Nekromanteia, by Austen Atkinson
A corporate war-fleet attempts to invade a planet of blood-gobbling witches. An archivist plots his way in to steal a sacred relic. And the Tardis is drawn to Nekromanteia, where a god is waiting to rise again…
I wanted to like this. I really did. But I couldn’t. Somewhere in here there’s a decent story about a man who becomes immortal – but only at the cost of a massive, never-ending bloodlust – and the sheer tragedy of being immortal only by living in a single looped moment of time. There’s also a good parable about corporate irresponsibility and corruption buried in here somewhere. There might even be a half-decent yarn about an archivist who does sneaky action so well that he butters Peri up completely. But the problem is that all these disparate threads are bundled together and, as a collective, they really don’t work.
The major problem here is the opposition. The witches – witches! – are all cackly and screamy, like Weatherwax with tech; so screamy in fact that they’re almost embarrassing. I almost felt sorry for the corporate commander (shat upon by his boss, defeated in battle, his family threatened with death and dishonour unless he does what is asked of him) until he decided that attempting to sexually assault Erimem was a good idea. And then, at the end of it all, he gets promotion while his subordinate (who isn’t half as unpleasant) gets shot! What the hey??? The archivist – he doesn’t have a great deal to work with, but that’s one heck of an explicit – and rather pointless – death scene.
And I don’t mean to spoiler things here, but… if you kill a Timelord, shouldn’t he regenerate? And if you create a brand new version of his body, surely that’s not the original, so how the heck does that one regenerate?
As you might guess, I’m not all that impressed. If this was actually a season-opener (and in my random throwing-together of episodes it is), then a lot of people would be turning off.