Sunday, 20 September 2015

The Magician's Apprentice (time shift)

I do not believe in a fate that falls on men however they act; but I do believe in a fate that falls on them unless they act.
- G. K. Chesterton

Or, if you want to be all obvious about it:

Every man is as Nature made him, and sometimes a great deal worse.
- Miguel de Cervantes

Me:  That was more like it! 

Him:  That title has nothing to do with anything.

Me:  Were you expecting brooms and...?

Him:  No.  The name has nothing to do with anything. 

Me:  Well, it's interesting.  Who is the Magician's Apprentice, then?

Him:  Nobody that that episode was about!

Me:  That's fair enough.  So, what were your initial thoughts on that then?

Him:  I still don't know.

Me:  Did you enjoy it? 

Him:  I don't know.

Me:  Okay.  The introduction.  All looking World War 2 until the lasers come down.  That whole opening pre-credits title sequence is almost the start of Genesis of the Daleks.  I don't know if you remember, but Genesis of the Daleks starts on Skaro-

Him:  Took me a very long time to blank out Genesis of the Daleks.

Me:  The echoes were good.  So, the hand mines.  Did you like those?

Him:  They reminded me of several things.

Me:  What did they remind you of?

The Him explains what the hand mines are reminiscent of.

Me:  When the boy announced that his name was Davros and the music came in...  "Darkplace!  Darkplace! Darkplace!"

Him:  I pointed that out.

Me:  I was just trying to coax it out of you.


Him:  You can't just do that.   

Me:  Do what?

Him:  You can't just keep cutting it until you like it.

Me:  Yeah, you can.  That's what it's about.

Him:  But this is the thirty-seventh time!

Me:  Ha!  I think the titles've been tweaked again-

Him:  Yeah, but you thought that all through last year.

Me:  -and it sounded a little bit like Nick Cave was playing in the Star Wars Cantina scene-

Him:  Oh, what?  That was full of slaves.

Me:  Yeah, 'cause the Ood had-

Him:  They shouldn't have their brains encased because that means that they're slaves.

Me:  You know I did that preview show with J.R.?1  The one I haven't talked to you about?

Him:  No.

Me:  Right.  Well, a fair bit of what J.R. was saying, he got spot-on about that episode.  Impressive stuff.

Him:  You don't think he's going to be a 'professional writer' about this and just pretend he-

Me:  Ha!  No, I don't think  so.  Poor Bors!  No!  That was very sad.

Him:  I know, I know.  I felt like patting you on the shoulder actually.   That was upsetting.

Me:  I almost got a shiver...  From when it started I guessed it was going to be about Davros- that was obviously what it was going to be about.  There'd been hints scattered down through the-

Him:  When?

Me:  You've missed all of it, haven't you?

Him:  There were no hints that it was even on tonight. 

Me:  It looks like it's going to be going back through - because this is the tenth anniversary - the tenth NuWhoniversary to coin a terrible phrase that can be used as a hashtag...

Him:  What would you call it?

Me:  Well...  The NuWhoniversary.  The Whoniversary was the Fiftieth.  The "The Doctor is required" line?

Him:  "Doctor Who is required."

Me:  Yeah. 

Him:  That goes back a bit further.  Just a tad. 

Me:  Davros' special envoy, the Eoin McLove fan -

Him:  Ha!  

Me:  Sorry.  It was effective the way he moved, it was good, but I just couldn't get past...

Him:  No.  I had serious problems with Snake Man.

Me:  I've got serious problems with Jane bloody Austen, I can tell you that for free.  Steven Moffat may not read this blog,2 but I still felt that was particularly aimed at me. 


Him:  You don't just need to cut it if you don't know what it means!

Me:  Clara's teaching/career trajectory?

Him:  She's a terrible teacher.

Me:  She's going to be lucky if she's got a job to go back to.

Him:  Yeah, because she just runs out.

Me:  Missy's music...

Him:  Is that going to be a regular section from now on?

Us:  "Missy's Music." 

Me:  It's walking a very, very fine line, but throughout most of this, I was impressed with the music.  There were a couple of moments where I was getting a bit twitchy, but most of it I thought was really good.  Very effective.  I thought the whole episode was shot very nicely.  Apart from the film crew in the car door, but you can't have everything.

Him:  That's the first time we've seen the film crew in a while though.  The only other time I really remember seeing them...  Was it The Masque of Mandragora

Me:  Might've been. 

Him:  No.  It was Image of the Fendahl.

Me:  I zoned out, sorry.  What?

Him:  The film crew.

Me:  When it zooms up?  No, they're in The Ark.

Him:  No, it's Image of the Fendahl.  When the door opens and it's never explained-

Me:  When the Doctor's trapped in Fetch Priory -

Him:  Yeah.  The film crew open the door.  That's how I explained it.  Is that the one that's not in the Discontinuity Guide?

Me:  It might be, yeah.  With the Confession - or 'Chekhov's Confession', because that's going to open before the end of the series - we're going through the whole, 'Oh, the Doctor is dead' business again by the look of it.

Him:  Yes.

Me:  As we did in series six.

Him:  Well, to be fair, Matt Smith and David Tennant both had the, 'Oh, I'm gonna die. Better go and have a final thing.'  Then David Tennant went around, saw all his friends and saved all their lives and Matt Smith cleaned a guy's house. 

Me:  Ha!  Missy's lie in that confrontation with Clara...  If it turns out that the Doctor was a little girl - if that's the lie - then my Listen theory could still hold up.3  I think there was more going on with that barn.

Him:  Why?

Me:  Why?  Because I do.

Him:  But that would make even less sense, because then that'd mean that Steven Moffat had even more regeneration stuff to explain.

Me:  This feels tighter. 

Him:  Really?

Me:  Yeah, 'cause that episode moved much slower...  Did it feel like an end of series story to you?

Him:  It certainly didn't feel like a typical opening.  I'll give you that.

Me:  It was big.  Lots of Star Wars going on.  Three possible versions of Atlantis?  I thought that was a nice little touch.  And I'm going to let them off the entrance with the guitar, because that was spectacular.  Even if he was playing Tie Your Mother Down.

Him:  We haven't even commented on Missy's returning line though.

Me:  Which was?

Him:  "I'm back.  Not dead.  Big surprise."

Me:  Ha!  Yeah, that one! 

Him:  That got a large laugh out of you.

Me:  Yeah, it did.  I thought it was brilliant.  There's no point messing around.  Missy, Clara and the TARDIS.  Well, they're all destroyed.

Him:  Missy had a different effect from Clara.  You saw Missy's skeleton, you didn't see Clara's.  She just disappeared.  And then the TARDIS had another different one.  But that was probably just to add - I dunno - 'dramatic monologue' or something.  Onomatopoeia.

Me:  It's...  I'm wondering if we'll see Missy later in the series, because she could've been regenerating there.  She's obviously been teleported, in the same way that Clara's-  They're not dead.

Him:  Well, you don't know that about Missy because, like I said, she has the different effect.  You see her skeleton.  You don't see Clara's. 

Me:  Remember when the David Tennant Doctor-

Him:  Yeah, but that can't even be explained.  That's inexplicable. 

Me:  You were quite chuffed to see other mutants that Davros...

Him:  It is good to see some of his other mutants, but I would have liked to've seen an impressive one.

Me:  Well, he could've sent the Clam!

Him:  I thought you said, 'the Clown'.

Me:  Ha!

Him:  That's why I was confused! 

Me:  It's pretty grim.  Under the Kaled city there's just caves full of clowns.

Him:  It's an ancient clown burial ground.

Me:  Ha!  Excellent!  You were talking about Huggles the Caterpillar.

Him:  That's the one I thought he should've sent instead of Mr Slithers.  Not that there was a huge problem with Mr Slithers, it was just that...  Couldn't you have given him legs?  It was very distracting, because it was so funny.  And when he changed into his snakey snake form, when he released all the snakey snakes...  I couldn't take that seriously either.  Where are they?

Me:  It's nice that we've finally managed to see snakes in space.

Him:  Or, as you said in the episode?

Me:  "SNAAAAKES/IN/SPAAAAAAAACE!"  What else was nice?  Old Doctors coming back...

Him:  For some reason I could only see stuff on the far side of the screen.

Me:  We should probably get you to an optician then.  The Architect Dalek's been busy.

Him:  Right, that makes no logical sense either.  Seriously.  Did they steamroller over it all?

Me:  It got blown up at one point.

Him:  The Daleks rebuilt the planet with RED.

Me:  What'll impress me - what'll really impress me - is if Steven Moffat manages to sort out the  Daleks timeline.

Him:  You can't.

Me:  No, you can't.  But, what he's done there, is made the Doctor responsible for the Daleks-

Him:  Unless there're two different Skaros?

Me:  There could be.  "It's lucky they didn't discover... Site B."  That could've been the start for up to twenty-six Jurassic Park sequels.  "It's lucky they didn't discover... Site J." 

Him:  Ha!

Me:  Nice seeing old Daleks again. 

Him:  It's always the same Special Weapons Dalek though.

Me:  The Special Weapons Dalek is the coolest of all the Daleks.

Him:  It's like they can't be bothered building... just one more.  It kind of reminds me of the cardboard Daleks in that it's just... "We can only ever use one Special Weapons Dalek at a time."

Me:  It's supposed to be mad isn't it?  The Special Weapons Dalek. 

Sea badger!

Me:  And all the other Daleks're supposed to hate it.  I dunno if that's canonical or if I've just made that up.

Him:  You've just made that up! 

Me:  Ha!  I don't think it's impossible that Missy's going to regenerate.  Like I was saying earlier, about the Professor Yana thing.4 It hasn't been done yet.  Steven Moffat's done his own twist on a lot of Russell T. Davies things, but what we haven't had - and I have said this before - where we encounter someone who's the Master, but doesn't know that they are.

Him:  Hold on, hold on.  What he's going to do, in order to turn the series on its head, is she's going to regenerate into the little boy...

Me:  So, with Davros having had the Doctor's sonic screwdriver - and this does go a little bit...  So, on the whole, what did you think?

Him:  I have no words.

Me:  For the start of the series, that's a really bold opening.

Him:  It's mental.

Me:  That too.  Okay, right, well...  We need to make some sort of barnyard noise now, don't we?  Like Man Yak.  What noise shall we make?

Him:  Snake noises!

Me:  Go on then.

Him:  sssssssssssss

Me:  And on that bombshell!

1.  CLANG! 

2.  Despite all the evidence, he really doesn't.

3.  I hope I'm wrong though.  For a variety of reasons.4

4.  I'm not going to definitely commit myself at this stage.  Still too early.  Having said that, I'd love it if this series builds on a strong start by opening out, rather than turning its gaze inward.  Time, as usual, will tell.  Just like Mrs Doyle... 

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