Written by Jonathan Morris and released in July 2018, The Lords of Terror is the first story in the second series of The Eighth Doctor: The Time War and sees the Doctor taking Bliss back to her home world to reunite with her family.
A much stronger opener than series 1, The Lords of Terror really kicks it into high gear with a story that paints the Time Lords in perhaps the worst light ever. Seriously, if you thought the Daleks were ruthless, check out our Gallifreyan brothers. Not only is this a fantastic idea, but it expands upon the mythos in a very different way about the Time Lords being just as ruthless as the Daleks. Now we’ve had underhanded Time Lord schemes in the past, but most of those incidents haven’t dared stoop to this level of vile.
Paul McGann is just amazing. The material he is given here and his reaction to what’s going on is absolutely breath taking. This is the Doctor of War, the REAL Doctor of War, the Doctor who cannot do anything else but hide his head in shame and fight tooth and claw to put right what others set wrong. There are a handful of scenes that cast this incarnation in the best light.
This is backed up with some brilliant performances from the supporting cast. Shout out goes to Simon Slater who plays Carvil, a Time Lord that acts as a kind of foil to the Doctor; and Nikki Amuka-Bird who plays Tamasan, who viewers will recognise (or maybe not recognise) from last season as one of Ollistra’s minions.
I’m still not sold on Bliss. As a character she still feels very generic, but I admire the fact that Big Finish took one of my main complaints about her and chose to try and set them to rest in the very first episode of the new series. Setting the episode so close to home, both literally and figuratively, it gives Bliss that human quality which I did notice, but even after the dust settled, I feel as though she has a long way to go before she can be considered one of the great companions. I am digging the whole tension building between her and the Doctor and her being unable to avoid casting blame on him for the actions of his people, even though she knows he is a good person. It’ll be interesting to see where the next couple of episodes take us, but for now, slap on that score.
Stay tuned for more Time War reviews and don’t forget to let me know what you thought of the episode.