Six Smart Women Discussing Doctor Who

VerityEpisode87IT’S HERE! YOU GUYS! IT’S HERE! FINALLY! NEW DOCTOR WHO!!! Join Deb, Erika, Katrina, and Lynne as we flail and squee over guitars and shades, Clara and Missy, Davros and Daleks, and pretty much everything in between. We delve into examination, speculation, admiration, and the littlest bit of criticism. We’re thrilled to be back at it with a new series!

What did you think of “The Magician’s Apprentice”? Let us know in the comments!


Also covered:

Bonus links:
Radio Free Skaro
“Genesis of the Daleks”

Download or listen now (runtime 1:15:52) 

Comments on: "Ep 87 – The Magician’s Apprentice Shippers" (23)

  1. Neil Ottenstein said:

    About 20 minutes left, but even before listening to this I was thinking …. what if this really is the last episode in Clara’s timeline? All of her other appearances this season before Jenna Coleman leaves the show just take place earlier. That would really be evil, but can’t be completely dismissed until the next episode.

  2. sostorm said:

    I’m once again so happy to listen to the Verities being excited about new Doctor Who, and about the storylines. I mostly just want to listen to happy things about Doctor Who.

    I’ve only watched this once so far and I had mixed feelings about it. Mostly because I didn’t expect a two-parter which confused me. Even so I found that there was so much in it, I didn’t get a grasp on it.

    I love how competent Clara is. She should be, she had a great arch last season and have been travelling with him a lot. All I can say about her outshining UNIT is that UNIT continues their proud tradition of not being very competent. Kate, much like her late father, is clueless about baffling things. I like it, it reminds me of UNIT of old.

    I’m not a fan of having a compulsory Dalek story each series but I’m looking forward to seeing how they’ll resolve this one. It’s definitely an interesting take even though I’m baffled of how much the Doctor actually is willing to intertwine with his own timeline and experiences (even if this one was not by choice). How did he not know he landed on Skaro? It’s been a long while since he didn’t landed where he was supposed to, and not even then was he that far off.

    Adore Missy! I need to watch it all again just to see her facial expressions. I’m perfectly fine with them handwaving how she got back. It’s better than having some convoluted explanation that takes too much time out of the episode.

    And the handmines must have really bad eye sight, how else would they only go on movement?

  3. Neil Ottenstein said:

    As far as speculation as to what the Doctor does with young Davros. If he thinks about it, there is absolutely no reason for him to kill Davros. If he is going to mess up with time, just take young Davros away from Skaro so he doesn’t get scarred and create the Daleks. For that matter young Davros could become the Magician’s Apprentice and just travel with him for years. There are a lot of solutions which mess up the timestream and I can’t see the Doctor taking the “quick and easy” one.

    Now, if he is going to save Davros but keep the timestream intact all he needs to do is get him out of the minefield, leave him with the sonic screwdriver (as we see Davros had found it), and perhaps impart him some wisdom that in his near death age will have helped save Clara and Missy.

    • Ooh! I love the idea that Davros becomes a companion and their shared story line become even more entangled. Nice thinking!

      • CarpeCarne said:

        I didn’t think of this angle either, very interesting… although it is similar to what Moffat did in the Christmas Carol episode with Kazran Sardick being the Doctor’s adversary and then, his companion after traveling, and then his ally.

        Moffat has revisited similar themes in the past, so maybe he’ll do it again here?

  4. Alan Jeffrey said:

    I loved this episode, but my better half hated it. We came to the agreement that it was great if you’ve watched the show for 40-odd years, but otherwise it’s a bit of a mess. Most of the emotional highs (Skaro is back! The Kaled-Thal War! Moral Dilemma! Missy! Special Weapons Dalek!) depend on quite a lot of attachment to 70s and 80s Who.

    Still, I am a fan, and I am all in favour of service.

  5. Verities, it was such a pleasure to hear you discuss new Who! A little bit like coming home.

    Onto the episode….

    Loved it. I could watch the arena sequence over and over and over. What am I loving? The triad of the Doctor, Clara and Missy. So funny, witty, such intimacy between them.

    My most powerful, serious emotional beat was when Clara asked if the Doctor could see her when she and Missy arrived and he said, “When do I not see you?” There is such a deep connection between these two characters. It is very satisfying and moving.

    Missy. Missy! This episode also did a gorgeous job of revealing the ancient and complex connection between her and the Doctor.

    So, what is up with Kate? Not only was she spacey and confused, did you see what she was wearing? Hiking boots, jeans, was that a flannel shirt? Her hair was up in the messy, I don’t have any time this morning, mom hair clip twist. Whatever else Kate Lethbridge-Stewart may be, she is always elegant. So, I am very much hoping that her storyline is continued in The Witch’s Familiar and her cabin in the woods fashion statement is explained. Because….

    …despite the Doctor being the Doctor and Davros being pretty darn scary, it is Clara, Missy and Kate who are the power brokers in this story. I love Kate and I don’t like seeing her so unprepared.

    That’s all from me.

    As always, thanks for the love, Verities!

  6. There is absolutely no way the Doctor is going to kill Davros when he was a child. My first thought was that he would take Davros away as a companion, as Neil commented. Wouldn’t that be awesome.

    I loved Missy and how jealous she is of anyone who attracts the Doctors attention, be it Clara or Davros. My favorite part of the episode was when the Doctor said “gravity” and Missy whined “I knooooow”. It was hilarious! I also loved them walking “in space” and the Skaro reveal.

    I was perturbed about one thing. It seemed to me like the Doctor felt he was about to die. Do timelords know when their time is up? Was he so ashamed about abandoning Davros in the handmines that he no longer wanted to live? Or did he just have a bad feeling about his future? I couldn’t tell.

    Loved the episode. Can’t wait for part two.

  7. Henrik said:


    I’m glad that everyone everywhere seems to be thrilled about this episode. I can’t seem to muster even the slightest bit of excitement for new ‘Doctor Who’ anymore. I honestly forgot there was a new series on last Saturday. That may have been partly down to my crippling influenza still keeping me in bed throughout the weekend, but I would’ve expected myself to remember new ‘Doctor Who’ and to curse my failing health for keeping me from it.

    But nope.

    I blame ‘Kill The Moon’. I haven’t been excited about ‘Doctor Who’ since. That’s something that neither ‘Stolen Earth’/’Journey’s End’ nor ‘The End of Time’ could manage.

    Why does any of that matter? Am I merely whining? No. Not merely. It’s partly just whining, but more importantly it coloured my reaction to ‘The Magicians Apprentice’ when I finally did see it. Things about the episode just bugged me and I wasn’t having fun.

    It started with a pointlessly global public crisis that everyone on Earth will forget by next week. I do wish the show would stop with those. UNIT in general and Stewart in particular was useless in the crisis.
    Yet again we have some mysterious evil guy searching for the Doctor all over time and space, and yet again the Doctor is about to die.
    The cliffhanger was dumb, they’re not letting the beloved children’s hero murder a child on BBC 1 at 6 pm so the whole thing seems like a big cheat from the get-go.
    To top it off they don’t seem to have updated the Davros mask even though it’s always looked a bit crap. Specifically it’s still not obvious that the guy is actually only seeing out through the Dalek eye stuck to his forehead. It still doesn’t really look like an eye. It doesn’t move. It doesn’t blink. It doesn’t do that thing the Daleks sometimes do where they’re focusing or adjusting the aperture or whatever they’re doing. Even with the regular Daleks they at least shoot them as if those big lenses are eyes with tense close ups and make sure the eye-lines add up. With Davros it’s just a guy who has a glowing rock stuck on his head.

    And then it just took forever for the story to really kick off while we watched the Doctor play guitar.

    So I wasn’t keen. I love Missy. Obviously. Clara was great. As usual. And there’s a lot of them in the episode. It’s not a terrible episode, but it’s not great either. It’s just there, and it’s just OK. 6 out of 10? Maybe?

    My impression of the episode did become slightly more favourable on rewatch, but not significantly. Now I’m a bit sad. I hope next week can get me excited about ‘Doctor Who’ again and I hope that the upcoming Peter Harness episodes won’t just make me stop watching altogether.

  8. Loved the new episode – and might I just add that my wife, who definitely is *not* a fan of the show in general, is a big Clara fan (to the point of asking me to show her all of Clara’s episodes) and has become a huge Missy fan.

    Two minor comments I wanted to make. First off, Missy’s enigmatic “one of these statements isn’t true”. While I have no problem with the Doctor being a woman (bring on Tilda Swinton) I don’t want the the little girl statement to be true. On one level, it would be a cop-out for the Doctor to have been a female but we just never saw it. But on a more trivial level, I recently read the Brilliant Book of Doctor Who 2012 which includes the application the Doctor submitted to gain a job at the department store in “Closing Time”. On the form he filled in gender as “Male so far”. In honour of the giggles that comment gave me, this is in my personal canon 🙂

    And in relation to the conversation about the show going back and rewriting its own history at whim all the time, I would just like to offer a shout out to the mention of “three possible versions of Atlantis.” Acknowledging that onscreen was delightful.

    Now if you’ll excuse me I have some hand mines to negotiate.

  9. Having done so much to reignite my enjoyment of the show last series, I really felt that Capaldi, Coleman and Gomez were poorly served here.

    With Missy it felt like they threw away the perfect balance of menace and charisma achieved in the finale in favour of something much more bland (if Gomez could ever be bland).

    With Clara I expected everything to have changed and was sort of disappointed that she was back at the school.

    With Capaldi I think the only gap in his acting skills is ‘appalled face’ scenes of which there was far too much of.

    The outstanding acting performance was Julian Bleach. Every line was superbly delivered with tremendous gravitas. And I don’t think he was even mentioned on the podcast!

    Still, the prospect of extended Capaldi/Bleach scenes makes me confident that episode two will turn things round. And I’ve forgiven the rock’n’roll doctor scene as something required for a RadioTimes cover just as the dinosaur in London was required last year.

  10. CarpeCarne said:

    Great discussion! Three thoughts on this episode:

    1) I really hope — whatever is in store for young Davros in part 2 this Saturday— doesn’t invalidate or shunt off the wonderful Big Finish “I, Davros” mini-series, which chronicles Davros’s life at four stages, including around the age he’s depicted in The Magician’s Apprentice- across four discs. I fear “I, Davros” could be headed into Human Nature book vs. episode territory.

    2) This is definitely my head canon talking, but i like to think that, in terms of the Gallifreyan “last will capsule” and sending it to your closest time lord, I like to think the Doctor was returning the favor to Missy… Think back to the opening prologue of the McGann TV Movie – how else would the Master, on trial by the Daleks on Skaro for his life, find a way to reach and contact the 7th Doctor knowing he was going to be executed? I now like to think that the message that sent the Doctor on his way to retrieve the Master’s body from Skaro at the beginning of the TV movie was one of these capsules!

    3) Come to think of it, maybe, since the Master takes on a snake-possessed form in the TV movie, we could tentatively conclude that it could relate somehow to Sarf’s species or technology, especially if Colony Sarf served Davros for a long period of time, stretching back to the 8th Doctor era.

    • Deborah Stanish said:

      I’ve not listened to those audios so now I’m curious if it did mess with that continuity. You’ll have to leave a follow-up comment and let us know!

  11. Deb: “I’ve always been an absolute huge proponent of saying that it’s okay just to be a new Who fan. You do not have to watch every episode of classic Who to be a Doctor Who fan.”

    I think the same goes too with classic Who. It’s okay to be a Doctor Who fan and not watch or like new Who, or be on board with the way the show has changed in the 21st century. That’s okay too. So, if fan of b&w Who or 1970s Who, then that’s okay too. Just because a fan doesn’t like Moffat (or RTD) era, doesn’t make them less of a fan. You do not have to watch/like every episode of new Who to be a Doctor Who fan. It’s okay to be a classic Who fan.

    • microtoast said:

      If there were a “like” button, I’d like this 🙂

    • Deborah Stanish said:

      Oh, absolutely! I think it’s okay to be a fan of whatever era/Doctor/companion that pleases you the most – no judgement there at ALL. I have far less patience for people – on either said of the imagined divide – who think other people are wrong for liking the thing they like. And there are a lot of people who rage-watch the show and complain how it’s not Classic/RTD/11thDoctor Who. Really, who has the time for that sort of nonsense?

  12. In the ‘Doctor was a little girl’ thought, here is a possibility:

  13. […] podcasts, yes: Verity for the forseeable is covering each new episode of Doctor Who, which, unless you are living in a […]

  14. Emma E. said:

    I spent most of the episode vacillating between “oooo” and “squee” so these thoughts are possibly not the best formed.

    I loved once again all the delicious subtly I enjoyed so much from Season 8 – those moments that are there if you catch them and none essential if you don’t. I think my absolute favorite bit was when Clara asked Missy how a Time Lord was expected to spend their last hours and then started to look for the opposite. I think I’ve also said “dude” too much this week.

    But I was also thrown not just by Kate Stewart, but U.N.I.T. and Clara as well. Did I miss something that established a timeline? Because I felt that they were all far too capable and chill when I assume it’s only been months since their plane was torn out of the sky at Missy’s command. Frankly, Kate focusing on saving the people on the planes seemed obvious after the amount of people she lost the last time someone mucked with aircraft. (Osgood!) And once they found out that not only was it planes again, it was Missy again, I would have expected both Clara and Kate to at least consider killing her outright. So while I adored every moment of the Clara Missy team up, I kept feeling like Clara was way, way too comfortable with the woman who killed Danny.

  15. Okay, I squeed pretty much non-stop all through the episode and just finished listening to your review a few minutes ago and I have a few comments:
    1) I’ve gotta say that this was easily the best part one of a Moffat two-parter I’ve ever seen. He usually falls on his face with the second parts (a bad habit that I think he picked up from RTD). “The Doctor Dances” is the obvious exception, but all of his part twos since then have been less than stellar.
    But I’ve also gotta say that the Doctor’s entrance in this episode at 23:03 was easily the best entrance of any Doctor in the 52 years of the show. And I don’t see how it could ever be topped.
    2) One thing I haven’t heard anyone else mention yet, though, is the watcher from the shadows at 32:13. When the Doctor’s medieval friend (who has been turned into a Roboman) is searching the Doctor’s quarters and eventually finds the Tardis. Someone is watching from the shadows and we are seeing from that person’s POV. I’ll just bet that this will come up in part two (which airs tomorrow). I predict some “timey-wimey” which, as well all know, is Moffat’s specialty.
    3) I think Neil Ottenstein & Ad in their comments above have hit the nail on the head. Why assume that the Doctor is pointing his gun at the boy? (By the way, the Doctor pointing a gun at Davros intending to kill him? Nice call back to “Resurrection of the Daleks”!) I think he’s pointing the gun at the hand mines. But we’ll soon see.
    And I may have missed it, but I don’t recall where he got the Dalek gun from in the first place. And how did he get back in time anyway? The Tardis is destroyed, and he wasn’t wearing a Vortex manipulator. See? There’s some serious “timey-wimey” coming up in the next episode.
    4) CarpeCarne (again in an above comment) is really close to an issue that (I think it was) Erika mentioned, but I think Carpe Carne is closer to the mark. It’s yet to be revealed just how much of the TV Movie is going to be considered canon. But canon Paul McGann’s Doctor is. And let’s not forget what happened to the Master on Skaro in the prologue of that show. What was that look of fear on Missy’s face when she realised that she’s back on Skaro? The last time she was here, she died. And there wasn’t anything she could do or say to stop it. I think Missy has baggage.

  16. Richard S. said:

    Clara, Clara, Clara. That’s covered my top 3 happy things about the episode. The next three would be Missy, cliffhanger, Davros… but in which order, eh??? (Okay, in that order.)

    First time I saw the ep, I wasn’t so keen on the Bill & Ted arena rock moment, as it struck me as one of those loud brash eyepopping Moffat set-pieces that falls apart under the strain of anachronisms & logical flaws if you examine it too closely. I didn’t mind it so much when I rewatched the last 25 minutes of the ep on BBC3 last night, as I knew what to expect, and I was paying closer attention to all the dialogue you highlighted in the podcast. Overall, I think the ep had quite possibly the strongest collection of lines that Moffat has written for DW.

    I’m still not entirely comfortable with Davros picking such an unusually powerful henchman (henchperson? henchsnake?). Everything about Colony Saarff seems to smack of “We can do Star Wars now! We can SO TOTALLY do Star Wars now!!” The dark” cloak, the white spacecraft with polygonal windows, the “Dark Lord of Skaro” schtick. And if Colony Sarff isn’t the Mara, then I guess we’ll never see get Mara on New Who, because too confusing for New Who viewers to have two unrelated CGI snake-races. Bah.

    It was wonderful to see Jaye Griffiths back on Saturday night early evenings, after her longterm starring role in the late 1990s spy-fi romp Bugs. Julian Bleach was better than ever.

    Thanks for your usual balanced & thought-provoking views on the show, which I also found on the Two Minute Time Lord podcast & the non-spoiler iO9 review. I’ve pretty much given up on Twitter for DW opinions, as it tends to be blanket squeeing on Saturday night & despair about all the haterz for the whole of Sunday. I’m guessing tonight’s second episode will get the lowest-ever UK New Who overnights (or absolute final overall ratings, as the British media insists on misnaming them) due to its scheduling against the England v. Wales match in the Rugby World Cup on ITV.

    Personally, I think the Doctor should just sit & wait for Missy to be suddenly Not Dead once again, problem solved.

    PS Deb, I’m pretty sure the original Genesis of the Daleks was a story or serial, not an “episode”… although it was repeated on the BBC as an individual mini-movie soon afterwards. And Lynne, where was this “first commercial break” of which you speak?

    • We watch on BBC America, so there are commercials in our (New) Doctor Who. Classic series is on DVD or bluray at our house. When I refer to the “first commercial break” I typically mean the precredits sequence in NuWho, and possibly the Cliffhanger-Repeat for classic stories.

  17. No spoilers in this comment – but now that I’ve seen part 2, my opinion of part 1 went up. I didn’t think Moffat could possibly pull off what he started, but he did. Overall, one of my top two-parters. But I do hope that going forward the series will lighten up a bit. And be more shallow. Sometimes you just want candy.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: