The Death of Hope

Posted in Audio by - November 13, 2018
The Death of Hope

Released November 2014

Aided by Doctor Sally Armstrong and Molly O’Sullivan with her mysterious dark eyes, the Master continues to get ever closer to his goal of universal domination through exploitation of the Eminence’s Infinite Warriors. Afraid that taking the fight to the Eminence will benefit the Daleks, the Doctor is spurred to join Liv Chenka and to step off the sidelines when Narvin of the CIA provides shocking information, and the oncoming war soon becomes very personal as Dark Eyes 3 hits the ground running.

The ongoing adventures of Dark Eyes and any further Eighth Doctor adventures set afterwards are in the unique position of highlighting how this reluctant warrior will finally shed all pretenses and regenerate into the willing warrior the universe needs as glimpsed in ‘The Night of the Doctor.’ This is the only classic Doctor with such open areas for development still present within the confines of established fact, and Paul McGann continues to excel as a darker edge continues to overtake his Doctor who initially was so built upon romanticism and excited vitality. Intriguingly, however, the Doctor is quite literally a spectator with his TARDIS impounded, forced to watch Narvin’s accounts of the Master using his companions to save a beleaguered colony as he so brashly promised while furtively setting all of the pieces in motion for his far greater plans of accruing an army of his own.

Of course, this is still a saga in which the retrogenitor particles inside the innocent Molly O’Sullivan that manifest as her eponymous dark eyes very much feature even as Alex Macqueen’s Master serves as the leading man here. Here, he is using Molly with her innate desire to help others as a vessel to transmit those particles to those with whom she comes into contact, making them immune to the Eminence’s Breath of Life and instead bringing them under his own influence. It’s rare that the actual groundwork of the Master’s plans are seen before his ultimate scheme is set into motion, but it’s all the more unsettling to see just how callous he truly is as he continues to manipulate those around him while beginning to turn the war between the Eminence and humanity into one with no free will to be found as Molly and Sally take on a much more public persona under his direction.

‘The Death of Hope’ is very much an exposition-laden piece by necessity, bringing listeners old and new alike up to speed with everything that has occurred so far while also further developing the Master’s scheme that began to take form in the concluding tale to the previous set. With the Doctor very much on the sidelines as he is forced to watch his nemesis subvert the expectations of goodwill and distort benevolent actions for his own gain, this is more of an aside that fills in information while waiting for the inevitable fallout as the Doctor jumps back into the fray, but it’s also difficult to hold it up to the very best that this range has offered for that same reason despite offering more intriguing insight than a dialogue-laden explanation in another context could have offered. Still, it accomplishes its aims with confidence while successfully proving yet again just how variable the format of this franchise can be even if the colonists are presented as somewhat generic figures rather than ones to truly invest in on a personal level, and the enduring importance of Molly as her involuntary past continues to have tremendous ramifications for the universe at large is a fascinating central conceit that successfully keeps this ongoing saga fresh a sits third quarter begins.

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