‘Doom Coalition 3’ is the best of the series so far. It all hangs together quite well, The Eighth Doctor and River (finally) have some spicy interchanges and Helen Sinclair is actually given something to do.
Yet despite that, it still feels somewhat lacking.
At this point saying that it’s the best of the ‘Doom Coalition’ series so far feels like damning with faint praise. It’s not that it’s bad as such, but it struggles to get above average, and when it does poke its head above the parapet the furthest it will go is tentatively into the average to good category.
Part of the problem remains Helen Sinclair, who is a companion shoe-horned in to have another voice in the Tardis crew, but is still someone who just hangs around with no real character or development at all. Yes, for the first time in the series she has a proper meaty story, but it still goes nowhere. I don’t blame Hattie Morahan’s portrayal, as I think she’s doing the best she can, but the fact remains that she’s been given virtually nothing to work with.
The main issue though is the stories. I listened to all four in the last two weeks and as I’m typing this I’m struggling to remember what happened in any of them. Again, they’re not bad – the performances are good, the jokes are often good, the dialogue has moments of near sparkling – but again they’re not great. When the only reason I can remember a story is that I thought a villain called The Clocksmith is more suited to Adam West’s Batman to face, then it’s not a great sign.
I’m still enthused by the fourth boxset (I’ve paid for it, so I have to be), but I remain indifferent to ‘Doom Coalition’ as a whole. Whereas I was gripped by Molly O’Sullivan and the whole ‘Dark Eyes’ saga, this feels like insipid fare in comparison.
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