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Cold Blood (TV story)

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Cold Blood
Very Gleaming
Doctor: Eleventh Doctor
Companion(s): Amy, Rory
Main enemy: Restac, Alaya, Time Field
Main setting: Cwmtaff and the Silurian City, 2020
Key crew
Writer: Chris Chibnall
Director: Ashley Way
Producer: Peter Bennett
Release details
Story number: 209b
Season/series: Series 5
Premiere broadcast: 29 May 2010
Premiere network: BBC One
Format: 1 × 50 minute episode
Production code: 1.9
Confidential: What Goes on Tour...
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The Hungry Earth Vincent and the Doctor
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The Hungry Earth The Vampires of Venice
Memorable moment


Another memorable moment


Cold Blood was the ninth episode of the fifth series of BBC Wales Doctor Who. It was written by Chris Chibnall and was the second part of a two-part story that featured the return of the Silurians and the death of recurring companion Rory Williams, which soon escalated further to total erasure from existence after a crack in time consumed his body. Once more, the Doctor is seen trying to bring about a peaceful solution to a conflict between Silurians and humans. In this case, a rogue Silurian is responsible for the breakdown of trust, as is just one human.

Synopsis Edit

Once more the Eleventh Doctor meets members of the Silurian race. However, this time, can he prevent them from being destroyed by humanity out of an act of self-presevation, or can he broker peace between them and bring about a better future for both races of planet Earth?

In the meantime, there are other questions that are left unanswered: Can Ambrose be trusted to keep Alaya alive? What is happening to Tony Mack's wound? Are the Silurians responsible for the empty graves? And what awaits Mo and Amy when a Silurian doctor is eager to see what makes them tick?

Plot Edit

The Eleventh Doctor and Nasreen enter the Silurian city. A curious Nasreen wonders how any of the vegetation and the city itself could be there, being so far beneath the Earth. The Doctor explains that the city and the vegetation are fueled by thermal energy and most of the Silurians are hibernating in suspended animation. Nasreen wonders if waltzing straight into the city is a good idea as the Doctor assures her that the "front door approach" is always the best idea. An alarm goes off, announcing hostile life forms entering the city. Shocked at being called hostile, the Doctor admits that the "front door approach" may not have been the best idea. They turn to leave, but Silurian soldiers arrive and hold them at gunpoint. The Doctor tells them they are not hostile, but the Silurians knock them out with gas.

Silurian City

The Doctor and Nasreen explore the city

Amy and Mo are strapped to surgical operating tables in a Silurian surgery. The Silurian surgeon, Malohkeh, is getting ready to dissect Amy. He removes his mask and tightens Amy's straps. He then takes the scalpel and begins to put it in Amy's chest, but is called away to examine the Doctor and Nasreen. Amy, who has sneaked the remote controlling the surgical tables from the surgeon, releases Mo and herself and they escape into the city. While searching for a means of returning to the surface, they find Elliot, trapped in suspended animation, but alive.

The Doctor and Nasreen are strapped to tables in a separate laboratory and forcibly scanned; while Nasreen is complacent, the Doctor cries out in pain. Malohkeh converses with Commander Restac, wondering if there has been any word from Alaya. When Restac briskly responds in the negative, Malohkeh assures her that it is all right to show some emotion as they are from the same genetic line. Malohkeh begins to decontaminate the Doctor and Nasreen; again, the Doctor cries out, begging Malohkeh to stop. Because the Doctor is not human, the decontamination process affects him differently — not only does it cause him severe pain, but it removes all of the bacteria keeping him alive. Against Restac's wishes, Malohkeh agrees to halt the process after seeing an internal scan shows he is not human. He informs a curious Doctor that the drill was threatening the city's oxygen pockets. The Doctor reveals they have Alaya — also determining from Restac's reaction that Restac and Alaya are related — and assures the Silurians she is safe. Restac, however, is less inclined to negotiate, and orders the execution of Nasreen and the Doctor out of spite.

Ambrose Northover

Ambrose cannot make peace with the Silurians.

On the surface, Tony approaches Alaya for help in curing the venomous sting on his shoulder, promising to release her if she can do something for him. Alaya refuses and amuses herself by having Tony describe what the venom's effect feels like. Ambrose eventually learns of Tony's injury and Alaya's refusal to help. She angrily confronts the Silurian, threatening her with a taser. Alaya encourages her to use it, which she does; on the second shot, Alaya collapses as Tony and Rory arrive, and she dies in Rory's arms. They both become angry with Ambrose because she killed their only bargaining chip to get their loved ones back. Ambrose expresses remorse for what she's done.

Restac and Malohkeh lead the two prisoners to the city's execution chamber, flanked by Silurian warriors. The Doctor explains the nature of the Silurians' hibernation to Nasreen: centuries before, their astronomers predicted a planet was on a crash course for Earth, so they hibernated below the surface to avoid the catastrophe. The planet was, in fact, the moon coming into alignment. Malohkeh is impressed with the Doctor's knowledge of their race, prompting the Doctor to reveal that he'd previously met another branch of them. He is less excited to inform Malohkeh and Restac that branch was killed by the humans, reigniting Restac's rage. Once inside the execution chamber, Mo and Amy appear, brandishing guns they have taken from sleeping Silurian warriors, with the intention of rescuing the Doctor. Restac swiftly disarms Amy, forcing their surrender. The two are added to the procession. When Malohkeh protests, Restac dismisses him.


Eldane stops Restac from commiting murder.

On the surface, Rory and Tony berate Ambrose for what she has done to Alaya. Suddenly, Restac's face appears on the screen of a deactivated computer monitor in the church cellar. She has somehow manipulated the monitor to address the humans and negotiate Alaya's return. Though the Doctor orders Ambrose to let Rory handle the situation, she steps in and declares she has had enough of the Silurians' orders. She refuses to return Alaya unless Restac releases her family. Angered, Restac orders the first execution: Amy. The computer monitor goes dark, but before the Silurian warriors can fire, their leader, Eldane, arrives with Malohkeh and countermands the order. He dismisses Restac and her warriors. The Doctor, realising his chances of negotiating have been reignited, resumes communications with his companions on the surface, ordering them to bring Alaya down via the Silurian transport pods in the mine store room. Reaching the mine, Ambrose encourages Tony to reactivate the drill on a timer in case things go wrong.

The Doctor appoints Nasreen and Amy as the ambassadors for humanity and allows them to talk to Eldane. Meanwhile, he and Mo are led by Malohkeh to the stasis chamber where Elliot is being kept. Malohkeh explains that he doesn't dissect children, but slows their growth so that he can study how they develop and grow. The boy is released and the Doctor apologises for putting him in harm's way. Elliot happily forgives him. The Doctor, Mo and Elliot return to the negotations, but Malohkeh opts to stay behind to check something. He discovers Restac has awoken more of her warriors to stage a coup, but is killed by her before he can warn the others.

Amy, Nasreen and Eldane talk about how the Silurians might be able to live alongside humans. Amy proposes using areas of the Earth uninhabitable to humans as new habitats for the Silurians. With the promise of a place to live, Eldane insists his race can bring new technology and resources. As the meeting concludes, the Doctor comments on how well things have gone.

However, Rory, Tony and Ambrose enter, placing Alaya's body on the floor. The Doctor is furious with Ambrose, promising Eldane he had no idea of what had happened. Ambrose pleads that she was only trying to protect her family, but it becomes clear that even Elliot and Mo are disgusted with her. Restac returns and cries at the sight of her sister. When she learns Ambrose is responsibile, she orders the woman's immediate execution. The warriors fire at her, but the Doctor steps in to protect her. The group is forced to flee the room.


Restac orders her troops to attack.

Eldane leads the Doctor and his friends to the laboratory. They barricade themselves inside and try to think of a way to proceed. Time is running out before the drill reactivates and destroys the Silurian city, but with Restac's warriors surrounding them, they cannot return to the surface and turn it off. Restac's too blinded by rage to realise she'll die. Eldane decides to use an emergency failsafe. He will use the controls to release a cloud of toxic gas across the city. The Silurians in suspended animation in their cryochambers will be safe, but those under Restac's orders will be killed. The Doctor, with Nasreen's reluctant permission, agrees to program an energy surge to destroy the drill and prevent any further threat to the city.

Though the Doctor regrets the failure of compromise, Eldane insists the Earth is not ready for the return of the Silurians yet. With this, the Doctor informs his companions that in a thousand years, the Silurians will return to the surface no matter what and they must spread the word. Tony decides to stay behind when he learns that the Silurians can cure his wound, which is causing mutation. Nasreen also opts to remain, thanking the Doctor for helping her fulfil her dream of seeing the Earth. The Doctor ushers his companions to the TARDIS, ordering the Northovers inside and telling them where the medical bay is.

Cold Blood

The Doctor forcing Amy into the TARDIS as Rory is consumed by the time field.

However, he is distracted by the sight of a crack opposite the TARDIS; Amy recognises it instantly. The Doctor is distressed that he doesn't understand it, especially when he remembers that Prisoner Zero and the Weeping Angels seemed to know what it was. Knowing that the cracks were caused by a temporal explosion, he muses that with an explosion, there is shrapnel, and reaches into the crack; wincing in pain, producing a shard of smoking debris. Before he can take a good look at it, Restac crawls into the room, having let herself be poisoned so she can get her revenge. She aims her weapon at the Doctor, but Rory jumps in the line of fire, taking the hit. Before Restac can fire again, she dies. After a brief conversation with Amy, Rory dies in her arms. The Doctor, seeing Rory has already been surrounded by the time field, forces Amy into the TARDIS, where they watch as Rory is slowly swallowed by the crack.

A devastated Amy reminds the Doctor what he told her after the Byzantium: she remembered the Clerics because she is a time traveller. This, however, is her own history changing, so it's different. He tries to help Amy remember Rory, which he admits is possible if there is no distraction. As Amy remembers Rory, her memories of him begin to fade. Amy tries her best, but the TARDIS has a bumpy landing that breaks her concentration. She forgets all about him. All that remains of Rory is the engagement ring he gave Amy lying on the floor of the TARDIS console room, and the Doctor's memories of him.

The Doctor, Amy, Elliot, Mo and Ambrose rush out of the TARDIS to see the drill explode. Some time later, the Doctor encourages Ambrose to bring Elliot up with the best values, so he may represent the best of humanity in the ways that she couldn't.

Doctor cracks origin

The Doctor makes a disturbing discovery.

The Doctor and Amy return to the TARDIS. Amy stops to wave at her future self on the opposite hill; for a moment, she believes she saw someone else next to her as well, but quickly forgets about it, reminding the Doctor of Rio. Once she is inside the TARDIS, he remembers the debris he pulled from the crack. It is a scorched blue and white fragment of wood with black lettering. The Doctor holds it against the sign on the TARDIS door, confirming it is a broken piece of the TARDIS exterior. The Doctor worriedly enters the TARDIS.

Cast Edit

Crew Edit

General production staff

Script department

Camera and lighting department

Art department

Costume department

Make-up and prosthetics



General post-production staff

Special and visual effects


Not every person who worked on this adventure was credited. The absence of a credit for a position doesn't necessarily mean the job wasn't required. The information above is based solely on observations of the actual end credits of the episodes as broadcast, and does not relay information from IMDB or other sources.

Despite the centrality of prosthetics to creating the Silurians — and indeed the inclusion of an interview with Rob Mayor on CON: After Effects — no member of Millennium FX's staff received an individual credit on this episode.  Similarly, Davy Jones was fairly extensively interviewed in CON: After Effects, where he was clearly shown to be doing the job of the prosthetics make-up artist. However he was not credited for his work. This was the first time he was visually confirmed to be working on Doctor Who since The Parting of the WaysMalcolm Hulke did not receive a credit for creating the Silurians, though he does later on in TV: A Good Man Goes to War.

References Edit

The Doctor Edit

  • The Doctor asks for a stick of celery after the almost lethal "decontamination".

Technology Edit

Species Edit

  • The Klempari defence is when a single member of a species claims to be the last of its kind.

Story notes Edit

  • This episode was incorrectly entitled Warm Planet by the BBC. [statement unclear]
  • It is revealed that the Doctor's TARDIS is at least at the centre of the explosion that started the cracks, as the Doctor fishes a piece of TARDIS out of the crack, which is burnt and destroyed. It is also a foreshadowing of TV: The Pandorica Opens /The Big Bang.
  • Though it apparently was not used in the episode, in Doctor Who Confidential a cut segment from the scene in which the Silurians are marching the Doctor and Nasreen to the court hall appears. In the dialogue, Nasreen expresses that she does not want to be executed "down here". The Doctor commiserates, saying that the "last time I was executed it really put a blight on the day." There are several possible events to which this could be a reference, but as this scene did not appear on screen it should not affect continuity.
  • The Doctor uses the phrase, "squeaky bum time", originally coined by Sir Alex Ferguson, the manager of football club Manchester United, in 2003.[1] Before Matt Smith became an actor, he planned to become a professional footballer (being forced out by a back injury) and is still a fan of the sport, perhaps why the line was included.
  • This is the first episode since Part One of TV: The End of Time to have narration. Other stories with narration include TV: The Deadly Assassin, Doctor Who, Army of Ghosts and Human Nature. The opening narration, however, was not actually in the script. According to Ashley Way in the DVD commentary, it was added by Steven Moffat in the edit.
  • The Doctor mentions the Silurians going into hibernation when they predicted a planet was going to crash into the earth, which in fact was when the Moon first aligned with the Earth.
  • Clips from TV: The Eleventh Hour, The Time of Angels, Flesh and Stone, and The Vampires of Venice were shown.
  • The Doctor holds his sonic screwdriver vertically upright to disarm the Silurians, reminiscent of his older sonic screwdriver models. He was last seen to hold it like this in TV: Utopia.

Ratings Edit

  • Overnight ratings were 5.7 million (5.4 million on BBC1, 0.3 million on HD) for a 27.2% share.[2]
  • Offical viewing figures was 7.04 million.

Filming locations Edit

Production errors Edit

If you'd like to talk about narrative problems with this story — like plot holes and things that seem to contradict other stories — please go to this episode's discontinuity discussion.
  • When running from the Silurians in the tunnels, the Doctor holds his sonic screwdriver. In the shots of the Doctor, the screwdriver is vertical, but in the shots of the Silurians, the screwdriver is more horizontal.
  • When Amy is trying to not forget Rory, the memory of him getting shot does not show the laser blast striking him.
  • When Restac shows up, the Doctor has just pulled the shard of the TARDIS out of the crack. He starts to push himself off the ground. The camera cuts to Restac dragging herself towards them and then back to the Doctor, who finishes jumping to his feet. The shard of the TARDIS is nowhere in sight. It has not been left on the ground and there wasn't time for the Doctor to put it in his pocket.
  • In the scene where Rory is dead after the Doctor remembers about the crack erasing people, he goes near the TARDIS, but when it cuts to Amy crying, the Doctor is behind her. There wouldn't be enough time for him to go from the TARDIS to behind Amy.
  • When saving Ambrose from a Silurian ray gun, the humans run from the Silurians. Tony is seen directly in front of the Doctor and Elliot. However, in the next shot, he is at the front of the group, directly in front of Nasreen.

Continuity Edit

Home video releases Edit


Series 5, volume 3 DVD cover

BBC Video - Doctor Who Series Five - Volume Three was released on 2 August 2010 (UK Only) on DVD and Blu-ray, featuring Amy's Choice, The Hungry Earth and Cold Blood.[4]

External links Edit

Footnotes Edit

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