Doctor Who – The Hungry Earth/Cold Blood

I’m a geek at heart. More importantly, I’m an old Doctor Who fan. I came in during the early nineties with that repeat season where they showed one serial from every Doctor. So some of my earliest Doctor Who memories are of the Sea Devils. Later, I read the Target novelisation of Doctor Who and the Cave Monsters, before seeing the first appearance of the Silurians a few years later. I love seeing returning monsters.

So perhaps I’m a little biased when I say how much I enjoyed this two-parter. More than anything else, I love the longer stories because they aren’t so heavily crammed with action, allowing more room for the characters to develop. I liked the way the story focussed around one family on the human side: the relationship between Ambrose and Elliot, Nasreen’s well-played relationship with Tony, and the interactions between the whole group. Even more interesting was the concept of family from the Silurian side – the implication that it was a cloning bond, yet the fact that they had a kinship because of such a mechanical sharing of genes.

It’s rare that I give a damn about special effects, but I’ll make an exception for the underground city. I was actually a little bit blown away by the first shots of it. The whole thing managed to convincingly portray a sense of alien-ness and organic advancement on the Silurians’ part and acted as a nice contrast to the shots of industrial machinery next to a shed in the valleys.

As for the story, I have to say I liked the way it was put together. The opening soliloquy of “Cold Blood” made me think that this would be another world-changing first contact of the sort that Russell T Davies had to ret-con for himself in previous series. Likewise, Rory and Amy waving at themselves from the future made the closing scenes something of a surprise. There was even enough possibility left for Tony to kill Alaya to make Ambrose (as the really obvious candidate) doing it something of a double bluff.

For all that, though, there were niggles. The one that got to me was the idea that Nasreen and Amy could cut a deal with the Silurians that the world’s governments would buy in spite of their own self-interest and xenophobia. A friend of mine pointed out other plot holes, such as the Doctor dropping the ball with Elliot (i.e. ignoring a child’s safety in a threatening situation) being utterly out of character, and the fact that they managed to scavenge so much equipment from all over town in ten minutes flat (as stated in dialogue).

On balance, though, I have to say I enjoyed this fortnight’s sojourn back into the world of the Silurians. It would be nice to see them (or yet another sub-species) make a return some day.

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~ by Scary Rob on 17 December, 2010.

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