I’m taking The Legacy of Time slowly, and first up is an Eighth Doctor story, which suits my vague August theme! James Goss treated us to Lies in Ruins, which had to my mind (at least) three things to do: entertain, be a complete story and setup the boxset.
All that and find space for Professors Summerfield and Song! Add a new companion, a mystery and really it’s already rather jam-packed!
Lies in Ruins
It’s hard to just sit back and listen to Lies in Ruins without looking out for both key moments (in this case the meeting of the Professors) and clues as to the big idea (whatever it is) behind the set as a whole. What this mean in my case was it took me a while to even spot the double meaning in the title!
Ruins mean archaeology, and the first scene with River and Benny is as inevitable as it is original (no spoilers here – yet!). Both characters have direction, though perhaps it’s Benny who is slightly more in control – until the Doctor arrives!
Paul McGann’s Doctor is as immediate as ever, but (of course) something is not quite right. He also has a new companion, Ria (Alexandria Riley). I know it’s how they are written, but I did find Ria very irritating when she appeared. This of course distracted me from the main story. Cue alien fleet, imminent destruction and a part of the Doctor’s past. I was distracted with the assumption Ria was a villain. I’m easily distracted!
The Doctor may not recall River (or indeed Benny) to any large extent, and it becomes increasingly clear as the story progresses, he may be close to Night of the Doctor. It takes both River and Benny to set him straight, and as yet another layer of secrets is revealed, it is River who gets most of the plot, though Benny has a place as our proxy – asking River the questions we would ask were we there. And admiring the hair, of course!
In the end we learn who Ria is, see the Doctor approaching a cusp and while this part ends, we have parts of a mystery (which this Doctor seems reluctant to explore – just as well as we have five more parts and Doctors to come!
Next stop is John Dorney and The Split Infinitive. Can’t wait!