Saturday, February 6, 2016

NuWho Reviews: The Hungry Earth, Cold Blood, Vincent and the Doctor

The Hungry Earth

In the rather near future (four years from now, as I write this) the Doctor, Rory, and Amy arrive in a small Welsh village in the year 2020. Eye exam jokes appear spontaneously and float off into the ether of the universe, and an ambitious mining project annoys the Old Ones. Last time there was an ambitious mining project, the Earth nearly exploded, and also the Doctor went to an alternate universe where Great Britain was Nazi.

Mo, the drill worker, spends special quality time with his family, which is kind of like a soldier looking at a picture of his girlfriend before going into battle. The guy basically doomed himself to being dragged underground. Anyways, our trio see a future Amy and Rory waving at them from a distant hillside, because those time reapers met River and just gave up, retired, and spend their days in a time bar, getting drunk and talking about the good ol' days when the Time Lords were still around wearing funny hats.

Mo's son and wife, Elliot and Ambrose, assume Rory is a plainclothes officer come to investigate the strange disappearance of dead people from a graveyard (coffins and all). Meanwhile, the Doctor and Amy meet the people in charge of the drilling project: Dr. Nasreen Chaudhry and Tony Mack, neither of whom understand why there is a giant hole in the floor. The floor starts making more holes, and Amy of course gets nabbed.


The others head for the church, where three Silurians appear to show off their new special effects. Elliot is nabbed as well while Tony is poisoned, while one of the Silurians, Alaya, is captured. She proceeds to whine about humans being here when really Silurians should be in charge, because she read that Lovecraft story, once. The Doctor also rejects Tony's angry insistence that they "dissect" Alaya.

Meanwhile, underground, the Silurians are preparing to dissect Amy. Nice species. While they're being terrible and sadistic, the Doctor complains that someone has guns.

Also, there is an entire civilization of Silurians, as recorded in "The Nameless City".


Cold Blood

In the last episode of Doctor Who, the Silurians were vivisecting living sentient creatures that they considered inferior while the Doctor lectured human beings about having violent tendencies when threatened. So there's that.

The Doctor and Nasreen are captured while mucking about in the Silurian city, discover that the scientist in charge isn't that bad, and the warrior caste leader is crazy, just like Neroon. Amy and Mo, meanwhile, have escaped and...get recaptured. Good job!

Alaya, meanwhile, pokes at Ambrose about her captured son and her dying father Tony until she kills her, which means Ambrose is a Bad Person and not Someone In A Horrible Situation That Has Shattered Their Nerves.

Meanwhile, interspecies alliance talks are going on. Amy tries to sleep, while Nasreen and Eldane, a saner Silurian, discuss obvious problems with peacefully coexisting.

Ambrose and Tony decide that the best way to cover up the fact that Alaya is dead is to make the drill burrow further down and self-destruct to destroy the Silurian's oxygen supply.

Restac, meanwhile, awakens all the warriors, and then Rory shows up with Alaya, and the Doctor disables weapons and stops explosions. Eldane puts the warriors back into hibernation, Nasreen and Tony stay behind to continue peace talks (and cure Tony of his poisoning), and everyone else runs for the TARDIS before the exit is blocked and

Why is there a crack why is the Doctor pulling something out of the crack WHY DOES THAT SOUND SO WRONG WHY IS RESTAC ABOUT TO SHOOT HIM WHY IS RORY PUSHING HIM OUT OF THE WAY WHY IS RORY DISAPPEARING WHY CAN'T AMY REMEMBER HIM WHY





We leave the episode with future Amy, by herself, waving from a hillside, and the Doctor looking at what he pulls from the crack: a piece of the TARDIS.

Not gonna lie, these weren't my favorite episodes. I feel like, in trying to avert the "humans are special" trope, Doctor Who tries to show that "humans are terrible" by showing people behaving in understandable, if regrettable ways, toward threats. (Or, in some circumstances, not regrettable at all except to people who have no survival instinct.) I think the most it did was give a good call back to the first Silurian story, and continue the Pandorica story arc.


Vincent and the Doctor

Confession time: my husband and I went and bought a print of Van Gogh's The Cafe after we watched this episode.

Also, we have a cat named after Van Gogh..


Van Gogh is painting his field of wheat, all while someone is running for their lives through said field of wheat. If you think this is going to be the coolest Children of the Corn crossover ever, you will be sadly disappointed.

Meanwhile, in the present, the Doctor has taken Amy to a museum to view Van Gogh's paintings. As they look around, the Doctor notices that The Church At Auvers has a little extra in it...there appears to be a monster in the window. After the Doctor and Bill Nighy engage in mutual admiration of bow ties, he finds out when the painting was done, and our heroes are off!

They arrive at the cafe, where the owner refuses to sell Vincent any more wine. Amy, being a redhead, promptly purchases the wine and gives it to Vincent, because friendship is enabling alcoholism. (I kid.) While Vincent awkwardly gets his flirt on, someone dies, and everyone blames it on Vincent. Who was drinking wine somewhere else. So, really, people assuming that the Doctor is to blame for scenes he is found at actually works with this logic.

They are also responsible for 9/11, the Balkan Wars, and that Scottish guy being stuck in Iceland.

The trio have a rather interesting talk about Vincent's under-appreciated work and his ability to "hear colors". The Doctor uses a bizarre device that will never be used again, one that reveals the original form of creatures, and inputs the church painting. The monster is a Krafayis. and also that isn't a projection, it's actually the monster. 

The next day, they plan to head to the church to trap the monster, Vincent has an emotional crisis at the thought of them leaving afterward, and it's really sad and hurts my heart, a whole lot. He gets over it, however, when he realizes Amy is sad-she is crying without realizing it, missing something without knowing what it is.


Inside the church, Vincent describes the monster's movement, and the Doctor realizes it is wounded blinded, and was probably left behind to die. In its panic it impales itself on Vincent's easel, and this is why every school needs an art program. The Doctor and Vincent comfort the creature as it dies, and now everyone is surprised to find themselves crying too.

Vincent tries to convince Amy to marry him, clearly with plans to create a Weasley empire of artists, but Amy says she's "not the marrying type". Some more strange eye water ensues.

But they have one last gift to Vincent: they take him to the present and let him walk around the museum, and see people admire his work and describe him as one of the greatest artists of all time, and at this point no one can see the screen, because tears, endless tears.

It's just one big cryfest for all of us. Pass the chocolate ice cream, please.

Unfortunately, after the Doctor and Amy drop Vincent off and return back to the museum, Amy is disappointed to find out that Vincent still committed suicide. The Doctor tells her they gave him a few more good things in his life of sadness.

Now, I need some more chocolate ice cream, and more tissues, and possibly something soft to cuddle.

2 comments:

  1. That's interesting that you didn't particularly like the Silurian episodes. For me, they were the first episodes of Matt Smith's run where I said, "Okay. I guess I can buy him as The Doctor."

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    1. I liked The Eleventh Hour, but in general I thought Matt's first series was a little weak. (Although, like I said, Vincent and the Doctor really hit me where it hurt too.) I didn't get excited until the two part finale, and even then I was more puzzled than excited.

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