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Doctor Who “The Hungry Earth” (5.08)

Someone forgot to call before they dug. They’re lucky they just hit aliens. They might have hit a power cable. The review starts after the jump…

How’s The Doctor?

Fairly mediocre. Granted, I am judging by his standards. He was good, sure, but he just wasn’t very good at being both brilliant and fantastic: two things he must always be good at. Not only did he lose Amy early into the episode, he let a kid run off moments before an alien invasion. No big surprise here: the kid got abducted. And to make matters worse, The Doctor’s pacifist side appeared in a painfully unsubtle fashion. I don’t mind it if he does something awesome without resorting to a weapon but I hate it when he acts counter to logic or become preachy (as was the case here) because of his distaste of bodily harm.

How’s Rory?

Another check against this episode was the horrid lack of Amy. However, now was Rory’s time to shine… or not. I did like when he got pissed at The Doctor for losing Amy but he needed to do much more to fill in the role of Companion for this episode. He just wasn’t interesting or clever enough. Sure, this episode had Doctor helpers to spare but I just hope Rory becomes a more compelling character in the next episode as well as later ones.

How’s the Story?

The story was too much about anticipation. First we wait as the aliens come to attack. After, we wait to see what will happen now that we discovered their home. The most interesting element of the episode is this idea of who is actually the alien in the situation seeing how both the humans and the reptile creatures are, as The Doctor puts it, earth-liens. There’s even talk (and more than just talk) of dissection.

Now for the other stuff:

  • Having “future” Amy and Rory waving at the group MUST mean something. Either it’s going to be important in the next episode or it’s going to get elaborated upon in a later adventure.
  • Why do computers in the future always talk? That must get annoying.
  • I think the old man’s wound is going to have something to do with Alaya’s murder. The editing seemed to foreshadow it.
  • It’s interesting to have a guest companion come along with The Doctor in the TARDIS half-way through an adventure. I hope things work out for her… such as not dying.

In Conclusion

I think I found the big issue with the episode: It sucked at building up the action. You have Amy Pond getting dragged underground at the start of the episode, in a pretty emotional scene, followed by the much less shocking kidnapping of a secondary character and the wounding of another. Even worse, Amy doesn’t even do anything after her abduction. You also have the village becoming draped in darkness before… it’s simply no longer in the dark. The worse thing about this is that being unable to create good build-up is a pretty bad thing to not be good at for part 1 of a two-part story. Sure, that also means it can be hard to tell a complete story but it doesn’t excuse you for not being able to tell a half-story correctly either.

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