Thursday, February 13, 2014

The Molly-Go-Round: Dark Eyes 2 - Eyes of the Master Review (SPOILERS AHOY!)

So here we are at the final entry (and the 2nd Matt Fitton penned story) of the box set. There's a lot to be excited for: The Master, Ides Scientific Institute, ad what the new purpose for Molly's Dark Eyes are in. These threads and more come together in the thrilling Eyes of the Master

Eyes, begins with the Doctor, Molly and Liv, arriving in London 1972 to investigate Ides; the Doctor refusing to know what happened on Nixyce VII (as its yet to happen). In the wake of X and the Daleks, time's been altered and Ides very own Sally Armstrong is now alive and working with the mysterious "Hartcourt De'ath" to replace the eyes of his patients with symbiotic replicas in order to harness the Eminence. Once we get to the long awaited rematch between the 8th Doctor and the Master, we learn a lot of his plan and that of the Time Lords.

As noted, time was shifted in the wake of Kotris being erased from existence. A timeione in where the Daleks reigned supreme is now a timeline where the Eminence are the supreme sole being and in turn, Molly's retro-genator particles work against them. This reviewer is quite amused by how it all ties together. Particully with Molly now that it seems that her dark eyes are now permanent than ever realised (plus why the Dark Eyes banner remains intact for this release in the next two box sets) Not only that but the fact the Time Lords now need the Eminence in order to wipe out the Daleks. Then there's the Master himself who we now confirm comes after Eric Roberts (plus the Geoffrey Beevers version via astermind and , in turn. DWM's black preacher incarnation) and Sir Derek Jecobi. In order to prevent the Eminence caskets from reaching the Nixyce System the Doctor goes off to the very planet we first heard him in to reach out to the Dalek Time Controller to stop the caskets. Only at the end of the story things got altered: the Dalek occupation on Nixyce VII is over while back on Earth the Master and Armstrong kidnap Molly; a cliffhanger only to be resolve in Dark Eyes 3 (coming this November). All this and matching TCEs!

More strong performances given from our regulars especially the interaction between Paul McGann's Doctor and Alex MacQueen's Master; trading hots at each others current attire and just as the Doctor unleashed the Eminence from his mind.Theresome good rapport between Ruth Bradley's Molly and Nicxola Walker's ailing Liv from early on til story's end. Natalie Burt gives a new side to the ever naive Sally Armstrong as the character manages to remain loyal to the Master under influence. No doubt we'll have her back as well for the next box set. Rounding off the cast is acqueline King's Mrs Gantry, David Shaw-Parker's eldery David Walker (the young man Molly left the Baker Street house to at the end of The White Room and a special cameo appearance from Frank Skinner at the end.

Eyes of the Master closes out Dark Eyes 2 in a story that fuels more timey-wimey and neverendinmg battle save for a slight huried resolution. Plus, along with the previous two stories proves that this box set and the next two aren't all about just 8th and the Daleks and a certain conflict on the way.

Nine out of Ten Jelly Babies

Overal Box Set Score: 9.5/10

Infinite Eminence: Dark Eyes 2 - Time's Horizon Review

Nw, we cut to story three: Time's Horizon

The third entry by Matt Fitton in the box set manages to up the ante as the Doctor and Molly finds themselves aboard the cryo-ship Orpheus where Liv Chenka and here crew were sent by unknown benefactor. Uneasy reunions aside, there's a greater evil set to become the only being in the universe (and for once its not the Daleks!): The Eminence (Seeds of War, the forthcoming Destroy the Infinite).

Fitton's script really delivers as it presents us with the Eminence's goal and the infinite warrior transformation that bring the horror up to 12 as the Doctor, Mollyand Live prevent the zombiefied enemy from infinit conquest. The story also makes clear of what happened in The Traitor hasn't happened yet for the Doctor while it did for Liv; she's still viewed as a a traitor while she sees him as one for helping them. What we'll learn in the next story will become very clear as to why. That and the ending....

More firepowered performances all around from the new TARDIS trio and David Sibley. Also bringing their A-game as well were Jo Castleton (Oh No It Isn't, Venus Mantrap} as the driven-submissive Kruger, Adrian MacKimder as Capt. Brock, Jacqueline King (Sylvia Noble to the New Series crowd) lending her voice as the ship's computrr and Ian Hallard as Kell. Willfredo Acosta surpassed himself with the music and sound design story by story. Last, but not least, the direction  Nick Briggs makes for a strong production overall.

Time's Horizon's another homerun story from Fitton and as is the following story Eyes of the Master.

Ten jelly babies total

But No Black Curtains: Dark Eyes 2 - The White Room Review

The second imstallment of the Dark Eyes 2 box set has one up its preceeding story in surprises. For the last three weeks, we've saw the cover art and discs and many detected a certain long familiar figure in the background between/behind the 8th Doctor and Molly: A Viyran. Thus, a big reason to listen to the Alan Barnes penned entry, The White Room.

The story immediately starts off with the Doctor having a gun pointed at him by an deserter at his home in 21 Baker Street on Eath in November 1918. Unknown to him that the current resident is none other than Ms. "Dark Eyes" herself, Molly O'Sullivan. An awkward and cute reunion would later give way to an familar problem returning for Molly: the retrogenetor particles in her eyes, Unlike the previous time, her Dark Eyes now serve a different purpose of an entirely dfferent enemy not known to the Doctor and us lusteners (yet!) Adding more mystery is the disappearance of the deserters. A mystery that ties directly to the Blackwell Convalescent Home (with one Herman Goering in the mix), the "Huntsmen" and most of the mysterious "Surgeon General"...

The White Room certain whips out the suspense and surprise as we learn of Goering's association with the Viyrans. The said creatures themselves have been an amusing fixture in all things Doctor Who dating back to their short story debut in Doctor Who Storybook 2007 (thus the first New Series spin-off media monster created and later return via Big Finish) Their popularity's increasing now in light of the forthcoming Charlotte Pollard box set. The White Room is not only about the Viyrans as is does focus a bit on WWI deserters on the eve of Armistice Day. The time period itself here serves as all the more fitting along side the previous box set's first entry The Great War in time for the 100th Anniversary of WW1.

It was very delightful to hear the dynamic performan of Paul McGann and Ruth Bradley again after over 13 and a bit months. This time Molly's not fist happy with the byronic hero in his "dustman's jacket". Ian Brooker pulls double duty here as both Dr. Goering and the Viyrans as Brian Shelly presents us with his Future Viyran. You may want to listen carefully near the end of the story where a mystery voice leads into the next one. 

On this note, The White Room is certain gripping in its plot and the characterizations of the players at hand. The more this reviewer listens to it, the more it may share a tie between itself and 2009's Patient Zero as the top Viyran related story to date followed by the previous efforts. Onward, Time's Horizon!

Ten jelly babies total! 

Ballad of Nixyce VII: Dark Eyes 2 - The Traitor Review

Talk about an early Valentine's Day release, eh? This February (in particular these last two days of winter weather) saw the release of the Dark Eyes 2 box set. This time around the box set has four different stories from three different writers: Nicholas Briggs, Alan Barnes, and Big Finish's latest white hot scribe Matt Fitton. As noed the box set not only features the returning Daleks and their Time Controller but also The Eminence, Alex MacQueen's Master and a certain viral familar. Kicking off this review is episode one: The Traitor.

The Traitor begins on the planet Nixyce IIV where its under Dalek occupation; it's also the same planet Liv Chenka (Nicola Walker)'s has been residing in the long time since she last saw the Doctor during the events of Robophobia. While there, she was force to assist the Daleks in the medical care of the Robomen. The Doctor arrives on the occupied world to prevent the Daleks from succeeding with their superweapon. As things get more complicated are the paranoid freedom fighters who deem anyone who works for the Daleks as a traitor.

The story manages to tick the boxes one would expect on TV (if the Daleks are allowed to exterminate these days): occupation, freedom fighters, betrayal and wild card: Robo-Doctor! One would assume it feels right at home with the Dalek Empire series, but with the Doctor and the Dalek Time Controller up and about, it gets much deeper. Most will wonder why the Doctor went to the planet to seek his pepperpotted foes. You'll have to hear the following three stories; particularly the last one to learn of our favorite Time Lord's agenda.

The regulars are on fine form here as Paul McGann and Nicholas Briggs belted out another strong performances ranging from the aformentioned Robo-Doctor scenes to the last five minutes of the story where the Doctor revealed his reason for coming to Nixcyse VII. McGann's rappot with Nicola Walker's Liv is very amusing; case in point her disbelief about the Doctor being the same as a certain little man she fist met. Providing the music and sound design for the box set is Wilfredo Acosta who brings out the atmosphere of the planet very well plus the musical cues.

So far, The Traitor kicks off the spanking new box set with a dark start with may leave you surprised until you get to understand what and when it occurs.....

Eight out of Ten jelly babies!