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!