The Hungry Earth - Spoilers

Comedy Whirlwind - Posted on 22 May 2010

Oh dear, what a waste of 45 minutes!

Predictable plot (shades of 'Inferno'), cardboard cutout characters and just no TENSION whatsoever! It felt like I was watching 'Who By Numbers'.

Also another story where the Doctor has severely underestimated his foe...a plot device which is incredibly tired now, surely?

It's been a good run since the abysmal 'Water of Mars' so I shouldn't be to disappointed at this dismal episode...we need the poor ones to make the good ones look that so much better!

Look forward to hearing your comments!


Paul S. Mabley B.Sc.(Hons), MA

South Shields, England / Kitchener, Ontario

Dalzo's picture

A pretty average episode of Doctor Who with several nods to the classic series such as "Inferno" and "The Daemons" as well as, of course, "Doctor Who and the Silurians". I have no problem with them reusing ideas from stories which are about forty years old but it just did not grab me nearly as much as the fantastic "Amy's Choice". The regular TARDIS crew seemed to be going through the motions although Amy was sidelined for the majority of the episode. There were very few stand out moments apart from the throwaway gag about the future Amy and Rory dropping in. I suspect that this, like the future Doctor showing up in "Flesh and Stone" will have some relevance to the end of the season

Despite the production team heaping praise on the design of the new Silurian I did not think it was any more impressive as any number of Star Trek "rubberheads" and I also though the final shot of the Silurian city to be very unclear and I found it difficult to get a sense of scale... I couldn't work out how large it was meant to be!

Having watched the preview of next weeks episode as well as some of Steven Moffat's comments in the confidentiall I do have some hopes that the second episode will improve upon this as it does seem that the pieces have been positioned and that maybe the story can actually get going now.

On the plus side I thought Meera Syal was very enjoyable in this and I do think the Silurian doctor coming towards Amy with the intention of dissecting her alive did add a little tension to this relatively lacklustre episode.

All in all, not a complete disaster but probably the weakest of the season so far. 2/5 but as I stated above, I think there is a chance that the second episode may go a long way to saving this story!

All that said, it may improve on a second viewing and as always, it is impossible to judge it wholly on the first part of a two part story... We will just have to wait and see!

Idiom's picture

“Don’t diss the sonic!”

I have to say that I rather enjoyed the change of pace of this episode. Having been working my way slowly through the classic series over the last 14 months or so, my main complaint about the new series is that often it feels too rushed and the fast pace can be at the expense of characterisation or logical plot exposition. This though was much slower and the benefits, I felt, were that we got to know the supporting characters well for once and there was a real sense of suspense in the build up to the Silurians’ arrival.

Other thoughts:

·         Amy and Rory from the future turning up to wave at themselves was a great idea. Well you would, wouldn’t you?

·         Why were they drilling? Were we told? Is this an off-shoot from the Inferno Project? There weren’t many crew members considering the size of the project

·         This Doctor relates so well to children. It serves to emphasise the child-like (and sometimes childish) enthusiasm, sense of wonder and view of the world that the Doctor has always had.

·         Cool sunglasses!

·         Good to see Rory get a larger slice of the action. I know that this is the danger of having more than one companion, but Amy’s disappearance very early on did create a different feel to the story. It made the stakes higher for the Doctor.

·         A nice spooky scene in church yard when the young boy was trying to get into the church. Amazing how effective a fleeting shadow can be.

·         I know which of you will kill me – a very interesting line from the captive Silurian.

·         Not 100% sure of new Silurian design; where’s the third eye? Still, maybe we should just accept them as different in the same way as an original sea devil is different from an original series Silurian. In fact, we were told that this was a different branch.

·         The cliff-hanger, however, was a little lacklustre. I agree with another poster that it was difficult to understand what you were seeing with the Silurian city and this robbed the ending of its sense of drama. Oh well.

·         Watching the confidential, it looks like we missed out on a great scene between the Doctor and Amy discussing Rory. The episodes really should be an hour long – many other, less worthy dramas, are given this benefit on the BBC, so why not its flag-ship show?

A solid 7 and a half out of 10 for me.

With my tongue only halfway in my cheek I hope the Silurian (Eocene?!) does disect Amy into little bits and we are rid of her forever!

There is just something about her wide-eyed reactions to everything, but then knows EXACTLY what to do that really grinds on me. First lesson in Doctor Who 101 is that the female companion is there to ask 'Why Doctor?' and she just doesn't fit the bill...The show is called 'Doctor Who', not 'Amy Pond'!!!

And on a purely sexist note she does not have the legs to carry off those short outfits...she needs a bit more meat on her bones...more curves!!!!!


Paul M

UK / Canada

odessasteps's picture

Was it just me or did this episode seem to be an homage to the Pertwee era?


Mining Town

Drill Project



Doctor's disregard for weapons

companion in very short skirt

Dalzo's picture

Yup, I can see that! Having said that, Moffat says that the inspiration for this story comes from Pertwee's first outing with the Silurians exactly forty years ago, specifically the novelisation of that story ("Doctor Who and the Cave Monsters") so I suppose it was always bound to have a Pertwee flavour. No bad thing!!!


Troy Baker's picture

We may have gotten the silurians back but it was a refreshing change to have a 'female of the species' for a change. In the two previous stories with silurians we didn't see the females - only the males. The same holds true with the sea-devils.


BTW: If you don't remember the two previous silurian stories they are from season 7 (The Silurians) and season 21 (Warriors of the Deep).

Daisywich's picture

I'll keep this short and pointy:

     •Yeah, what were they drilling for?  It wasn't made very clear.
    •Great when the Doctor called the gray-haired guy "there's a good lad".  Good weird look reaction from that actor, too.
    •If that's a drilling project, where are all the workers?  It takes more than one family and a geologist to man a station that large.
    •Silurian make-up, top notch.  She was beautiful.  Nice costume, too.
    •No "It's bigger on the inside" from the geologist.  Just "what can it do?".  Woman after my own heart.
    •What took the Doctor so long to remember and recognize the Silurians?
    •Love the Doctor and Rory team up to capture the Silurian.

This week can't go fast enough to get me to Part 2.



See or rather don't see my review on GALLIFREY BASE where I CAN cut and paste. In short, I gave this an 8/10 and it's better than the insulting 11TH HOUR, BEAST BELOW, and FLESH AND BLOOD. It's fast paced, has visual style, good music for once this season, and a great supporting cast, any one of whom would be a better companion than the awful Karen as Amy. She's NOT proven herself. Her acting is fake and phony and unbelieveable. She's just bad. Compared to Rose stuck in a werewolf cage or rather a room with a werewolf in a cage, Donna facing a cartload of Ood stuck in a container with them, and Martha meeting the Daleks...all are more believable. Rory is fantastic again. Matt Smith is fantastic again.

New look Silurians: the face masks look a lot like the Sleestak from LAND OF THE LOST (the 70s show not the awful new movie from 2009 or the 1991 series) and might as well have been Klingons or Romulans, they look too human now and the plot: very unoriginal: small town (five people?) cut off from everyone by a forcefield (think the movie THE SLIME PEOPLE and many others) while drilling into the earth and finding aliens (think SUPERMAN'S THE MOLE MEN). It's basically the same story as THE SILURIANS, THE SEA DEVILS, and WARRIORS OF THE DEEP. 

I'd have preferred it if the boy found a wounded SIlurian or Sea Devil more likely in a cave and it couldn't kill him as it was too weak and the boy nurses it back to health while the adults are menaced by a party of aliens looking for it; some are killed on both sides and the whole thing could come to a's at least more different than the other three stories...

Inany case I said more but whatever...this story is not bad, it's entertaining and better than most of the other stuf fthis season. 


Troy Baker's picture

The episode "The Hungry Earth" had a lot of elements we saw in the 7th season of the original series with Jon Pertwee - but different.

We had the Silurian on the surface:

Female instead of male,

Uninjured instead of injured,

but in one respect the silurian in both stories became hostile toward the humans.


We had a experimental drill site instead of a experimental nuclear power research facility


Another same, but different moment was when the Doctor had reached the Silurian settlement - instead of being a small colony we had a huge city.


I like the scene where the Doctor was tracking down the (then unknown) silurian and using his "thermal imaging sunglasses" I especially like the line "I know who you are." It seems to have brought back the 4th Doctor's childishness a little.


Beyond that there wasn't really much 'coming or going' for this story. I liked the classic silurians because they had a rich history and inquisitive nature - now they are just 'more or less' vicious warriors - at least what we've seen in this story so far. How disappionting.


Overall I like the episode but there was so much lacking in it. It could be better! I rate it a 3 (barely) out of 5. If we were doing half-points - 2.5, and on a scale of ten - 5. I hope part two of the story can bring the story 'as a whole' back up to a higher score.


BTW : Where was the T. Rex 'guard dog' like we had in the original story?Wink


Incidentally you can download and print out a silurian mask for the kiddies on the BBC's "Doctor Who" website or you can just click here:

Silurian mask

the mask is in a PDF format so you'll need the correct software for it, Adobe Acrobat reader works fine for these downloads on the "Doctor Who" website. Also you'll need a color printer.


BongMong's picture

No-one seems to have mentioned the cyber-headphones that the young boy was risking his life for. Those flashing lights on the bins make it obvious that they are cybertech. I wonder if the next episode indicates what's going on with these, perhaps the cybermen are behind the drilling project?

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