Reviewed By: JMChurch25
Review Date: 3/12/18 3:58 pm
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Giving Ace and Hex a chance to pick a location for once, the Seventh Doctor takes himself and team to a planet where your darker quote 'shadow' self (i.e. unwanted or unsavory personality traits) can be extracted and downloaded into a body for face-to-face conversation and exploration. But what happens when the person doesn't want those negative aspects back? It's a fascinating idea that's perfect for the Seventh Doctor to explore considering his amoral nature and the dense story and plot features some fascinating and unique psychological concepts at its heart which all blow up to literally gigantic proportions by the conclusion in a way akin to the climax of "The Rings of Akhaten". It also means we get to see darker versions of our normal team and while it can come across forced at points, it does work well enough to where I believe that this would be these characters with their worst qualities brought out. I wouldn't say that the cast is quite strong enough to work with the plot. Sophie Aldred's performance in this one as Ace feels a little bit over the top which was honestly a little grating. Philip Olivier as Hex also sounds like he's flustered and a bit bored this time around with not much to do. Thankfully, McCoy's Seventh Doctor sparkles with his lines, dialogue, and actions even if he doesn't really get a chance to explore his darkest self though his shadow self does exist. It does feel like a bit of a missed opportunity but it works fine. The side cast is unapologetically stereotypical in the flawed scientist, evil head of the operation, etc. and the soundscape is pretty unremarkable for the most part even as the problems grow and grow. Thankfully the overriding plot and driving narrative is strong enough to keep it from dwindling down and saves it from being mediocre. While "Shadow Planet" works as a great little story and especially in the fact that it's only two parts instead of four, I have a feeling that this one could've been so much more had it been given time to breathe and explore a bit more with the dark psychology at its' core.