Doctor Who

Season 5 Episode 8

The Hungry Earth (1)

11
Aired Saturday 8:00 PM May 22, 2010 on BBC America
8.0
out of 10
User Rating
307 votes
5

EPISODE REVIEWS
By TV.com Users

Episode Summary

EDIT

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.

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SUBMIT REVIEW
  • The Hungry Earth

    10
    The Hungry Earth was a perfect and very entertaining episode of Doctor Who! I really enjoyed watching because there was a lot of character development, plot progression and outstanding acting. I liked the story lines and the actors were all awesome! It was intriguing to see what came from inside the Earth. The species point of view differential was interesting and fun to see examined. There were many exciting moments through out the episode. I liked how every thing played out so far and certainly look forward to watching the next episode!!!!!!!!!moreless
  • In line with the ho-hum early episodes of the seasons, but being a two parter might help.

    8.5
    The Hungry Earth is clearly not the best episode of this season, and it samples most of what has been wrong in the lesser episodes of the year. The story is disjointed, the action is slow and nothing much happens other than the Doctor standing around and going on about stuff. Matt Smith is fun to watch, but endless monologuing is not going to carry a television hour.



    That being said, the saving grace here is the "to be continued" at the end. Doctor Who Volume 1 was all about the ongoing serials, and the most fun to be had in the intermediate episodes was the ridiculously bleak situation in which the members of Team TARDIS found themselves on every cliffhanger. Certain doom was the unavoidable culmination of three out of four weeks, and it was great.



    So, while much of the episode felt irrelevant, the supporting cast was sub par for the show and the ongoing situation was far less tense than the script seems to assume, at least the cliffhanger is a nostalgic throwback to the days of the classic series. Things get really bad, the suspended threat to Amy is genuinely creepy and every character is either in big trouble or about to do something stupid. The promise of the new episode is clearly better than the facts of the current one, and I can't say I'm completely unhappy with doing things this way.



    A final mention for the monster of the week. The new Silurians look organic and interesting, and one of the disappointments of the episode is their lack of exposure. The teaser suggests that we'll see more of them in the second part, so that's something to look forward to as well.



    All in all, good memories of the classic Who, but not great execution of the modern tropes. Better luck next time, I guess.moreless
  • Homo Reptilia return from beneath the Earth! The Doctor once again fails to arrive at a relaxing place inbetween the adventures. Sigh... Can't they ever get a break?

    7.0
    The Doctor has failed again to take his companions to a relaxing break on the beach, arriving in chilly Cwmtaff, where secrets lie beneath the surface.

    Did anybody else notice that the Eleventh Doctor STILL has his last life and 5th's ability to taste/smell things for thier compisition?

    Amy asks him if he was ALWAYS that disguisting when he tastes the blue grass, btu he retorts that its recent, which is ture since he regained the ability in his last life.

    With the Return of Silurians, Doctor Who seems to be (pun intended) unearthing more and more of its past foes and upgrading them into more flashy disigns.moreless
  • A bit of a return to the classic Doctor Who style

    10
    The Doctor and his 2 companions stumble into another adventure . The Doctor and Amy head towards a drilling expedition only to see Amy get swallowed by the Earth .Just afterward the Doctor figures out that what ever caused Amy to be swallowed is now headed up toward the surface . The Doctor with the help of the scientists tries to create a defense but finds it easily thwarted . The Doctor still manages to capture one of these subterranean creatures and recognizes it as a Silurian . a race he has encountered a few times in the past . The Doctor is off to his TARDIS with one of the scientists to rescue Amy when the TARDIS is suddenly sucked underground .It is there where the Doctor makes an amazing discovery as part 1 ends .moreless
  • The Doctor, Amy and Rory arrive in a Welsh mining village in 2020, where something sinister is lurking beneath the Earth. Could have been a dud, but turns out to be really good...moreless

    9.5
    As with previous seasons of modern 'Doctor Who', the writers and producers have delved into the back catalogue of vintage 'Who' monsters to bring back for modern audiences. This time, it's the Silurians (though a different line of the ones previously seen). This two-part story could have been very hit-and-miss; some previous updated vintage monsters (I'm thinking particularly of the Sontarans in Series 4), were okay, but not particularly spectacular in my opinion.

    But as with all of Series 5 of new 'Who', I was pleasantly surprised this time.



    I did feel the plot, with the big 'reveal' of the Silurians about three quarters of the way through, to maybe lack the suspense that they were going for, as we all KNEW from the promos that it was the Silurians. But that aside, the plot was a decent one, and thankfully not as stretched as some Series 5 stories.



    The settle was also very good – for a programme that is actually produced in Wales, it is nice to have a story that is actually set there for a change. Also, being set in a Welsh mining village, for me it had echoes of the Jon Pertwee story 'The Green Death'.



    The cast is also very good, and as always, Matt Smith and Karen Gillan make the episode. We actually see relatively little of Amy in this part, as she is sucked away under the ground early on, but what scenes she does have are good, both suspenseful and funny at the same time ("Did you just shush me?!").



    I must comment on Rory though. Although I like that he's bit goofy and not your typical hero, I really felt him to be a third wheel in this one, and they could have easily have written it without the character. Since his very first appearance, I've never really believed his relationship with Amy, and unless they're planning something big for him in part two, I now feel little reason for him to be there. Things are better without the soap-opera-esque plots of the Russell T. Davies era in my opinion, and I feel things work better just concentrating on the Doctor and Amy. But that's just my opinion.



    But that's my only real niggle with this one. I found the story to be very interesting, and – as with many Series 5 stories – with just minor adjustments for the limitations and requirements of the era, this could easily be a vintage 'Who' story, which is always the sign of a decent story in my book.



    I'm really looking forward to part two next week.moreless
Meera Syal

Meera Syal

Nasreen Chaudhry

Guest Star

Robert Pugh

Robert Pugh

Tony Mack

Guest Star

Nia Roberts

Nia Roberts

Ambrose

Guest Star

Arthur Darvill

Arthur Darvill

Rory

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions

FILTER BY TYPE

  • TRIVIA (1)

    • The Doctor shows his ability to determine the composition of something by taste or smell much like the Tenth Doctor and the Fifth Doctor when he tastes the blue grass, much like he did in The Eleventh Hour when he tastes Amy's shed to learn he was twelve years late on his promise to return.

  • QUOTES (8)

    • The Doctor: What are those?
      Ambrose: Like you say, every little helps.
      The Doctor: No, no weapons. It's not the way I do things.
      Ambrose: Well, you said we're supposed to be defending ourselves.
      The Doctor: Oh, Ambrose, you're better than this. I'm asking nicely. Put them away.

    • Nasreen: This is like every day to you.
      The Doctor: Not every day. Every other day.

    • The Doctor: Oh, look, a big mining thing. Oh, I love a big mining thing. See? Way better than Rio. Rio doesn't have a big mining thing.

    • (Rory, Ambrose and Tony enter the room in which Alaya is being kept prisoner)
      Alaya: You had to come and see me.
      Rory: We are going to keep you safe.
      Ambrose: Your tribe are going to give us back our people, in exchange for you.
      Alaya: No. (walks towards others, but is held back by chain) Shall I tell you what's really going to happen, apes? One of you will kill me. My death shall ignite a war, and every stinking ape shall be wiped from the surface of my beloved planet.
      Tony: We won't allow that to happen.
      Alaya: I know apes better than you know yourselves. I know which one of you will kill me. Do you?

    • Ambrose: (about the church door) I can't open it. It keeps sticking, the wood's warped.
      The Doctor: Any time you want to help!
      Rory: Can't you sonic it?
      The Doctor: It doesn't do wood.
      Rory: It doesn't do wood? That is rubbish!
      The Doctor: Oi, don't diss the sonic!

    • Elliot: Have you met monsters before?
      The Doctor: Yeah.
      Elliot: Are you scared of them?
      The Doctor: No. They're scared of me.

    • The Doctor: Lovely place to grow up, round here.
      Elliot: I suppose. I'm going to live in the city one day. Soon as I'm old enough, I'll be off.
      The Doctor: It was the same where I grew up.
      Elliot: Did you get away?
      The Doctor: Yeah.
      Elliot: Do you ever miss it?
      The Doctor: So much.

    • The Doctor: "Restricted access. No unauthorised personnel." Hmmm. (Opens the gate with the sonic screwdriver)
      Amy: That is breaking and entering!
      The Doctor: What did I break? Sonic-ing and entering; totally different!

  • NOTES (1)

  • ALLUSIONS (1)

    • Mo: But who is this creature, with terrible claws, terrible teeth, and his terrible jaws?
      Mo is reading from The Gruffalo (1999), written by Julia Donaldson. The story tells the tale of a mouse that avoids dangerous animals in the forest by describing it's friend, a Gruffalo. It then discovers that the creature actually exists, but convinces the Gruffalo that it is the scariest creature in the woods.

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