Doctor Who S09E01 Episode Recap: The Magician’s Apprentice


The BBC started this season off with a bang. Before you read further, remember the words of River Song: Spoilers!

Open on a foggy battlefield. Two soldiers see a small child; one tries to save him, and one runs. The soldier who stayed behind gets sucked into the ground by hand mines. No, that’s not a typo. As the child stares at the hand mines in terror, a small object falls from the sky and lands next to him. A sonic screwdriver.

Enter The Doctor. He talks to the child, trying to bolster his confidence by telling the boy to forget about the odds stacked against him and only think about the odds in his favor.

He builds a rapport with the boy. He tries to comfort the boy, convince the boy to remain calm, offer help. He asks the boy’s name. The boy answers…


The Doctor has just saved the life of his greatest enemy.

Unable to cope with the knowledge of what he has just done, The Doctor leaves Davros alone on that battlefield. As just about any Whovian can tell you, Davros survives to create the most iconic Doctor Who villains: the Daleks.

As Davros sits dying, he sends henchmen out to find The Doctor, searching all of time and space, but The Doctor is nowhere to be found. Davros hatches a plan to lure The Doctor into a trap by tracking his closest friends: Clara and Missy. Through them, he finds and acquires both The Doctor and the TARDIS, taking Clara and Missy along as hostages.

While The Doctor is ushered away to Davros’s chamber, Missy and Clara are stuck in a type of holding cell. Missy soon deduces that they are not on a spaceship, as they were led to believe–they are on a planet, and she proves this to Clara by escaping the cell and breaking the invisibility field hiding said planet. What she reveals is terrifying.

Skaro. The planet of the Daleks is back. The Daleks are back.

Missy and Clara are exterminated. The TARDIS is destroyed. All looks bleak for The Doctor.

Until you see young Davros again, back on the battlefield, right where The Doctor left him. He’s calling out for the stranger who promised to help him. The Doctor returns from the future, holding a severed Dalek extermination stalk, and aims it at young Davros.

Will The Doctor really kill a child in order to prevent the creation of the Daleks? What will that do to the time stream? Will he be able to save Missy and Clara? And how does he go back in time in the first place with the TARDIS gone?

I guess we’ll just have to wait for next week to find out. 😉


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