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on 9 December 2013
I've been a great fan of Paul McGann's eighth Doctor on audio going right back to his debut in 2001's `Storm Warning'. However when he was side-lined into his own single disc monthly releases I lost touch with this incarnation. Although financially focused on the monthly two disc and companion chronicles titles it was a definite target to somehow budget for the unique `Dark Eyes' box set and the distinctive vocal style of McGann. Having listened to it all this was absolutely the right decision as not only is Paul on top form but also new `companion' Molly O'Sullivan is instantly a memorable and refreshingly forthright Irish character.

I loved opening story `The Great War' due to its period setting and an initially dazed and confused Doctor. I appreciated the time travelling to 1972 and Second World War in second story `Fugitives' and very much enjoyed the alien world and inhabitants plus, initially, Daleks behaving in a very puzzling manor to the Doctor and Molly during third story `Tangled Web'. Personally I found fourth story `X and the Daleks' rather bewildering and somewhat muddled on a first listen but still great fun.

For me new Paul McGann Doctor Who was long overdue and I was delighted to buy a copy at a great reduced price from an Amazon seller. I understand that there are more `Dark Eyes' box sets planned for 2014 & 2015 and on the evidence of this first set this certainly looks like an exciting, imaginative and enjoyable new future for the eighth Doctor which I hope I'll be able to afford... but please lets have something other than Daleks in future!
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A Doctor Who audio story. It features Paul McGann as the Doctor.

It take place right after the end of the run of audio stories that featured the Eighth Doctor and his companion Lucie Miller. Last of those was To the Death (Doctor Who: the Eighth Doctor Adventures). Whilst you would get more out of this if you heard all of that run, this would actually work pretty well as a jumping on point.

All you need to know is

[Minor spoilers]

The Doctor was in a great battle with the Daleks. From which he emerged victorious. But emotionally damaged.

When this story starts, he's off looking for hope. Something to inspire him to keep going. What he finds is a Timelord from the Gallifreyan Celestial Intervention Agency. Who offers him the chance to find hope. Via a mission to investigate a threat to all of time and space.

Which seems to be centred on an irish lady called Molly O'Sullivan. A member of the volunteer aid detachment who helped nurses during World War one.

Once Molly meets the Doctor, her life will never be the same again. But why is she so important?

This is a four part story. Spread over four Cd's. All of which come in their own individual cd boxes inside one larger cardboard one. Each disc is basically one long episode. The only breaks in them being the usual cd chapter ones. Each episode runs from fifty to fifty nine minutes [approx.]

The story does involve the Doctor. The Daleks. And the Timelords. Could it be the start of the Time war, you might ask?

At the time this was released, none of the audio stories were canon. But more recent events have seemingly made them such. Nevertheless, Big Finish's licence doesn't allow them to do anything involved with the new series. So make of it all what you will.

Early scenes are involving emotionally as Paul McGann does superbly convey the state the Doctor is in. He does have a new hairstyle and costume - as a result of events in 'To The Death' although this all being on the cover it doesn't really get referenced in the story. Peter Egan as the aforementioned Timelord does also command the attention right away thanks to a very commanding voice and vocal performance.

The World War one scenes are vivid and gripping because they feel so realistic. There's a great lot of decent characters there as well. And some fascinating history. People having their illusions shattered, and those who have experience of it being hard edged because they've become inured to all that's going on.

Molly - played by Ruth Bradley, who you might remember from the last two seasons of Primeval - is an appealing character from the off also. She has a strong and very appealing voice and her accent is spot on. She's a person who won't ever be awe struck by the Doctor and who can take him down a peg or two when required. She has compassion beneath the hard exterior she's had to develop. She also has a great sense of wonder.

Although this is an epic story in terms of scope, since there are a lot of different locations all over time and space, it's not one of action in the biggest sense. There aren't lots of scenes of huge spaceship battles or Dalek armies. It does end up being primarily a two hander focusing on the relationship between the Doctor and Molly. Both of whom grow and change as a result of contact with the other.

Episodes two and three can feel as if they're becoming run arounds at points. But all these moments serve to strengthen the two leads as characters. So they all have a point.

Which is not just to do that. Because everything does come together very well in part four. When you'll find out that everything was relevant. There are some excellent surprises. And although the final lot of explanations are rather involved, you shouldn't have too much trouble following anything.

This is a big story that does end up being very satisfying and justifying it's length. The Eighth Doctor will return soon in Dark Eyes Two. It should be worth the wait.

There is an extra disc in with the fourth cd, which contains an hours worth of interviews with cast and crew.
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VINE VOICEon 18 March 2015
The Doctor is in despair and mourning the death of companion Lucie when he is contacted by the Time Lords and sent on a mission to save an Irish nurse from World War 1 named Molly who has mysterious dark eyes and seems to be involved in a plot to destroy the universe and it involves the Daleks who chase them through time and space and seem to be allies with a mysterious figure called Katris otherwise known as X. While it might help to have heard earlier 8th Doctor audios, this 4 part mini series could also be seen as an ideal jumping on point for new listeners and seen as a fresh start for the 8th Doctor. 4 hour long audios in this set, the first, The Great War sees The Doctor meet Molly in the middle of World War 1 and sets up the plot though the cliffhanger ending here is obvious considering who is on the cover. The 2nd audio, Fugitives picks up where the 1st leaves off and sees The Doctor and Molly on the run from The Daleks first in Dunkirk in World War 2 then in 1972. The 3rd audio, The Tangled Web, sees The Doctor realise that something isn't quite right so goes back to an incident when Molly was 2 to try and find out the truth while the 4th and final audio in the series, X and The Daleks sees the truth come out and the final battle between The Doctor and The Daleks. Molly is an interesting new never before seen on TV companion and X is an excellent new villain. This is one of the best Doctor Who audios.
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on 19 January 2014
Having heard the Eighth Doctor Adventures before with Sheridan Smith as Lucie Miller (don't worry if you haven't heard them it is not really necessary but it can help), I thought Big Finish couldn't do better. They have out done themselves and I wish Nicholas Briggs would write for the TV series.
I won't go too into detail with the story, but I received it really quickly considering it was over the Christmas/New Year period and it is of fantastic quality. I just can't wait for Dark Eyes 2. This is worth every penny.
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on 17 April 2013
I really hope that Nicholas Briggs gets a chance to write for the actual TV series - he's on top form with this story. What I like about the audio dramas is that they don't try to be super cool like the TV series, they just focus on telling the best, most dramatic, character focused story they can. If I could afford to subscribe to Big Finish I would, but I mostly have to pick and choose what I think will be the best of the bunch. What I can tell you is that Dark Eyes is outstanding - better than anything I've seen of the TV series in a long time. Just buy it, find some you time, put your headphones on, and let it whisk you away.
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on 26 August 2013
Even if you don't usually like audio books and could never get into the Doctor Who Big Finish or Audio Go ranges you will still enjoy this. It's that good.
This audio story will make Eight one of your favourite Doctors and Molly one of your favourite companions. Outstanding.
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on 18 November 2013
Great story, daleks on top form, good motivation to the Doc's actions too. The usual timey-wimey twists and turns. recommend it, very entertaining and engaging.
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on 14 April 2013
Brilliant! Why Paul McGann didn't get to play the Doctor on TV more is criminal! Talk about a wasted opportunity!
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on 29 May 2013
This was the first Doctor who audio adventure I ever purchased and as a result I will hold as the best. The story does what "Doctor Who" does best. It crosses centuries, planets and emotions as the four story arc unfolds. There are referances to (recentley) past stories but it is not necessary to listen to them to enjoy "Dark eyes".
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on 11 October 2013
This was my first flavour of a Big Finish audio play and I loved it. I thought the story was on form, the Doctor was brilliant and the Daleks were scary. I've since bought a few more Big Finish audios off the back of this one! Loved it.
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