Back when ‘Doctor Who’ first started the idea was to split the stories into two categories; those set in the future to teach science and those set in the past to teach history. This idea was quickly dropped during the original series run. ‘The Eaters of Light’ was nice nod to the latter.
The fictional story behind the missing Ninth Legion of the Roman Army ‘The Eaters of Light’ periodically gave us historic factoids throughout. This could have been a nightmare, like a sci-fi version of the educational history drama ‘How we used to Live’. Instead it felt organic and helped the development of the plot.
As in keeping with its name the tone of the episode was dark; with occasional diversions into humour to give the story a chink of light. The three leads also all shone. There were quite a few dissenting voices when the return of Matt Lucas’s ‘Nardole’ was announced; I think he’s now done enough to change all but the most steadfast detractors mind.
The only part of the episode that didn’t work for me was the crows being able to talk; it felt clunky, unnecessary and the pay off with the crows repeating the characters ‘Kar’s’ name in remembrance was just a bit silly.
All in all another strong episode, which reminds us why this is still one of the most loved shows in the world. By the way, John Simm’s ‘Master’ returns next week. How cool is that?
Marks out of 10: 8