The Eaters of Light is a curious Doctor Who story. And here we must use the word ‘story’ somewhat advisedly. It’s more like a pamphlet insofar as it is as stripped down in mechanics as we remember for Doctor Who. The Doctor and companions upon arrival split up (this time by choice), encounter two factions, ingratiate themselves and go along with those opponents until the end where there’s a resolution. And done. The only wrinkle this time is that they then team up defeat the larger foe.
It’s all rather basic. And yet it works.
The Eaters of Light is in some ways a return to the form of Moffat’s first series, 5, as we wind down his last. There’s a deliberate fairy tale quality suffused throughout Eaters that’s winning, not unlike The Pandorica Opens. But it all feels so slight, which is borne out by the fact that not only does the episode under-run rather badly, it does so despite a 5-minute coda tying back to the Missy story, which we assume will begin to resolve next week.
That the Tour found this the most interesting part of The Eaters of Light shouldn’t be considered a slight against it, but rather we are in full-on anticipation mode for the end days of the Capaldi Doctor.