Hello gentle reader, and welcome back (or for the very first time) to Big Finishing Move. While this series is still on break until January 2015 I did say I’d pop back in if I had something to say and how could I in good conscience let one of the biggest releases of the year headed by one of Big Finish’s most solid writers, Matt Fitton and not offer my two cents. That’s right folks, today were looking at the recently released Dark Eyes 3.
Some of you may remember all the praise I heaped on the previous installment of this series. I stated that this might go down as one of the best things Big Finish ever does, provided they don’t screw it up of course. So does the third entry live up to the hype or does it bottom out what was a promising series?
Let’s find out.
TARDIS Team: Eighth Doctor, Molly O’Sullivan, and Liv Chenka
The saddest bit of this whole affair is that every problem this installment was either by design or unavoidable. Listening to the bonus features you hear about the effort there was to streamline things as some felt things were too complex and new listeners would be lost. This is why we have the entire first installment feel like an info dump more then a proper launch into the series.Secondly there was a decision to focus solely on the Doctor and the Master with this entry, and while Paul McGann and Alex Macqueen act their ever-lovin’ asses off here, the laser focus on the pair means every other characters take a back seat to things to the extent that the other big bad of this series, the Daleks only get mentioned in passing. I enjoy the Doctor and the Master going back and forth as much as the next guy, but I want to know what everyone else is doing as well! The final complication came in what they thought was going to be the limited availability of Ruth Bradley. Ruth was off working in the US and it looked like she wouldn’t have a large window of to do her parts so they made sure her role was as trim as possible so that she could fit it in. The real tragedy here is that sacrifice to the story was unnecessary as Ruth came back and had more time then anybody anticipated but they were too far into production to go back and flesh out her part.
So is Dark Eyes 3 worth your time? Yes, but only for those already invested in the series. Despite Big Finish’s intent, which was to see this as a jumping on point it instead feels like you need the other parts to understand why you should care about anybody save the Doctor and the Master so important things happen to the other characters without having as much of a punch as they should.
I don’t know how much was production mandates and how much was the man himself, but the result isn’t Matt Fitton’s best work. I still consider Fitton to be one of Big Finish’s best, if not the best they’ve got, but he just feels cut off at the knees here. Don’t get me wrong, there is a lot to love here, but things got in the way of him turning in the best story possible. Dark Eyes 3 isn’t bad, but is a step backwards from the greatness that was Dark Eyes 2. The fourth installment, at least from the brief descriptions and the artwork provided it appears to be a return to form. In the end, even with the unevenness of this entry, the overall series remains strong and you can count of Big Finishing Move to be there this March for:
‘Till then, happy listening!
Purchase Doctor Who: Dark Eyes 3 Here:
Please remember distinguished readers, we here at One of Us have our own audio drama series which goes by the name of Infinite Variations and the site is also home to Jason Neulander’s new spin-off series from The Intergalactic Nemesis entitled Salt! Give them a listen if you haven’t already!
Check out my previous reviews: