Junior Hat and I were detained at a nice little wedding today, and thus missed the first fifteen minutes of The Hungry Earth. Having caught up (with the small one tucked up safely in bed), I think it was probably for the best. Watching first Mo and then Amy being dragged in different – but both very scary – ways into the earth was pretty horrific.
The rest of the episode was the usual – excellent – fare. The Doctor gets waylaid (does the TARDIS have a nose for trouble?) on his way to Rio and finds himself at a mining site in Wales in 2020 (“Ooh – a big mining thing. Love a big mining thing. Rio doesn’t have big mining things”). Amy gets sucked into a weird hole, the Doctor realises that something is making its way to the surface from deep within the Earth and attempts to save small band of people from the monsters.
There are many small, but lovely, touches here. The references to the Gruffalo, for example. I don’t think anyone reads out the line “There’s no such thing as a Gruffal…oh!”, but it absolutely represents the attitude of most of the humans the Doctor meets.
I’m also warming to poor old Rory. The way he worries about the ramifications of their adventures, the way he bothers to ask if everyone’s alright after the creatures take out the power, his general air of Arthur Dent-ishness. I’m a bit worried about Amy’s engagement ring, left in the TARDIS though. You can complain about deus ex machina all you like, Doctor Who writers know about Chekhov’s gun – and they never leave it unfired…
I don’t know yet whether Elliot’s dyslexia is another weapon in Chekhov’s armoury, or just a well-intentioned bit of confidence-bolstering for the kids watching at home. I guess we’ll know by the end of next week.
The bad burrowing monsters turn out to by Silurians – I’m not old enough to remember them from the first time – but I’m intrigued by the notion that they’re not actually aliens, but co-habitees of our planet. The Doctor on the other hand is entranced by the Silurian that he captures – “you’re beautiful” but not taking any of that “I’m the last of my species” nonsense.
Having failed to negotiate the release of the human hostages with this one creature, he heads off to find the rest of the tribe and bargain with them instead. What he finds (of course) is the set-up for big trouble next week: not a dozen Silurians, but an entire civilization living beneath the Earth. Oh dear. Cue the trumpets and drums…
Posted by Jo the Hat.