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Recap / Doctor Who S35 Short "Prologue"

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The one with a confession.

Released on the BBC One website on 11 September 2015, this short is Exactly What It Says on the Tin: A prologue to the Doctor Who Series 9 premiere "The Magician's Apprentice", which aired 8 days later.

On the planet Karn, Ohila asks a solitary Twelfth Doctor if he intends to answer a call for a meeting from someone whose servants seek the Doctor everywhere... an enemy he has fought all his life. The Doctor tries to lie about his plans, but she draws the truth from him — he will answer it. Something has recently happened between him and this enemy and he must meet them face to face. He will not tell her what that something is, but he notes "An enemy is just a friend you haven't met yet."


He entrusts Ohila with a mysterious disk, telling her she knows who it must be sent to. He admits "I won't go straightaway" to the meeting; he needs to rest and prepare himself. Ohila warns him that he is setting out on a path that will destroy him, but the Doctor says "You could say that of being born." She reminds him there are people who care about him, who would track him down. He replies "Look after the universe for me... I've put a lot into it."

As he leaves, she notes "Anyone can hide from an enemy, Doctor. No one can hide from a friend."

Watch it here.



  • The Bus Came Back: Ohila, first seen in "The Night of the Doctor", returns, paving the way for more of this trope in the season premiere; promos have already revealed Missy and Kate Stewart will be back for it.
  • The Last Dance: Twelve is in the process of doing this, knowing that this confrontation with his old enemy will be the last thing he will ever do, for reasons only known to the two of them. His confession and will's made up and will be sent to an appropriate party, he'll take some time out for himself — no long goodbyes to old friends here — and then he will make that meeting and face his fate.
  • Late-Arrival Spoiler: Anyone who saw the BBC's ads for "The Magician's Apprentice" prior to this short's debut already know what the disk is (a confession and last will and testament) and who he's having it sent to (Missy!?!) — but they still won't know why until the episode airs!
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  • Mythology Gag: The Doctor's last line here is lifted from the parody "The Curse of Fatal Death", which was also written by Steven Moffat!
    The Doctor: Take care of the universe for me. I've put a lot of work into it.
  • True Companions: Ohila alludes to this trope when she warns the Doctor that there are people who will track him down and try to stop his journey because they care about him so much. (People such as, say, Clara...)
  • We All Die Someday: When Ohila tells the Doctor he is embarking on something that will end in his destruction, he says "You could say that of being born."


Example of: