15 June 2017

It has been 28 years since Rona Munro's Doctor Who episode, Survival was televised. It happened to be the last episode of the 'Classic Series' of Doctor Who, and in spite of that, the story was strong and seemed to promise us adventures new with those immortal words "Come on Ace! We've got work to do!" echoing out into the cosmos...

We are pleased to confirm that all these years later, Munro's scripts are still of an incredibly high calibre; rich characters, a great storyline - not to mention strong female leads! In fact, the main parallel between the two stories is that the lead female character in The Eaters Of Light is named Kar - and for those of you who remember Survival, the lead female character was called Karra - also a strong, female warrior.

For The Eaters Of Light, Munro takes us on a historical adventure that plays on the real-life disappearance of the ninth legion of the imperial Roman army. The Doctor, Nardole and Bill arrive in Scotland with Bill intent on proving to The Doctor that her knowledge of history on this particular subject, may just be better than his! The TARDIS team split up with The Doctor suggesting he can find proof of their demise by finding their last Battlefield and Bill going to find proof that they didn't disappear and that they can actually be found. What could possibly go wrong? 

Within minutes Bill encounters a young female warrior who gives chase, leading Bill to fall down a big hole (and not for the first time this series). There she encounters a Roman soldier, and it's not long before we are introduced to the big, bad, titular monster of the episode, (who is used sparingly to great effect).

There's some great pacing and suspense throughout, too and the landscapes are just beautiful; kudos to the location scouts for their work on this episode!

We have some lovely moments with The Doctor; Peter Capaldi is so comfortable and at ease in the role, and he has such a quiet power and gentle way of explaining things, and then on another hand there's that unpredictability that he plays so well. Pearl Mackie continues to shine as Bill, and has several lines of dialogue that stand out in particular - there's a great one regarding her sexuality and another regarding the TARDIS' translation system. We cannot leave out Matt Lucas' Nardole, who Munro has written some cracking lines for - not to mention involving him in the plot more, after last week's Nardole-light story.

The main adventure portion of the episode ends with 5 remaining minutes of glorious dialogue between The Doctor and... a certain character (no not that one - well...not technically). 

The Eaters Of Light stacks up well with the high quality of Series 10 episodes so far, and whilst it may not hit you as an instant classic, it will be a 12th Doctor adventure you'll remember with a fond affection, due to the fact you genuinely care about the characters within.



5 Things To Look Out For:

1)  Listen to the crows!
2)  Beware the night!
3)  "Time to grow up."
4)  Roman soldiers are much more liberal that we might think.
5)  "It's time for us to become friends again."

+  10.10: The Eaters Of Light airs This Saturday at 6:45pm on BBC One.

[Source: DWO]

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