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< Doom Coalition - 1.3 - The Galileo Trap
Doom Coalition - 2.1 - Beachhead >

Doom Coalition - 1.4 - The Satanic Mill

Rating Votes
10
0%
0
9
3%
2
8
16%
10
7
40%
25
6
21%
13
5
13%
8
4
8%
5
3
0%
0
2
0%
0
1
0%
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Average Rating
6.5
Votes
63
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Latest Community Reviews

From the Reviewer:
User Rating:
6
Plot Rating:
5
Acting Rating:
7
Replay Rating:
5
Effects Rating:
6
Has Prerequisite(s):
Yes
Reviewed By: adamelijahReview Date: 10/22/15 10:24 am
2 out of 2 found this review helpful.

This story sees the the Doctor, Liv, and Helen heading to a mysterious planet that appeared near Earth. They find a colony of humans with a 1-day lifespan who can read, sing, and work all day. Of course, it's all an elaborate trap for the Doctor and sets up his confrontation with the Eleven.

The Eleven has a plan that's extra evil and extra vindictive and appropriately twisted. While Mark Bonnar doesn't get to do as much with the Eleven in this one, there's an appropriate sense of menace to the character.

We also get to see some nice moments with Helen and Liv as they develop into a good double act.

Beyond this, though, the story has problems. There's too much that's inexplicable about, "The Satanic Mill." Why do these workers live only one day? It seems a total waste. Why teach them to read evil, "Work Till You Drop" hymn books. Why even have hymn books when you're only going to live one day and sing one song. The story doesn't hint at an answer to this thing or even some bigger answer that would give you a general idea bout the logic of this plan. The only potential answer is that, "The Eleven is crazy and that's just what he does." which can only go so far.

I also felt the cut scenes in the middle of the story where we cut away from action at the, "Satanic Mill" were distracting where they were used. Coming in the middle of the story and out of nowhere they took us out of the action to Galileo warning of the end of the world and a Time Lord stating Earth had disappeared in the 17th Century. They could have were used at the start of the story like in, "The Pandorica Opens" on television where the cut scenes from previous guest stars showed something had gone horribly wrong and set the mood for the audience. Here, they just distract.

And then there's the ending which just isn't satisfying. It's a plot that uses the Sonic Screwdriver and the TARDIS to save the day in a very cheap way, but with the Eleven giving clues that there's something behind his actions before he disappears mysteriously. The way this is done just felt very clichéd and unimaginative.

The writer of the story was Edward Collier, who hadn't written for Big Finish before. While Big Finish should introduce new writers, I don't think the finale of a box set is a place for them to cut their teeth. While there are some good moments, this finale was a letdown from the strong start this set had.
From the Reviewer:
User Rating:
8
Plot Rating:
7
Acting Rating:
8
Replay Rating:
8
Effects Rating:
8
Has Prerequisite(s):
Yes
Reviewed By: kfb2014Review Date: 10/15/15 10:10 am
1 out of 1 found this review helpful.

We start with an conversation with the 11, each fragmented personality trying to vie for the 11’s concessions attention. The 11 is in charge, and he is not going to let go, not now. So we get to the final episode in the 4 disk set, which finds the Doctor, Liv and Helen, landing on a planet, for which they cannot name, however they have landed in a corridor. There is the distant sound of a bell, then Bang and explosion. Zombie’s or at least what appear to be animated humans are heading past the trio, the Doctor, explains they need to head off and find what is going on. They enter into a church, a area which looks like a place of worship, except it isn’t. There is a Father preaching about the great undertaking, pontificating the benefits of “work cures all”. However when they try to leave the proceeding a robotic guard stops them. The Doctor and Liv and Helen are split up, a worker takes pity on the Doctor, and moves off with him, whereas the girls, are taken to what appears to be the kitchen, where they are advised to stir. They mount a robotic walking machine, they are to work until they drop, it is their allotted task. What is this place, and what as the 11 got planned as you know it is not going to end well, well at least not for him - hopefully! Think Victorian Work house, meets the depths of hell, with a liberal sprinkling of any Dickensian or Orwellian nightmare novel, and you are getting there. The episode does hold good for the Liv and Helen to get to know one another and also what they think of the Doctor. The ever present robots informing you of your need to continue working until you fall. What I enjoyed most about this was the feel, it felt like an early episode of Who, playing out with the Master McGann at the helm, although his stage was when Bonnar was around was somewhat stolen or at least that is the way that I heard it. There is a very controlled madness being played out by Bonnar’s character here, one where the significance will hopefully become more explained as we move forward with the Doom Coalition stories.