Saturday, June 17, 2017

Doctor Who--"The Eaters of Light"

      “The Eaters of Light” sounds eerily familiar. Bill falls down a hole only to discover lost soldiers. Those soldiers are concerned bout cowardly actions, but must stop fighting and band together in order to stop a greater enemy. Where have I seen that plot before/ oh, yes...the previous episode. I did not care for the plot then, either.
      The Doctor, Bill, and Nardole travel to Roman era Scotland to settle a wager. Bill has a theory on what happened to the missing Ninth Roman Legion. The Doctor has another. Bill stumbles across what is left of the Legion after most were slaughtered by a monster. The Doctor and Nardle find Roman corpses along with a group of kids calling themselves the Gatekeepers. They found a portal and let the monster out to destroy the Roman invaders. Now the Romans and the Gatekeepers must work together to lure the monster back into the portal. Kar, the leader of the Gatekeepers, offers to stay in the portal with the Romans to hold the monster and his brethren at bay forever. Crows say “caw” in honor of Kar. No, seriously.
      The main plot is done in record time to make room for an extended epilogue in which Missy is trusted to make TARDIS repairs. Interesting, since the Master once stole the TARDIS. She and the doctor are slowly bonding because f hr new found remorse over past actions. /the main plot feels even more condensed because of an odd conversation between Bill and the Ninth Roman Legion about sexual orientation. It is mentioned for the umpteenth time Bill is a lesbian. I thought being gay was not such a big deal in the United Kingdom these days? Why bring it up so much with bill?
      “The Eaters of Light” does have a couple good points. The CGI monster is pretty cool, especially when its lighted tentacles are the only visible part in the dark of night. The second high point is the scenery. The episode was filmed on location in the Scottish countryside. It is a breathtakingly beautiful landscape.
      But neither of those is enough to save the episode. Save for a change of setting, the plot is virtually identical to the previous episode. T least space them out a bit! The Doctor's obnoxious attitude gets on my nerve, too. He is a pacifist with a contempt for soldiers. But it is ridiculous how he lectures both the Legion and the gatekeepers about fighting, then drafts them all to fight he monster. The monster and his brethren in the portal are said to be powerful enough to eat the stars. Yet the sense f menace is not present. In that case, the doctors attempt at self-sacrifice felt flat. I did not particularly like this one.
      Rating: ** (out of 5)

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