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The Magician's Apprentice started off pretty interesting, reminded me a lot of the beginning of the Tom Baker "Genesis of the Daleks" (1975). The battle field with weapons from different time periods, long ongoing war, and soldier's with gas masks, fog of war and all. Unlike the earlier Tom Baker series, this time the Doctor is there of his own volition with the Tardis. Or maybe it's again one of those where the Tardis put him where he needed to be more so then wanted to be, he was looking for a book store. Regardless, it's here that the Doctor meets a young Davros and brings about the Gordian knot of a dilemma. The same dilemma that Tom Baker faced in "Genesis of the Daleks" is murder or genocide a valid course of action. Does the good of the many out way the good of the one?

It's a classic setup and there are always multiple ways that are presented to solve it one way or another, but it's never truly answered in a black and white manner that comes to prove the conclusion one way or another. Somewhat reminiscent of Tennant's farewell in "The End of Time", it appears that the Doctor has come to believe his time is coming to an end. Davros is scouring the universe looking for the Doctor via his henchman Colony Sarff. In the course of his search he visits some of our old favorites. The Maldorvarium, The Shadow Proclamation and finally Karn. It was a great trip down memory lane. Would have loved to see Dorium Maldovar make an appearance, I always thought there was so much more in the wings with his character then we got to see. The Sisterhood of Karn as well as the Shadow Architect too are great moments that link past and present. The bottom line reminds us all that time is wibbly-wobbly in nature and not linear. It's on Karn that the Doctor seems to come to realization that his time is near ending.

Meanwhile back on earth, all the planes seem to have been frozen in midflight. Using the normal Moffat-ism of news flashes and reports, it's a global event. Clara however, is in Coal Hill teaching, when she sees a plane frozen in flight. Suddenly UNIT is calling her via the headmaster. Now, funny as it seems, I thought UNIT was a secret organization, but here Clara is flaunting her new role to the class and headmaster. Once she gets to UNIT headquarters, Kate Stewart is present overseeing the situation. Its great seeing Kate again. When she asks if Clara has contacted the Doctor, Clara states felt there isn't enough known to call the Doctor yet? This whole scene and dialog made me think that Clara has gone more towards being Martha Jones. This gave me a hunch that she ends up like Martha later in the series. The other thing I didn't like was how she was overshadowing Kate, kind of a slap to her from previous outings. One thing that didn't happen was Osgood showing up, kind of was looking for that now.

To move things along, UNIT has The Doctor Channel, which by their own admission he probably doesn't remember nor has he ever used. The text message that comes across leaves no doubt as to who is responsible for the planes and the communications. Missy is alive. Say what you will, but Michelle Gomez is a great addition to the Master lineage. Personally I thought that Diana Rigg who played Mrs. Gillyflower in "The Crimson Horror" would have been the penultimate Master, Michelle is making it all her own. In fact there is a lot of Mrs. Gillyflower's psychotic mannerisms n Missy. Missy's entrance is pretty good in how she sets up her meeting with UNIT.

Missy has received the Doctors Confession Dial, a sort of diary that is sent to their best friend when they are on the eve of their death. Makes perfect sense, the Doctor and the Master/Missy have been locked in a love/hate kind of relationship for centuries, who else would he want to send it too. It really brings out the whole frenemy dynamic that they have. In fact it made the story even more likeable and deeper. But Missy isn't doing this as a gesture of changing to being good, no she is still bad as she proves by decimating several of the UNIT guards with Clara. Its Clara's skills that she has developed in traveling with the Doctor that allow her to handle Missy and get her to move on. Again this is what makes me think that Clara will have a position with UNIT once she leaves her travels with the Doctor.

Between Clara and Missy, and help from UNIT, they locate the Doctor. If you were lucky enough to catch the prequel, you know where this is going. In the middle ages, the Doctor is in Essex to do his meditation and preparation before his last night. Well the Doctor is a lot different than the run of the mill Time Lord and he does this a bit differently. Take ADHD, Flight of Ideas, wrapped up in a 1200+ year old Time Lord and you get an entrance worthy of a madman in a box. The celebration among the citizens is to be an ax fight. Unfortunately no one really got down to details as to what kind of ax is being talked about. Capaldi and Moffat shine in bringing about an entrance fit for the proverbial madman. Something that I would have expected to be Matt Smith in nature was totally owned by Capaldi. As he enters the arena atop what appears to be a British Challenger Battle Tank while playing an axe guitar, and it comes off tremendously. The guitar playing, the music used, the dialog, and the acting all PHENOMENAL!! Even though it was a Time Lord party, no bananas were in sight.

Using Clara and Missy's gift to find the Doctor, Colony Sarff is led to him. The whole scene becomes real when Colony throws the Doctors Sonic Screwdriver down at the Doctors feet. When the Doctor met the young Davros, he gave him his sonic so that they could talk. However, the Doctor left the young boy in the middle of the hand mine field once he realized where he was and who the young boy was. The shame from that event appears to be driving the Doctors actions.

In short order all three are taken to meet with Davros. In the meantime, Bors, the Doctors companion in the prequel, turns out to be a Dalek skin job that captures the Tardis to be brought back to Skaro. Based on this there definitely appears there is a division here among the Daleks and their creator. This becomes more evident once they reach Skaro. With the Doctor separated from Missy and Clara, things quickly go south. As the Doctor and Davros have a conversation, Missy and Clara escape their holding cell that Davros controls and end up being captured by the Daleks. They and the Tardis are brought to the Dalek commander, and all end up being exterminated quickly.

The Doctor is horrified and is begging Davros to stop the Daleks, but Davros confirms he has no control on them. If you think about it, it's been building up this way for a number of episodes over various Doctors. While Davros created them, if you listen to his dialog in "Genesis of The Daleks", he states "once they are activated they become totally self-sufficient/self-operating". So why would they need him to lead them. When we saw him in "The Stolen Earth" / "Journey's End", once again he was more of a long for the ride, the Daleks were using him as a means to carry out the destruction of the rest of the inhabitants of the universe than him being their leader. Here is he basically offering the Doctor a means of ending all Daleks existence, genocide once again.

It's also interesting that we got to this point because the 12th Doctor somewhere along the way didn't really cross his own time line, but traveled farther back past his original meeting with the Daleks. So all those other meetings now would be changed? In "Genesis of The Daleks", Davros pulls from the Doctor all the failures that the Daleks have suffered with at his hands. At the end of it, he does destroy that information. But now, with Davros having this sudden memory of the Doctor leaving him stranded shouldn't that have changed all those interactions as well? An interesting thought, somewhat ala cart of "A Christmas Carol" Christmas special. It's also interesting that there is a montage of all the Doctors dialogs with Davros in his various incarnations.

The next episode should be extremely interesting. Too bad it won't be an extended episode as it really could have a lot of stuff to cover.

Some Random Thoughts...

Michelle Gomez has a great singing voice.

Davros made the Daleks, but who made Davros?

Clara confronts the doctor about missy dying on earth ages ago, he never bothered to tell her that was not true.