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< 10.9 - Empress of Mars
10.11 - World Enough and Time >

10.10 - The Eaters of Light

Rating Votes
10
5%
3
9
7%
4
8
25%
15
7
33%
20
6
13%
8
5
10%
6
4
7%
4
3
0%
0
2
0%
0
1
0%
0
Average Rating
7.0
Votes
60
Director:
Writer:

Latest Community Reviews

From the Reviewer:
User Rating:
6
Plot Rating:
6
Acting Rating:
7
Replay Rating:
6
Effects Rating:
6
Has Prerequisite(s):
No
Reviewed By: adamelijahReview Date: 12/19/17 12:31 am
0 out of 0 found this review helpful.

This episode some beautiful scenery that captures the Scottish countryside as the Doctor, Bill, and Nardole investigate what happened to the 9th Roman legion, and it involves a very well-designed and scary monster. Nardole has some great moments as do some of the guest characters.

This isn't the most original plot and there are few actions by the Doctor that are a bit out of character. Still, there's far more good than bad about this episode.
From the Reviewer:
User Rating:
8
Plot Rating:
9
Acting Rating:
9
Replay Rating:
8
Effects Rating:
9
Has Prerequisite(s):
Unsure
Reviewed By: JMChurch25Review Date: 6/26/17 8:20 pm
0 out of 0 found this review helpful.

Back in time in the mists of ancient Scotland, the Ninth Roman Legion vanished without a trace. Bill seems to have a theory in mind as to what happenned to them and with the Doctor and Nardole on board, the TARDIS team travel back to the early days of Aberdeenshire in order to discover where they went. What they find however is more of a threat than they ever anticipated. With a large scale battle on the horizon and the mysterious Eaters of Light menacing the countryside, it seems that hidden in a tomb-like cairn on the side of a hill is a door leading to the end of the world. To be honest, this story really surprised me. I went into it not expecting much out of it (even with director Runa Munro coming back to the show for the first time since the Classic Show) but watching it, I was not only pleasantly surprised but even thoroughly enjoying it more so than even some of the past episodes we've had. A strong point in it's favor goes to the Scottish setting. I absolutely adore everything about it from the mist filled hills and gorgeous cinematography to the bagpipe music soundtrack playing throughout that even serves as a plot point to the story. This one envelops itself in everything Scottish and I absolutely love it. Another major point goes to the monster itself. Again, I wasn't expecting much out of it but the design on this thing is really cool looking and creepy all at the same time with a combination of the Krafayis from Series 5 mixed with a wolf like structure and light-filled tentacles coming out of its mouth. It's a really unique monster and I really hope we get to see more of it. While the main three don't get that much to do in this one (though of course Twelve gets a great little speech about growing up all to himself), I actually really like the supporting characters in this in the remnants of both the Scottish army and the Ninth Legion themselves who we find out were decimated by this malevolent force after a monstrous upset by the Scottish. Both sides have great and extremely likable characters which makes the ending so sad but yet so fitting all at the same time. While there isn't too much more to say about it other than that, this one is an extremely well made episode that I honestly enjoyed from beginning to end and a nice little historical wrap-up for Twelve as we move into the two part finale led by another ending scene that is really playing up a surprising angle that looks to come through in spades aplenty.
From the Reviewer:
User Rating:
6
Plot Rating:
6
Acting Rating:
7
Replay Rating:
6
Effects Rating:
5
Has Prerequisite(s):
No
Reviewed By: DalekbusterScreen5ReviewsReview Date: 6/24/17 1:02 pm
0 out of 0 found this review helpful.

The Eaters of Light


Since the show was brought back, there has never been a classic series writer return to the show. There's been classic series directors - Graeme Harper - and classic series actors - Elisabeth Sladen, John Leeson, Christopher Benjamin etc.... - but never classic series writers. Until now. Finally a classic series writer has written for the new series - Rona Munro, the writer of the 1989 classic series serial Survival.



The Eaters of Light sees the Doctor (Peter Capaldi) land the TARDIS in Second Century Scotland to test Bill's (Pearl Mackie) theory about what really happened to the missing Ninth Legion of the Roman army. Meanwhile, a light-eating locust has come through a portal from another dimension, and has been feeding on the Roman army...



This episode is probably the closest to the classic series the new series will ever get. Throughout Murray Gold's music is very reminiscent of classic-style incidental scores, and the Doctor is written more in the vein of the classic incarnations of the character. Peter Capaldi plays it brilliantly, and his performance allows the different approach to feel like the same incarnation we've grown to know and love over three series. He bares more similarities to the Series 8 version of the 12th Doctor in this episode than the softer Series 9/10 12, but it makes sense for the character's more pacifist tendencies. The brutality doesn't feel particularly random, the Doctor is simply fed up of the rivalry between two warring factions (Romans and Pictish warriors). It's a return to the theme of 'If we fight like animals, we die like animals!' from Survival.



One improvement the classic series approach has over the new series style is that the guest characters feel more fleshed out. We get to know these characters more; their personalities and what makes them tick. The new series generally tends to treat them as merely functions to the plot, whereas the classic series taught you to care for them as much as you do the TARDIS crew. Here they feel more like people rather than objects for the writer to play with. A particular standout is Lucius (Brian Vernel), a compassionate bisexual Roman soldier who befriends Bill.



Some viewers have taken issue with the past being shown as diverse in both this episode and Thin Ice, but personally I don't see the issue. It sends out a nice message of inclusivity to viewers who are black and/or with a differing sexuality to those of us who are straight. It's the right kind of message Doctor Who should be sending: the Doctor should be teaching the audience that it doesn't matter if you're black, white, blue, straight, gay, bisexual, have one head or no head it's who you are inside that counts. If that means showing a more ideal version of history, then so be it.



There's another and far more interesting choice that this episode makes than a bisexual Roman however. Many new series episodes tend to feature a lot of their monsters; The Eaters of Light, on the other hand, fits into that new series rarity where you rarely see the creature in full. The episode is more like Closing Time, for example, than it is The Impossible Astronaut/Day of the Moon. For most of the story we only see glimpses of the creature, and this is a wise choice because much like Jaws when you see the creature in full its very unconvincing. The CGI appearance of the light-eating locust is poor, and it appears much more threatening when its lurking in the shadows. Once it is revealed you can tell it's not really there; it looks hideously fake, and takes all tension out of the episode.



The episode is also let down by being way too talky. There's too many conversations going on in this story, and it slows the plot down to a stand-still. A lot of the scenes are expository, with Rona Munro deciding to 'tell not show' rather than the more enjoyable 'show not tell'. This episode achieved the lowest AI of the series so far, and it's not surprising. The Eaters of Light is an episode that could have benefitted from stricter script editing to cut out the unnecessary padding and replace it with scenes that strive to show the audience something instead.



Then there are certain occurrences that take place that make the episode feel like it should have aired much earlier in the run. Bill falls down a hole...again, after falling down a hole in the previous episode Empress of Mars too. Nardole (Matt Lucas) nags the Doctor about guarding the vault...despite Missy being in the TARDIS at the end of the previous episode...yet Nardole is surprised to find her there when they return to the TARDIS. Bill doesn't know about the TARDIS translation circuit...despite having been travelling with the Doctor for quite a few adventures since the first episode. It feels as though this episode was originally episode four of the run, and these continuity errors make the story feel out of place. It's a shame more attention wasn't given to the show's continuity, as this is the kind of thing us fans notice.

[IMG]https://cdn-images-1.medium.com/max/800/1*3zQVHNmfQtXZBtK7HFC7Qg.jpeg[/IMG]

The final scene between the Doctor and Missy (Michelle Gomez) is nice, if a little too long. Rona Munro clearly understands these characters and their shared history, and whilst it's obvious Missy is playing the Doctor it will be interesting to see what will happen tonight when the Doctor tests whether she is really turning 'good'. There will inevitably be consequences, and I wouldn't be surprised if it is revealed that Missy has been tampering with the TARDIS.



Overall, The Eaters of Light is a solid if unremarkable episode. The guest characters are stronger than usual, and it's interesting to see a classic series style adopted for a new series episode. Unfortunately the episode is let down by too many talky scenes, and the CGI is ropey. There are various plot inconsistencies too that leave the episode feeling out of place in episode ten of the twelve episode run. There's a nice scene between the Doctor and Missy however, which demonstrates how much Rona Munro understands the dynamic between the two characters.
From the Reviewer:
User Rating:
8
Plot Rating:
8
Acting Rating:
8
Replay Rating:
7
Effects Rating:
7
Has Prerequisite(s):
No
Reviewed By: dalekman1234Review Date: 6/21/17 8:50 pm
1 out of 1 found this review helpful.

To me, this episode is the hidden gem in the (so far) disappointing series 10. Our TARDIS team travels to Scotland - where else - to settle a bet regarding the lost 9th Roman Legion. They quickly get caught up in the conflict between the young survivors and a new alien menace that feeds off of light.... apparently killing people? Whatever, this is Doctor Who.

Rona Murno is the first Doctor Who writer to write for both sections of the series - and what a hell of a job she does. Survival is another forgotten gem in the classic series, and I worry that this episode will be remembered the same way. Murno does an expert job at creating compelling characters and a tight plot, that isn't overblown with action - yet never feels tedious or stale. Everyone has the proverbial "job to do" and each piece does it magnificently.

If there is a weak spot - and there is - its the monster. The editors do a good job of not showing the monster too much (probably aware of how horrible the CGI is) and as a result, the action feels relatively suspenseful. However, the alien itself and its powerset is uninspired, and the audience never really feels genuine fear of the creature.

That being said, the positives far outweigh the negatives and I hope the fan base recognizes this and gives this episode the credit it deserves - in the hopes that Murno will return to write more for the new series. If this is what she can after a 20ish year break from Doctor Who, I am thoroughly interested to see where she goes from here.