2 out of 4 found this review helpful.
And so, Dark Eyes limps to a conclusion. After four hours of drama, this is the end result of all the teases that were dropped throughout the first three stories. And, while adequately wrapping up any loose threads that have been hanging, it can hardly be called the most dynamic of finales. In complete contrast to To The Death, this is a finale that plays it very, very safe. It doesn't take any risks, and rather than feeling big and bold and epic, it just plays out like a conversation between six people. Which is mostly what it is. The first half once more does Big Finish's favourite thing: rip off The Dalek Invasion Of Earth. And, while some attempts have been successful, this isn't one of them. It's just an obvious rip-off that brings nothing new to the table. It's not unentertaining, I'd like to point out: I didn't find it overtly boring or dull, just not that intellectually stimulating. I also found that this plot never really got much resolution, but that's perhaps because of what came after. The second half is the resolution to the whole box set, and sadly it doesn't cohere into a whole properly. The stakes have been raised so high across the previous three stories, and the first half of this story pushes them up even more with regards to Molly's part in the Dalek plan. However, the rather trite 'cop out' nature of the whole thing just really sits at ill with me. When the plot just comes down to having 'swapped' around the particles, you have to wonder what was the whole point? As I said earlier, satisfactory, but not fulfilling. I also didn't like how the whole impetus of this box set (that of seeing how the Doctor copes after the death of Lucie Miller) was just completely ignored, bar one scene that was thrown in to try and bring it to some conclusion. I did think, however, that Paul McGann and Ruth Bradley did just about carry it off, despite the slightly sloppily written material. Throughout this episode I thought they did a really great job at carrying off the story. I also really liked Peter Egan and Toby Jones, who are finally brought directly to the fore and given probably the best and most satisfying part of the plot in the whole box set. The twist was one I really didn't see coming, and I loved the dynamic between the two, which came off really well. I did think the character of Nadeyan was a little laboured, but I did think that Ian Cullen did a lot with the part. I also would like to speak Nick Briggs' praise as a voice of the Daleks. Throughout this box set, I've thought he has done a fantastic job, and it can be quite easy to forget to praise him, since he does them all the time. I particularly like the Dalek Time Controller in this, as Briggs starts to give him even more of an individual character in his own right in this story, despite the fact that in plot terms, he has nothing really to do. Once more, Briggs' direction is also fantastic, and while the final confrontations could have been a little shout-y, Briggs keeps them on the right side of dramatic, without going over the top. Andy Hardwick's music and sound design continues to impress, with some really dramatic pieces during the final moments. Overall, X And The Daleks, while being enjoyable in places, left me feeling very cold at points. There were some good moments, but I just thought a lot of it didn't quite come together as I was hoping. It ends Dark Eyes on a bit of a sour note, which, despite it's amazing first episode, has been unable to elicit any response out of this listener bar frustration at the massively wasted potential.