The Doctor toys with a kid’s life and the Silurians return to our screens only to be beaten by a meals-on-wheels van.
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The Doctor fails to take his travelling companions to Rio in 2020 and instead lands them in an all but deserted Welsh valley. There, two scientists are running a drill kilometres into the planet’s nether regions for goodness knows what reason — Because it’s there? — when they unwittingly awaken seemingly the Earth itself!
When the subterranean threat chows down on Amy, Doc and Rory team up with a few of the locals and, armed only with a meals-on-wheels van, a pair of RayBans and a Dennis The Menace catapult, must once again save mankind.
As promised on the show, behold the evolution of Silurians in Classic and New Doctor Who below
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Under the Dome meets Predator
Things I liked:
The Silurians, with and without Predator masks, look excellent (kudos to the make-up and costume teams) and Amy and Rory waving to their olderselves was interesting.
Doing all that in eight minutes! Are you f**king kidding me? This is worse than the ‘one second’ (cough bullshit) in ‘Flesh and Stone’. How did the kid draw that perfect picture of the town (in colour!) and how did they install all the gadgets in time? I can’t wire a plug in eight minutes! Couldn’t they have stayed in the control room where all this stuff was already set up? What was the point of the plan anyway – wouldn’t the Silurians just have turned off the cameras (again)?
For a clash of civilisations this episode is woefully underpopulated. Classic Silurian/Sea Devil episodes felt epic, with the army (‘The Silurians’), the navy (‘The Sea Devils’) and massive massive death (typically depressing 5th Doctor story ‘Warriors of the Deep’). This has five people in it. Where did all the worker dudes go from the opening? Is it a bank holiday? I wanted Silurian v Ape carnage and I was left disappointed.
Whilst the Silurian makeup is fantastic, they don’t look as reptilian as the classic versions. I wanted giant rubbery lizard bug eyes!
Questions: is this the first appearance of the sonic sunglasses? What happened to the dead body in the grave (also being dissected?). Can you explain the blue grass to me? Why isn’t Silurian venom more potent/instant?
Underwhelmed considering a return of a classic baddie. Next week’s visit to world of reptiles looks more promising but the subterranean set (so far) is not a patch on alien underworlds of 4th Doctor story ‘Revenge of the Cybermen’, 5th Doctor (slit-your-wrists) story ‘Caves of Androzani’, and (mega awesome) 7th Doctor story ‘Dragonfire’.
1.5/5 blades of blue (?) grass.
Hey guys. Tracey here. Shall we get to it?
There’s a lot to love about this episode. And a few things to hate.
We start with a classic pattern: Doc strides in, smells a mystery, gets that little twinkle in his eye, and gets right to work. Rory experiences an important rite of passage for companions: impersonating an authority figure! The Rory/Doctor interactions are pitch perfect; I love the almost-high-five they share just after capturing Alaya in the Meals on Wheels truck. Amy doesn’t get to say much besides “I dressed for Rio!” but surely that’s a time constraint. And we have a dynamic character in Nasreen with some very enjoyable friend chemistry with the Doctor.
Let’s talk Silurians. On first watching, if I’d been armed with knowledge of Hartnell, Troughton and early Pertwee, I could have maybe guessed the Silurians were the enemy. But it also could have been a Daemon with a heat barrier- or humans turned Primord! As for the Silurians’ appearance, it’s sleek and believable. I’d appreciate the reveal of Alaya’s face more if writing hadn’t botched the moment by making it creepy. Seriously, Doc removes part of Alaya’s outfit without her permission, then gushes about how beautiful she is. Add the fact that she is shackled and he’s grinning like a maniac only inches from her face, and this reads like a prelude to assault. Get with the program, writers.
Rating: when your ice cream is melting a little too quickly
Three years from now, and 21 kilometres under the surface of the quaint Welsh countryside, our future is waiting. Rory and Amy are there, and so are Rory and Amy. However, as our intrepid touristas find out, the beach in Rio is not always bluer on the other side of the gravestone.
Chibnalls Gothic Horror Lite re-introduction of the Silurians/Eocenes does a decent job building up the suspense initially, by sashaying past, and occasionally leaning on, some of the more reliable horror fixtures.
1) Creepy Church + Cemetery
2) Action and heavy breathing in the Darkness
3) Real Live Monsters with tongue
4) An endearing kid with a personal challenge
Smiths’ Doctor, in cool thermal sunglasses (that I assume also have a sonic feature), dials up the Weird Alien to new heights, and Neve McIntosh simmers brilliantly as Alaya. I imagine a side story where Eleven and Nasreen Chaudry go off being science-y all over the universe. I still don’t know what he is looking at on the Sonic Screwdriver when he takes a “reading”.
Sadly, not a lot for Rory and Amy to do this time out, except wave at themselves like idiots, or wobble around ham-fisted scenes about engagement rings.
If my review is a bit rambling, then I’m sorry, because I’m making perfect sense. You’re just not keeping up.
3.2/5 Curiously, the village remains sinkhole free, while a 6 inch device proves to be inferior to actual wood. I don’t trust Ambrose.