structure fragments him so badly, it’s hard to conceive.
As for Clara, there’s a game attempt early on to flesh her out as a mature schoolteacher, who also happens to be a James Bondian power player – the one that UNIT reaches for when they can’t find the Doctor, it never quite rings true. The trouble is that when she’s in UNIT barking out ideas and orders, she’s only saying obvious things that you figure professionals would have already thought of. Then when she gets to the Mistress, she’s completely swept up and reduced to a yappy little toy dog, following along. Think about it – from the moment she speaks to the Mistress, she’s not making a decision or having an insight, she’s fundamentally reactive and following. I suppose that reinforces my point that this episode, in fundamental ways, has been stolen by the Mistress, whether that was Moffat’s intent or not.
Still, it’s not entirely fair to judge the episode at all, at this point. It’s a two parter after all, and so we should make some effort to consider it as an organic whole, once the second part is out. Will the manic distraction abate? Will the Doctor’s emotional through line come to the fore? What’s going to happen to the young Davros, the old Davros, etc.? Are Missy and Clara really dead? The Tardis really destroyed? Or is it a trick, if not the Doctor’s, then Missy’s? And if not them, then Davros? The one thing we know is that Missy and Clara will be back. Will the Doctor unmake reality to undo their deaths?
There’s all sorts of ways that Moffet could push for a resolution – emotional, plot, etc. In the best of all worlds, he unifies his story resolution, tying up the plot in a satisfying way, bringing us to an emotional catharsis/epiphany, and advancing the lives of his characters. That would be perfect, but he’s often had difficulty bringing in a hat trick like that. I think we could settle for any one or two.
Anyway, nothing to do now, but wait and see what comes next.21 September 2015 at 07:04 #43112Serahni @serahni
I get the tingles every time I read all your theories. I missed this!
I hadn’t really thought about Oswin in all this, and now I am wondering if the Daleks have any prior knowledge of Clara. Also, it struck me as rather un-Clara-ish to run as she did, at least before attempting to talk herself out of it. That motor-mouth tendency to attempt to negotiate at breakneck speed has been a pretty pivotal part of her portrayal to date. I do understand that being faced with a room of Daleks is pretty scary, and she didn’t have The Doctor with her, but to run in silence as she did seemed off to me. Further support for it just being a trick to mess with The Doctor?21 September 2015 at 07:06 #43113
In terms of ratings, it’s a one off, so we’d have to see if it amounts to a trend. Even Tom Baker and Jon Pertwee had a few terrible ratings figures from time to time.
And frankly, a lot depends on what the competition is doing.
Do you know what killed Trial of a Time Lord in the ratings? Left it struggling along at almost half the audience of the previous season? Scheduling. Trial of a Time Lord was scheduled to air half way through the A-Team on ITV. Basically, millions of viewers had already committed to watching the A-Team, and had watched half an hour, half of the episode of the A-Team, before Doctor Who came on. What a handicap. The show might have had a chance a half hour earlier, when viewers could decide whether to choose A-Team or Doctor Who both starting at the same time. But half an hour later? Zap.
Here, Capaldi was competing with X-Factor. Reality television can be a tough nut to compete with. But it can also be quite volatile. Lots of ups and downs. We’ll see.21 September 2015 at 07:09 #43114
@purofilion There was a feel that the Doctor’s fully cooked and confident but totally alien.
It’s the dimension of time that’s been added, IMO, time on a TL scale instead of a human one. Vastra spelled this out to Clara in her own way in Deep Breath, but seeing the Doctor actually returning to old relationships rooted in his inhumanly long-gone youth and childhood (via Davros and MixMaster) makes this real for us; as does Capaldi’s echoings of those earlier Doctors, as you say. And the deeper his time-reality goes into the past, the more distant and mysterious he becomes, from Clara’s pov (and ours). She can call him to account for lying about, say, Missy’s survival, but she’s just not going to “get” it even when (and if) he does try to explain.
They are the grown-ups now; by contrast, Clara is a child (or a pet in place of a child), listening to adult conversation she can’t fully understand. She can be a strong child, a courageous and quick-witted child, but she can simply never (if she stays human) be on a level with two TLs with a long TL style past together. In her “Impossible Girl” phase, she must have had an inkling, but that’s all forgotten now it seems (human brain can’t retain it?). These scenes with Missy and Missy + Capdoc are powerful in part because they expand the focus to “all of time and space”, which Clara can visit, but can she ever really be a long-term traveling inhabitant the way the TLs are — only a young woman having very exotic adventures for a part of her human life-span.
On that ground, I wouldn’t say she’s been relegated (cut down) from a complex lead in her own right to a subordinate position. But her human limitations vs. TLs as a species are being relentlessly revealed. After a two-hander season, S8, showing her learning to be more like the Doctor, I find this poignant.21 September 2015 at 07:53 #43115
@mudlark 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’.
If an adult walks away instead of protecting you, what can you think? That the adult is normal, for adulthood, in showing no compassion. Since adults know more than kids do, this suggests that compassion is something that adults dismiss as irrelevant. Kids want to be adults, so — learn from the man who turned his back on you, stamp out compassion where you can, and declare compassion to be foolishness.
Worse yet, you run into the same man, and you see him offer compassion to *others*. If you’ve had all the ego beaten out of you, you conclude that you, in particular, simply weren’t worthy of his compassion. But Davros has plenty of ego — so to him, it must be that the Doctor is wrong, infuriatingly wrong, in acting against his own deeper knowledge that compassion is wrong, and must be corrected, must be forced to admit that his compassion (extended to others) has been a mistake all along.
Ugh. But it makes a kind of sense . . . ?
Also: 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’.
Hmm; but he could be lying about “recent”. Ohila reminded us that he lies. So what is the something that happened? Colony Sarff’s visit, looking for him, and announcing Davros’s demand? Did that prompt the Doctor to remember the abandonment of Boy Davros? If so, then this falls squarely in line with the Doctor’s declaration in Deep Breath, about having lived a long life: “I’ve made many mistakes. It’s about time I did something about that.” At the time, I hoped that we would in fact see him trying to do just that in S8, but that was premature, since first he had to put himself back together again and (I presume) so have something to measure his remembered mistakes against: the man he hopes to be vs. the man his less admirable actions revealed.
So now, I think, this is the logical sequel to that declaration of purpose: abandoning Davros was a big old bastard of a mistake. Going to confront what Davros has become is setting rectification in motion (even if it means being killed — but he didn’t count on the [apparent] murders of his Tardis and his friends before his eyes). That, though, is what it takes to force him to go back and confront the person he abandoned — not ancient Davros, but Boy Davros.
So: is he about to add to his toll of “many mistakes” or take on the “fixing” of this huge one? Well, it is the Doctor after all . . . what are the odds?21 September 2015 at 08:06 #43117
Here’s a speculation that should blow everyone’s mind: What if the Doctor figures out a way to send kid Davros, perhaps through using some sort of binding contract on Missy, back as a human kid to be adopted by Amy and Rory? That would force the Doctor to never interfere in kid Davros’ life again and let kid Davros find his own destiny.21 September 2015 at 08:19 #43119Anonymous @
Nope, I cannot agree (on the overnights, I’ve had my say and believe overnights to be irrelevant figures).
The issue of a through line is perhaps the one you’re referring to in this episode. As well as a “choppy doctor.”
The Doctor was clearly restless and relentlessly expressive. A man depressed, skipping with vitality like a radio jock one second and into a priest during another. It’s a duel with his personalities. Unlike media moguls, around for decades, TLs have thousands of years on their side, he talks ‘proper’, but he’s showy, he’s retentive, accessibly cerebral, wears his biases on his skivvy, polarises opinion about himselves and creates opinion -makers. He probes and banters, he’s illuminating and discursive but he’s universe-calibre- clever.
I don’t see him jumping about with confusion. At last this is the time of the Doctors -plural – and as for the rest it’s pretty metaphoric: the planes in the air, stopped, air travellers, heading nowhere to do no-thing. It’s unspectacular, a little mini orbit of humans stopped by a play actor who wants to stand on stage and PRONOUCE or bully.
But the Doctor reminds me of a gambler I knew in Vegas; high as a kite saying “you know, those cards? They kept coming and coming! I didn’t want to lose! There was a light at the table, a halo, and dude, it was me! I’m the light! And with my electric gee-tar, I’m fat fucking fantastic. I’ve got a sharp-ass coat, cool as shit glasses and I’m Errol Flipping Flynn. I can literally burst with myself.”
And then he’s down. He’s back to tears, mustiness, fustiness, needing redemption but lacking in acceptance.
He’s a Time Lord, but he’s a man and Moffat demonstrated this: it’s an uncoordinated existence. That’s life with the last night of a TL: tears, cakes, custard, coffee and Orbison.
And his two friends: Missy and Clara, who’ve hatched a plan (there’s the line)
There’s more to be seen than two “drives”. In fact I felt there were many. Bar one or two peeks at the slight, and the still, we saw the loud, the streaky, the gay and the glamorous. All part of a deeply depressed set of individuals. Hard to copy. And you wouldn’t want to because there were twelve and like the personalities of Eve -they were all there waiting to mob you.
It was absolutely stunning, to me. I feel only an actor of Capaldi’s capacity could have produced such a thrilling set of confused personalities, waiting for the end to hatch.
Somewhere there’s a snake- faced imp with a trident, somewhere else a Gretchen, sweet with her wiles and then there’s an Odin, basking in the light of a glorious fight, spattered with blood and “bathed in the glory of a spring morning.”
There’s a fantasma about: and it’s the Doctors.21 September 2015 at 09:27 #43121Anonymous @
“What if the Doctor figures out a way to send kid Davros, perhaps through using some sort of binding contract on Missy, back as a human kid to be adopted by Amy and Rory? ”
Well, that’s truly bonkers! As it should be. A gold medal. Interesting that has Pip said, there was a distinct melody (no pun) of very young Amy in the 10 min Meditation.
This meditation was perhaps hinting at the children: with the theme at least?
“Think of the 1 in a 1000! Concentrate on the 1 that will make a little boy live”
I found that this episode was very much about that: Finding nemo (the Latin word, though). Or, everyone –who was the Doctor, who is Missy to him, how do we define these humans and how do people (like Davros) become who they are?
It’s a fabilistic approach: where understanding what is true may change and what works for now will suffice till a new point: it’s how I understood this episode. Through the glasses of pragmatism and prose rather than casting about for evidence. I find the latter doesn’t always serve as an understanding of Who – immediately anyway.
“Austin, a brilliant comic observer” who wrote a play about pride, about being sure, when one surely isn’t certain. Of anything. On second re-watch it’s possible every little thing (like J. Austen) has a reason for existing in this hemisphere. Clara, so sure, so “brilliant” and “clever” just wasn’t. She was put in her place, just a bit, and I enjoyed that compared with the season where her mind was altered by the spoon heads and she “motors” on after that: confident and sure. But she’s not so sure now.
I also liked the very sure, elegant, loamy Doctor’s theme: it’s ever-present and I liked that. He was “getting our attention.” Nice.21 September 2015 at 11:39 #43123Serahni @serahni
Rewatching the episode and this line in particular struck me as interesting. The Doctor goes on to say in this scene that ALL of his incarnations are invited to the party, and yet most of their previous contact with the Claricles has involved them not seeing her at all! Even Oswin was never actually seen by The Doctor, only what she’d become. Of course, it could be a sweet, throw-away line but it does seem an odd thing to say to her of all people. Their relationship through time and space has been characterised by him not seeing her.21 September 2015 at 12:04 #43124Anonymous @
That’s a great point: I think much of what was said and done, even the Doctor’s hug was meaningful -code; nanogenes for protection (who nose?). I wondered if the next thing he’d say was “of course I see you: your face is so wide!” I felt that there were periods of passing time when they were travelling or the Doctor was, and we’ve somehow been dropped, like travellers too, into the middle of their lives at that moment. And yet it’s not slap dash. It’s thorough and beautifully produced.
I feel depressed sometimes when some viewers struggle to locate logic when this programme has an inner logic which blossoms open with time. A chance statement which I’d never pick up on, you did.
I like that!
Kindest, Puro21 September 2015 at 12:09 #43125
The Doctor’s approaching inevitable death.
I know the ‘last will and testament thingy’ does imply ‘the Doctor is going to die’, but why do people keep talking about this as if it’s another Series 6 ‘we’ve seen him die’ storyline.
He’s not facing an ‘inevitable’ death. He thinks he has to go see Davros, and Davros is going to kill him. It’s no more ‘facing an inevitable death’ than writing your death letter is for a soldier going off to a war zone.
The Doctor’s facing death, yeah. He does that practically every week, anyway. This time, the problem is that he thinks he deserves to die. Hence the Confession CD of Rassillon. He’s done the traditional Time Lord thing of confessing why he deserved to die.
Which is, quite frankly, suspicious in itself. When has the Doctor ever been a traditional Time Lord?
Other suspicious things that occur to me: Missy going into danger to get Clara on board can be explained by a last ditch effort to find the Doctor. But why the heck does Missy want Clara after she’s got the Doctor’s location out of her? Was there more to the Confession CD of Rassillon than an unopenable CD player? (Of Rassillon).
And, indeed, Missy’s whole demeanour throughout – she’s definitely not turned good but there’s a distinct vibe of ‘this is so serious we all have to work together’.
Just how seriously has the Doctor fcuk-ed up?21 September 2015 at 12:11 #43126Mersey @mersey
I really enjoyed the episode. It lacks a little bit of an action but still it was very entertaining. I wonder what did the Doctor do in the young Davros planet (It was Skaro, isn’t it?) before the Daleks had been created and before the Time war begun. It must be really, really long ago. As we could see, Doctor just left young Davros knowing that he ultimately will survive. He did probably because of the Doctor’s screwdriver. But it was a big interference. If it really was the Doctor who saved Davros (with his screwdriver), he could do much more. And he don’t have to kill him to save Clara. He can do such thing like he did in “A Christmas Carol”. But I don’t believe he can do such paradox. No Davros, no Daleks, no Time War, etc. Was it his rage that influence so much Davros? I miss a little bit those episodes which had their internal, independent stories. And why it has to be always the Doctor’s fault?!21 September 2015 at 12:39 #43130Anonymous @
“He’s not facing an ‘inevitable’ death”
I agree -he isn’t. He is carrying on as if he is though -for some reason and that’s the parlour trick.
So, no Pip I don’t think he’s really considering death as a possibility -but “That’s life with the last night of a TL: tears, cakes, custard, coffee and Orbison.” -which is what I meant -it’s a trick, a code, a possibility of still trying to change the future regarding child Davros.
Without Tardis and Sonic -I’d be depressed. But his depression equally turns to mania; one of the Doctor’s finer qualities since T. Baker.21 September 2015 at 12:41 #43131Anonymous @
Which people? 🙂21 September 2015 at 12:47 #43132
There were several commentators at T’Other Place who seemed to think it meant ‘replaying Series 6’ , plus I’m working my way through posts in-between actual, y’know work. Hence the ‘various people’.21 September 2015 at 12:48 #43133
He’s not facing an ‘inevitable’ death.
Yes, I agree. On the other hand, Moffat does tend to borrow from himself in regard to narrative structure. After re-viewing this episode I could not shake the feeling that just like the resolution at Lake Silencio (The Doctor miniaturized in a tessalector that had been planned in advance) or the Doctor seeming to die in the British Museum, only to flip back and forth in time to re-arrange the screwdriver, or the phone call from the future to have the timelord 3D painting relocated, that the scene is being set here for a well-planned escape plan.
Having Clara turn up in the 12th century to locate the Doctor (or having been dragged along by Missy), his farewell to her as he prepares for transport to Davros’s ship (a bit of an apology but mainly silence) seems like a rather perfunctory goodbye. His abject pleading with Davros to save Clara doesn’t quite gell with our impression of the Doctor either. So, I start to wonder, will next week reveal a plan that the Doctor has had all along–not a tessalector this time, but (as previously) a fiendishly clever plan to escape from the jaws of death that Moffat’s Doctor always seems to have.
So, why did Missy bring Clara along for the ride? Could it be that Missy and the Doctor have worked out the plan in advance, and it requires Clara? Not sure. On past evidence, Moffat’s Doctor’s plans seem to be just that–the Doctor’s plans alone.21 September 2015 at 13:12 #43134
that’s the parlour trick.
I suspect – though we’ll find out next week – that both the Doctor and Missy are playing parlour tricks.
The vortex bracelets. I repeat, bracelets. Two. Why? We know, know from The Sound of Drums that if one person wearing a vortex bracelet grabs hold of another, the vortex bracelet is capable of carrying both. But Missy, for some reason, wants Clara equipped with a vortex bracelet that’s in her control.
Question: would a Time Lord be capable of doing a transmat that shows the skeleton last rather than just the normal straightforward vanishing? Almost certainly. And if everyone knows Davros is asking for the Doctor, Missy knows in advance that any faking of her/Clara’s death will need to convince the Daleks. It has to look like an extermination…21 September 2015 at 13:35 #43135Anonymous @
indeed yes, those flashes from Silencio I had too. Then I was certain fate could not be escaped: postponed, but that’s all. Turned out he was cleverer than that…. 🙂
@bluesqueakpip So, the Vortex manip’s are arranged to show a striking figure of a death: is this why Clara, rather than “motor mouthing” (I think that was @serahni‘s phrase -and so applicable!), runs instead – to convincingly set up the fear of her ‘death’?
I think in the end, the Doctor is always facing death/near death/end of cycles/regen/cooking etc….it’s one of the hazards of “it is defended” as Pip has said. And for the companions, death is close: Doctor Who is about loss whichever way you look at it.
But I think the Doctor has to act convincingly for a variety of reasons too -he does it so well!
Saving Davros -at any point, is going to provide problems in any timey sequence as @mersey mentioned (halloo! are you new? Welcome!) I don’t see a way out of this particular puzzle myself.
Hmm: scratches head.
I did love the new Doctor’s theme: no longer tentative, it beats out with a full orchestra, loud and proud.
In speaking to some friends who felt Who was “treading water last year” (my son annoyingly agreed), they all felt this episode might begin an entirely new, updated show with “tremendous vigour and vibe.”
Their fav was Missy -and just in case she’s friendly and won’t bite (in reaction to @arbutus who mentioned the “shipping” fandom; and @pedant who reminded us of fans losing track of Buffy’s goal once Spike flashed his cheekbones) her killing of an innocent was necessary: she’s not ‘cute’, she isn’t an ally, she has her own illusive motives.
But she might lend a hand…21 September 2015 at 13:37 #43136Charlie Cook @charlie-cook
I don’t know if we are allowed to refer to The Inspector (US spoof show) here, but when the Daleks were waiting for Clara to run, I couldn’t help thinking ‘less talking, more fleeing’.21 September 2015 at 13:40 #43137Anonymous @
I thought that Clara vortexed her way to Missy’s location to save time (with UNIT’s blessing)?
Of course then then the 8 snipers would have also done the same. So, scratch that, they all went by Sikorsky!
Missy already had a Vortex Manip. -always has done.
So then the question is: “where have they gone?” To the matrix? To a portion of saved Gallifrey which no-one can actually see except Missy? And the Tardis? Is it a fake?
No. Can’t be.
Can he ‘grow’ another one in less than 50 years? 🙁
I think they disappeared into the Tardis…and it went ‘poof’ and wasn’t destroyed. Some planned ‘cycle’ acted upon it before the Dalek ‘destruction’ that the Doctor predicted or the Tardis herself predicted in a manner of helping the Doctor as she’s wont to do….21 September 2015 at 13:48 #43138
Yes, Moffat’s themes repeat. Before the 50th the Doctor was going round and round, like a hamster on a wheel, or a Time Lord trapped in a clock face, never able to escape.
But now he’s still going round and round – but it’s a spiral. As in the opening credits. The same problems repeat – but this time, each time, things resolve a little bit more.
On past evidence, Moffat’s Doctor’s plans seem to be just that–the Doctor’s plans alone.
The only additional message that the Doctor has to have sent to Missy with the CD Player of Rassillon is ‘I need you. And we’ll both need Clara.’ I may be being over-optimistic, but my reading of Missy’s relationship to the Doctor is that if he really, really needs her, she’ll be there. If, on the way, she gets to kill lots of people, that’s a bonus.
And then she’ll try to kill or betray him and/or his companion afterwards. After all, what are frenemies for? 😈21 September 2015 at 15:01 #43144
Not sure if anyone has already referenced this upstream, but it was sort of cool to see Kelly Hunter as the Shadow Architect, previously seen in “The Stolen Earth”. SM is usually very sparing in referencing characters and events from the RTD years.21 September 2015 at 15:07 #43145
I do love the Sisterhood of Karn
Me too. I would like more of Karn, please. Mind you, I’d also like to see more of Madame Vastra, Strax and Jenny, but I think that may depend on Neve McIntosh’s schedule.
I think the thing with Missy (and previous versions of the Master) is that we know we’re not supposed to like them – but we all do. There seems to be a lot of effort from both RTD and Moffat to explain why the Doctor is perpetually letting his old friend escape, given that he is probably the second most murderous psychopath in the history of the universe – RTD gave us both the backstory of the lost little boy who had been badly abused by the Time Lords and the man who was good enough friends with the Doctor that he’d die before he’d let Rassillon kill him.
Moffat – we’ve not seen the end of that arc. But we have seen that the Doctor is prepared to kill Missy, but that one of his oldest friends (the Brig) knows that he mustn’t do it. (Hmmm… and it was Clara who insisted he try and kill Missy).
The most murderous psychopath in the history of the universe? Davros. Davros created an entire race of murderous psychos. The Daleks are his children.
Which is a very interesting way to describe the Daleks, given Into the Dalek’s discussion of them being engineered to be evil psychopaths. The Daleks as children with their choice taken away from them; children with no choice but to be evil. Clara with her Space Dad and Wicked Stepmother. Boy Davros as a child, abandoned by the Doctor.
It’s still about the children of the Time War.21 September 2015 at 15:26 #43146
@denvaldron and @purofilion
Yes, I do tend to stat-crunch. 😉
Currently, we know the overnight numbers. We don’t know their significance. Their significance will become more obvious as the ‘Final figures’and the newer ‘L+7’ come in. Some viewers will undoubtedly have been lost from E1S8, because the first episode was also Peter Capaldi’s first episode and they’re traditionally higher viewing figures than normal.
The final figures represent everyone in the BARB survey who watched Who – or recorded Who and watched it later that week. If Doctor Who lost out because everyone wanted to watch the live X Factor, that will show up (finals usually add a million or so, so if they add more than that, it was probably the X Factor).
The ‘L+7’ represent the add-ons from iPlayer downloads. If television is changing (and Who, with its large proportion of tech-savvy viewers, is in the forefront of that change) then we’ll see a very big add on from iPlayer. That will mean that more and more people simply never show up on the overnights because they watch Doctor Who streamed or downloaded through iPlayer.
Last series the add on from the overnights was usually between two and three million. Since then, more of the UK has moved to unlimited fibre broadband, which makes it easier to watch via iPlayer.
What that all means is that more and more people can decide to watch later, according to the reviews and the word-of-mouth. And the Audience Appreciation Index for The Magician’s Apprentice was 84, just one point short of ‘Excellent’.
At the moment, therefore, I’m expecting that most people simply watched/will watch on iPlayer.21 September 2015 at 15:42 #43147
@bluesqueakpip I’d also like to see more of Madame Vastra, Strax and Jenny Yeah, It would be nice to see more of the Paternoster Gang, I think we all laugh at Strax’s recurring suggestion of grenades. I think more of them would be a great thing, seeing as the cosplay is overwhelming. Although I don’t think personally, that they have alot to do in the new season.21 September 2015 at 17:03 #43148
Assuming that the final scene in the episode takes place after the Doctor’s confrontation with Davros…. And I think that’s a good assumption, since the Doctor makes reference to ‘saving his friends’, there’s an observation, and a question.
First, the observation appears to be that the Doctor walked away in the opening scene without either rescuing or killing Davros. He just goes back in his Tardis, and disappears, leaving the kid with his sonic screwdriver and ‘where did you go?’
Second, when the Doctor shows up behind Davros, well… obviously, he’s travelled in time. How? The Tardis has been blown up. He can’t be borrowing Missy or Clara’s time vortex manipulators, because they’be both been blown up. He’s short a time machine.
So what are the options?
1) Stole a Dalek time machine, shortly after arguing with Davros. Might explain the Dalek gun. Is that a Dalek gun by the way? Looks like something cybermen used in the old series. Must re-watch.
2) Davros gives him a time machine, or a time ride back. Might explain the Dalek gun.
3) He gets all motivated and finds a reason to live. He finds or obtains a spare vortex manipulator somewhere further along the timeline. Might explain the Dalek gun.
4) The Tardis isn’t destroyed/Missy and Clara aren’t dead, there’s a vortex manipulator. But then, what’s his motivation?
I’m under the impression that the Doctor is going to change Davros lifeline so that the Tardis isn’t blown up and Missy and Clara aren’t killed, which is going to create a paradox. I guess its all timey wimey.
On the subject of Timey Wimey, anyone notice that despite being on Death’s Door, Davros actually seems healthier, more robust and a lot more active than a lot of his appearances. Repeatedly, in Davros appearances, he’s one step from a palsied corpse, who can barely move his single arm (he can’t really move it – he’s got just enough functionality to push a few buttons). In this episode, from the little we see of Davros, he’s actually kind of buff, and his good arm has a lot more movement. Is this a continuity glitch, or does Davros end up a lot worse off from the Doctor’s intervention.
Also, on the Timey Wimey thing – Skarro got blowed up in Remembrance of the Daleks. Not shimmy shammied, not catapulted into another dimension. It actually got blowed up, by Davros himself, falling into the Doctor’s trap with a stellar manipulator. Very kablam. It got better?
Of course, it was 1963 that Skarro got blowed up in. And of course, Davros was coming down from some kind of Time Corridor, so we don’t know when Skarro blowed up.
And speaking of which – is Snake Guy’s ship equipped with Time Travel? Because he seems to be hunting the Doctor all over past and future. And when he finds the Doctor, he’s in the Renaissance, 500 years ago?
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