Doctor Who (2005– )
17 user 19 critic

The Eaters of Light 

A long time ago, the Roman legion of the ninth vanished into the mists of Scotland. Bill has a theory about what happened, and the Doctor has a time machine. But when they arrive in ancient... See full summary »


Charlie Palmer (as Charles Palmer)


Rona Munro

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Episode cast overview:
Peter Capaldi ... The Doctor
Pearl Mackie ... Bill
Matt Lucas ... Nardole
Michelle Gomez ... Missy
Rebecca Benson ... Kar
Daniel Kerr ... Ban
Brian Vernel ... Lucius
Rohan Nedd Rohan Nedd ... Simon
Ben Hunter Ben Hunter ... Thracius
Sam Adewunmi Sam Adewunmi ... Vitus
Billy Matthews Billy Matthews ... Cornelius
Aaron Phagura ... Marc
Jocelyn Brassington Jocelyn Brassington ... Judy
Lewis McGowan ... Brother


A long time ago, the Roman legion of the ninth vanished into the mists of Scotland. Bill has a theory about what happened, and the Doctor has a time machine. But when they arrive in ancient Aberdeenshire, what they find is a far greater threat than any army. In a cairn, on a hillside, is a doorway leading to the end of the world.

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Release Date:

17 June 2017 (USA) See more »

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Did You Know?


When Kar says of the Romans "...their work is robbery, slaughter, plunder. They do this work and they call it 'empire'. They make deserts and they call it 'peace'", it is a direct reference to the famous speech made by the (probably fictional) Celtic general Calgacus, from the Roman book Tacitus. See more »


Although there were black legions in the Roman Army, you didn't have single black legionnaires at this time in history. The legionnaires were too young, and they kept referring to each other as centurions which is a rank equivalent to a SNCO today, not an 18 year old soldier. Plus the horse hair crest on the helmet of a centurion was cross the helmet not front to back. See more »


The Doctor: It's as if his bones have disintegrated.
Nardole: Oh. What could do that?
The Doctor: Complete and total absence of any kind of sunlight.
Nardole: Huh. Death by Scotland.
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Doctor Who Theme
Written by Ron Grainer
Performed by BBC National Orchestra of Wales
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User Reviews

Whatever happened to the Ninth Roman Legion?

This is a nice little story, nothing earth shatteringly enthralling but nothing to spoil the enjoyment either. It is about the TARDIS crew going back to Roman times in Scotland looking to see what happened to the 9th Legion and finding a dimensional rift guarded for generations by Pictish warriors but now endangering the world and the worlds beyond.

The monster features bioluminescence (i.e. glowing body parts) which has already featured in 2 of this seasons monsters so I think Steven Moffatt enjoyed Avatar a bit too much or something but it is a decent monster of the week as it looks pretty good and is providing a fairly convincing threat. It kills people in a nicely gruesome way and the threat of eating the energy from stars and destroying solar systems is suitably perilous.

The Romans are quite interesting and have some nice dialogue while the Picts are slightly weaker but serve their purpose OK. Acting is good from guest cast while the main cast are on usual excellent form. Capaldi is superb and has some nice Scottish moments here, Pearl Mackie continues to make Bill the best companion of the Moffatt era and Nardole is a great comedic addition. Michelle Gomez as Missy puts in another marvelous cameo performance with the character finding her perfect balance in series 10, crazy, dangerous, funny but also showing deeper emotional and thoughtful aspects full of pathos.

The story itself from writer Rona Munro is not a great one but is a decent one. I would have preferred if they had travelled to Roman Scotland and discovered these events more by accident rather than Bill specifically asking to find out what happened to the 9th Legion and coincidentally finding monsters from another dimension were involved. I am not a fan of convenient coincidences of that kind. But I quite like the ancient cairn hiding a portal and a host of monsters. It reminds me a little of one of my favourite classic stories The Daemons where an ancient barrow hides a powerful beast that threatens humanity.


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