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Snoring Silurians, unauthorised Earth ambassadors and the (temporary) deletion of Rory Williams

In this continuation of N068 The Hungry Earth, Matt Smith’s Eleventh Doctor and his new friend Nasreen are picked up by the Silurians and through a perfect confluence of events all of our protagonists end up in the same room.

Diplomatic talks commence with Nasreen and Amy as acting ambassadors of humanity, attempting to broker peace between the two terrestrial races.

Slight problem: Ambrose just murdered their only bargaining chip, all because her dad was looking a little green around the gills.

Here's what we think of N069 Cold Blood

We rate Doctor Who stories on a scale from 0.0 to 5.0. For context, very few are excellent enough to merit a 5.0 in our minds, and we'd take a 0.0 Doctor Who story over a lot of other, non-Whovian stuff out there.

Leon | @ponken


Drew | @drewbackwhen


Marie | @hammashandjelly


Here's what we think of N069 Cold Blood

We rate Doctor Who stories on a scale from 0.0 to 5.0. For context, very few are excellent enough to merit a 5.0 in our minds, and we'd take a 0.0 Doctor Who story over a lot of other, non-Whovian stuff out there.

Leon | @ponken


Drew | @drewbackwhen


Marie | @hammashandjelly


Here's what you think 5 Responses to “N069 Cold Blood”
  1. Kyle Rath | @sinistersprspy

    Once upon a time, Human Beings, a racist, insane species of Ape, and Silurians, a species that can hack a random monitor in a trash can but can’t tell the Moon from an asteroid, almost achieved peaceful coexistence, when suddenly a wild Ambrose appeared, generally fucking up the works. Some other shit happened. Rory dies.

    Everything that happens in this episode, happens quickly. Escapes, and captures; debates and raptures. It’s all very fast. There are some nice moments (The Doctors interactions with Nasreen are always enjoyable), and so not so great ones (“Squeaky Bum Time” should not be a DW thing).

    Ultimately, the men settle in to being set pieces, as two sets of women occupy two sides to this story of good and bad decisions. I would have liked a female Silurian counterpart arguing in favour of coexistence as a counterpoint to Restac.

    Honestly, I can’t keep track of which future is the true one. Is it Human/Silurian Earth Togetherness? Is it Satellite Five/Game Station? Is it the Sun burns out and Humanity has to depart for the Stars on separate National ships? But hey, no continuity, no problem – right?

    Dramatically, the Crack reappears to cough up a chunk of broken TARDIS, and slurps up the remains of Rory, who valiantly gave his life saving the man who ran off with his fiancee the night before their wedding and generally ruined his now non-existent existence.

    3.2/5 I will say that the set design is outstanding, as the Lizard Kingdom and the creature effects are really vivid and organic. A nice nod or two to the Classic series, and a very VERY reserved hope for what Chibs brings to the table for 13.

  2. World of Lizards becomes a side plot to attack of the crack (again), with tragic consequences.

    Good Stuff:

    1. *that* ending.
    2. Celery reference.


    1. The Doctor’s arm should totally have been erased (that would have been awesome!).
    3. Malokeh’s U-turn from Dr Mengele to friendly neighbourhood lizard.
    4. Silurian stormtrooper shooting skills.
    5. The engagement ring should be back in the shop, right?

    Off-tangent rant:

    Rory’s death and erasure is devastating. Amy waving to herself minus Rory lingers long in the memory. My problem is that Rory’s inevitable return undermines the poignancy of his demise – and this is a problem throughout New Who. In the few instances when a companion died in classic Who, they were dead as door mice. In new Who, there is no death for the Doctor’s nearest and dearest – Capt. Jack, Rory, Clara and Bill all died and came back. We were even cheated out of Donna’s head exploding. This reduces the danger and threat: there are no life threatening consequences as a companion. I don’t know why Doctor Who has this issue – other recent science fiction shows are unafraid to (permanently) bump off co-stars. Even the power of the Doctor’s death is regularly undermined by his ample time to: choose a regeneration (the 9th Doctor, who should have been as flat as a pancake), make endless (yawn) farewells (the irradiated 10th Doctor): regain his youth for a farewell (11th Doctor); and have an entire Christmas adventure (the 13th Doctor, clearly blasted by Cybermen multiple times!). When the 4th Doctor fell to his demise or when the 7th Doctor was machine gunned, that was it. Game over. After 10 seasons, does this show needs to start getting a bit more brutal?

    summary: much better than part one and definitely worth a sequel set 1000 years later (I presume mankind will have global warmed to death by then so no need to share the planet).

    2.7/5 Silurian laser blasts missing its target at point blank range.

  3. Mumbling Matt Smith is the absolute worst actor to play the Doctor ever, Amy is as acerbic and unlikeable as that Jyn Erso from Rogue One and Rory is completely pathetic, hate them all.

    I would’ve preferred the makeup for the silurians to have looked a bit more reptilian in the face, rather than a normal human face with a normal human nose with just scales on it. How can they have been braver in the 70s with something like this and no money?

    Oh..and it’s a total cop out to have ‘identical silurian twin sisters’ just so you only have to make one mask for one actress. No one buys that, it’s cheap.

    There are many Smith stories worse than this so I have to grade this higher so there’s enough of the shit pile to dig into…1.7

    Laters, and thanks for the amazing podcast

  4. Tracey | @yecartniatnuof

    Hey there Who Back When crew!

    Oh this one disappoints. So, I liked the narration, but I thought it didn’t fit very well. It built up a moment that never paid off because it was postponed 1000 years. You know what would’ve worked nicely? A quick tease of that future day arriving. Just have a line of text state “1000 years later” and a shot of Nasreen and Tony opening their eyes, Eldane facing them both, saying, “Alright, you two- let’s get to work.” Nasreen could flash that smile as the credits roll. Perfect.

    Payoffs that never came:
    1. Graves that eat people- why? how? also why?
    2. Amy, and maybe Rory wave to themselves from the hillside. To my knowledge we never see the other half of this interaction. Maybe it wasn’t them?

    Well Drew, this time Amy is doing the countdown. Again. What did you think?

    WTH is squeaky bum time??

    Hey kid. Your mom is a murderer. Also a bit of a warmonger. But don’t blame her. She had numerous opportunities to stop herself and make better choices, but she didn’t. She is therefore the best person to teach you to do better. Right??

    Oh shit and we’ve lost Rory again. Probably time to start one of these-

    Rory death count: 2

    The impact of Rory’s death is softened considerably by the lack of time spent in that emotional moment. Does anyone believe he’s gone for good at this point? Because if he is, what a crap sendoff.

    Rating: Alas poor Rory.

  5. Carrie Smith | @NerdyShelties

    Hated these two eps back when they first aired, and I hate them more now, especially this one. With the exception of Ambrose no tension here is earned, it is all manufactured by the writing to create false urgency.

    Why do we have to negotiate to share the Earth RIGHT NOW?

    Who believes Amy and Nazarene are authorized to negotiate for Earth? As if any government will accept an agreement they made.

    Why are the Silurian warriors so angry and bloodthirsty?

    And why is the Doctor so pro-Silurian anyway?

    We are told we have to negotiate, the warriors just wake up cranky and murderous, and the Doctor states the Silurians are noble. None of this is shown or earned or even explained in exposition.

    And Ambrose is weirdly vilified by both the script and the doctor. The Silurian torturer the Doctor LOVES because he didn’t torture a child, but Ambrose, provoked into attempting to torture a silurian to save her entire family, is the worst of humanity. Pretty sure the doctor has met worse people he didn’t act so disgusted with.

    Rory’s death and Amy’s reaction were done much better two episodes prior, so here lose all the emotional intensity.

    Rory’s body just sliding away was a chilling visual. Amy forgetting Rory and Matt Smith’s look of sadness and remorse was a great scene, but not enough to redeem this pile of boring nonsense.

    1.0, for being Doctor Who, the Silurian makeup/costume, and Matt Smith.

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