Written by Matt Fitton, John Dorney, Marc Platt & Edward Collier
Directed by Ken Bentley
After the rather intense Dark Eyes, the Eighth Doctor seems to get a sense of fun back into his adventures with Doom Coalition which is the first volume of a new set of stories. I like the fact that the Eighth Doctor has his own set of stories instead of the main range. The first volume sees Liv Chenka once again team up with the Doctor to try and hunt down a terrible criminal called The Eleven. Timelords aren’t the best people to be investing in prisons or getting involved in the prison area. The story starts off with a nice cameo from the Seventh Doctor. I liked this cause it gave a nice sense of this story taking place over several years. So the inevitable happens and the Doctor and Liv have to travel around to find him. This leads the Doctor and Liv encountering Helen Sinclair who is played by Hattie Morahan. I liked the character of Helen who seems to have traits of Sarah Jane Smith but its never really explored in any great detail. The character of Helen works quite well with the Doctor and Liv and if I didn’t know any better then I’d swear that this combination had been working together for several years.
Mark Bonnar was good as the Eleven. He did a great job of presenting different aspects of the same characters personality. If I had a critiscm then it would be that the Eleven could have appeared in the first volume more. I think because Bonnar was so good in the opening and final stories, that his absence was noticeable. The character has been well thought out and very quickly it became clear that Big Finish had come up with a great villain. The opening story has all the drama and tension and I like the story because it takes place on Gallifrey. The second story (The Red Lady) sees the introduction of Helen and it’s the one that seems to side step the story arc buts that ok because it wasn’t until the end of the story that I noticed it. The third story sees the Doctor go back in time and we are given a lovely if somewhat sad version of Gallieo. The final story sees a pay off of sorts which I did find slightly underwhelming if I am honest. I did like the fact that the Eleven was back in it and there an encounter between him and the Doctor.
There wasn’t a terrible story in this volume and from start to finish I was able to follow it and enjoy it. This wasn’t always the case during Dark Eyes. Knowing that this is the first part in an adventure that is going to last a certain amount of time means that not all the answers are going to appear in the first volume. The fact that there aren’t any familiar monsters or villains in this volume is one of the things that I like about it because it doesn’t have to feel like a certain story or fit into a continuity. I look forward to the second volume which has River Song in it and this new direction the Eighth Doctor seems to be going from strength to strength.