Doctor Who 5.09 - Stephen Moore and Richard Hope
Doctor Who 5.09 Cold Blood - Eldane (Stephen Moore) and Malohkeh (Richard Hope) © BBC

In Doctor Who Season 5 Episode 9 Amy is a prisoner of the underground reptilian creatures, the Doctor must attempt, once again, to secure some sort of peace between the two species, both with a good claim to ownership of the Earth.

So these green-skinned people – sorry, reptiles that might as well be humans for all the difference there is between the two species – have a huge, almost deserted, city deep underground. Let’s gloss over the fact that the ground has been in motion for the millions of years the city has been there; at least it looks nice.

Malohkeh (Richard Hope) and Amy Pond (Karen Gillan) © BBC
“This will probably hurt a lot” – Malohkeh (Richard Hope) and Amy Pond (Karen Gillan) © BBC

The Silurians are a strange bunch, more or less totally human in their actions, motivations and, more or less, appearance. There is nothing special about them. Strangely, the scientist. who eventually seems on the side of the Doctor and friends, starts off about to dissect a human while still conscious! Not very nice…

The leader of the Silurians seems a nice old chap, except we have no symbol of his authority. Who actually looks to him as leader? He was just someone wandering around…

The humans are a fairly bland bunch, except for the mother of the kidnapped boy who decides to torture the captured Silurian to death. We later learn from the boy’s father that the mother was “doing what she thought was rght”, as if this excused her action. The Nazis thought that what they were doing was the right thing, as do the Daleks, so this is a shocking attitude for one of the story’s heroes to take.

Then we have the bizarre idea that Amy and Nasreen could negotiate on behalf of the human race to decide if the two races could co-exist on the surface. I can only presume that the Doctor knew this was doomed to failure and thought it a bit of practice for both the Silurain leader and Amy. At the end of the day, would any world leader take “bull in a china shop” Amy seriously?

Any why, oh why, did we have in this second part of the story a narration by the Silurian leader? It led to nothing and seemed to serve no purpose, except, perhaps as a red herring that something was going to happen. Very strange…

The Doctor (Matt Smith) © BBC
The Doctor (Matt Smith) © BBC

The trouble is that the end of the Silurian part of the episode we were back to square one and more or less just went over exactly the same ground – or underground – as the original 1970 story. Back then, the Silurians were much more alien, with their third eyes operating some of their technology, and the design of their environment very strange. This time we have yet another Eighties-designed entrance hall to some commercial building in Cardiff. This series design is so pedestrian.

Rory (Arthur Darvill) © BBC
Rory (Arthur Darvill) © BBC

Once the Silurians have been dealt with we have the shock death of Rory, except of course we’ve already seen him die once before in this season. And with the running theme of that crack in Time resetting events, there seems every likelihood that the twice-dead man will be resurrected by the end of the season. But for the younger viewers this death must have been quite a shock, and I applaud the series for killing Rory a second time.

And if that wasn’t enough, the Doctor pulls out of the Time crack a piece of the Police Box exterior of the TARDIS. Is this actually important, since the Police Box is – or maybe was – just the outer shell of the TARDIS? I’m sure we’ll find out, but I am getting fed up the way the series seems determined this year to “make a point”. In the early episodes we had too many zooms into the crack in various stories as if we couldn’t notice it was there, and now the Doctor has to show labour the point that this is part of a police box. Are we viewers really so dumb? Are there so few of them who have video recorders and would watch the episode countless times?

[Rating: 2]

Jan Vincent-Rudzki

UK editor of Film Review Online