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Not Much New Here

By:David Layton, Los Angeles, United States
Date:Saturday 16 September 2017
Rating:   7

Dark Eyes 3 picks up a bit after the end of Dark Eyes 2. In that one, the Master had nabbed Molly O'Sullivan, though we did not know why. Here, we find out that he is planning to use her retrogenitor particles to infect the Eminence and take over all of humanity so that he can create his own destructive armada obedient only to him. We begin with "The Death of Hope." Narvin from the Gallifrey series steps in as CIA director to turn The Doctor into an agent so the CIA can undo the error of using The Master to stop The Eminence. To convince The Doctor, Narvin uses the Matrix to show The Doctor one of The Master's experiments in using the remainder of a destroyed human colony as a petrie dish to cultivate retrogenitor particles. Convinced, The Doctor then collects Liv and we head off to another colony for The Reviled. Here, human colonists who abused the local intelligent insect life have the tables turned. Now the humans are the prisoners, just waiting for The Master to use them. The Doctor tries to save everyone. Failures occur. The Doctor, now angry as a swarm of killer bees decides that he is going to change history and prevent The Eminence from ever happening. In Masterplan, The Doctor tries this and fails. The Doctor and The Master get locked together in a doomed spaceship. They trade insults. The Master escapes with an idea for a new plan to accomplish his goals. In Rule of the Eminence, it seems that The Master has won. A desperate Doctor desperately tries to undermine him.

The whole set has a greater coherence than Dark Eyes 2. There are still some problems with it. First, I must say it again that The Eminence is one of the most boring villains devised for Doctor Who. This is why The Master must be here. If it were just The Doctor vs. The Eminence, there would not be much story. Alex Macqueen is a great Master. He has a kind of campy effervescence that makes people think "I really dislike this guy, but I can't say why." Paul McGann is great as usual. Nicola Walker is outstanding, a great study in how a little goes a long way in acting. This really comes through in Masterplan, where we get the argument between The Doctor and The Master that seems to come down to two children arguing on the playground. There is much psychologizing. Meanwhile, Dr. Sally Armstrong is revealed as also childish, constantly seeking approval. Liv comes across as the adult, a person who has reconciled herself to the facts of the universe and that those facts are not always nice. The Rule of Eminence should get demerits for plagiarizing, with a heavy combination of the Master's plot for dominating humanity in both Last of the Timelords and The End of Time. The Doctor's working behind the scenes is also reminiscent of The End of Time. In the whole, for reasons we find out in the bonus disc, Molly O'Sullivan does not get much to do, and we get her sent off with a "you can never see her again" ending that's just a bit like Donna's ending, though Molly gets to keep her memories.

So, some good acting all around, good sound and production. The story is a little flat and has that deja vu just a little too often.

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