Doctor Who: Spoiler free preview for The Eaters Of Light
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It's a sad thing to realise that this Saturday's episode is Peter Capaldi's last self contained adventure before the (we assume) epic two part finale and his departure in the Christmas special. Fortunately series 10 continues its trend of having good to great solo adventures. This latest addition comes from classic Doctor Who series writer Rona Munro, who fan may remember wrote the last ever story of the original run; Sylvester McCoy's 1989 swansong Survival.
What's interesting with The Eaters Of Light is that you can imagine fitting in to that late Seventh Doctor era with just a bit of embellishment. Here constrained to a 45 minute episode, Munro weaves a well paced tale of Romans, Picts and monsters with a heavy dose of mysticism thrown in. Like Thin Ice earlier in the series' run, this is another strong historical story; my only concern , like pretty much all of series 10, is that it doesn't pack enough punch to hit 'classic' status. As much as I, like many, have loved Capaldi's final series, there is the sense that we've had nothing as close to Listen or Mummy on the Orient Express or Heaven Sent to really get our teeth into.
That being said, it is a very fine episode and probably my second favourite after Oxygen. For the second week in a row we have some really engaging supporting characters and most significantly, plenty of quotable dialogue. Both the Doctor and Bill get powerful speeches and Nardole's one liners are on epically fine form. The sad truth is this is a great TARDIS team and it feels like it is just getting started when the series is already nearly over.
Romans, Picts and monsters in 10th Century Scotland; it's a great setting for Doctor Who to do what it does best. I think fans are going to like this one...