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23 May 2010 @ 01:04 pm
Doctor Who "The Hungry Earth"  
Taking a little while to get my head back into Doctor Who space, coz I started the morning with a flap as the chicken I'd bought to roast for lunch neither smelt nor looked nice. So had to make an emergency dash to the co-op for a more pleasant one. But all is well now, lunch is just running late & I'm a tad hungry ;)

Which ... er ... was an unintentional segue into talking about the latest Doctor Who episode "The Hungry Earth" ;) Ok, still enjoyed it, but felt like one of the weaker episodes so far this season - particularly with regard to Amy who was in full-on whiny-brat mode then not even there for half the episode. The writer was Chris Chibnall - showrunner for Torchwood seasons 1 & 2, which (despite the fact that I watched all of Torchwood) doesn't make me particularly a fan of his. I didn't really buy into whatever the drillers were doing ... or really quite follow it. Science? Mining? Who was paying for it anyway? And as J was saying afterwards - if the church door was the much of a bloody nuisance why did they keep shutting it all the way shut. It was a bit too obviously a Plot Device so we can have trauma over the wee boy (who was pretty cool, actually). And on the theme of Plot Devices - you have a bizarre steaming hole in the floor that wasn't there before the whole building shook, you're on your own, do you really put your hand in? How about a stick??

However - plus points. I hadn't realised it was a 2-parter going in and didn't realise till our PVR kicked in recording the Confidential over on BBC3 that we'd had pretty much all of our 45 minutes. So I was definitely engrossed and not watching the clock. And Amy did at least get swallowed up by the earth coz she was trying to rescue the old dude, which makes up for a bit of the whiny bratness.

I liked the Silurian woman - the not-quite-human body language all the time - not that I remember what Old Who Silurians looked like, so I can't comment on how well they match. (Not much, if my casual skim through the interwebs thoughts on DW has picked up the right impression.) I also liked how we went from claiming to be "last of my species" (as an interrogation defence) via "oh just one tribe" up to the realisation of there being a whole civilisation there, that our nutty-scientists-of-the-week had drilled into the upper reaches of. And I liked the Doctor's reaction to her attempt at "last of my species" - he knows what that's like, and it felt believable.

Liked the female scientist (or whatever) whose name I forget, the only name I remember is Ambrose is the mother. I liked how she thought and how she wanted to go with the Doctor to see what was down there after spending her life drilling into it without seeing it. The little boy was cool, too, but I'm less taken with his mother or her father the miner (or scientist? who knows).

And I want to know what happens next - always a good sign for a story ;) I've seen mentioned in a couple of places online that Silurian stories have a tendency to end in tragedy for the Silurians which is traumatic for the Doctor (after all, he does seem quite fond of them as a race, they just keep trying to commit genocide against us johnny-come-lately apes which isn't on). And I'm not sure what else they can do but destroy the Silurians. We'll have to wait & see!
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Current Mood: rushedrushed
Current Music: ModNation Racers in the background
magidmagid on June 1st, 2010 04:40 am (UTC)
I assume you've seen the second half by now.

I agree that poking in with a stick makes a lot more sense than reaching in with arms... and the Doctor should have done that, too, at the end. Which, frankly, he shouldn't have done at all, knowing there was a question of getting back in time, and he could come back later (or, well, nowish) once the above-ground situation resolved. And especially since he's already said that anything trapped in the light gets taken out of creation (but not apparently him...?).

Rory already saw the Doctor zapping the Silurian guns, so why he pushed him out of the way I don't know (not that they'd've been there had they done what they were supposed to, which was get the heck out of there).

I thought it rather stupid of the woman to kill the Silurian, since, in fact, she was their only playing piece, and if there were a way to get the venom reversed, killing her would still be stupid.

I wouldn't think reptilian humanoids should have boobs, really.

And is Rory the first companion lost like that? It didn't seem fair, really, when he was all concern about Amy. And there were way too many promises flying about (saving Amy, the boy, the father, etc), but he gets taken out of history, wham, just like that. That felt shoddy, especially since it seems to set Amy up as yet-another-female-companion-crushing-on-the-Doctor, which I've wanted to be done with for a while. What about a (non-boyfriend/adjunct, non-pansexual) guy companion? What about a robot dog or other android? What about someone from not-now Britain?
Margaretpling on June 1st, 2010 10:34 am (UTC)
J points out that we'd had references in the Weeping Angels episodes to something about complex time-events being more than the crack could handle in some fashion - so the Doctor is safer than River is safer than Amy is safer than Rory is safer than non-time travellers. But even so, yes, putting his arm in wasn't sensible ... but when does he do the sensible thing?

I'd write Rory pushing the Doctor out of the way as instinct, and of course he doesn't know about regeneration. The whole rush-rush thing struck me as a plothole (see my current entry which I just edited that into now you've reminded me of it.

Ambrose had struck me as the right combination of act-now-think-later and easily-wound-up to kill Aleya though, yes it was stupid but I thought believably so.

And indeed, reptiles shouldn't have mammary glands, that's a diagnostic feature of mammals ... I suspect that's overthinking Doctor Who science though, I tend to switch off the critical faculties as far as the science is concerned and run with it - otherwise you have to start looking seriously askance at the Silurians anyway (hunted apes whilst co-existing with dinosaurs (from earlier stories with them, iirc)? "Homo" Reptilia? really no, that'd mean they were related to us more closely than the chimpanzees are ... mammary glands aren't the worst problem by far ;) And that's just the biology!).

My Old Who knowledge is flaky, but I think we've had a couple of companions die - Adric (I'm sure about him) and someone much earlier who wasn't in it for long. As I say in my entry about this week's episode, I don't think we've seen the last of him - I may be wrong, it just seems too abrupt and there's too much just left open at the moment.

I'd like to see someone/thing more different as a companion too - but I'm not sure we'll ever get it (tho I'd love to be proved wrong). I have this feeling that the makers of the series think there's a need for a person-from-now to ask the questions the audience wants to ask, and a girl gives more of a gender balance (and "eyecandy for the Dads" as I'm sure I read somewhere but can't now recall where). I liked Donna as doing that in a different way (friends not romance), and I read the Doctor as seeing Amy in a paternal light, even if that's not necessarily what Amy thinks.