‘The Magician’s Apprentice’ review

WARNING: There are spoilers in this review.


With “The Magician’s Apprentice,” Steven Moffat, the writer of the episode, focused on conceptual ideas instead of writing an interesting plot and that led to a somewhat bland episode of “Doctor Who.”

Moffat began the episode with a child in a war zone running into a field of hand mines. The child, scared of dying, cries out until The Doctor appears. The Doctor learns the child’s name is Davros— the name of The Doctor’s future arch nemesis and creator of the Daleks.

It’s interesting Moffat made Davros and The Doctor both men forged by war. It led to the final confrontation at the end of the episode that was much more engaging to watch. A great idea, but the problem is Moffat sacrificed the rest of the episode’s plot to just get Davros and The Doctor in a room together to discuss their differing ideologies. It left another lead character to feel useless in the episode.

Jenna Coleman, who acts as The Doctor’s companion, Clara Oswald, felt like more of a background character than a supporting character for the episode. It was no fault of Coleman’s— Moffat decided to give more to attention to The Doctor and Missy, and their eccentric love-hate friendship.

That attention lasted only so long because Moffat preferred Davros and The Doctor to confront each other at the end of the episode. It was kind of sad to see that happen, because The Doctor and Missy have a great dynamic.

The cliffhanger at the end of “The Magician’s Apprentice” was magically redeeming. It almost made up for sitting through a dull 40 minutes of “Doctor Who.”

Skip this week’s episode, it was just set up for next week’s show.

George Johnston can be reached at [email protected] or@gjohnston786 on Twitter.