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Doctor Who 10.10 The eaters of Light

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[{"text":"#NL#Writer Rona Munro returns to Doctor Who. She famously wrote "Survival" the last story in the original run of "classic" Who, way back in November and December 1989, and she is the only writer (so far) to who written for both old and new Who.  "},{"spoiler":"Medium"},{"image":[{"src":"sur294211survival.jpg"},{"caption":"Survival DVD cover "}]},{"text":"#NL#There are a lot of common themes between "The Eaters of Light" and "Survival". Both stories deal with portals that are bridges between worlds, and the subversion or apparently normal life.#NL#The also share a focus on self-reliant teenagers, and a subtext of sexuality - although (interestingly) this seems more of an issue in 2017 than it did 28 years earlier. "},{"image":[{"src":"sco596636scotland.jpg"},{"caption":"The Doctor returns to Scotland"}]},{"text":"#NL#Numerous works of fiction have looked at the mysterious real-life disappearance of 5,000 Roman soldiers of the Ninth Legion in 2nd Century Scotland. #NL#Munro's script sees the Doctor, Bill and Nardole searching for the solution. This gives an opportunity for lots of jokes at the expense of the Scottish weather, as well as a well-crafted modern day introduction with the "ghosts in the hill.""},{"image":[{"src":"rom573370roman-1.jpg"},{"caption":"Bill encounters a Roman"}]},{"text":"#NL#Bill locates the last few survivors of the Legion, hiding from a terrifying monster. Their comrades were killed by the beast - the Eater of Light - that seeks to devour all light and life.#NL#They fled from the battle, and are now waiting, ashamed of their cowardice, with no real plan of action. They are all surprisingly young, with the 18 year old nicknamed "grandad." It is Bill who must inspire them to bravery and action, and a chance to redeem their honour.  "},{"image":[{"src":"sur326890surround.jpg"},{"caption":"Surrounded by Picts"}]},{"text":"#NL#The Doctor and Nardole encounter Pict warriors, including Kar, the Guardian of the Gate, the warrior who is responsible for preventing the beast coming through the portal. Munro's script also explores the themes of if the Romans were conquerors or opressors, and we get a great anti-Roman speech.  "},{"image":[{"src":"nar673612nardole.jpg"},{"caption":"Nardole in his dressing gown - very Arthur Dent."}]},{"text":"#NL#Nardole proves excellent as always, especially when he joins the tribe and is adorned with Pictish face paint.#NL#There are several references to past adventures with mentions of the Marie Celeste (again) and the Lusitania.#NL#There is another nice continuity nod too, as Bill independently deduces the TARDIS translation ability. "},{"image":[{"src":"mon493460monster.jpg"},{"caption":"The Eater of Light."}]},{"text":"#NL#Munros script is packed with lots of interesting ideas, and this is an episode that definitely repays a second viewing. The idea of time progressing at different speeds in different universes is not new, but is used to great effect here. #NL#Following on from "The Lie of the Land", the story also explores the relationship between Bill and the Doctor, with Bill being willing to sacrifice their friendship in order to save his life. "},{"image":[{"src":"kar474701kar.jpg"},{"caption":""}]},{"text":"#NL#The episode is not perfect, with an awful lot of time spent running around in the dark.#NL#The script also suffers from a frequent problem on Doctor Who, with the need to ramp up the jeopardy, to make every week a battle to save the Universe itself - sometimes small personal stories can work just as well.  "},{"image":[{"src":"cro723128crow.jpg"},{"caption":""}]},{"text":"#NL#Overall the script works well, and the pace of the story makes up for the few weak areas. The resolution of the story is powerful, and avoids the use of a "magic wand" solution.#NL#There is also a touching sub-plot with talking crows, and their commemoration of a sacrifice that saved us all."},{"image":[{"src":"mis39378missy.jpg"},{"caption":""}]},{"text":"#NL#The episode ends with an encounter with Missy in the TARDIS. Has she really reformed? Is it possible after all these years? #NL#This sets up the epic two-part season finale, where we shgall find out..."}]

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