The Doctor, Liv, and Helen find themselves on another world where labor is forced to the point that workers die for not meeting quota. The Doctor goes to get to the bottom of this system, while Liv and Helen become trapped within it. But since they haven’t been brainwashed into total submission like this planet’s other residents, they quickly draw attention to themselves, at which Helen decides more overt interference is in order. The Doctor finds the Eleven at the reins, driving workers until they die in order to complete a device he needs to detonate a sun and create a black hole, replicating the sequence of events from which the Time Lords derived their power. The Eleven also wants to execute the Doctor, as slowly and painfully as possible, in the process. Even two companions may be unable to save him this time.
Cast: Paul McGann (The Doctor), Nicola Walker (Liv Chenka), Hattie Morahan (Helen Sinclair), Mark Bonnar (The Eleven), Matthew Cottle (Paine), Ewan Bailey (Father Locke / Orbs), Robert Bathurst (Padrac), John Woodvine (Galileo Galilei)
Timeline: after The Galileo Trap and before Beachhead; before Night Of The Doctor
LogBook entry and review by Earl Green
Review: After a strong start and a surprisingly good story only tangentially related to the Doom Coalition storyline, the first box set in this series of eighth Doctor adventures comes to a surprisingly predictable close here. The Doctor and friends have stirred up insurrection among enslaved workers before, and they’ve saved worlds from madmen before. The Satanic Mill doesn’t really distinguish itself from those prior variations on these story elements; it just allows the Eleven to get loose for the next box set.
Mark Bonnar is still on top form here, his schizophrenic rants becoming more prevalent and disturbing here. For a box set that serves to set up the Eleven as the eighth Doctor’s newest Big Bad, Doom Coalition 1 really doesn’t utilize him very well – a pity, because they’ve clearly cast an actor who’s up to the task and faces off well against Paul McGann. Doom Coalition 1 has effectively positions the Eleven as Snidely P. Whiplash, but the Doctor and friends have spent most of the box set only grappling with Muttley; the Eleven gets to taunt our heroes and then make his escape each time. Overall, Doom Coalition 1 is a refreshing course change after the four Dark Eyes box sets, though one wonders how thin the Doom Coalition concept can be stretched over its own planned lifetime of four box sets.