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5.0 out of 5 stars When Irish eyes are rather dark, 5 Jan 2014
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This review is from: Dark Eyes (Doctor Who) (Audio CD)
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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Showing 1-1 of 1 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 8 Jan 2014 07:10:58 GMT
timelord007 says:
Exellent review Paul, This is a great mini series that showcases just how far Paul McGanns Doctor,has evolved since Storm Warning.

Your synopsis on the box set is brilliant.

A thoroughly enjoyable review.
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Paul Tapner

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