By Lee Travis
The Eaters of Light
Starting watching Doctor Who in Series 10 is both a blessing and a curse. With the introduction of Bill, series 10 has been a great launching off point for new fans as 'we' can explore this deep and complex world through her viewpoint. However, when the plot is sluggish, it shows. Diving into Doctor Who this late in the game is the equivalent of starting The Simpsons in 2017. Some episodes feel like they are spinning their wheels through plots that they have already done.
I'd wager that "The Eaters of Light" is hurt most by the back catalog of Doctor Who. The episode is bland at best. Removed from most anything that has happened this series, "The Eaters of Light" is the opposite of most everything positive "Empress of Mars" was able to achieve. If I were to go back and watch all the episodes in the Doctor Who catalog (relaunch moving forward), I have a sinking feeling that I'd see many episodes like "The Eaters of Light" in the mix, which isn't a compliment. This story already feels dated, and I'm a first-time watcher of the Doctor Who series.
With the impending finale episode from longtime showrunner Steven Moffat right around the corner, "The Eaters of Light" was a phoned-in attempt to pad Series 10. Ouch. I know that's harsh, but the episode lacked any sense of style or substance that previous episodes held. I have hope for the remaining two episodes. These are not only Moffat's finale episodes, but Peter Capaldi will also be departing as the Doctor. With so many potential stories to tell, the flat story should have been shelved altogether or moved to a spot earlier this season. Any momentum Series 10 had built to an abrupt stop.
The last time I felt Doctor Who had a less than pleasing episode, it wasn’t bad. Just average. “The Eaters of Light” was cooked without any salt or pepper. The episode had no taste. No reason to come back after the first viewing. However, the saving grace, yet again, was Bill. She held her own with the Ninth Roman Legion. Bill has come a long way since her introduction.
“The Eaters of Light” is the low point of series 10 (to date). With the finish line so close, it’s a shame to have a fumble of this magnitude. I still have hope for the final two episodes, especially with the finale being my first time seeing a Doctor regenerate. If there were an episode to skip in Series 10, this would be it. Better luck next time.
So far, what has been the weakest episode of Series 10? Let me know in the comments below.