Doctor Who Series 5 Episode 8 review: The Hungry Earth

Posted: 2 June 2010 in television
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Saving the planet with meals on wheels.

Doctor Who - The Hungry Earth

After the Season 13/14 style of The Vampires of Venice, The Happiness Patrol air of The Beast Below and the Troughton-esque surrealism of Amy’s Choice, The Hungry Earth pays homage to vast tracts of the Pertwee era (and providing an alternate title for Frontios).

The Welsh community evokes memories of The Green Death, the research post/drilling facility of Inferno, the energy shield over the village from The Daemons and of course the Homo Reptilias of The Silurians. The Brigadier and UNIT could be parachuted into the scenario quite easily and not be out of place for a moment.

Is there a significance to the story being set 10 years hence in 2020 instead of now? And very odd that Amy and Rory should spy their future selves…

It’s easy to understand the Silurians getting rather pissed off about humanitys drill knocking chunks out of their habitat but sending a squad of troopers headed up by a really bad tempered lady lizard ain’t going to make anything end well. Do Silurian females get PMT?

Cool monster POV shots end with Rory and the Doctor capturing a Silurian using a meals on wheels van and once again demonstrating the sheer joy and flexibility of the series. Question though, the village rendered an awful lot of detection hardware in an incredibly short span if time, and where were the rest of the inhabitants? Base under siege aspect would have worked better if the humans had been holed up in the drilling facility.

The captured Silurian’s prediction that one of the apes will kill her and provoke a war between the species looks likely to come true as everytime the Doctor has tried to mediate between the two races in the past it’s all gone to shit.

In stories like this we see the Doctor at his most alien. To him both species have equal claim to the planet and he’s got to attempt the containment of the hawks on both sides so that the doves can negotiate.

And it’s a big task given how many Homo Reptilia must live in the vast city that fills the screen at the end.


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