Last week saw the Doctor, Bill, Nardole, and a buncha pseudo-dysfunctional Victorian soldiers facing off against the feared and revered Ice Warriors on Mars.
The episode landed firmly upon the middle tier of Moffat era DOCTOR WHO episodes for me - never falling flat on its face, but nor did it fully ignite.
Its greatest stumble, by my measure at least, was that The Empress of Mars somehow managed to turn an exciting and compelling premise into something of a stayed talk piece. A budgetary consideration? Or, simply a creative choice made by long-time DOCTOR WHO scripter/associate Mark Gatiss? We may never know for certain, but the decision was definitely one which lead to a surprisingly sedate, conversation-heavy episode given the story’s innate premise.
All of this said: the Ice Warriors reducing their targets into little bouncy laundry balls? That's pretty great by any measure - and begs the question: what, exactly, happens to the little spherical blobs of people after they’ve been compacted? Are they tossed into a garbage bin? Used for some kind of sport? These are important considerations! (ahem)
This week’s adventure returns two doctor who alum to the series: Oxygen director Charles Palmer is back to helm The Eaters of Light, which is scripted by Rona Munro (who wrote the Survival arc back in the McCoy era).
Regarding Munro's presence here: it should be noted that Eaters represents one of the last episodes in Steven Moffat's stewardship of this show, and Survival was not only the final, full-on appearance of Sylvester McCoy's iteration of the Doctor, but the closing tale of DOCTOR WHO's original, multi-decade run. A symmetry and symbolism that is difficult to ignore.
Here are some promo images from the The Eaters of Light. I'm assuming there's far more to this episode than these images suggest - this is one of the least revelatory, and scantest (is that even a word?) collections of promo shots I've encountered during my experience with the Moffat era on the whole. What does this mean? We'll find out soon enough!
The Eaters of Light discussion boards are now online and ready to enjoy. Please see the first post in this thread regarding the disposition of next week's World Enough and Time discussion board.
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