Dr Who Review: The Magician’s Apprentice/The Witch’s Familiar

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Lewis: So, Dr Who?

Ben: Yeah, I suppose we’d better do it.

Lewis: As much as we’ve been avoiding it…

Ben: So what did you think?

Lewis: Well, I don’t want to be this pessimistic about the season’s opening episodes, but they were just subpar on almost every level.

Ben: I agree. Everything just seemed so stupid; don’t even get me started on the “sonic sunglasses”. They had better not a permanent thing.

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Lewis: If they are I might just have to swear off the whole thing. To be fair though, at least the second one had some redeeming features, the first one really was just a mish-mash of poor dialogue and stupid attempts at being witty. It feels like Moffat’s trying to be Douglas Adams and not doing a very good imitation.

Ben: I feel a similar way. Yeah I would agree, the second was better than the first, but even the one section that had some emotional gravity was just thrown away as just a plot point.

Lewis: I assume you’re talking about the Davros-Doctor discussion?

Ben: Yeah, that was one of the best bits of Doctor Who we’ve seen in ages, right until the climax which completely ruined it.

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Lewis: I didn’t really like that though, because Davros just isn’t that kind of character. All that emotion and shared respect for each other just felt really forced… I really liked it up to a point, but when Davros cracked that joke and started talking about the sunrise, I was sincerely hoping it would be a trap, and it turned out it was, even if it was a pretty shitty one.

Ben: I didn’t think it was forced at all. I can kind of get why it was done, but I just feel that if they did actually kill Davros off that discussion would have been the way to do it. In the moments before his death he considers his work and wonders was it all worthwhile. I felt it was one of the better scripted and better acted part of the series that we’ve seen for a while.

Lewis: No I get that, and the whole time I was really impressed with the Davros actor’s performance. I didn’t really have a problem with any of the writing for that discussion, but I just feel like some parts of it didn’t really suit the character of Davros. But yeah, that discussion was definitely the highlight of the two episodes.

Ben: Moving away from the discussion, I think the way in which the Doctor beat the Daleks was a bit stupid.

Lewis: Yeah it was pretty naff, a very big dose of convenient plot point there… funny how those deceased Daleks were never mentioned before, huh?

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Ben: But then we have never been to Skaro before, I would have liked to have seen a bit more of the planet as well.

Lewis: What do you mean? We’ve been to Skaro at least twice before. Once in the first Dr Who episode ever, and I’m pretty sure Tom Baker went once.

Ben: I meant that we haven’t been there in the new series.

Lewis: Well yeah, but I’d expect them to consider the fact that we’ve been there before in previous series’.

Ben: Well now it is back (did they explain how they brought it back? I can’t remember) I expect we will be going back fairly regularly.

Lewis: I don’t think they actually explained it… which is incredibly lazy if that’s the case (I could be, and probably am, wrong). I did quite like the censorship thing that the Daleks now have, it’s quite interesting, even if it does make them a little too emotional for my liking.

Ben: #stopmoffat
Where exterminate means reload? That bit? I wasn’t a big fan. That just seemed shoe-horned in for the last scene. Another thing I appreciated were the old Daleks and the lack of the Teletubbie ones.

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Lewis: Not specifically that bit, because that bit’s just stupid. The part where if she says anything non-Dalek like it just changes it to something more suitable; that seemed like something that the Daleks could feasibly have. And yeah, the old Daleks were a very nice touch, but in the end it feels like they were just shoved in there in order to get people to appreciate these episodes more. They really played up the nostalgia…

Ben: That is true. I presume they took inspiration for the sets from the first Skaro episode.

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Lewis: Oh yeah, and I admit, it was really cool to see the old sets/models/Daleks, but it felt like they were just saying “oooh look at all this shiny stuff that you remember, isn’t it cool?? Don’t worry about the poor writing, just look over here”.

Ben: Essentially they were just trying to distract us for 45 minutes.

Lewis: Yeah, and while there were some very good moments (which may or may not have been immediately ruined), it was just a very poor opener to the season.

Ben: Well hopefully things can only get better, but those ghosts don’t look promising…

Lewis: Well… no… no it doesn’t. Looks like a shitty live-action episode of Scooby Doo. It’ll end up being some old guy who was wronged by the scientific team and is using a projector to simulate ghosts and then when they catch him he’ll say “I would’ve gotten away with it too, if it weren’t for you meddling dicks”.
Or something along those lines anyway.

Ben: #stopmoffat
But I suppose we shall have to wait and see.

Lewis: Yeah, fingers crossed the other writers will have something more impressive to offer later on in this season.

Dark Water

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Hello, and welcome to our review of the first part of the Doctor Who finale. It’s actually not late this time, and we’re bringing it out just before the second half airs. So please give it a read and leave a comment about your predictions or opinions if you can be bothered. See you soon.

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Ben: Have you watched Doctor Who yet?

Lewis: Yes, I watched it on Saturday, what did you think of it?

Ben: I wasn’t keen on the ending to be honest; I thought it was a bit of a copout making her a female Regeneration of the Master.

Lewis: I wasn’t a huge fan of that revelation either, but I’m hopeful about it, because since John Simm’s incredible portrayal of the Master I’ve really liked the character. I just hope she lives up to it. Until she made the Doctor feel her heartbeats I had no idea she was gonna turn out to be him/her.

Ben: I don’t think she will be able to live up to Simm, I thought he was brilliant in that role. To be honest I thought that she would be the Doctor’s daughter from that episode with David Tennant, and I think it could have made a better episode if they had managed to make that daughter thing believable.

Lewis: Oh yeah! That was years ago, I’d completely forgotten about her… where the hell did she go off to?
I do see your point, but I can guarantee that a lot of people have completely forgotten about her (like I had), so it’d be a strange one to bring back. I’m very happy the Master/Mistress is back though, even if he/she is now a crazy, horny lady.

Ben: I just feel it would have made a better story, and my feelings about this new incarnation all depend on how they explain the way he came back. The first part seemed ok, if a bit predictable.

Lewis: I hope Moffat actually bothers to explain it rather than doing his usual “it doesn’t matter hand flapping thing”. I’m also a bit disappointed about the Cybermen, they’re always a good baddie, but on this one they’re just being glazed over, as if they’re just there to provide an extra threat.

Ben: In the old episodes the Master would use the Cybermen for his plans, so it’s going down that route again. But yeah, they just appear from the x-ray water (nice idea) and not much is done from there. The next episode is 75 minutes long so hopefully there will be a fair amount of good explanation

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Lewis: I really like how they revealed them with the water, that was a cool concept, but then it’s just not really a big deal afterwards… then again it only happened right at the end, so I’ll forgive Moffat. For now…
Oh wow, I didn’t know it was 75 minutes; there’d better be some good explanations since they have the time for them. Also, do you think Danny will die for real?

Ben: I used Wikipedia (that ever reliable source) for that little fact about the Master and Cybermen. As for Danny, I’m not sure. They can’t kill him otherwise Space Commander Pink will never happen.

Lewis: Oh yeah, I forgot about him… I’m really not on form for this conversation.
As for Wikipedia, if you don’t know something it’s always better to research it than to run your mouth about it, so I think you’re in the clear. My tentative prediction is that Clara will be killed by the Cyberman in the room and end up in the Sphere with Danny. Then it’s up to the Dr to get them out.

Ben: I thought that too, but I think it is more likely that she gets away and they manage to get him out. I can’t see them killing her…

Lewis: It would be a fairly dark turn in the story, but I do like it when a companion is killed off. It livens things up a bit. Like when Adric dies in ‘Earthshock’, it’s a pretty sad scene, but it makes that story-arc that much better. Besides, since they already killed Danny I don’t think another death would be out of the question. (But maybe I’m just a bit sadistic in my tastes of storylines)
All in all, I think it was a fairly strong start to the finale, but there are points that definitely need explaining in the next one.

Ben: I agree, and I don’t really think we can properly review it until we see part 2.

Lewis: No, it’s tough to get a full impression from a multiple-part episode, so we’ll withhold our complete judgement until the finale is completely finished.