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In "The Magician's Apprentice," Peter Capaldi and the writers settle into an emotionally engaging tone while raising the stakes for the Twelfth Doctor.
The episode, in other words, is fun and strange in the classic mode of Doctor Who.
Series nine makes bigger promises than just more of the same.
Are the titles better than last season? They feel better. Maybe it's just because the Moffatt/Capaldi era has finally come into its own.
The 'verse feels cohesive, the nods to the past are earned, undistracting, and clever.
[It] feels more akin to the penultimate episode of a season rather than the premiere entry. This either means that shit's going to get even crazier from here, or that it's all downhill from this point. For now, I'm putting my money safely on the latter.
The Magician's Apprentice was not perfect, but its strengths outweighed its weaknesses, and in leaving us with the image of our non-violent, absolutely moral protagonist pointing a Dalek exterminator at a small child, it made for compelling television.
Full of wit and menace, unafraid to take on the show's museum piece classics, "The Magician's Apprentice" proves to be a supremely confident series premiere, launching the Twelfth Doctor's second innings in style.
Nothing new or interesting is being said.
It's too busy throwing ideas at the wall to really get to the meat of the story. Even as the first part of a two-part story, it's rather slight.
Rare is the season of Doctor Who that begins with this much confidence.
Overall, this was a fairly grim start to the new season. Thank goodness Missy served as comic relief throughout. I'm curious to delve deeper into the Davros/Dalek mythology and see if Missy will indeed become an ally.
This time out, [Clara] seems more comfortable than ever in her role as Earth's liaison with the Doctor, which also gives the show an excuse to bring UNIT back into the picture.