The Hungry Earth

Season 32, episode 8.

Wales is still lovely

This episode starts by pointing out yet again how great Wales is, with a happy family and a couple of cheerful scientists and some some cheerful miners. Apparently they've just managed to drill to 21km below the Earth's surface, which is impressive I guess? I don't really know how far people normally drill. Anyway, it's apparently a remarkable achievement, because everyone's very happy about it.

Then the father from the family, who works the night shift at the mine, gets sucked into the ground because he's an idiot. Who sees a section of the floor get sucked into the ground and then goes and sticks their hand in there? What did you think was going to happen there? What were you trying to achieve?

No time to get changed, there's mining going on!

Then the TARDIS arrives, but they'd actually intended to go to Rio de Janeiro, so Amy isn't dressed for the weather. So obviously when the Doctor decides they're staying for a while, she gets changed. Oh wait, no she doesn't. Amy's boyfriend has time to go back into the TARDIS to put her engagement ring safely into a special ring-case-holder on the TARDIS console, but Amy has to immediately go with the Doctor.

I get that they wanted to have Amy and her boyfriend separated for when Amy gets captured, but wouldn't it actually have made much more sense to do this the other way around?

Anyway, that aside, the Doctor and Amy go off to explore the mining site, because apparently the Doctor loves mines now. What? Since when? Why? What? Why do you even need that line in there ? Isn't his natural curiosity in all things enough? Does he really have to have a special interest in mines?

Spoiler: Amy and her boyfriend survive

In case you were worried that one of the main characters might be in any actual danger, their future selves show up and wave at them for no apparent reason. The whole scene is basically "Oh look, it's you two in the future. Yeah, let's not go talk to them." and then they just leave and it never comes up again.

Amy's boyfriend plays policeman

The mother from the family that was showed in the opening scenes spots Amy's boyfriend coming out of the TARDIS and assumes he is a policemen responding to her report of the theft of her aunt's body from its grave.

They look at the grave for a while and the kid points out that since there was no evidence that it had been disturbed from above or the side, the body must have been snatched from underneath. No one seems particularly worried or distraught about this corpse-theft. They seem to be treating it as just some odd thing that happened, of no real importance. This strikes me as odd. I'm pretty sure most people regard grave-robbing as a pretty terrible thing.

Amy is still an idiot

Meanwhile, the Doctor and Amy go to chat to the scientists at the mining site. For some reason, all those miners who worked there the day before are taking the day off or something, because it's just the two of them there.

So they chat for a while about mining and the hole in the floor and the missing guy, and then more holes start appearing in the floor, and they try to run away, but the old guy scientist gets grabbed.

At this point, Amy decides to do exactly what the Doctor just told her not to do, and gets grabbed as well. They save the old guy but Amy gets dragged under the ground. From this point on, the Doctor and Amy's boyfriend seem to forget that they already saw future-Amy alive and well, because they act like she's actually in danger.

Oh, it's Silurians

The Doctor zaps the mining computer sensor thingies with his magic wand, showing some more tunnels on the screen, and three things are apparently coming up through them. At this point a comment made by the Doctor makes it clear that it's Silurians. Or sea devils, but the distinction there is really unimportant. But for most of the rest of the episode they continue to act like it's going to be some big surprising reveal later on.

There is absolutely no point to this supposed mystery. Anyone who knows what the Silurians are already realised it's them, and anyone who doesn't won't care. You really may as well just come out and say it right off the bat, because the only people who care that it's Silurians are now just getting annoyed with you for not saying it, because it's so fucking obvious.

It's time for running around like idiots

The Silurians have set up a forcefield around the area, which prevents any communication with the outside world (although the electricity is still connected somehow, so I guess it blocks telephone lines but not power lines?), so they all run around setting up security cameras and stuff and barricading themselves in the church. Except the boy runs off by himself to get his headphones for some reason.

The Silurians arrive

The Silurians cut off the power, make the forcefield go opaque, and come up to... do something I guess? All they end up doing is capturing the boy, which they could have done without coming up, because they'd already been grabbing people that way, but whatever. This gives the Doctor the opportunity to capture a Silurian.

Silurians still want their planet back

The Doctor has a chat with the captured Silurian, who goes on about all the usual "this is our planet, and we're going to provoke the apes into war so we can kill them all and take it back" thing that they always do, which is fine, I guess, because hey, consistency, but it's at this point that it all started to seem way too familiar. Oh, hey, this is Warriors of the Deep. It's the exact same plot. The setting's a little different, and it's the land-based Silurians instead of the sea-dwelling Sea Devils, but it's the same story.

After that Dalek episode, this is the second one this season to be essentially just a repeat of an old story. What's going on here? Are you really that low on ideas that you have to reuse them? I wouldn't even mind so much if you were doing it well, but really, we'd be better off just rewatching the old ones.

To be continued

The episode ends with Amy about to be operated on by a Silurian and the Doctor and the woman scientist using the TARDIS to get down to the Silurian city, which is a lot bigger than the Doctor had imagined.

I'm calling it now: The Doctor tries to make peace between the humans and Silurians and fails and the humans end up killing some Silurians and driving the rest back underground, leaving things pretty much exactly where they were to begin with. Because that's what happened last time.

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