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'Doctor Who' - 'The Hungry Earth' Review

by Brad Trechak, posted Jun 12th 2010 10:00PM
Doctor Who(S05E08) One tradition that has come with the new series of 'Doctor Who' is a re-introduction of an old nemesis every season. This episode brings back the Silurians (or Eocenes or Homo Reptilia or whatever they're called).

They're slightly different than other enemy species because they're not actually aliens. They evolved on Earth but deep underground to the point where no humans were aware of them. I'm only sorry that the creative staff saw fit to remove their trademark third eye, but that was explained in story as a different branch of the same species (two others have already been introduced into the Who-niverse).

This episode pretty much acted as a set-up for part two, so by itself there isn't much to talk about in terms of the story's depth.
It's easy to see that certain ideas are being set up here that will continue through the next episode. The concept that the Silurians were on the surface first and seek back their land mirrors many such conflicts throughout history including the Israel-Palestine conflict in the Middle East. It's nice when science fiction is used in this manner, showing a mirror of ourselves via metaphors.

Seeing future Rory and Amy in the beginning like that probably breaks a law or two of time, however we never see the pair up close so it could possibly not be them. Also, there has been enough evidence of the wibbly-wobbly timey-wimey nature of chronology (mostly as written by showrunner Steven Moffat himself) to suspect that something is going to happen to the couple particularly with all this foreshadowing. Rory and Amy are likely not going to end up together. He didn't even do that much in this episode, as if to set up for it. Sorry to anybody on Team Rory.

Speaking of Moffat, there was something about this episode that seemed off, and in thinking about it I figured out what it was. It was easy to tell that while he had a hand in it, Moffat didn't write this episode. Moffat excels at making people afraid of everyday things such as statues or the dark.

Had he written this episode, he would have made us afraid of walking on the ground for fear it would open up and swallow us. This episode seemed more suspense and adventure than horror, and it was a wasted opportunity as a result.

This entire episode seemed a loving tribute to the Jon Pertwee era of 'Doctor Who', from the energy barrier ('The Daemons') to the underground drilling ('Inferno') to the Silurians themselves. Not that there's anything wrong with that.

The overall problem with this episode is that it just seemed very simplistic. The re-introduction of an old 'Doctor Who' foe works better when it's part of the season's storyline such as with the Daleks, Cybermen and Master and not so much when it's just a one-off story (as with the Sontarans way back in the fourth season). Hopefully the second installment of this two-parter will help change my opinion.

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Edward

this post needs to be filed under the Doctor Who tag

did the theme music change since the first ep of this season? it sounds like it, or perhaps I'm getting used to the new one

June 14 2010 at 10:40 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
drwily

I wasn't crazy about the episode. But I agree with Matthew about the first law of time. As long as they don't touch it's all good. Have any of you guys seen this funny video of a Who fan talking about the show?: http://www.itsasickness.com/lounge/tim-sheridan-obsessed-doctor-who. Totally awesome.

June 14 2010 at 3:49 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Tom

If you follow the who-niverse, you know that the 'meetup' between future and present Rory and Amy isn't as bad as it sounds.

There was a story called "The Two Doctors" which featured Doctors 2 and 6. After it was all done, The second doctor departed in his TARDIS. The sixth Doc's companion asked how was it possible for the TARDIS to be in two places at the same time, to which the Doctor replied it wasn't -- HIS TARDIS was a good five minute walk from where they were.

So yes, while future Rory and Amy were in the same location as present Rory and Amy, they were also across a field on a hill -- at least a good ten minutes away. So technically they weren't in the same place at all.

Wibbly Wobbly - Timey Wimey as Doctor 10 would say.

And now that I've well cemented my nerd-dom, I will say good night.

June 13 2010 at 12:50 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
2 replies to Tom's comment
Mike

Except that in all instances of the Doctor meeting up with himself in various other incarnations, it's a violation of the first law of time... that you aren't allowed to overlap your own timeline... It happens from time to time, but it's pretty important whenever it does.

June 13 2010 at 12:35 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Matthew Golem

I think it's okay as long as they don't touch - ala the two Brigadiers in 'Mawdryn Undead'. Although I may need to re-watch 'Father's Day' from Series 1....

June 13 2010 at 8:41 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Hami

Yeah you're completely wrong. I saw this episode a few weeks back, and it was pretty decent. Go back to making half ass reviews of that superman show

June 12 2010 at 10:49 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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