The Magician’s Apprentice

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    bendubz11 @bendubz11

    Looking ahead to TWF, does anyone know how long after it airs it will be on iPlayer? can’t watch it live because I don’t as of yet have a TV licence (only just started at uni, other more important things first). Thanks all in advance.

    Hudsey @hudsey

    <p style=”text-align: left;”>Hello All</p>
    <p style=”text-align: left;”>It’s been quite a while since I posted but I’ve enjoyed your bonkers theories so much I had to post my own thoughts on what’s happening…</p>
    <p style=”text-align: left;”>Davros is the apprentice as noted in the title. The Doctor realises after meeting him as a child that he can’t kill him and cause such a huge paradox, and he knows rescuing him will likely result in him becoming the most evil dictator in the universe. Rock and a hard place, right? Also, the kids going to end up injured with a third eye etc. The doctor writing his confession dial is his way of attracting Missy (but not Clara – Missy has brought her along as insurance) but specifically Missy from the correct point in his time stream. I think he needs Missy to do what he can’t bring himself to do – ensure Davros ends up how he is and protecting the time stream. When she brings Clara that’s when he realises she is in the greatest danger ever, hence the hug. The doctor said he was ‘prepared’ – that means a fake tardis for the daleks  to destroy. But he will finish his chat to Davros and nip back to Skaro, determined to save Clara. He is emotionally distraught and is prepared to kill Davros and cause a huge paradox in order to save Clara.</p>
    <p style=”text-align: left;”>Clara and Missy dead? No chance. Missy (and the slaved Clara) are moved in time by their vortex manipulators as they are shot. It’s another Missy insurance policy. However whatever protective technology designed to stop them being killed doesn’t fully work with a human. Missy needs to use some regeneration energy to heal herself but not fully regenerate. By being linked with the manipulators Clara is also regenerated, but she becomes ‘the witches familiar’ linked mentally and physically to Missy. They agree that Davros must end up as the Davros as we know him. Clara is now a bit ‘Mastery’. They use the manipulators to travel back to the meeting between the doctor and the child and they will step in to ensure the timeline is secured. They stop the Doctor killing him, little Davros gets injured in the process. They all leave. The doctor is never the same again as he has now become the person who was prepared to kill a child. Missy is Back to her old old self as she is jealous of Clara’s importance to the doctor. Clara is now a bit evil, and will have a telepathic link to missy for a future storyline.</p>
    <p style=”text-align: left;”>By the end of this series Clara will betray the doctor. She will become more ‘Mastery’ and in the end she will die somehow alongside Missy, they will both regenerate together locked in combat. Producing one consolidated new master. This bonkersness will in turn push the Doctor to seek out River Song as a shoulder to cry on for xmas :-)</p>
    <p style=”text-align: left;”>Hudsey</p>

    lisa @lisa

    @hudsey I think you have good ideas! I’m on board with the notion of Missy ‘creep’
    into Clara especially. Clara’s purple tights you know 😉 I’ve always felt that
    when Clara was rescued from the Doctor’s timeline she came out a Claricle. All
    the claricles are all about saving the Doctor. It wouldn’t surprise me if Clara dies
    saving the Doctor from Missy later in this season.

    Whisht @whisht

    btw as no one posted a link to the CD of Rassilon, I thought I’d at least show a screencap

    CD of Rassilon

    stevethewhistle @steve-thorp

    EXTERMINATE, EXTERMINATE (to be translated from Dalek)

    Anonymous @


    I can see that you are right: I did feel that those who seemed to think Clara’s life was some kind of relentless tedium: teaching only-  and without ambition perhaps don’t understand the life of a teacher. With pay next to crap -unlike a medical registrar in Oz, their life is much the same as a 1st year Doctor: spare time is for sleep.

    I recall even after post-grad being treated like hell by the HODs. As a music teacher I had to organise the orchestras and start auditioning for the Calamity Jane Musical within Week 1. Every unit plan and  lesson plan (hand written in those days) was 2 -3 pages long and submitted with every unit in  a folder including a copy of every handout and overhead projection sheet. Then, DPs, principals, HODS, mentors visited the classes each term -one for each subj area. I also took on debating and Rotary.

    There were fashion parades, speech nights, art nights -where all the music ensembles had ‘to make a show’ and for every Ancient history subject, I’d prepare feasts. There were also camps both for musicals and for yr 8s or 9s and other junior groups.

    I spent every weekend working solidly for 8 hours a day and then partying my pants off -early to bed Sunday (of course) – school by 6.30 am on the Monday (1st rehearsal at 7.15 every day for 7 months till curtain up for the musical). I don’t know HOW many times I had to get Grease underway. Every parents and kid thought it was the bees and knees and whilst there are some OK songs, I despised it!!

    No wonder I became part-time after 7 years and then applied to uni instead -much easier, in my opinion, and better pay, recognising post grad papers.

    Now, frankly it’s worse. Heads of Dept don’t necessarily expect lesson plans but they want immeasurable ‘demos’ of technology as well as hours of professional development sewn on to even longer days. All for the sake of  ‘following bureaucracy.’

    Utter nonsense.

    Frankly Clara’s life seems a little less busy with ‘teaching’ than a person in a similar socio-eco position  in oz: she doesn’t look tired, wears crazy shoes and spends impossible time on hair and makeup. Me? I’d do hair and face in the car -completely illegal, but then in 1989 we were judged on appearance: just us women (face, hair, jewellery, stockings and general clothing -no slacks permitted).

    The union eventually stumped for changes on that -as the wonderful men started wearing dresses like Corporal Klinger to work on our behalf.

    So for those who thought Clara “had little ambition,” please accept that I want to strangle you!

    All in good fun. And of course I don’t.

    Not really.

    Well, only occasionally.I’m trying to copy Tennant’s Doctor ( “Well, maybe. Well, perhaps hardly at all. Well, never really.”)  🙂



    Anonymous @

    @janetteb @lisa

    So, for the sake of form, I’m beginning to think that young Smithy brought Clara (not a Claricle ) back from his time stream: a Clara who remembers very little of her experiences. I imagine remembering them would induce a brain-melt similar to Donna Noble’s and so ‘naturally forgetting’ her experiences would give her the ability to move on -join a profession, take a boyfriend and happily travel with the Doctor.

    @whisht  – -thank you for that -it’s quite beautiful really? The work that must go into producing these gorgeous props would be considerable, I believe?  <<*\*>>

    Anonymous @


    And it loops right back to The Big Bang, when the Dalek begs for mercy. Which the Doctor, of course, didn’t see.

    Yes, I thought Daleks saying “mercy” was an inescapable loop this time, but the Moff left a way out again.

    The Daleks say mercy when they get really scared, like boy Davros was scared when the Doctor left him. So, that could be the programmed response to Clara’s fear, just like the laser fired when Clara got angry.

    On first time line (that we saw happen): The Dalek saying mercy reminded the Doctor about saving Davros. Then he went back to rescue Davros afterwards making a new time line we didn’t see.

    On new time line, the Daleks learned mercy from the Doctor saving Davros (the concept instead of just saying it, maybe?), so the result is the same for Moffat loop and multiple time lines.


    I feel a bit distraught about the Doctor giving up so much regeneration energy.

    Me too Lisa! He healed all of the Daleks with it, so he might be on his last regeneration again?! I liked not thinking about that anymore. But here we go again.

    AlexM @alexm

    I very much enjoyed it – pure spectacle, admittedly, but that felt absolutely right for the return episode. I’ve written a review, here.

    Also! Some ethical musings on whether or not you should kill baby Davros, or just steal his teddy instead.


    • This reply was modified 6 years, 8 months ago by  AlexM. Reason: fixing URL formatting
    • This reply was modified 6 years, 8 months ago by  AlexM. Reason: arbitrary formatting preferences
    Kharis @kharis

    @purofilion Teachers are modern day martyrs for sure.  We tend to use the teacher’s love for their students by treating them like crap and overworking them.  Why?  Because most people know that the teacher’s heart bleeds for their students so it is known that they will sacrifice their own life, time and health.   Very Clara.  I don’t know why people bag on Clara?  Maybe it stems from their societal conditioning to bag on martyr types?

    @barnable As soon as I heard the Dalek say “mercy” I thought of the Dalek from Big Bang.  It stuck out to me even then.  Maybe it was Clara somehow?  That would be terrible.


    gamergirlavatar @gamergirlavatar

    Have to say that Missy and Clara were great in this episode. Clara was strong and stood her ground when she talked to Missy. Missy was bananas but bananas are good. Missy might be the best Master ever.

    jphamlore @jphamlore

    @gamergirlavatar: I suspect Missy is only acting bananas when in actuality every moment she is coldly calculating.

    For example, the three are being held prisoner and Missy appears to be singing possibly to be deliberately annoying. No I think, she’s probably using her voice like a bat trying to probe the chamber they are in. Later she is shown dancing but now it is explicitly stated by her she is probing the nature of the gravity in the chamber, determining it is from a planet not artificial.

    Missy stated in Death in Heaven all she wanted was her friend back, the Doctor. She achieved her objective, also communicating to the Doctor the fact she was still alive and what her new form was. And in this episode she’s demonstrating to Clara that DNA is thicker than water, that the Doctor and her sharing the same DNA and in the same species matters more than any other bond.

    No I think Missy is coldly manipulating the Doctor to eventually buy into her view that the Time Lords must be brought back, but perhaps “better”, edited.

    Because that’s what Missy said in Death in Heaven, “upload the mind, upgrade the body.” And while they are it, maybe upgrade the mind as well since Gallifreyan civilization had proven to be defective.

    idiotsavon @idiotsavon

    A delayed response to say the least, but…



    Yes, it’s challenging to keep up, now that we have the new series.  Nice Goethe shoehorn, by the way; do keep ’em coming!

    Thanks for the encouragement. I haven’t done a great job of keeping up with recent episodes, let alone staying up to date with comments and forcing foreign literature into the mix. I often wish I had a time machine of my own.


    All this talk of the colours attendant upon the Dalek death rays–can it be explained by reference to Goethe’s theory of colour, perhaps?

    Yes! I like your thinking! I don’t know anything about Goethe’s theory of colour, but I’m certain it would make for some excellent bonkers theorising, and given that he took more pride in that than in his poetry, I should probably take a look. (I found an online translation, in case it’s of interest : )



    gamergirlavatar @gamergirlavatar

    @jphamlore Oh yeah, I thought that Missy was being bananas in order to think because that’s what I do to think. I just love that Missy let Clara think that she was going to kill them both when she wasn’t, yet. I think that Missy and Clara were a great team and it was fun to see how The Doctor cares about them both.

    Anonymous @

    I had something of a revelation on this episode and its relationship to the rest of the season, if anyone’s interested.

    This is the 10th anniversary series for the revived show, and even if they claim they’re not making a big deal of it, I would argue that it’s a basis for the season. Yes, there’s an unusually large number of small things (references to Rose, Martha, Amy, Jack, Harold Saxon, Harriet Jones, Harry Sullivan; Genesis, Pompeii & 50th flashbacks; everything in Magician, etc), but more importantly look at how the two-parters are methodically taking classic tropes from past eras and subverting them:

    – Under The Lake is a straight base-under-siege story (BG + RTD), then Before The Flood turns it on its head with the timey-wimey second half (Moffat)
    – The Girl Who Lived is a straight historical + alien romp (BG + RTD) until the immortality twist (Moffat)
    – The Zygon Invasion is by far the straightest Moffat’s ever played RTD’s obligatory ‘mid-season alien invasion of contemporary Earth’ trope… and I would bet money that the second half will subvert it- or rather invert it.

    Then look at Magician’s Apprentice/Witch’s Familiar. Not only does Moffat go out of his way to take us through a whirlwind tour of BG, RTD and Moffat locations (Karn, Shadow Proclamation, Maldovarium), but I now realise that the episode’s schizophrenic changes are because he’s going through the above tropes in miniature. RTD alien invasion of contemporary Earth?- UNIT and the frozen planes. Historical romp?- Medieval English amphitheatre. Base under siege?- bears some resemblance to Missy/Clara in the sewers and the non-Davros scenes indoors (in the setting, running about corridors, etc). He covers everything- Time Lords and Daleks, the Master and Davros, utter seriousness and silly antics, all of the history of Doctor Who in 90 minutes. And then he turns all that on its head by engaging in philosophical debate in a pretty much unprecedented, extended way. Magician is a microcosm of the season as a whole, a plan containing the seeds for each story and for each of the narrative arcs, which all begin here. As such, have a strong feeling that the finale will reflect this opener quite closely.

    Anonymous @


    I think that is one heck of a PhD ready to be written! You’re quite right = there is a sense of a microcosm in the deference to, reference to, particular on-going ideas of 10 years ago -nicely contained and modified when necessary really suggesting an enormous amount of self-reflection and dedication to the moods, feel, crisis points and character arcs since 2005. The aliens too have received an homage  -the ‘friend inside the enemy’ already hinted at -I’m thinking of the Ghosts which showed up in a Tennant season with Rose and were, of course, the cybermen on invasion-alert.

    We had the premonition that Rose was going to be separated from the Doctor and maybe now the Doctor will face an equally difficult situation with Clara- like Ten, Twelve may not be in a position to contact Clara. I don’t know how this will pan out and I certainly haven’t seen anything to suggest this -except for those subtle pauses on Capaldi’s face when Clara dismisses him with, “who is dying then?!”

    It’s a “ahh” moment and jolt of fear  passed thru me -something truly nasty may be around the corner.

    Miapatrick @miapatrick

    One question- so I’m reading the scripts for the first two episodes because I don’t have them saved on my catch-up and I wanted to binge watch before Saturday.

    The part where he wheels into the room of Dalaks in Davros’s chair. The line is given as ‘face it, you’ve all had this exact nightmare’. I had thought the line was ‘WE’VE all had this exact nightmare’ which just seems so much better. Did they change it or did I miss hear?

    Anonymous @

    @miapatrick I heard it as “you’ve”.

    Anonymous @

    <span style=”font-weight: 400;”>I thought I’d promote a review my good friend Stephen and I did for this episode. Our aim is to make amusing Doctor Who reviews for those who enjoy dry humour but keen analysis that often harks back to past episodes and compares and contrasts. We don’t get many views but we’re proud of what we do and would appreciate any attention given to our work. Think of it as a style similar to RedLetterMedia!</span>

    This one stars Tim, one of the strangest men you’ll ever see.

    Pharell, Man! @pharellman

    Doctor, tank, and electric guitar – obviously the best scene [size=6](maybe even ever)[/size]! 😀

    Missy – not bad, well, sometimes even fantastic.

    Clara – …why she was not so great in seasons 8-9 like she was in season 7 with Matt? New rules of writing her character or what? Plus her new hair style – meh… Jenna, never again… Short hairs are not cool. Plus I will never understand coloured hair tips


    From those 2 episodes, next is better. Even tank scene is not doing whole thing better. Or maybe I not remember well…

    TOSK @tosk

    What the hell was in that arrow?

    nerys @nerys

    @pharellman Re: Clara, I feel just the opposite. I loved her Oswin incarnation in Asylum of the Daleks, then felt they didn’t quite know what to do with her when they paired her up with Matt’s Doctor. I liked her, but felt her character was rather anemic when compared with the little spitfire who was Oswin. Then, as Seasons 8 and 9 unfolded, I felt her character was vastly better written, giving Jenna more to work with as an actor. But I also realize there is quite a lot of disagreement among fans on Clara … and this is just one more of those points.

    Anonymous @

    I find that in some episodes I like Clara and some I don’t. For me, I think it depends on the script.

    Missy @missy

    I agree with the above.


    SeverusOswald @severusoswald

    What an amazing way to start a series! Love all the characters. Especially Missy! Everything about her, from her amusing conversations with Clara, to her complex relationships with the Doctor, to her Scottish accent, makes me love her even more every time she gets a line. How’s this for an idea: River Song returns to have a conversation with Missy?

    I know it would make River’s tragic story more drawn-out than ever. But wouldn’t it be worth it? It would be hilarious! Imagine their arguments about who knows the Doctor best, their constant attempts to out-violent each other in a fight against any monsters, both of their constant needs to be in control of the situation — it would be pure Doctor Who gold! Let me know if you agree!

    SeverusOswald @severusoswald

    Two things I didn’t understand about this (amazing) episode were

    1. The things Missy wrote at the beginning. I’m quoting from memory, but it was something like ‘Hey you Missy, you so fine you blow my mind hey missy hey’. Was that a code or something? Please let me know.

    2. The name of the episode. I know the answer’s really obvious and I’ll feel really stupid when I find out.



    It’s a reference to a popular culinary ingredient.

    Whisht @whisht

    @severusoswald – haven’t had the chance to say welcome yet, but…. erm… welcome to the forum!
    (not that a welcome from me is particularly ‘special’ or anything, but just great to hear someone join)

    Not sure about @pedant ‘s answer but I can at least give you some insight into the ‘joke’ about “hey missy you so fine……”

    and you should always be proud of being smart (not knowing about something does not mean you are dumb).


    toinfinityandbepond @toinfinityandbepond
    Mudlark @mudlark


    The title relates to The Sorcerer’s Apprentice, a story in a ballad by Goethe. The sorcerer goes out, telling his apprentice to draw water from the well, but the apprentice thinks to spare himself the labour by casting a spell on a broom, making it carry the bucket and do the work.  Unfortunately he doesn’t know how to stop the broom drawing water, and things get out of hand.  The ballad is the inspiration of a symphonic poem by the French composer Dukas, and the music was used in the Disney film Fantasia, in which Mickey Mouse featured as the apprentice.

    In this case the Magician is the Doctor and Clara the apprentice who, faced with Missy, finds herself a bit out of her depth.  In the following episode the Witch is, of course, Missy, and Clara the Familiar – in folklore a servant spirit in the form of an animal

    SeverusOswald @severusoswald





    Thanks, I understand now. Thank you for the welcome!

    Missy @missy


    River versus Missy?  I know who I’d put my money on.


    MissRori @missrori

    @mudlark, the titles of both episodes certainly reference Clara, but the first at least can also be seen as referring to Davros’s relationship with the Twelfth Doctor!  After all, Twelve feels deep guilt over abandoning young Davros and wondering if he didn’t set him on the awful path to villainy by mistake — as if he “taught” the boy a horrible lesson about survival at any price in a harsh world.  (And boy did that get out of hand if he did!)  Of course, the true lesson turns out to be something quite different.

    Mudlark @mudlark

    @missrori  That’s an interesting take on the title, though it’s stretching the meaning of ‘apprentice’ to the point where I’m not sure it really applies.  At first, after fleeing the scene of their brief and accidental encounter, the Doctor clearly did think that he might have been at least partly responsible for what Davros became, but since following he events of The Witches Familiar he went back – and from Davros’s point of view it would have seemed as if he reappeared almost instantly – the lesson which Davros actually learned from him, and which he hoped to instil was ‘mercy’.

    Missy @missy


    That was how I saw it too. He couldn’t kill a child, but at least he could instill  ‘mercy’ into the boy.


    Dentarthurdent @dentarthurdent

    Well now (he says, coming to this discussion five years late. But what’s 5 years when we have time travel?)

    I’ve been told (by one person) that it’s perfectly okay to try to resuscitate a long-dormant discussion, and since nobody has told me otherwise, that must be a 100% majority in favour. We are a democracy (to quote Colony Sarff).

    I just watched Magician’s Apprentice / Witch’s Familiar and wow. There was so much good stuff in it I want to celebrate it by babbling about it. I can see from a quick scan that every possible theory has already been canvassed so I think I’ll just touch a few things that struck me.

    But first – the Prologue, set on Karn. I love the way Ohila calmly takes the Doctor’s every ‘No’ to be a ‘Yes’.
    DOCTOR: Why do you always assume I’m lying?
    OHILA: It saves time. The truth – will you go?
    DOCTOR: No.
    OHILA: When?
    DOCTOR: Soon.
    OHILA: Why? Did something happen?
    DOCTOR: No.
    OHILA: Was it recent?
    DOCTOR: Yes.

    To the episode:
    Handmines. Ouch. Lasergun-equipped Tiger Moths and bows and arrows are kind of obvious for an anachronistic war, the sort of thing even I could have invented. But handmines? A truly deadly pun, but most people would think ‘nah, ridiculous, can’t ever work’ and dismiss them. But not Moffatt and the Who FX crew, they actually did them. Truly horrifying creepy.

    Missy demanding eight snipers targeted on herself. The nerve of that woman. And carefully adjusting an airliner just for a sunshade. That’s Missy all over, an amazing combination of whimsy and overkill. Every scene with her in it is a joy to watch.

    Missy: “[Look for] the slightest, tiniest anachronisms” – as the Doctor rides in on a tank wailing on a guitar. Way to make an entrance!
    I loved Bors giving the ‘cut!’ signal to the Doctor’s dreadful fish-tank puns.   As another commenter here suggested, I now think Bors was transformed into a Dalek ‘skin job’ by Colony Sarff’s snake, rather than being a deep-cover mole.   That would chime with Colony Sarff having followed Missy and Clara to the scene.

    The planet Skaro looks totally convincing and quite intriguing. Kudos to the Mill. It looks like it would be a fascinating place to visit if it wasn’t for random Daleks.

    Davros – a truly shudder-inducing ancient wreck. I had not expected (in the next episode) to almost start to have some sympathy for him.

    I wasn’t entirely surprised by Missy’s attempted defection to the Daleks, but then I certainly wasn’t expecting the Daleks to immediately exterminate her. Maybe they realise just how tricky Missy is.

    So, Missy, Clara and the Tardis all just vaporised, that’s certainly starting the season off with a bang.

    Oochillyo @oochillyo

    hey dentarthurdent you have convinced me that this ep is fabulous with funny little parts like the Prologue and Missy’s demand I will check it out later thank you 🙂 hugs

    Declan Sargent

    winston @winston

    @dentarthurdent     The Doctors entrance in this episode is one of my favourites. This Doctor does nothing in a small way. Missy is delightfully deranged as usual and she tortures Clara in so many ways.

    I also found the handmines pretty creepy, looking a lot like bits of bodies stuck in the mud after a big battle. The only thing creepier in this episode is Colony Sarff  with shriveled up old Davros coming in third.

    I have not watched this 2 parter in a while and now I think I will just to remind me how much I liked it.

    Stay safe.

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