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The Eaters Of Light

ShowDoctor Who / Series X / Episode 11
First Broadcast2017/06/18 - 19:40 (Link: ABC Details)
Related LinksDoctor Who Wiki Wikipedia
Previous EpisodeEmpress Of Mars
Next EpisodeWorld Enough And Time

The Doctor, Bill and Nardole arrive in second century Scotland, ostensibly to settle a bet between the Doctor and Bill as to what happened to the Ninth Legion of the Roman Army - something that has apparently puzzled historians.

Bill discovers she can talk to a Roman soldier. She thinks he's speaking English, while he thinks she's speaking Latin. Interestingly, rather than being told, Bill figures out it must have something to do with the TARDIS and/or the Doctor. She's also the first to point out that the translation includes lip synch. Later, she asks the Doctor if the translation makes everyone sound like children. I wondered about this and the fact the Picts and Romans were all portrayed as being very young. Were they actually children or do they just appear so?

The Eater of Light is a pretty cool monster. It has emerged from a portal and feeds off the sunlight in people's bones. The Picts have been battling them for centuries, with one of them entering the portal to keep the mosters at bay, while time passes much more quickly on Earth. When the Ninth Legion looks like it will wipe out the Picts, Kar lets one out to defeat the Romans, hoping it will be weak enough from this battle to (in turn) be defeated and pushed back into the portal. However she has miscalculated, hence the mess they are all in.

The Doctor's plan uses this idea and they trick the beast back into the portal. The Doctor then wants to follow it in as he will be able to keep it there for a very long time due to his long life. Once again Bill intervenes - he is too important. The Picts and Romans sacrifice themselves instead. The resolution was a little simplistic, but better than the one involving the Monks.

There were some cool bits: the TARDIS engraved on a Pict stone; a multitude of jokes along the way; and the talking crows - a clever pun on the gatekeeper's name and the sound crows make.

At the very end, we are surprised to find Missy in the TARDIS - apparently making repairs. This seems like a huge leap of faith on the Doctor's part - Missy could be doing anything to the TARDIS. Interestingly, she states that she is unable to leave the TARDIS. The continuing theme of the Master's rehabilitation is intriguing; could the Doctor's nemesis be reformed and could they be friends again?