Kella I'm totally with you re Missy. I don't get it either.
Sorry, Clara fans...but all I thought when I saw this was, "FINALLY!"
Haha Min I knew you would think that. I can't believe she's the longest-standing companion in the modern Who. Even though some may not like her, I think it's good for the show's stability, especially after we had Amy & Rory for so long as well. More like the old days :)
The Magician's Aprrentice
Yes, very entertaining, very good start to the season. I liked the ending a lot. I was also interested that in the end where he exterminates Davros, he says "I'm saving my friends!" This means he is including Missy in this statement. Also liked where the Doctor comes into the middle ages (or so) party on a tank, with a suit and electric guitar. That was pretty funny.
Who's to say he exterminates young Davros? The Doctor can be dark, but he's not known for killing Children. He could be getting rid of the hand mines
Really enjoyed the Magician's Apprentice (why was it called that, though? I don't quite get it).
Agree that it's unlikely the Doctor will kill young Davros. He's darker this time around - I'm reminded of him possibly convincing that android in his first episode to commit suicide? - but he's not a killer. Either like DO said he's killing the hand minds (brilliantly scary things they are), or his next words will be something along the lines of not being able to do it, and he'll save him. I know Moffat likes playing with Who lore but I very much doubt he'll exterminate Davros as a child and create a massive paradox.
I still found Clara relatively pointless this episode, and I'm glad she's going soon. I think she's been incredibly mis-used as a character. She could have been any old companion of the week, this week. In fact, I wish whats-his-name from Caerphilly Castle (the arena bit) had been his companion of the week. That would have been entertaining, I really liked him in the prequel (though, am sad he appears to be a Dalek).
And while I enjoyed the Master (can we just call him/her the Master regardless of gender?) talking about being one of the Doctor's oldest friends, I didn't think she had much - perhaps enough to do this episode, either, really.
Anyway, companion nonsense aside, I was surprised by the reveals and they made sense instead of coming out of nowhere. Hope the trend continues.
S9 Ep2: The Witches Familiar
Last weeks episode was a homage to a Fourth Doctor tale. However this episode goes all the way back to the early days of Who and is clearly a direct reference to 1964's “The Daleks”. The subterranean journey to the city – with byplay between Missy and Clara that brings a fun twisted mirror to the traditional Doctor/companion dynamic – echoes the infiltration by the Thals in the original tale. Elsewhere Clara disguises herself as a Dalek, just as Ian Chesterton did (this is a smart double-nod, in fact, also riffing on the fact that we first saw Jenna Coleman as Oswin, the girl inside the armoured casing in “Asylum Of The Daleks”). There is also Capaldi's clothes: The black jacket and the tweed trousers that make him look so much like Hartnel's Doctor (and the brief cameo by Doctors Four and One in Missy's tale).
But the episode is not just about nostalgia. We learn something new about the Daleks. The revelation that the bodies of old Daleks are left to fester in the city’s sewers is just the kind of creepy, imagination-firing factoid that brightened the pages of 1960s Dalek annuals. We also learn that the cry of “Exterminate!” reloads a Dalek gun, a discovery that suddenly makes sense of 50 years of crazed squawking. Cleverest of all, the ancient playground chant of “I-AM-A-DALEK!” is revealed to be a heart-breaking howl of inarticulacy by the creature inside the shell, unable to express free thought. Again Moffat takes something familiar, cuts it open, shows us what’s really inside.
Another first class episode for Doctor Who! I for one hope that this high standard of storytelling continues through the rest of this season
Min - I suspect the episode titles may make some sense later in the season
S9 Ep3: Under the Lake
A more standard fare for Doctor Who this week, but standard for Classic rather than Modern Who.
They've done ghost stories before, base-under-siege stories before, and stories with underwater menaces before. Here's one combining all three, and it's a tense, claustrophobic affair, well shot and edited and, visually speaking, oppressively gloomy (but in a good way).
In some ways I suppose this could be compared to "The Waters of Mars", but that had a faster pace, whilst this was more of a slow creeping story. Seeing the characters with a lack of eyes was spooky, and seeing the Doctor as one of the "ghosts" was a good way to set the cliffhanger.
S9 Ep5: The Girl Who Died
Another enjoyable episode, reminiscent of the 'The Robots of Sherwood' – a daft historical “romp” with little regard for historical accuracy. On the other, it’s clearly meant as a major turning point in the life of the Twelfth Doctor.
Its been shown before, but it’s increasingly clear that Capaldi's Doctor is a selfish hero. As his testing of the theory that ambiguously led to O’Donnell's death in “Before The Flood” showed, this Doctor is concerned primarily with protecting the lives of the people he knows. “I lost someone who matters to me,” he says at one point here, and he later predicts Clara's potential demise and it’s all about how he will feel when it happens. But then he meets Ashildr, and there’s a connection and her death shakes him to his core. It sparks the memory of saving Caecilius at Pompeii and reminds him that he can do pretty much anything he likes. There will be consequences (I suspect we'll see more of that next week) but it gives him a purpose again.
The “Fires Of Pompeii” call-back could have been another fan indulgence (in a season that's brimming with them), but instead it’s given a moral purpose. The angry, detached Doctor we saw last season is all but gone now, which will annoy some, but this episode does a good job of smoothing over the transition and making it credible. There were other references too: The Yo-Yo (sometimes used by the Fourth Doctor), and Trying to 'Reverse the polarity of the neutron flow' as the Third Doctor would have.
Masie Williams was superb, and it would be nice if she could be the next companion, but I suspect it is not to be (unless they can film Doctor Who around her previous commitment to Game of Thrones)
S9 Ep6: The Woman Who Lived
A great follow-up to last weeks story. The core of the episode is about exploring the ramifications of the Doctor’s decision to resurrect Ashildr. Immortality, it seems, is both a blessing and a curse and the scene where we learn that the woman who lived has lost several children is deeply affecting and sensitively played. The idea that, even though she has now lived for centuries, she only has the memory capacity of a normal human is also a clever touch. The result is that she has become a cold, dangerous figure – and a dark reflection of the 12th Doctor himself.
Clara's line “Don't worry, I'm not going anywhere”, plus The Doctors looks like a foreshadowing to come. And the shot of Ashildr in the background at the school fence brings a certain amount of foreboding. My guess is that Ashildr kills Clara, or at least has a hand in it.
There’s a humorous shout out to Captain Jack (“he'll get around to you eventually”) and to the Fifth Doctor story “The Visitation” where the Terileptils caused the Great Fire of London
Really enjoyed ep 7 - The Zygon Invasion:
Osgood is brilliant. There's a subtlety to her character and her inclusion makes any episode less pantomime-ish, I feel.
I loved the political snubs and undertones. Unsubtle but necessarily so, I think.
And I loved Zygon-Clara. It's funny, I was thinking about it and I seem to love Clara only when she's not being modern-era school teacher Clara. I thought that the timing of her Zygon transformation was slightly off - if she was taken that far back, then why was the first thing she did as Zygon Clara was call the Doctor out about calling himself Doctor Disco when it had been human-Clara who'd heard this?
Anyway I loved the episode. Really enjoyed the pace, the complexity, reveals, undertones, conflicts, pretty much everything. More like this, please.
S9 Ep7: The Zygon Invasion
Another good episode. Osgood was on great form and I'm glad we've got her back (for now).
I agree with Min that I seem to enjoy watching evil Clara much more than good Clara. I didn't see that one coming, but wasn't looking for it. I suspected the policewoman though.
Also Osgood crams in plenty of references to previous Doctors’ costumes. There’s Jon Pertwee’s bow tie, Tom Baker’s scarf, Peter Davison’s question mark shirt, and Sylvester McCoy’s question mark tank top and paisley tie.
S9 Ep8: The Zygon Inversion
An 2nd episode that's better than the first is always a good thing to watch. The inventiveness starts early, with the Doctor’s escape from a seemingly inevitable demise at the hands of Bonnie’s plane-bound rocket. No need to resort to some contrived Sonic Sunglasses shenanigans or convenient interference with the rules of space and time. Instead, Clara’s consciousness is still alive in her evil counterpart Bonnie’s mind (the slightly inverted virtual recreation of her flat, complete with black toothpaste and a backwards clock is wonderfully unsettling) , and Clara’s presence is enough to buy the Doctor and Osgood enough time to grab parachutes and leap out of the doomed aircraft (nice Union Jack parachute by the way)
The idea of the Osgood Box is every bit as tricksy as you’d expect from a script co-written by Steven Moffat, a wonderful piece of sleight-of-hand by the Doctor that manages to outfox both sides with a pair of boring, empty boxes. Wonder if he’s been watching Deal Or No Deal? The implication that the memory-wiping abilities of the Black Archive have allowed the ”nightmare scenario” to happen 15 times before (and presumably it will happen again) is also a great set-up for future shape-shifting stories.
Nitpick: Osgood - It does seem unlikely that someone who idolises the Doctor so much wouldn’t know what TARDIS stands for.
S9 Ep10: Face the Raven
Now that's more like it. Dr Who in Diagon Alley. The Doctor is best in mysterious surroundings.
I know a few people felt upset at Clara's apparent death, but I felt unmoved. We've been expecting her to die all season, and I suspect that she is not quite dead yet. (See the theories in the next spoiler)
Now, onto the finale theories:
Theory on the current series of Doctor Who:
From "End of Time Pt.2" (Tennant's final episode):
"You weren't there in the final days of the War. You never saw what was born. But if the Timelock's broken, then everything's coming through. Not just the Daleks, but the Skaro Degradations, the Horde of Travesties, the Nightmare Child, the Could-have-been King with his army of Meanwhiles and Never-weres. The War turned into hell. And that's what you've opened, right above the Earth. Hell is descending"
So far this series we have had:
- Degraded Daleks (sewer Daleks) on Skaro.
- The ghost-like travesties of living people.
- The child Ashildr who later became the Knightmare.
- You could say the Zygons 'never were' the people they impersonated, but who is the Could-Have-Been King (perhaps the Fisher-King?), and what are his army of Meanwhiles? Alternatively, we haven't seen the Could-have-been King with his army of Meanwhiles and Never-weres yet.
- The last episode is called 'Hell Bent'.
Coincidence? The Time-Lock was broken when Gallifrey was restored in Matt Smith's final episode, 'Time of the Doctor', with Gallifrey being broken out of the Time-Lock and hidden in a pocket universe (behind a crack).
Now, onto Clara:
There a flash of rainbow light when the Raven hit Clara, but when it hit the other guy earlier in the episode there was not a similar flash? (when the Doctor teleported away at the end, it was in a flash of similar colours too).
Mayor Me spells it out - the worms put everything in a context you can understand and expect to see. That would go for the refugees too.
Me might well have arranged for something else to happen to the raven facers - but because the residents live under the expectation of total compliance to law or the ultimate sanction, they see transgressors 'die'.
In effect, she can be seemingly callous about sentencing them to death because that is NOT what happens - it appears so as you expect it to.
That would explain the rainbow light. Perhaps Clara has been teleported somewhere as well? We know she is supposed to die at the end of the season, but is she? It could be another misdirection, as there have been many times this season when you think she is going to die but doesn't.
I'm starting to wonder if Clara could be the Dalek/Time Lord hybrid that Davros mentioned in the opening episodes of this series. She has been exposed to the untamed vortex - when she splintered into millions of Claras to save the Doctor in 'Name of the Doctor'. That's enough to kill someone or at least drive them mad normally (see the Master), but River gained her Timelord abilities by being conceived in the TARDIS whilst it was travelling through the Vortex.
And in the opening episodes she 'became' a Dalek and was exposed to Dalek nanogenes.
Also the writer of Face the Raven has been posting on Twitter - apparently there was a scene cut out from the end of the episode (just before the Doctor teleported away), where he asks Riggsy to take care of Clara's body for him and inform her family that she is dead. The scene was cut for timing purposes.
Drawing from that, and the fact that Clara always has a TARDIS key in her possession, could it be that Riggsy laid Clara to rest in the TARDIS? It would explain why he painted that mural all over the TARDIS in the post-credits sequence.
S9 Ep11: Heaven Sent
Peter Capaldi gives a stunning performance as the Doctor: weary, frightened, affectingly grief-stricken and impressively indomitable. It’s a very risky strategy, but Steven Moffat pulls it off, with the use of TARDIS scenes as a way of dramatising the Time Lord’s thought processes working very well, providing some visual variety and ensuring that we don’t spend too much time watching our hero talking to thin air.
It’s a wonderfully surreal episode, with a fascinating central image: a medieval castle whose walls rotate like some architectural Rubik’s puzzle. The gradual explanation of the place’s purpose is well-handled, and it’s deeply satisfying that an answer was always available to us: the purpose of this “bespoke torture chamber” is to extract confessions, and the Doctor’s been carrying about a Time Lord “confessional dial” since the start of the season. And we get to see The Doctor in a way we have never seen him before, spending billions of years being terrified by a horror from his childhood nightmares and dying painfully and horribly, over and over and over again. The scale of his suffering is absolutely mindboggling!
While the revelation at the end was a surprise, the fact that The Doctor is revealed as “the hybrid destined to conquer Gallifrey” forecast in ancient lore seems like a bit of an easy way out, because in what sense is he a hybrid? He’s still 100% Time Lord. Unless they are referring to the 'canonical' revelation from Doctor Who the Movie where The Doctor is revealed to be half human? We naturally assume that the other warrior race must be The Daleks, but what if it is us humans instead?
I am back to watching Dr Who - season 6, finishing episode 3 right now. I am reminded of just how great this series is! The amazing music, and the interesting storylines... and the intense moments. I have really missed it!!