Dark Eyes 2

Big Finish - 8th Doctor Special Release

The Traitor

Nicholas Briggs

These four stories all tie into each other quite nicely but this first adventure doesn’t give us anything but hints about what is to come. The Doctor lands onNixyce VII, a planet with a roboman processing center and a planetary weapon. And Liv Chenka is there, trying to keep people alive. And the Dalek Time Controller is back with his own agenda.

The story here definitely builds and has its own momentum. There are moments when you think things will go one way and they go another. But mostly I see a lot of hints of what is to come in Dark Eyes 3 more than anything. This story forms the basis for how Liv Chenka sees the Doctor in later stories and we do get at least a minimal wrap-up at the end of everything, with this being the “present day” story. Strange wrap-up indeed…

The White Room

Alan Barnes

And it’s the return of the Viyrans! They do seem almost comical by the end of this story as the Doctor takes advantage of their weakness – single-minded purposefulness. The Viyrans are more interesting when you don’t actually have them involved. Once they’re introduced, speaking in the story, they become a threat the Doctor neutralizes rather neatly. Almost too easily, even.

This story takes place in Molly O’Sullivan’s time frame and she’s back here, feisty as ever. And I have a definite theory on why her eyes turn dark again which is related to the piece of the Eminence contained within the Doctor’s head. He sure has a lot of bad things locked away within his head! It seems to happen a lot. And as much as the 7th Doctor seemed to go around disposing of ancient baddies to help out his successor, there are just as many, if not more, villians for the 8th Doctor to deal with. The reluctant warrior who becomes a real warrior with his regeneration, as we’ve seen on TV.

Time’s Horizon

Matt Fitton

This is both the strangest and the most important of the stories in this group. This is where we learn about the true villain of the piece – the Eminence. This is a Big Finish creation and a non-corporeal threat to everyone. There is a space ship at the edge of known space with Liv Chenka on it as part of the crew. Everyone is awakened by the ship due to the lights in the sky that aren’t supposed to be there, which turn out to be a wave of energy from the future. And of course the Doctor and Molly land there to warn the crew and are immediately taken prisoner. And things take a turn for the worse. They always do!

This is the most action heavy story of the group and has less moral weight to it. But that makes it the most fun of the bunch. These stories are all very emotionally draining as the characters are running, planning, or being used and thoroughly abused throughout all of the stories. Partially it’s the contained space of the spaceship that makes this one so effective but it’s also the mystery of what the heck is going on. And then we know…

Eyes of the Master

Matt Fitton

And as the title suggests, the old adversary of the Doctor is involved and has a very poor plan, as usual. The Time Lords even involve him so they don’t have to get their hands dirty! Once again we’re back on Earth but this time in the 20th Century, I think. There are eye surgeries (ewww) and a piece of the Eminence brought there by the Master. His plan really doesn’t seem very thought out, considering the power that one small piece of the Eminence contains. And he has his own new assistant as well.

I’m not really that fond of the Alex MacQueen Master. He’s fine but doesn’t really have the menace that other people have had portraying him. His plans and schemes are menacing but he seems almost friendly, voice-wise. But it still makes everything crazy, ultimately. And the Doctor has the “tools” to waylay his plans, ultimately. Yet I found this story the least satisfying of the bunch. The wrap-up back to the present day story is quite disturbing and what happens next is really something to be anticipated. There are many mysteries left unsolved, that’s for sure!

Paul McGann, Ruth Bradley (Molly O’Sullivan), Nicola Walker (Liv Chenka), Alex MacQueen (the Master)

Writers: Nicholas Briggs, Alan Barnes, Matt Fitton

Dir: Nicholas Briggs

Release: February 2014

Laura Vilensky 2019