Do you think it’s harsh to say that the latest Doctor Who arc has been average so far? That’s not to say that there haven’t been any good stories. I think The Eleventh Hour (first ep), Vincent and the Doctor (ep ten) were brilliant.
When I heard that the Silurians/Sea Devils/reptilia homophilia (hehe) were coming back I was excited. The first Silurian story I ever watched was Davison’s Warriors of the Deep. Fans of the Pertwee era will be familiar with Doctor Who and the Silurians and The Sea Devils.
Essentially, these stories can be likened to the Israel-Palestine conflict. What I am trying to parallel is the concept of land ownership where the we-were-here-first argument is what drives the two races to conflict. The Silurians once ruled topside but then descended underwater to hibernate. During their hibernation humans developed and prospered to where we are today. When the Silurians awaken they are typically gearing up to retake their place. They were here first after all.
In every story to date, the Doctor has attempted to negotiate a pact so that the human and Silurian race and coexist. Failing that, the Doctor tries to minimise collateral damage. Each time, however, something goes awry and the Silurians are either killed or they retreat and hibernate.
This formula is predictable.
We witness these obvious outcomes in Matt Smith’s Silurian two-parter (eps eight and nine). A drilling operation hits an underground city and freaks the Silurians out of their sleep. They then retaliate, thinking the ‘apes’ are trying to murder them. In an attempt to broker peace, The Doctor and his immediate company agree to trade prisoners but that goes horribly wrong too. By the end of Cold Blood the Silurian race is re-introduced but nothing new has been established to differentiate this story from its predecessors. This is disappointing. To add to my disappointment, I felt that the tension built up in The Hungry Earth flopped by the time saw Cold Blood. This, however, is inevitable when we compare the new with the old.
The final moments of Cold Blood change the direction of the arc and that fact was actually more exciting than the Silurian saga itself.
Hopefully the season finale kicks off with a bang … If you are spoiler hungry or you are interested in what the fans are talking about then check out the Gallifrey Base forums.
The Pandorica Opens, the second last episode for this season, will air in the UK very soon.