Reviewed By: kiwifluffy
Review Date: 7/1/17 7:00 am
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This story has an impossible job, coming after the brilliance which is Dark Eyes- that series raised expectations for the 8th Doctor to an absurd level. As such, the story- while an excellent one- still feels like a step back.
It's an entertaining adventure which manages to hit all the criteria for a Gallifrey story- various artefacts of Rassilon, a highly inappropriate person assuming the presidency, obscure references to Gallifreyan law and some clear references to the events of Big Finish's Gallifrey series. The Eleven is an interesting take on an overused horror story trope with clear potential, particularly from the contrast between his different selves.
Despite this, the story never really manages the same level of tension that Dark Eyes did. While it is nice to see Liv as a far less morose individual actually enjoying her travels, this story fails to give her an enormous amount to do- a tragedy, as like the other companions Eight has been travelling with recently, she is incredibly competent and deserves her chance to shine. Most of the story is everyone reacting to the actions of the Eleven as he remains perpetually three steps ahead. Overall, while a good story that sets up a villain with an enormous amount of potential, the story is nowhere near as strong as Dark Eyes and lacks the established cast and strength of character that Gallifrey does (a series which this episode has a great deal in common with).