Doctor Who: The Orrriginal Magician

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Christopher Morley talks magicians. And we don't mean Paul Daniels.

With Series Nine of Doctor Who about to get underway with The Magician's Apprentice, what an apt time to consider a different era of the show where, just like today, the Doctor was Scottish and of a darker disposition.

Apt also because at one point during the Seventh Doctor's era it was implied that he was indeed one of the most famous magicians in all of myth & legend!

MORDRED: Mother, Merlin is here.
MORGAINE: Yes, I can feel his presence.
MORDRED: He has a new countenance.
MORGAINE: He has worn many faces. Merlin, hear me.
While he was wearing the face that was more often than not to be found topped off with a hat, pullover & question mark umbrella, the little magician faced the Daleks in one of the most highly regarded stories from all of 1980s Doctor Who, Remembrance of the Daleks.

The Daleks themselves will return in the opening two-part story of Series Nine, where it's rumoured that the Twelfth Doctor will meet Davros as a child. But back in 1988 the Doctor's younger self faced the older Dalek creator - it's all a bit timey-wimey!
DOCTOR: Davros, the Hand of Omega is not to be trifled with.
DAVROS: I think I am quite capable of handling the technology.
DOCTOR : I sincerely doubt that.
DAVROS: Does it worry you, Doctor, that with it I will transform Skaro's sun into a source of unimaginable power? And with that power at my disposal, the Daleks shall sweep away Gallifrey and its impotent quorum of Time Lords! The Daleks shall become Lords of Time! We shall become all...
DOCTOR: Powerful. Crush the lesser races. Conquer the galaxy. Unimaginable power. Unlimited rice pudding, et cetera, et cetera.
Did someone mention pudding? Must be a Scottish thing!

And they'll both be wanting a spoon for that pudding, right?

But enough with the desert talk! Well almost, as when we left the Doctor and Davros in conversation the Time Lord had just warned the ex-head of the Kaled Scientific Elite that the Hand of Omega was not to be 'trifled' with (boom boom)!

But did he listen?
DAVROS: Activate the Omega device!
DALEK: Omega device activated.
DALEK : Plotting course to home planet Skaro.
DAVROS: Now the Daleks shall become the Lords of Time!
DALEK : Entering Skaro time zone. First stage expansion. Primary neutrino release.
DALEK: Core collapse instigated.
DALEK : Danger! Instability! Reaction out of control.
DAVROS: No, this cannot be correct!
DALEK: Home planet Skaro about to vapourise.
DAVROS: You have tricked me!
DOCTOR No, Davros. You tricked yourself.
But perhaps the Seventh Doctor's greatest trick came with the revelation that he had known Ace was part of a bigger game than even that, being played by the Great Old One known as Fenric.

DOCTOR: I knew. I knew she carried the evil inside her. Do you think I'd have chosen a social misfit if I hadn't known? She couldn't even pass her chemistry exams at school, and yet she manages to create a time storm in her bedroom. I saw your hand in it from the very beginning.
Just as Fenric once had a hand in the Doctor and his companion crossing paths, Missy did a similar thing, as during Death In Heaven we learnt she was the one who had given Clara the Doctor's number.

The renegade Time Lady will be back for the start of the new series too, and let's not forget that she's pulled off one trick that the Doctor has yet to attempt - gender reassignment through regeneration!

But it shouldn't be forgotten that back when Missy/the Master was still a man he had a rather epic confrontation with the diminutive Doctor just before Classic Who signed off!

MASTER: This planet's alive. The animals are part of the planet. When they fight each other, they trigger explosions. They hasten the planet's destruction.
DOCTOR: How long before it blows up?
MASTER: Not long. They've been fighting a long time.
DOCTOR: Why did you bring me here?
MASTER: I need your help.
Maybe the Master/Missy will finally repay the debt, as the synopsis for The Magician's Apprentice tells us that the Doctor has gone missing and Clara will be seeking the help of Missy to recover him. After all, they do say to keep your friends close and your enemies closer..... maybe not this close though!....

Somehow I can't picture that ever happening between Sylvester McCoy's Doctor and Anthony Ainley's Master, can you?

The Magician's Apprentice premieres Saturday 19th September, 7.40pm on BBC One.

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