The season 9 premiere of Doctor Who revisits a concept from an episode dating from 1975. Titled “The Magicians Apprentice,” episode 1 explores the topic of how the Doctor would act if he had the opportunity to travel back in time and kill someone truly evil at the time when they are a child. Could the Doctor kill a child under any circumstance? He travels back in time The Thousand Year War fought between the Thals and the Kaleds.

‘Doctor Who’ Premiere Recap

The episode kicks off in some kind of war zone, and child walking through a muddy field is stopped by a hand mine (a bunch of hands that come out of the ground, each with an eye in the center of the palm). Lucky for the boy, the Doctor shows up to throw him a wand which creates a sound corridor between the two. The Doctor appears to have come out of nowhere and was apparently looking for a bookstore when he showed up. “Which war is this? I get them all muddled up.” He is trying to talk the boy to safety – “your chances are a thousand to one. You only need to focus on the one” – when he learns that they boys name is Davros.

The Doctor leaves the boy to his fate upon learning that he is speaking to the future Dark Lord of Skaro.

The scene cuts to a message from Davros via Colony Sarff, a man with a raspy voice and a grim warning. “Tell the Doctor Davros knows. Davros remembers.” Davros is dying, he says. If Davros is dying, why would he need this message to reach the Doctor?

Clara (Jenna Coleman) is teaching a class about literature when she is suddenly summoned away by other business from UNIT. All the planes on planet earth have stopped in the sky and staying exactly where they are. Clara must help Kate Stewart, UNIT commander, figure out the dilemma.

Clara gets a message from Missy who needs to meet with her. Clara only agrees to with snipers in place to take her out if she tries anything. Missy and the Doctor, although enemies, have a complicated relationship and The Doctor left a confession dial for Clara. The confession dial amounts to The Doctors last will and testament in the event of his demise. But when Clara tries to touch the dial she is shocked by electricity. It would seem that the dial is for Missy, not Clara.

But the Doctor isn’t in as bad off as you might think. He is hosting a rock ‘n’ roll party and has a guitar and everything. The party is kicking when Colony Sarrf walks through the door. It turns out Colony is made of a colony of snakes. The Doctor agrees to go see Davros once and for all and Clara and Missy insist on coming along.

They are all brought to a space ship where Clara confronts the Doctor about giving the dial to Missy and not to her. As the Doctor has said before, him and Missy trying to kill each other “is sort of like our texting. Been at it for ages.”

Then Missy steps out of an airlock on the ship and onto an invisible planet. We find out that this is Skaro, the Dalek home world. The Doctor meets with Davros and goes over the scene where the Doctor abandoned him among the hand mines. Missy is elsewhere on Skaros trying to get control over the Daleks. As a result, she is zapped into nothing. Clara gets the same treatment from Davros.

The Doctor is grieving for what happened to Clara and Davros lectures him on the drawbacks of compassion. He tells the Doctor that none of it would have happened if not for his indulgence to compassion. The scene cuts back to the battle scene with Davros as a young boy among the hand mines. This time, the Doctor does what is right for his friends.

Doctor Who airs on Saturdays at 12:00 AM on BBC America.

Pictured: Peter Capaldi as  the Doctor

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