Hey guys and girls,
If you haven't guessed, Big Finish's Dark Eyes 4 has dropped. And here is my thoughts and review on it.
1.4) A Life in a Day
This story is certainly the most fun of the the entire Dark Eyes saga. It's just fun and this is the story that really made me warm to Liv Chenka, a character that I honestly didn't warm to or like much. I mean, I did care about her before, she is the Doctor's companion, but she never really struck a cord with me. She was too dark and depressing throughout Dark Eyes 2 and 3. But to be fair, that wasn't exactly her fault considering the events she had been through with the Daleks and her condition throughout. </span>
</span>During A Life in a Day, she really gets a chance to shine, we get to see her social and in a more human perspective. Her relationship with Kitty Donaldson's brother; (Remember her from the first anthology?) Martin Donaldson, is really endearing and sweet. Martin Donaldson himself is portrayed as a good caring man, although with a seemingly secret agenda which, once revealed is really heartbreaking. The plot thread that continues to the next story is a lot more light hearted and seems to take a step back from Martin and Liv's growing bond. This is not entirely a bad thing as the Doctor and Kitty get to have a little adventure of their own, being pursued by some rather nasty Androids after the Doctor and Liv.
A Life in a Day, a nice sweet piece, the most tender of the Dark Eyes series, with a clever twist that is heartbreaking in hindsight. 8/102.4) The Monster of Montmartre
Hands down my favourite of the Dark Eyes series, simply for the playful fun of the first act and then the REALLY dark turn in the second. I mean, come on, it has the Eight Doctor in Paris, in a Moulin Rouge. What's not toe love. Then you go in and add Daleks in, and not just any Daleks, a particularly nasty one who is more nuttier than a fruit cake. The Dalek Time Controller. And Oh my Eminence is it's plans and set up insane.
The First act is just plain fun, Liv and the Doctor are searching for something that was stolen and it leads them to Paris. They split up, something which has never gone well for Liv in most cases, however this time, Liv manages to get the one up on those pursuing her which in itself is really great. The Doctor giving her the wrong currency for the time is a small thing but still very amusing. The Doctor's search meanwhile leads him to an Artist named Christen, who is enamoured with the leading lady, Madame Adelaine Dutemps (There's a hint in the name) at the Red Pagoda, a Moulin Rouge like set up. (Sound familiar?) The Doctor, while at the Red Pagoda passes judgement on those around him, a hive of activity for the Black Market and, one assumes is also a brothel. The first act of this story is something I'd love to see on screen, atmospheric dark streets of Paris and the bright colours and lights of the Moulin Rouge, Red Pagoda. The sound design and dialogue brings beautiful vivid images to mind.
Then there's the second half, the reveal of what happens to all these artists who are going missing, who Madame Dutemps husband is and why there are rumours of Monsters on the streets at night. And it gets dark fast. Really fast. The sound design they worked wonderfully for the first half now creates images of disturbing mutants and horrific images. This is where the arc of this boxset really kicks off and the reveal the Dalek Time Controller makes is quite a disturbing and interesting one. The Monster of Montmartre is fun and games until the second act, then it really gets interesting. A really interesting story that takes a very dark turn and is in every way wonderful and engaging. 9.5/10
Also, can Daleks have wives? I feel like there are laws against that. (Not even sorry for the first gif)3.4) The Master of the Daleks
OMG more like The Master of Sass. Am I right?
What can I say about Alex McQueen's Master that everyone hasn't mentioned yet? He's a fabulous, glorious character who just oozes insanity and ham. And it is just a true pleasure to listen to. McQueen's Master pulls focus in the aptly named Master of the Daleks. Liv, the Master and the Dalek Time Controller are all the main characters of this story, with the Doctor incapacitated (Yep, memory loss. Again.) after the events of The Monster of Montmartre.
This is something that could so easily be a bad thing, but with McQueen and Walker's interactions and scenes make this story worth it so much.
McQueen Master is fun to listen to, but still obviously a special kind of dangerous psychopath.
The Sontarans are also in this episode, with Dan Starkey (Strax) playing all of them. If I'm honest they don't really do much and are really more like a plot device if anything. It would have been nice to see a proper Dalek/Sontaran conflict but with so much happening in this episode, I think it can be forgiven.
The reveal in this episode is an amazing one and I was in disbelief at how accurate the actor portrayed a certain character. I had to do a double take to see that it wasn't the same actor.The Master of the Daleks is a fun romp with so much sass and ham and an inevitable clash of inflated ego and TARDISnapping. And a really superb twist for a certain character that made me double take. 7/104.4) Eye of Darkness
It's the final episode, and I'm sad, because I don't want this epic adventure to end. But all things must come to an end and what an end it is. This episode follows two parties, The Doctor, Mary Carter and a Dalek Fighter named Anya; Everyones favourite TimeDalek, The Dalek Time Controller and his pusedo companion, Liv Chenka. Each of the parties have come to Doctor Who's famous location, The Eye of Orion.
The first half of this story is exposition and is quite calm and paced quite relaxing however when the endgame comes it speeds up very fast and we now have Markus Shriver, the creator of the Eminence, The Dalek Supreme and it's army, Anya wanted to destroy the planet, the Dalek Time Controller whose impeding death makes it all the more desperate and insane and the Doctor, who is trying to stop everyone from dying/becoming immortal/destroying all the things and some all at once.
There is wonderful acting all around and Nick Briggs even his his Stan Lee cameo without a ring modulator. As always his Daleks are superb and brillant, from the deep authoritative tones of the Dalek Supreme and it's underlings, but the real class performance is that of the Dalek Time Controller, who spends most of this story in pain and becoming even more desperate and hysterical as it's life support slowly fails. David Sibley is brilliant as the insane, chance believing Shriver and as the fierce and terrifying Eminence.
Liv Chenka spends most of this episode as the DTC's companion (It even explains things like the Doctor would) and Liv's sassy remarks towards it bring a smile to the face. Liv has really grown as a character during this anthology and it's really welcomed. I'm glad that Liv will still be with Eight for The Doom Coalition. Big thumbs up to Nicola Walker for showing the more light hearted side of Liv. Paul Mcgann is as always a brilliant and wonderful actor, who holds the story together with mastery and
But the true praise must go to Sorcha Cusack, whose portrayal of Mary Carter is both amazing and unbelievable. You have to hear it yourself to believe. I found myself doing a Google check to double check the actor.This is hands down my favourite story in the entire Dark Eyes saga. The resolution is one that comes out of left field, alliances are made and broken and different characters pitied together make for very interesting story. Highlights include the DTC taking out an entire base of Daleks, the atmospheric music especially during the ending scene in which a character makes the ultimate sacrifice. Oh yeah, and a retractable Buzz saw that I may or may not want. Very Daak Absolm.
Brilliant end to a fantastic series! An ultimate scarfice is made and it is equally heartbreaking as it is uplifting. The music sells the scene so well. 10/10
I'm always a sucker for the Eighth Doctor. He's my favourite Doctor hands down and the Dark Eyes series has made my love for him grow. With a dark start in the first boxset, the very end of the series holds so much meaning, with the Eighth Doctor finally full of hope, the duration of Dark Eyes saw him struggle through a lot of stuff that universe (or Daleks, Timelords and Evil gas clouds) threw at him. It's nice to see him come out the other side with a strong companion and his hope restored. Unfortunately we all know about an incoming war which will break our breathless romantic's heart. But with the Doctor regained his hope, I think it'll be good to have him spend some fun and relax a bit. Although with a name like the Doom Coalition, that seems quite unlikely.
Like all of the previous boxsets, they focus on a certain theme. Dark Eyes focus on Hope and Kotris. Dark Eyes 2 focus on the Daleks, Master
and the Eminence. Dark Eyes 3's main focus was on the Eminence and the Masters attempts to manipulate it.
This Boxset centralises around the DTC and it's part in events in the previous stories, and it's interferance in the Timelines has come back to bite it in the behind. Since it's first appearance in the Monster on Montmartre, it's obvious that something is wrong with it and that it's been exiled from the Dalek Empire as it is no longer has it's ship and has to build it's army from scratch and forge an alliance with the Master.
In a way it's good to see the DTC get it's comeuppance for it's role in To the Death and Dark Eyes but not so good is the implications this has on other characters. Either way, in unlike in previous stories, the DTC has really become unhinged and desperate, wanting to survive at any cost, no longer caring about racial purity and deviating from the Dalek cause. No wonder the Dalek Supreme wants nothing to do with it anymore.
I would talk more about a certain character however I feel like that would be ruining the story overall.
Overall Dark Eyes 4 was my favourite of the entire Dark Eyes saga, with DE1, DE2 and DE3 coming respectively behind. An epic end to a truly remarkable series.
"The only person who can crush your dreams is you."I'm now using it for stock credits: