130 The Magician’s Apprentice & The Witch’s Familiar

This is the one where the Doctor, Clara, & Missy go to Skarro to meet with Davros! And Clara gets turned into a Dalek… again.

Live from Master Closet Studios, you’re listening to the only podcast on the internet whose name becomes less accurate with each episode: It’s the Noobs and the Whovian! 

This is the podcast that introduces a whole new generation to Doctor Who by watching an episode each week and discussing it from the perspective of a dad who’s seen it before, and two sons who haven’t.

Welcome to Episode 130, covering series 8 episode 1 and 2: The Magician’s Apprentice & The Witch’s Familiar

This is the one where the Doctor, Clara, & Missy go to Skaro to meet with Davros! And Clara gets turned into a Dalek… again.

Production notes

  • Story #254
  • Originally aired September 19 and September 26 2015 to 6.54 and 5.71 million viewers 
  • Written by: Steven Moffat
  • Directed by: Hettie MacDonald who did Blink back in the day, and that’s it!

Misc Trivia

  • Fun fact: Peter Capaldi actually shreds. He plays that guitar for real.
  • This is the first story set on Skaro since 1979’s Destiny of the Daleks


  • Name of the episode spoken in dialogue?
  • Creature of the week
    • The Daleks
      • They need her to run, they are toying with her. 
        • Is that why they suck so bad at killing?
      • They can’t die? They are hard-wired not to die, but keep on going no matter what happens. But they still age.
      • Cybermen suppress emotion. Daleks channel it through a gun. That’s why they keep yelling Exterminate, it’s how they reload.
    • Davros
      • Davros was a child of war, a war that wouldn’t stop. Lasting for a thousand years until nobody could remember why anymore.
      • He created the Daleks as warriors that wouldn’t bother with the why.
      • For Davros, the Time War is still going…
      • Wait, he has eyes?!
  • Jiggery Pokery
    • TARDIS 
      • HADS
    • Sonic
      • He doesn’t have a screwdriver anymore
      • Now he’s all about wearable technology!

Other stuff we noticed 

  • The Maldovarium – Dorium Maldovar
  • The Doctor’s guitar amp was by Magpie
  • Anyone for dodgems? Dalek bumper cars!
  • Your sewers are revolting

Who’s Who?

  • Who is Missy?
    • Death is for other people, dear.
    • She’s his closest friend. Clara is the puppy.
    • Their trying to kill each other is like their texting.
    • She has NOT turned good.
    • Traps are her flirting
    • She might be even crazier than Sims’ Master.
    • She had a daughter – is this the first we’ve heard of this?
    • I’m murdering a Dalek. I’m a Time Lady, it’s like our golf.
    • That’s why I gave her to you: to see the enemy inside the friend, the friend inside the enemy. We’re all both.
  • Who is Clara?
    • She’s on speed dial for UNIT now?
    • When we first met her, she was actually stuck in a Dalek….
  • Who is the Doctor?
    • Who are you? I’m just a passer-by. I was looking for a book shop, how am I doing?
    • You have one chance in a thousand, but one is all you ever need. 
    • He has a weakness. If you seek the Doctor, seek his friends.
    • Have you called him yet? We don’t know enough yet, he doesn’t like gossip.
    • I spent yesterday in a bowtie. The day before that in a long scarf. It’s my party and all of me is invited.
    • His “new face” is more like Davros’
    • Why have I ever let you live? Compassion, Doctor. It has always been your greatest indulgence.
    • Why does the Doctor always survive? He assumes he’s going to win!
    • There’s no such thing as the Doctor. I’m just a bloke in a box telling stories.


Classic Who Connections

  • Harry Sullivan (Fourth Doctor companion) said “they’re going to finish off with bows and arrows” in Genesis of the Daleks. He had noticed that the war had been going on for so long on Skaro that they were running out of resources and instead of building bigger weapons now they were devolving. In this story we actually see a Kaled soldier armed with a bow and arrow.
  • The Sisterhood of Karn is a religious order that protects the sacred flame which produces the elixir of life. They originally were on Gallifrey but were expelled by Omega to Karn. They were first seen in the serial The Brain of Morbius. They were the order that helped the Doctor regenerate into the War Doctor in The Night of the Doctor
    • The sacred flame was going out and they suspected the Doctor was trying to steal the remaining elixir. He discovered that years of soot were clogging the fissure that fed it with natural gas.
  • When UNIT is looking for the Doctor we see points on a computer that show where the Doctor has been on earth. Here are some Classic Who events that fit those positions 
    • Fictional San Martino The Masque of Mandragora
    • Troy, The Myth Makers
    • New York City The Chase 
    • Atlantis, The Time Monster, The Underwater Menace and The Daemons
  • When Davros plays previous conversations with the Doctor, there are a number from Classic Who. The most prominent one was from Genesis of the Daleks where the Fourth Doctor asks “if someone who knew the future pointed out a child to you and told you that that child would grow up totally evil, to be a ruthless dictator who would destroy millions of lives, could you then kill that child?” the other serials were Resurrection of the Daleks, Revelation of the Daleks, Remembrance of the Daleks
  • The first Dalek seen in Magician’s Apprentice is an original Dalek in blue and silver as seen in The Daleks in 1963. And we also saw a special weapons Dalek as seen in Remembrance of the Daleks
  • Starting back in Classic Who we have a number of instances where the Master should have been dead but comes back with no explanation of how he/she survived
  • The Thousand Year War is mentioned as the origin for Davros, which was first mentioned in Genesis of the Daleks
  • In the third Doctor serial Frontier in Space the Master worked with the Daleks
  • In The Daleks the Doctor and companions also got into a Dalek shell, but it was more like climbing into a trash can instead of the Dalek suit opening up to receive someone
  • Also in The Daleks, Barbara noted that there was no furniture around, as made obvious by Davros in pointing out that the Doctor was given the only other chair on Skaro
  • Once again we have a mention of the HADS or Hostile Action Displacement System on the TARDIS. That was first used by the Second Doctor in The Krotons
  • We have another assertion that the Doctor left Gallifrey because he was bored, as originally stated by the Second Doctor in The War Games
  • It was in Death to the Daleks that they first revealed that the Daleks operate their suits with telepathy
  • Liquified Daleks were also seen in Destiny of the Daleks by the Fourth Doctor, but this was from mutation, not decay.

Overall impressions

  • Overall rating out of 10 – 
    • Jared – 7 liquified Daleks
    • Austin – 6 Missy’s head sticking out of a computer monitor
    • Tripp –  9 Davros has eyes
  • Creep Level – out of 500
    • Jared – 50
    • Austin – 125
    • Tripp – 100

The Game Plan

  • Next week, it’s another two-parter as we cover episodes 3 & 4: Under the Lake and Before the Flood.


Noobs and the Whovian is a production of Master Closet Studios, where it’s always smaller on the inside. Your Senior Producer is Austin Reason. Our Audio Engineer is Tripp Reason. Corbin Reason is our Production Editor. Special thanks to tardis.wikia.com for the trivia, and to Jared for the Classic Who Connections. Shout outs to Victor, Jared, and James for their Patreon support.

You can find us at facebook.com/noobsandthewhovian or twitter.com/noobswhovian and email us at [email protected]. Consider supporting us at https://www.patreon.com/noobsandthewhovian. Please subscribe and leave a rating wherever you found us, and share us with a friend not because we’re a great show but because we watch one.

Until next time, be safe if you can. But always. Be. Amazing.