Maybe it's the fact that I've been busy most weekends this month, meaning Doctor Who
hasn't been the highlight of my Saturday, but The Moff/Matt Smith's first year seems to be having a mid-season slump.
I was never convinced giving Chris Chibnall a two-parter was a good idea, but having seen "The Hungry Earth" and "Cold Blood" I'm not sure if it's the writer's fault or director Ashley Way's that I had trouble caring much of the time, as a lot of the problems seemed to be with pacing. The whole thing just drags, and I do prefer to watch each episode twice so I can review them but yeesh, the second viewing is a chore this time around.
It seems like a really half-hearted attempt to bring back an original series creature, not helped by the fact that the first episode looks incredibly cheap - it seems like the whole budget went on the Silurian City sets for part two. I really don't have much to say about the story itself. There's a few nice moments, of course, many of them involving Meera Syal; Nasreen's reaction to the Doctor telling her to be extraordinary was a favourite. And the fact that the Silurians have been redesigned nicely fitted into the original series' mythology - them being a slightly different species works as that's what the Sea Devils were.
Another interesting point to note, although I'm not sure of the significance, is that all the aggressors in this episode are female, from both species' side - the two military Silurians both played by Neve McIntosh, and Ambrose (who distracted me by looking so much like an older Felicia Day) who clearly felt killing Alaya wasn't enough so decided to deploy the drill as a WMD to make sure the Homo Reptilia were properly
pissed off. Maybe there's no reason for it other than as a different gender balance than usual.
Ultimately this is two episodes of meh to get to the great last five minutes, and killing Rory off. Not that it was a surprise - I've been predicting it for ages because of The Moff's love of Peter Davison, the last doctor to lose a companion (technically - although like Nicola Bryant herself I prefer to ignore Peri's retconned resurrection) and the two-parter itself was full of hints that Rory was for the chop. Still a shame though as Arthur Darvill's done a great job as a companion for a few episodes. What with him being gone, and us getting a glimpse of what it might be like if Meera Syal was a companion only for her to hibernate for a millennium, that's two much better options gone by the end as we're stuck with Amy bloody Pond. (Although to be fair Karen Gillan did up her game a bit in the scene where she didn't want to forget Rory.)
Still, four episodes left, plenty of time for the series to up its game again - and a very unusual choice of guest writer next week...