Classic Who writer Rona Munro came back to the show to show how you make a good ol’ fashioned episode with plenty of heart and some cheesy effects! Being the writer of ‘Survival’, the last episode before the 1989 cancellation, you could see that Doctor Who could have had so much goodness going into the 90’s with this plucky writer!
This week, we see The Doctor finding himself in Scotland with Nardole and Bill, disagreeing about what happened to the Ninth Legion of The Imperial Roman Army in the 2nd century. Ok, it sorta comes from nowhere, but it is an interesting concept as it is based on a true disappearance which is fun. Plus, Bill and Nardole get plenty to do this week. YAY!
While The Doctor and Nardole are with the Pict Tribe who also guard the gate that has the “Eaters Of Light” trying to escape (spoiler alert…one escapes!), Bill finds the Legion and finds that they are more modern than she would expect. The Doctor knows that these creatures must be stopped from getting out as they will eat all light in the universe, and he also needs to find Bill.
While the main villain may not be that memorable or impressive (was good before we properly saw it), the cast makes this episode fantastic and the writing complements every single person that appears on that screen. Rebecca Benson makes a great turn as Kar and all the chaps playing the roman soldiers are all well presented.
As I mentioned before, to have Matt Lucas doing very little was a waste for a good number of episodes. Luckily, Nardole is given some great lines this time around and his interactions with the fighters is fun (and a conveniently held bag of popcorn works wonders). Then there is Pearl Mackie who indeed delivers some great work during her time away from Capaldi and shows that Bill is indeed one of the best companions that Who has ever had. Mentioning Capaldi, you can see small signs of his reign as The Doctor ending soon and the willingness to sacrifice himself speaks more for what we are preparing for later this year.
While ‘The Eaters Of Light’ is not my favourite, it is a strong episode for this series. The story is mostly well thought out, the monsters unfortunately don’t have enough to engage them into the arc and are easily disposed of. Then there is Missy, please just let her show her true colours already! I love Michelle Gomez, but this ruse must end soon. Then again, we have John Simm next week who will shake it all up! Till then, a plea to Mr Chibnall. PLEASE LET RONA MUNRO WRITE FOR SERIES 11!
Final Rating: 8.5/10
Written by Jonjo Cosgrove
Next week: ‘World Enough And Time’ will bring us probably the most epic finale we have ever seen!