Dark Eyes 4

Big Finish - 8th Doctor Special Release

I was really avoiding this story when I first downloaded it because it didn’t have Ruth Bradley listed in the credits. How can it be a dark eyes story without Molly O’Sullivan? Turns out that was a mistaken thought as she IS here, just older, wiser, and grayer so another actress was given the role of the older Molly. And man, this thing is fantastic!

A Life in the Day (John Dorney)

The Doctor and Liv Chenka end up in 1920’s London where the Doctor is tracking an anomaly, in hopes of finding Molly O’Sullivan. The Doctor and Liv make friends with Kitty and her brother Martin, who experiencing the day over and over again. And has fallen in love with Liv Chenka. So we get to see her day of fun with him leading up to a confrontation with some strange androids in London that reset the day continually with a time bomb. We get to see a side of Liv we haven’t before – the “life” side instead of just the commando side of her, that’s almost reminiscent of Ace and the 7th Doctor’s adventures.

The Monster of Montmartre (Matt Fitton)

Then the duo is off to do more hunting down of the mystery signal in Paris, leading the Doctor to an artist named Christian and Liv to a “fence” named George. There are strange lights and noises in the alleys and byways of Paris at night, especially near the newest hot spot for entertainment, the Red Pagoda. Christian disappears, thanks to Adelaine Dutemps, the madame of the Red Pagoda, George is going there to steal some diamonds from Adelaine, and the Doctor and Liv end up there doing their own parallel investigations. And the true evil behind all of the crazy time issues is revealed as the Master and the Dalek Time Controller, both as mad as usual with their schemes for universal domination. The story ends with Liv a prisoner of the villains and the Doctor taking off in a pillaged TARDIS, which doesn’t look good for his future…

Master of the Daleks (John Dorney)

Despite the title, the Master only barely hangs onto his edge of superiority for about half of the story until the Doctor and Liv but a dent into his machinations. And the machinations of the Dalek Time Controller. They Doctor and Liv both end up in a future version of Russia, decimated after the Daleks have taken over Earth. The Master and Dalek Time Controller are looking for the Doctor, for different reasons, and he is wandering the desolated landscape sans memory. Meanwhile Liv is put into other dangers and “forces” the Master to take her for a walk, where they do find the Doctor and, quite by coincidence, Molly O’Sullivan, in a hospital camp run by a Sontaran, who’ve been enslaved by the Daleks as well. Once the Doctor gets his memory back, all hell breaks loose – Daleks fighting Daleks, Time Controller vs. Master, and the Doctor slipping away with Liv and Molly into the night, as it were. Fantastic!

Eye of Darkness (Matt Fitton)

And here we come to the final story of the 4 part epic that is Dark Eyes and it is well worth the wait. We head to another planet – a planet in Orion that seems self-sufficient and the one place where anyone can go to escape their problems. Yet it’s all a devious front for a Dalek weapons testing facility. Or is it? It’s definitely the place where the Eminence is born from the imagination of the Dr. Shriver and the Dalek Time Controller. Here we learn of the relationship between the Eminence, Dr. Shriver, the Dalek Time Controller, Molly O’Sullivan, and the retrogenitor particles that were the cause of the series to begin with. And it’s not a good for any of them, that’s for sure. Doom is ahead yet there is hope for the 8th Doctor and Liv, and even for Orion.

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Despite my misgivings prior to hearing the stories, I LOVED this as a wrap-up to the Dark Eyes box sets. Going from the most light-hearted story to the most action-packed, depressing one, these stories run the gamut and do not disappoint. I do like that there are just two writers as the tone is kept more even and is less changed with the plot. Though the Big Finish stories seems to be more and more dire in tone lately for the Doctor, there is more hope in these stories than the usual and it makes for more interesting stories, in my mind. Dark Eyes is a fantastic set and I’m glad it’s part of the 8th Doctor storyline – I couldn’t see it with any other Doctor, to be honest. Go Big Finish and go Paul McGann!


Paul McGann(The Doctor),Nicola Walker(Liv Chenka),Alex Macqueen(The Master),Barnaby Kay(Martin Donaldson),Rachael Stirling(Adelaine Dutemps),Sorcha Cusack(Mary),Dan Starkey(The Sontarans),Susannah Harker(Anya),David Sibley(The Eminence),Beth Chalmers(Kitty Donaldson),Charlie Norfolk(The Woman),Derek Hutchinson(Usher),Alex Wyndham(Thug),Blake Ritson(Barman),Camilla Power(Receptionist/Mademoiselle),John Dorney(Android), withNicholas Briggs(The Daleks)

Writer: John Dorney, Matt Fitton

Director: Ken Bentley

Release: March 2015

Laura Vilensky 2018