a real world point of view
|The Hungry Earth|
|Main setting:||Cwmtaff, Wales, 2020|
|Premiere broadcast:||22 May 2010|
|Premiere network:||BBC One|
|Format:||1x 40 minute episode|
|Doctor Who television stories|
|Amy's Choice||Cold Blood|
|The Eleventh Hour||Cold Blood|
The Hungry Earth was the eighth episode of the fifth series of the revived series of Doctor Who. It was the first part of a two-part story that featured the first televised re-appearance of the Silurians since 1984's Warriors of the Deep, effectively making it 26 years since their last appearance. It also introduced a new branch of the Silurian species, who are different in appearance and in methods. Much like The Time of Angels\Flesh and Stone, a crack will appear, but in the second episode of the story. An unaswered question is why the older versions of Amy and Rory went to Cwmtaff; the Doctor's idea may not be entirely true. The Last Great Time War is referenced by the Doctor once again, showing that the "last of their kind" lie won't work on him because he knows how it feels.
It’s 2020, and the most ambitious drilling project in history has reached deeper beneath the Earth’s crust than man has ever gone before – but now the ground itself is fighting back. The Doctor, Amy, and Rory arrive in a tiny mining village and find themselves plunged into a battle against a deadly danger from a bygone age.
In 2020, in the small Welsh village of Cwmtaff, a team led by Dr. Nasreen Chaudhry is attempting the deepest drilling project in history to investigate minerals that have appeared locally, but otherwise have not been seen on the planet's surface for over twenty million years. Mo Northover, a night watchman on the project, is helping his dyslexic son try reading his book without the headphones for the audio option. His wife Ambrose, gives him his lunch and sends him off to work.
At the site, Ambrose's father, Tony, is celebrating their latest drill with Nasreen. Mo arrives and sends them off so he can start his shift, happy to a have a peaceful night to himself. By night time, a strange earthquake strikes. Investigating, he finds a smoking hole in a storeroom floor. He plunges his hand in and finds nothing beneath it but air. After his torchlight is dropped onto the dirt, he watches as it sinks. He manages to pull himself away, but bumbles, getting his feet stuck in the dirt. He is promptly dragged down.
Shortly thereafter, the Doctor arrives in Cwmtaff with Amy and Rory, having promised them a vacation in Rio de Janeiro, missing by several thousand miles; the TARDIS has misnavigated yet again, much to the annoyance of the companions. As they look across the valley, Amy spots two figures waving at them from the opposite hillside. It is Amy and Rory from the future, coming back to revisit past glories. Though she finds this "interaction" with her future self thrilling, Amy wants to go to their intended destination. However, the Doctor is intrigued by blue grass in the cemetery where the TARDIS has materialised, as well as the drilling operation in the valley below; it's the reason the ground "doesn't feel right". He insists they investigate, much to Amy's annoyance and expectation.
While the Doctor and Amy head off to explore, Rory returns Amy's engagement ring to the TARDIS for safekeeping, promising to catch up to them. As he leaves the police box, he is stopped by Ambrose Northover, who mistakes him for an investigator she called down for. Seeing that he cannot get away, Rory decides to play along until he gets a window of oppitunity to run. Along with her son Elliot, Ambrose explains that local graves have been mysteriously dug up and bodies have disappeared although the ground has not been disturbed. When Ambrose leaves to get tea, Elliot talks to a baffled Rory, telling him his conclusion is that the bodies are eaten by the graves. He believes this is the answer due to his Sherlock Holmes audio books, which say when the impossible is eliminated, the improbable is the truth. Travelling with the Doctor, Rory knows Elliot may just be right.At the mine, the Doctor and Amy meet Nasreen and Tony, who are investigating the hole in the store room. Checking the readings on Nasreen's computer, the Doctor announces the Earth is shifting when it shouldn't be; specifcly, the shifting is DIRECTLY under them. Abruptly, another earthquake strikes and more holes appear. As the group rushes to escape, Tony is caught in one of the holes. Despite the Doctor's orders that she keep moving, Amy stops and tries to help Tony, only to be caught in one of the holes herself. Nasreen and the Doctor double back to help the two. Nasreen helps Tony to safety, and the Doctor orders them to shut the drill down while he holds onto Amy. Though he promises not to let go of her, he can't stop her from being pulled under.
When Nasreen and Tony return -- having shut off the drill too late to save Amy -- the trio continues inspecting the Earth. The Doctor deduces the Earth was bio-programmed to attack whenever it perceived a threat: Nasreen's drill, which has breached a network of tunnels twenty-one kilometres down. Transport pods are heading for the surface and will arrive in twelve minutes. The Doctor, Nasreen and Tony gather the equipment and make for the church, where they encounter Rory, Ambrose and Elliot; the Doctor dismisses Rory's concerns about the graves. The unknown attackers create an energy barrier around the town to prevent escape. Ambrose and Rory are furious their loved ones have been lost, but the Doctor promises to get them back, though he requires their cooperation. The group sets up a network of cameras and security alarms around the church and continues monitoring the pods' ascent via Nasreen's computers. The Doctor, distracted by the impending threat, allows Elliot to leave the safety of the church so he can return home and collect his headphones.
The attack begins with the energy barrier blocking out all light. The attackers' advanced technology knocks out the camera network, leaving the group blind. Elliot is chased back to the church by a reptilian humanoid creature. It catches up with him before the group can open the church door. Ambrose races into the night, calling for her son. She is attacked by one of the creatures. When Tony steps in to rescue her, the creature lashes at him with its venemous tongue. The Doctor gives chase, using special sunglasses to determine the creatures are a species he's met before. With Rory's help, they trap it in the back of Ambrose's Meals-on-Wheels van, with the cold putting it to sleep due to its reptialian nature. The other creatures flee; both sides have hostages now.
Amy awakes beneath the surface; she is trapped in a clear plastic container. Banging her fists against the container, Amy demands that whoever put her in the container to her let go. Despite her protests, a shadowy figure with a surgical mask activates a control, flooding the container with gas that knocks her out again.
The Doctor and Rory bring the creature to the church cellar and restrain it with chains. The Doctor deduces it is a member of an unknown, three hundred million year old branch of the Silurians, a reptilian race which inhabited Earth before humans; he's failed numerous times before to make peace between them and humanity, mostly due to humanity being uncompromising. He confronts the prisoner, a warrior called Alaya. She says the Silurians have been hibernating below Cwmtaff for countless centuries, but their civilisation was disturbed by the drill, threatening its safety. The Doctor tries to negotiate with her, but Alaya declares the Silurians will wipe humanity off the surface of their planet.
The Doctor returns to the church hall and informs his companions he will travel beneath the surface to commence negotations and rescue Amy, Mo and Elliot. Tony insists they dissect Alaya to learn more about what they are facing, but the Doctor refuses. If they are to get their loved ones back unharmed, Alaya must be kept alive. He entrusts the humans with this responsibility, paying particular attention to Ambrose, who has opposed his actions so far and poses the most danger to his attempts to once more broker peace between Silurain and human. As the Doctor goes out to the TARDIS, Nasreen follows, asking to go down with him; he reluctantly agrees. Nasreen and Tony share a passionate kiss before she departs. Tony returns to the church and inspects his wound in a mirror, horrified to realise the veins around the injury are turning green.
Below the surface, Amy regains consciousness again. She is strapped to a standing surgical table in a Silurian surgery. Mo is imprisoned next to her. He warns her of her impending dissection. He reveals a long scar stretching down his chest as evidence of this. Amy hears footsteps and looks forward. She sees tools banging and chiming behind a masked surgeon. She begins to struggle as the surgeon approaches her with a scalpel. He closes in on her. Amy struggles but can't break free as the surgeon enters her surgical chamber.
In the meantime, the TARDIS is dragged under by the bio-programmed soil and into a cavern deep within the Earth. The Doctor and Nasreen begin exploring the surrounding tunnels in search of the Silurian camp. The Doctor warns Nasreen to expect a small group of perhaps a dozen Silurians. However, she points him to an entire civilization, stretching for miles around.
- The Doctor - Matt Smith
- Amy Pond - Karen Gillan
- Rory Williams - Arthur Darvill
- Dr. Nasreen Chaudhry - Meera Syal
- Alaya - Neve McIntosh
- Tony Mack - Robert Pugh
- Elliot - Samuel Davies
- Mo - Alun Raglan
- Ambrose - Nia Roberts
- Malohkeh - Richard Hope
|Executive Producers Steven Moffat, Piers Wenger and Beth Willis|
|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 wasn't credited for his work. This was the first time he was visually confirmed to be working on Doctor Who since The Parting of the Ways. Malcolm Hulke did not receive a credit for creating the Silurians, though he does later on in TV: A Good Man Goes to War.
- When Elliot is talking with Rory at the grave he says, "Once you eliminate the impossible, whatever remains, no matter how improbable, must be the truth." originally spoken by Sherlock Holmes in "The Adventure of the Beryl Coronet" by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.
- The masks the Silurians wear are similar to the helmets the Sycorax wore. (TV: The Christmas Invasion)
- The Doctor (and later Ambrose) quotes "every little helps," when looking for objects in the van, a reference to the famous caption of Tesco, a large supermarket chain in the UK.
- The Doctor also refers to the Silurians as "Eocenes", "Homo Reptilia" and "Earth...lians".
- The Silurians wear armour similar to what the Sea Devils wore in TV: Warriors of the Deep.
- The Doctor has a pair of sunglasses that function as infra-red thermal imaging scanners.
- The sonic screwdriver can't "do wood."
The Doctor Edit
- The Eleventh Doctor promised to take Amy to a beach but accidentally took her to a graveyard instead. This is the fourth time the Doctor has planned to go to the beach but ended up somewhere else. The Tenth Doctor had promised to take Donna Noble to a beach but took her to the Library; (TV: Silence in the Library) the Third Doctor offered to take Sarah Jane Smith to a beach but ended up on Exxilon; (TV: Death to the Daleks) and although they were supposedly random coordinates, the Tenth Doctor was supposed to take Martha Jones to Copacabana Beach but his TARDIS was intercepted by Caw and taken to Pheros. (TV: The Infinite Quest)
- The Doctor carries a catapult (sling shot) in his pocket.
Story notes Edit
- The episode was incorrectly entitled Warm Planet and Cold Blood.
- The working title for this episode was The Ground Beneath Their Feet. (REF: The Brilliant Book 2011)
- Despite the press release saying that the story would take place in 2015, it actually took place in 2020. It may have been changed due to some events of the previous episode happening in 2015.
- The visor's different scanning types are reminiscent of the helmets used by the aliens in the Predator film series. Also when Matt Smith moves his hand when looking through the heat scanning glasses, there is the same 'swish' sound heard when the Predator changes scanning type.
- Matt Smith celebrated his twenty-seventh birthday during the filming of this episode.
- Amy and Rory see future versions of themselves in 2020 from a distance, seemingly revisiting their past adventure and watching their past (current, from a series perspective) selves. However, this may change; as the Doctor says, "Time can be re-written."
- When Amy goes to say hello to their future selves the Doctor stops her, saying, "Things can get very complicated".
- The completed episode had a running time of sixty minutes, requiring over fifteen minutes of footage to be removed to fit its broadcast slot.
- This is the first Silurian story to feature a female member of the species.
- Originally, Mo and Amy were to be stripped down to their underwear before being dissected. This was removed as "too adult".
- This is the first episode which does not confirm who originally created the enemy since the revival.
- In the early stages of production, the new Silurians' masks were intended to be quite similar to the originals, only with green scales. (DWA Issue 172)
- This episode aired on the same day the K9 episode Mutant Copper was first broadcast on Disney XD in Britain. It also aired on the same day that Jaws of Orthrus was first broadcast on Network Ten in Australia.
- Though the term homo reptilia makes its television debut here, it's an old Gary Russell-ism. He'd introduced the term in the 1992 K9 and Company comic story, City of Devils, where K9 Mark III gets the honour of introducing the term to the DWU. Russell later recycled the term in PROSE: The Scales of Injustice.
- Nia Roberts (Ambrose Northover) would later play Bragnar in AUDIO: The Wrath of the Iceni.
- As is routine for post-2005 Doctor Who, a "NEXT TIME" trailer for the next episode is shown at the end of the episode.
Overnight ratings were 4.5 million (4.2 million on BBC1, 0.3 million on HD) for a 32.2% share.
The offical viewing figures was 6.01 million viewers.
The Appreciation Index was 86.
Filming locations Edit
St. Gwynno's Church, Llanwonno, Rhondda Valley
Bedwelty Coal Pit, Tredegar, Blaenau Gwent
Tower Collery, Hirwaun, Glamorgan, South Wales
Production errors Edit
- When Rory is being shown the graves by Ambrose and Elliot, he has his arms by his side whenever the camera is focused on the latter, but when the camera is on him, his arms are linked in front of him.
- Before Nasreen enters the TARDIS, she has red shoes. However when she and the Doctor fall, she has brown boots.
- Throughout this episode, Amy's earrings seem to disappear and reappear.
- In 1984's Frontios "...the earth is hungry" too. There too, people were swallowed by the ground.
- The Silurians had previously appeared twice in television stories, in 1970's TV: Doctor Who and the Silurians and then alongside the closely-related race Sea Devils in 1984's TV: Warriors of the Deep. The Sea Devils also appeared in 1972's TV: The Sea Devils.
- The Doctor tells the Silurians that he has met another tribe of homo reptilia, but when they ask him where they are, he replies, "The humans killed them". (TV: Doctor Who and the Silurians)
- In reply to the question, "Are you scared of monsters?" the Doctor says, "No, they're scared of me." This is similar to what he says in TV: The Girl in the Fireplace to Reinette, and what the Eighth Doctor said to Destrii in COMIC: Uroboros.
- A similar drilling project took place in TV: Inferno.
- TV: The Dæmons also featured a small town cut off from the outside world by an energy barrier.
- TV: The Green Death was also set in a small Welsh mining village.
- The Doctor again mentions that the sonic screwdriver doesn't work on wood. (TV: Silence in the Library)
- This isn't the first time the Doctor has tried to broker a peace between the Silurians and humans. (TV: Doctor Who and the Silurians)
- This story shares many similarities to TV: Doctor Who and the Silurians.
- This is the fifth time the Doctor has used a church as a refuge; other times were in TV: The Dæmons, The Curse of Fenric, Father's Day, and Amy's Choice.
- The Doctor previously referred to the Silurians as "Eocenes" in TV: The Sea Devils.
- When Amy is anaesthetized, she cries out, "No, no gas!" In TV: The Beast Below, a Winder used a ring filled with knock-out gas on her.
- This Silurian tribe have the ability to flick their long, forked tongues at their enemies, injecting them with poison. The Doctor implies that he has prior knowledge of such an ability, suggesting that he had encountered another Silurian tribe with a similar trait.
- In Doctor Who and the Silurians another tribe of Silurians had gone into hibernation, intending to be revived 50 years later (before being destroyed). That episode was made in 1970 (with an unclear setting due to the UNIT dating controversy) and this episode was set exactly 50 years later in 2020.
Home video releases Edit
- ↑ http://gallifreynewsbase.blogspot.com/2010/05/hungry-earth-overnight-ratings.html
- ↑ http://gallifreynewsbase.blogspot.com/2010/05/hungry-earth-ai.html
- ↑ DWM 421, Page 18