The Magician’s Apprentice
Episode / February 22, 2016

Aired 19 September 2015 With no new lead actor to introduce at the start of this series, Steven Moffat wastes no time in catering to the true fans of the series. Michelle Gomez’s Master/Missy, Julian Bleach’s Davros, and the Daleks all make their return, and the action picks up right from the start, beginning to set up plot points that will surely have ramifications later in the run. Peter Capaldi’s Twelfth Doctor is introduced dramatically as he attempts to rescue a young boy from a visually fantastic and harrowing field of handmines. The moment the boy reveals his name as Davros, though, the tone instantly changes and the Doctor suddenly shows a rare moment of uncertainty, superbly channeling Tom Baker in ‘Genesis of the Daleks’ as he holds the early fate of one of his most dreaded foes in his hands. It also brings back the continual inner turmoil of the Twelfth Doctor in needing to decide if he is a good man or not. The dilemma of that opening scene is left unresolved, and Capaldi actually remains off-screen quite a while afterwards, wanting to remain hidden; the benefit of the added emphasis on two-part stories this series is that…