The eighth episode ‘The Hungry Earth’ was the first part to a two part story. The Doctor had promised Amy and Rory that he would take them to Rio, however they end up landing in a small welsh village in the year 2020.
In the village, Dr. Nasreen Chaudhry with the help of Tony is heading a drilling operation deep into the earth. They have recently achieved their goal of digging 21kms, the deepest anyone has ever dug. However their digging ends up disturbing a civilization of Silurians (homo reptilia), who had inhabited the earth before humans. They have been in hibernation beneath the earth for millions of years. The Silurians believe that the earth belongs to them and that the drilling was a form of attack by the humans. Hence they want to wipe out humanity and reclaim their land.
This episode started off great and seemed very promising however it ended up spiraling downward towards the end. The suspense surrounding the mysterious Silurians was what kept the episode going but after the appearance of one, the episode lost it’d intriguing factor. It was scary to think that a whole civilization of creatures that has lived in hibernation beneath the earth for millions of years, has access to technology way more advanced than its human counterparts in the present.
An interesting storyline in the episode was how Amy gets consumed into a hole by the Silurians while investigating holes in the mine with The Doctor. When she wakes up, she finds herself strapped to a standing surgical table next to Mo, Tony’s daughter Ambrose’s husband, who had earlier been consumed by a hole too. Although we don’t see her for much of the episode, Karen Gillan’s performance was great in whatever parts she was in.
Back on the ground, The Doctor and Rory are able to catch one of the three Silurians who had travelled up the drilling shaft. In a scuffle a bit earlier, Ambrose’s son Elliot had been captured and Tony had been struck with the venomous tongue of one of the Silurians. Upon capturing a Silurian named Alaya, who is a member of the warrior caste, the Doctor interrogates her and tries to negotiate with her, however she declares war.
As this was an Amy-lite episode, It was great to see more of The Doctor’s developing relationship with Rory as they haven’t always agreed in the past. Rory was angry with The Doctor in the start for failing to protect Amy however by the end of the episode you could see that even though they still had their differences, he trusted The Doctor.
The CGI and especially the makeup in the episode were fantastic. I really loved the look of the Silurians as even though they looked reptile like, they still resembled humans, thus making it easier to believe that a race like theirs had lived on earth before apes.
At the end of the episode, the Doctor along with Nasreen, decide to travel down the drilling shaft in order to work out a truce with the Silurians and prevent a war from taking place.
However when they arrive underground in the tardis, they realize that instead of a small group of Silurians they thought they would encounter, a whole civilization lives there, stretching for miles.
Although the pacing of the episode was good and helped maintain the tension, I’m hoping that the second part turns out to better and more fast paced.
The ninth episode ‘cold blood’ starts off with The Doctor and Nasreen getting captured by the Silurians. The Silurians become even more wary of the humans when The Doctor informs them of a branch of Silurians he had met earlier, who had been ultimately been killed by humans.
This episode was disappointing than the previous one. The episode’s pace was also a bit slow and nothing very interesting seemed to happen in it till the very end.
A great topic that the writers touched upon was how humans can be even more monstrous than monsters at times. This is a topic that I believe hasn’t been explored much in the past hence it was a good addition.
In the previous episode before going down to the Silurians, The Doctor had left Alaya in the care of Rory, Ambrose and Tony. He had strictly told them to make sure that no harm comes to her as keeping her alive may be the only way to get Mo, Amy and Elliot back from the other Silurians. However after being taunted by Alaya, Ambrose ends up killing her.
This creates problems for The Doctor who had managed to reach an agreement with the Silurians to let him and the others go back to the ground in exchange for Alaya.
Even though the Silurians might not be the most peaceful race and have many faults, I still felt disappointed with Ambrose for not being ‘the best of humanity’ and instead proving the Silurians right about their original assessment of humans.
As I had mentioned before, this episode had an interesting and shocking ending.
Just as the doctor, Amy, Rory, Ambrose, Mo and Elliot are escaping through the Tardis back to the ground, a crack appears. The Doctor reaches into the crack and pulls out an object which he wraps in a handkerchief. However before he can explain, Rory jumps in front of him and gets shot by Restac, Alaya’s sister. Rory dies and gets surrounded by the time field from the crack. This erases his existence from history and hence from the Amy’s mind. Amy tries to frantically hold on to his memory but not long after, she completely forgets him.
Karen Gillan’s performance as a distressed and hysterical Amy was one of the highlights of this episode and truly gut wrenching to watch.
Overall this episode was a decent conclusion to the previous episode with a few loose ends and unanswered questions which I hope the writers will address In the future.
So I have exams coming up in less than 2 weeks. I have two more Doctor Who season 5 posts left which I’ll hopefully finish posting by around the 7th-8th of September. After that I won’t be posting any reviews for the rest of September. I might do a weekly book tag but no promises. However I will return with more reviews and other posts in October!