Wed
Jun 23 2010 1:49pm

Doctor Who S5, Eps 8 & 9: “The Hungry Earth”/“Cold Blood”

Allow me to reenact my reaction to the last 10-ish minutes of the Doctor Who episode, “Cold Blood”:

Shut up.

Shut UP.

Shut the F#@K UP!

You’re SH#!@ING ME, RIGHT?!  YOU’RE F#@!ING SH#!@ING ME!

YOU BETTER BE F#@!ING SH#!@ING ME RIGHT NOW!

Oh, F#@K YOU!  F#@K YOU, AND F#@K THIS F#@!ING SHOW!

*sits back into couch and folds arms angrily*

F#@k this show.  *sniff*  F#@k this f#@!ing show…

*tears stream down face*  *pouts*

F#@k all’a y’all!

ROOOOOOOOOOOORYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY! I know, I know. There was a whole heap of story BEFORE that. But seriously? 

ROOOOOOORYYYYYYY!

Ahem.

So the story begins in “The Hungry Earth” when The Doctor, Amy, and *sniff* Rory end up in a small Welsh town in the year 2020 instead of Rio de Janeiro (which Amy “dressed for” in a leather jacket, a sweater layered over a shirt, a denim skirt, stockings, and boots. Was this Rio in an alternate reality that’s freezing?!). She and Rory notice their future selves out across a field and wave at them. A scientist named Nasreen and her partner (in more ways than one!), Tony, are working on a drilling project and studying minerals that haven’t been seen on earth for 20 million years. Meanwhile, Tony’s daughter, Ambrose, and her young son, Elliot, are investigating the recent disappearances of corpses from the nearby graveyard after Ambrose’s husband, Mo, also goes missing. When the Earth opens up in Nasreen’s lab and swallows Amy whole, The Doctor is pulled into the investigation. Where are these bodies going? Why are these disappearances happening now? And can these people be saved?

The Silurians are back! A reptilian race that used to inhabit the Earth before humans, the Silurians now want the planet back, and they’re not planning to share. They have human hostages. The humans, in turn, take a Silurian hostage, a female soldier named Alaya, whose goal is to get one of the humans angry enough to kill her in order to begin a war.

“The Hungry Earth” had me rolling my eyes at first. You see, I’ve recently watched the classic Who episodes “Doctor Who and the Silurians” and “The Sea Devils” within weeks of each other (and I looked up “Warriors of the Deep,” because I haven’t gotten to the Fifth Doctor yet, save for “Time Flight”). All I could think during this episode was, Hasn’t The Doctor learned anything since the last THREE times the Silurians either dissolved or went ‘splodey?! Is he really going to try to negotiate peace…again? And will it blow up in his face…again? And will there be ONE Silurian who’s all about peace…again? And will that Silurian be killed by a crazy one who wants nothing but war with the humans…again? It infuriated me that this intriguing race of aliens from the Whoverse continued being served to us the same way over and over again. I thought, This is the only way they can think to tell this story?

And while I liked the redesigned Silurians themselves—with the faces we knew actually being armor they wear over more familiar, reptillian faces—that alone isn’t reason to bring a species back! If their primary concern is to give us better-looking aliens, then they should at least pay us the courtesy of giving us NEW better-looking aliens.

“Cold Blood,” however, saves the story from being a mere modern retelling of Who stories past by making it less about what The Doctor does or doesn’t do and more about what the humans do or don’t do.  Progress, at long last, is made! The Doctor, rather than attempt to speak on behalf of the humans himself, encourages Nasreen and Amy to begin negotiating the peace, which they do admirably. If only The Doctor’s faith in everyone was so well-placed. After Alaya taunts Ambrose about her son having been taken and her father being infected by her bite, Ambrose kills Alaya, ruining any chance of a hostage exchange, or peace.

However, there is hope. While The Doctor, because of Ambrose’s hasty action, must once again force the Silurians back into hibernation, Tony ends up staying down there with them, as it is the only way his now-mutating body can stay alive. Nasreen stays with him, because she loves him. So now, with the clock set for another 1,000 years until the Silurians can awake again (Mark your calendars, kids! That’s 3020! Oh wait, never mind. We’ll be riding on the back of a Space Whale by then. Hell, the Silurians can have the planet then!), there are humans with whom they will awake. Not only that, but the human survivors of this—Amy, Ambrose, Elliot, and Mo—are charged with spreading the word, be it as a religion or an urban legend, that “the planet must be shared” and getting humanity used to the idea by any means necessary. And it is this hope, this glimpse into a possible future, that redeems what could have been a simple fanboy wank of an episode.

Notice that Rory’s name wasn’t among the survivors at the end?  That’s because he died a hero by taking a fatal shot that would’ve killed The Doctor. As you can probably guess by my intro to this post, I WAS REALLY SAD ABOUT THAT. SAD AND ANGRY. SAD AND ANGRY AND WANTING TO PUNCH EVERYONE AT THE BBC IN THE FACE. I’ve loved Rory from the very start. He was a brilliant character, and exactly what both Amy and The Doctor needed in their lives. He was the Best of Humanity. 

Interesting, then, that he had to die at the end of one of the Silurian episodes, which historically show how the Best of Humanity always loses to the Worst of Humanity, and how our species will not be ready to be its best self for a long, long time.

However, Rory didn’t just die. There’s that crack in time again! Rory was absorbed by the crack, which erased him from existence. The Doctor does his best to help Amy hold on to his memory, but a jolt from the TARDIS makes her lose her concentration, and Rory pops out of her memory, and existence, forever.

Or does he?

For there’s hope here, too. We know that Amy, being a time traveler now, sees things differently. At the end of “Cold Blood,” when she and The Doctor are getting back into the TARDIS and she looks out at her future self again, she “thought she saw something else there.” Rory is quite possibly still knocking around in her subconscious mind. And then there’s the engagement ring. When the TARDIS jostles and Amy and The Doctor fall, he notices the engagement ring that Rory left behind. If Rory was wiped from existence, shouldn’t the ring have been, too?

Here’s hoping that we haven’t seen the last of Rory Williams. Also, here’s hoping that just because The Doctor pulled a destroyed piece of his TARDIS out of the crack (Heh. He pulled something out of Amy’s crack. Shut up. I’m apparently a TWELVE YEAR OLD BOY, OKAY?!) that his demise and that of the TARDIS is not written in stone. Wibbledy…wobbledy…timey…wimey?


Teresa Jusino was born on the same day that Skylab fell. Coincidence? She doesn’t think so. She is a contributor to PinkRaygun.com, a webzine examining geekery from a feminine perspective. Her work has also been seen on PopMatters.com, on the sadly-defunct literary site CentralBooking.com, edited by Kevin Smokler, and in the Elmont Life community newspaper. She is currently writing a web series for Pareidolia Films called The Pack, which is set to debut Fall 2010! Get Twitterpated with Teresa, Follow The Pack or visit her at The Teresa Jusino Experience.

31 comments
Jacy Clark
1. Amalisa
Teresa, everything you said... okay, I don't swear much. My choice, not foisting it on anyone else. Just an observation. But, yeah, pretty much everything you said.

I wrote the following review for another site in the wee hours of the morning after this episode. It's a WoT site that deigns to provide a forum for general sci-fi and fantasy, and I'm one of the few Whovians there so I didn't delve as deeply as your review. In fact, I was catching up for the season to this point. But I will be linking your review so that others might see, read and learn... 'Cause there are just too few of us sometimes...

Thank you! :D

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

"Doctor, I take it all back!"

First, you're all going to have to forgive my "fan girl" moments...

Yes, I admit it. I was convinced that the "Matt Smith era" of Doctor Who was going to translate to "Doctor Who Lite". Somehow, it would be a little frothier and much less filling. No one - no one! - could hope to wiggle a big toe in, much less fill, David Tennant's Converse trainers.

Well, praise the Time Lord and pass the sonic screwdriver! I was wrong! It may be a tad too early to confirm that the shoes have, indeed, been completely filled but it's looking right promising at this point!

Let me say, without equivocation, that I love David Tennant. Love, love and love him! In fact, I've loved the whole Doctor Who reboot. Loved Christopher Eccleston and hated that he only played the Doctor for one season but Tennant was such a treat from the beginning that I got over it fairly quickly. Somehow, he transcended the campiness that is inherent in (is, in fact, an integral part of) the show. Always lurking behind the merry twinkle in those velvety brown eyes was a hint of a shadow of rage and sorrow. And when, under the right circumstances, he allowed that "hint" to boil up into out-and-out menace - oh, be still my heart! Especially after he (sort of) lost Rose. All in all, Tennant presented the Doctor with a maturity and gravitas that made the idea of traveling around in a big blue police call box ("It's bigger on the inside!"), fighting mobile saltshakers, moldy scarecrows, belligerent tinmen and other monsters, downright believable.

Then Tennant announced that he was leaving the series. Then they introduced this somewhat goofy looking infant - he's late twenties but looks all of fifteen! - as the new Doctor!

Now... allow me to clarify the "infant" remark. I remember Jon Pertwee as the Doctor. Yes, even before Tom Baker - Jon Pertwee. With his velvet coat and lace cravat. (I'm sorry but the first thing I thought of when I saw Mike Myers as "Austin Powers" was Pertwee's Doctor.) The man had a mane of wavy white hair, and his craggy, "Mount Rushmore" face had an almost perpetual get-off-my-lawn-you-whippersnapper snarl on it. I loved him! And, of course, Baker's Doctor was for me, and for many fans before the current reboot, The Doctor. But... Matt Smith?? Looking like the whippersnapper at whom Pertwee would have been shaking his fist. Goofy enough to make the mop-haired Baker look almost sedate! And no where near as, well, smoking hot as Tennant.

I mean, surely you can understand my skepticism. There was no way, I believed, that young Mr. Smith could ever pull off the depths required of my beloved Doctor. Nope. Wasn't gonna happen.

Well, color me surprised! He is managing to do so, and without breaking much of a sweat. (Oh, come on. Give me the "much of". I'm still in love with David Tennant, remember?) Yes, Smith has his funny and endearing moments, much like Tom Baker's incarnation. But, as he displayed in his first episode, "11th Hour" when facing the Atraxi (the galactic police force with a rather black/white view of the universe and no shred of compromise at all!), he knows how and when to play the menace card. The Atraxi were ready to exterminate everyone on Earth just because a dangerous prisoner had managed to hide here for a while - never mind due process or any other inconvenient legalities! At the end of the episode, Smith strode purposefully out of the hospital where much of the action had taken place, still donning his new duds (complete with suspenders and bowtie) and, with a half smile on his lips that never quite made it to his eyes, advised the Atraxi, "hullo, I'm The Doctor. So, basically... run." And they did. At, like, warp 10. I felt my misgivings slip dramatically at that point... :D

The new companion is Amy Pond, played by Karen Gillian. She's feisty, red-headed and in no real danger of falling in love with the Doctor. She is (was) engaged to a very solid, normal sort of bloke (yes, I get British when I watch this show) named Rory who traveled with them for four episodes. I say "was" because at the end of tonight's episode, Rory (apparently) died. I say "apparently" because this is, after all, a science fiction series involving time travel and such, so who knows how it all may finally shake out. But it was sad - even sadder because a pesky (it's been following them since the beginning of this season) rift in the time continuum erased Amy's memories of her fiance. In spite of the Doctor's efforts to save those, at least, since he was unable to save Rory. (Oh, there was an immense sadness in his eyes. The same that David Tennant pulled off so perfectly, time and time again.)

This season has also seen the return of River Song - the mysterious woman from the Doctor's future. She was central to the very creepy episodes featuring the weeping Angels, and she will also be a part of the season-ending arc. We get more hints as to her importance to the Doctor; my personal feeling is that they were lovers, possibly even married at some point in the future. It is also possible that she killed him - also in the future. The final death, maybe? Who knows. But that must be way into the future. Smith has already signed to repeat as the Doctor for another season, at least.

Matt Smith, the actor, has most of his experience on the stage - again, like David Tennant. I think the stage training serves them well for a show like "Doctor Who". Things are a little exaggerated on stage - expressions, movements, pauses. When you have to carry a character across the boards and beyond the footlights, you have to make a little extra effort. Tennant did, Smith does, and it works for them. It doesn't come across as cheesy or over-the-top, just... different. Perfect for a human-looking alien time traveler.

My only complaint is a technical one, and it may be the way my television manages the broadcast; I haven't upgraded to HD in video or sound. My set does manage stereo quite nicely, but there are times in this season's episodes when the music track overpowers the dialogue and I think it must be an HD thing. I have to hit the "playback" button a few times to get what is said sometimes.

Okay. And without even one single "Squee!". Not that I wasn't tempted, mind you!

If you are a fan of the Doctor, I'm not telling you anything you don't already know. If you aren't, well, I probably lost you a few paragraphs back. And that's okay. "Doctor Who" isn't for everyone. But if you are on the fence in any way, trust me. This isn't "Doctor Who Lite". There is no froth here. The Eleventh Doctor is standing tall on the shoulders of those who have gone before and I, for one, am quite content.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

End of review.
wandering-dreamer
2. wandering-dreamer
The Doctor really needs to start telling people about the regeneration thing because (and I was distracted at that point, gah relatives) didn't Rory jump in front of the beam to save the Doctor? Guess that's yet another death on his conscious...
wandering-dreamer
3. Kimberly Unger
Ah, wandering dreamer, Rory wan't leaping to save the Doctor, he was leaping to give us all a quick kick in the complacency. It is exceedingly rare in the History of Dr. Who that a companion dies (I believe it's only happened once before) and following on the heels of Amys Choice shows the writers really were thinking longer term, treating this like a complete serialized arc, rather than a standalong episode.

I have to agree a bit with the rants above, but then I have to aplaud the writers using it so *effectively*. This wasn't the lame duck writing out of a character whose actor had a piss-poor agent. This is in there for a reason, and now I really want to find out what was *so* important they had to kill off Rory for it.
Teresa Jusino
4. TeresaJusino
@Amalisa - thanks for your review! And thanks, too, for commenting. Normally, I wouldn't curse QUITE so much in a review, but I was really surprised by how hard Rory's death and absorption by the crack in time hit me, and I thought it appropriate to share it EXACTLY as it happened. Sorry if it offended anyone out there...though with THIS crowd? I doubt it did. :)

@wandering-dreamer - but as we saw in The End of Time, even though The Doctor does regenerate, that particular incarnation does die. There are certain elements that are gone forever. So there is a finality to regeneration, even as something new begins.

@Kimberly - as you read above, I definitely loved "Cold Blood" BECAUSE it used the old stuff so effectively. I agree with you that Rory's death is going to serve some kind of purpose down the line. Can't wait to see what!
Ben Frey
5. BenPatient
I'm guessing it is considered bad form to talk about episodes that haven't aired in the US yet on this forum?

If so, I won't say anything except that the Dr. Who & Vincent episode, while containing no Rory at all, manages to be the best episode of Dr. Who so far this season, and quite possibly the best episode since the one with Donna in the library, or even Blink.

Get your tissues ready.
Teresa Jusino
6. TeresaJusino
@BenPatient - Heh. Thank you for respecting the fact that THIS reviewer is watching them as they air on BBC America and has asked not to be spoiled. Everyone in the COMMENTS has probably already seen the episode you're referring to, but I haven't. Though I HAVE heard that it, as well as "The Lodger" are some of the best TV ever! :) Looking forward to it!

And feel free to come on back and discuss them! :)
F Shelley
7. FSS
I'm another American who waits for BBC America to air the episodes. What's funny is that BBC 1 on Sirius (this seems to be the summer of Anglophilia for some reason)sometimes runs commercials for Dr Who episodes about to air in the UK, so I have to be fast on the channel changer to avoid spoilers in the car.
wandering-dreamer
8. Sihaya
Oh, Teresa, I'm sorry. I'll definitely miss Rory; he was a good companion. I'll tell you the truth, his death doesn't tick me off so badly as Adric's did, even though I never cared for Adric one little bit. And I don't know why that is. Maybe because it was just better written. Maybe because within seconds it was revealed to be part of a deep mystery.

Yes, that's it; I'm still trying to sort out what Rory's de-existence has to do with the plot and if it is, in fact, final. These days, when a TV character dies, it's usually because the actor's contract came to an end, not because it was a planned part of the story. It's shoe horned into the plot and either gets glossed over or brings everything to a screeching, unanticipated halt. Rory's death is a clear exception. Moffat took a page from Joss Whedon when he planned out this death.
Ursula L
9. Ursula
In a way, I found Amy's forgetting Rory to be more disturbing than his death. Which isn't because I didn't love Rory and hope to see him as a permanent companion.

But people die.

On the other hand, when people die, they are mourned. And the people who love them have a right to mourn, to experience their love in that way.

Having Amy forget feels too much like a reset button. Too many shows will play out a crisis in one episode and forget it in the next. Does she just go on to live a happy normal life as if Rory never was? Can the Doctor play along with her forgetting, and let her live that way, when he hasn't forgotten?
Jacy Clark
10. Amalisa
@Kimberly - "...he was leaping to give us all a quick kick in the complacency." Oh, thank you for that! You have just distilled down to one sentence why I treasure this series. The creative minds behind "Doctor Who" have only rarely not surprised me, somehow, someway. Rory's death was not what I expected. Amy losing even the memory of him even less so. And you're right about the significance of it, especially after the gut-wrenching scene in "Amy's Choice", when she angrily asked the Doctor "f you can't save him, then what is the point of you?" The romantic in me wants some happy resolution somewhere down the line. The Whovian in me doesn't know what to expect, frankly, and that's what makes it fun. (I'm resisting - with some difficulty - the urge to google like a madwoman and find out as much as I can, as fast as I can...)

@Ben - I'm soooo looking forward to the Van Gogh episode. Will have Kleenex at the ready!

@Teresa - no, thank you for your very entertaining and erudite DW (and other) blogs. I found Tor.com thanks to "Wheel of Time" (my other addiction!) but have found the site as a whole to be marvelously entertaining, and you are one of the reasons why. :) As for the swearing thing, again, I'm not judging. There was a time in my life when I could turn the air blue, and with much less provocation than a very emotional moment in a beloved television show. The words just don't have the meaning for me that they once had. I'll throw out the occasional "hell", "damn" and "bugger that" but, generally, my heart just isn't in it anymore. *lol* Anywho... thank you for the kind words and I look forward to your next DW post... :D

@Sihaya - Alas, poor Adric. He wasn't one of my favorites, either, but his death shocked me for two reasons. First, because they (the creative ones) would kill a companion who had been on the show for a long time (and with two Doctors) and, second, because it moved the Doctor from the pantheon of the infallible, at least in my mind. Doing that invested everything that came after with an extra element of danger and uncertainty and made the miracles, the rescues - all of it - so much... more. Adric's death was a line of demarcation in the series. In hindsight, it was a huge gamble. The "companion" was our surrogate. Or maybe the sleight of hand used by a magician. I'm never quite sure which. But either way, killing him could have "removed" us (the viewer) somehow. Or it could have revealed the magician's secrets and made them less "magic" and more like a cheap parlor game. Fortunately for the series (and for those of us who love it), the gamble paid off.
wandering-dreamer
11. wandering-dreamer
Another person following the BBC America shedule because it's easier to steal my dad's cable than find the episodes Doctor Who online.
And I was thinking, why was future Amy there and waving to herself in the first place (and future Rory when he was there)? There are a few little things in the past episodes which makes me think that the Doctor and Amy are about to do some major walking all over their own timelines and maybe Rory will be able to come back then.
wandering-dreamer
12. Brian2
The ring bothered me a little. When you see it you slip into thinking of it as an engagement ring, but it's very unlikely to be one if they were planning to get married the next day. It could reasonably be a wedding ring, but with all these timelines being altered, it was oddly as if we'd shifted to a situation in which Rory hadn't proposed yet.

The following is a possible spoiler (though it could also fail to mean what it seems to), so it may be best not to read further. At any rate, the IMDB entry on Arthur Darville is intersting. (Is there anyone else who thinks that he'd be an excellent choice for Bob in Charlie Stross's Laundry stories?)
Alex Brown
13. AlexBrown
And now, Teresa, you understand how I felt when RTD killed off Ianto. Although I think I swore more. And he didn't get the possible "get out of jail free" card that Rory *might*.

More importantly, I am really, really, really irritated by Eleven calling them homo reptilius. As a Time Lord with a fetish for Earthlings he of all people should have some basic sense of human evolution. Especially since if Silurians predate the homo branch then it is IMPOSSIBLE for them to be homo reptilius. I mean, if anything they'd be ardipithecus reptilius, but that's assuming they didn't branch until about 5.6 million years ago. And that's also assuming that mammals and reptiles have ANY FRAKKING EVOLUTIONARY CONNECTION AT ALL beyond the boiling primordial seas.

Sorry, I was an anthropology major (special emphasis in paleoanthropology) so crap like this seriously pisses me off. I think that complete disregard for scientific fact alone threw me off the ep. Except when Rory died. Then I felt sad. Then I felt mad again about the damn crack showing up (I am so sick of that bloody crack...). And then I felt sad again.
Ben Frey
14. BenPatient
@Brian2, keep in mind that the TARDIS itself is sort of "out of time" and so anything inside it, especially non-living things, seems to have a bit of a buffer.

When you figure out what the crack is, that makes even more sense.
Teresa Jusino
15. TeresaJusino
@Milo1313 - I HAVEN'T WATCHED ANY TORCHWOOD YET! :)
Alex Brown
16. AlexBrown
@Teresa: SHAME ON YOU!!! I'M GOING TO STALK YOU SILLY UNTIL YOU DO!

"He cheats. He always cheats." http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bf4U_ogd-pk
Ursula L
17. Ursula
I took the choice of the name homo reptilius to be more psychological than strict scientific naming. The Doctor was using this name to describe the species to humans who were afraid and rather freaked out by the "aliens."

Homo reptilius is a name that emphasizes the common human nature of both species, while differentating enough to carry the needed meaning. They're people, human-like in being sentient and from Earth, and sharing similar thoughts and emotions, but reptile.

There are probably names that would be more accurate according to Human scientific naming. But they'd lack the psychological message the Doctor wanted to give - these are people, like you, and you need to treat them with the respect you'd give other humans.

The Doctor doesn't care about the details of how human scientists name and classify species. Going back to the episode Rose - "What do you mean by people?" "Aliens" is the key in the Doctor's naming process.
Alex Brown
18. AlexBrown
Ursula @ 17: It's been a few weeks since I saw this 2-parter but I'm pretty certain he explicitly said they are ancestors of humans, at least in the very early stages of human evolution. It's not their "humanity", but their evolution. And, technically, humans would be more like Silurians given the evolutionary timeline...
Ursula L
19. Ursula
Milo,

That is all technically true. But the point of the name is that the Doctor is talking to scared humans, and needs to make the emotional point that "these are people too."

Evolution and scientific convention don't matter for what the Doctor is needing to do. Emotional resonance matters. And "homo" resonates as "human" - people know the term "homo sapiens" means "us", and "human" is both derived from and sounds like "homo."

I haven't heard any proposed alternative names that would provide the same psychological and diplomatic weight as "homo reptilia." The Doctor needed to get the humans to see the Other as being people, too. And he used every trick he could think of, and it still wasn't enough to do the job perfectly.
Ashe Armstrong
20. AsheSaoirse
If I said I'd do naughty things to Amy's crack, can we just look over it as letting me get it out of my system? Good, cause I would. I'd do naughty things to her all over.

ANYWHO! Rory, sad, sad, sad, SAD! I had warmed up to him so much and then pfft. I can't think of anything else to say. Cause it's sad.
Ashe Armstrong
21. AsheSaoirse
Oh yeah, another point after reading the first comment. I think Matt Smith has turned out to be utterly magnificent. I had serious misgivings about him. He looked weird. But you see him in the tweed and the suspenders and the bow tie ("Bow ties are cool.") and it just works. And when he walked through that hologram, I was sold. Now, wait till the review for episode 11. It is probably my favorite Doctor Who episode ever just cause it's so Doctorrific.
Chris Meadows
22. Robotech_Master
Yeah, I really was ticked off when they RetGonned Rory. But I was positive that with the bits that were left behind, that wasn't going to be the last effect Rory had on the story. Perhaps something would happen when the Pandorica opened.

Rory was the first male NuWho companion who was actually, well, normal. Not flamboyant-over-the-top like Captain Jack, or a reincarnation of the Wizard of Oz's Cowardly Lion like Mickey.

Unlike Mickey, who was such a fifth wheel (or, rather, "tin dog") that he finally gave up and ran off to another dimension, Rory was a normal bloke who actually was fit to be the Significant Other of the Doctor's femmepanion—and she recognized it. He was genre-savvy enough not to be taken aback by the Tardis being bigger on the inside (and the Doctor's annoyance at that was hilarious, given how the Tennant Doctor rolled his eyes and mouthed the words whenever someone made the obvious statement). He was actually effective in ways that only female Companions had been allowed to be before.

Should have known he was too good to last. :P

By the way, I promise you that after you see "The Pandorica Opens" you will have a very hard time resisting the impulse to download the second part. :)
Mara Shepherd
23. ladyaife
I did have something to say, 2 days ago, but then i couldn't log in and now i have forgotten.

So instead i shall merely settle for:
I live in the UK :-D
Ursula L
24. Ursula
One thing I find interesting about this episode is that while the most memorable aspect is Rory's death, it isn't at all an episode about Rory's death.

There is no buildup to it, no foreshadowing. It's not really Rory-focused at all, as far as the major storyline and plot. There is no particular effort to explore the Amy-Rory or Doctor-Rory relationships. The episode could have been aired with Rory's death and the associated scenes removed, and you'd still have pretty much the same story.

I can't really think of another situation where a major character has died on a television program in an episode that wasn't in some way about their death - their lingering illness, an adventure that focuses on them and pushes them towards an inevitable and heroic decision, etc.

It's very odd.
Jacy Clark
25. Amalisa
@Ursula - I think Rory's death, for all the tragedy of the act, is about Amy. The foreshadowing took place in "Flesh and Stone", when the cleric-soldiers guarding Amy "walked to the Light" and were erased. (Although, the paradox of Amy being able to remember them but not being able to remember Rory is one that I'm looking forward to having explained. And with something a little more plausible than, well, I can't think of anything remotely plausible but I'm not Steven Moffat and they aren't paying me big bucks to write Doctor Who, now are they? *lol*)

But... back to Rory and the (apparent) lack of foreshadowing. He was sort of a focus of "Vampires in Venice" and "Amy's Choice"; at least, his relationship with Amy was. And he did display heroism - the quiet, understated sort - during his tenure as companion of the Companion. Also, there was that very poignant moment in "Amy's Choice", remember? "If you can't save him, then what is the point of you?" (That line rang all sorts of bells with me and I finally remembered. From Season 1, with Christopher Eccleston, "Dalek" - the Doctor in the first confrontation with the captive Dalek: "If you can't kill, what are you good for, Dalek? What is the point of you?" It may be just a coincidental turn of a phrase, but it still struck me as a little bit... twisted. In a poetically, ironic sort of way. And I do love a nice bit of poetic irony...)

Besides - and I do love Rory, believe me! - he is the companion of the Companion. He's not really a major character, like the Doctor or Amy or even River Song. His primary importance is (was) the role he played in Amy's life, his influences on her. Is the Amy who never knew Rory different? Will they incorporate that kind of subtlety into her character? *shrugs* That's what I mean by Rory's death being all about Amy...

I think we (here in the States) will have to see what happens in the finale to see all the pieces fall into place. Including that little paradoxical thingy I'm looking for. I'm not worried, really; in five seasons, the finale episodes haven't yet disappointed me.
Chris Meadows
26. Robotech_Master
By the way, having just seen it, "Big Bang" is the best finale episode since the show was revived.

American viewers who don't download have much to look forward to.
Jacy Clark
27. Amalisa
@Robotech_Master

*River Song voice* Spoilers... :D

Yes, it's frustrating that you lot have already seen it all while we on this side of the pond have to wait.

(Assuming, of course, that you are in the UK...)

How the Almighty Internet knows how to differentiate between British/European downloads and US downloads is quite beyond my capacity. Guess it's one of those wibbly-wobbly, timey-wimey sort of things... ;)
wandering-dreamer
28. Nightsky
Adric's the best known, but other companions have died: Katarina and Sara Kingdom, both in the Sixties; arguably, Peri, at the end of "Trial of a Time Lord". (Peri's death, if indeed it was, still beats Rory's for "cruel and arbitrary", IMHO.)
Ursula L
29. Ursula
Amalisa @ #25:

I guess I don't see Rory as a "companion of a companion" but rather as a companion of the Doctor in his on right, complementing Amy's role as a companion.

Rory's been in half of the episodes of the season to date.

He was absolutely critical, in his own right and based on his own initiative and talent, for identifying and solving the problems of "The Eleventh Hour." He recognized his coma patients around town, took the initiative to record what he saw, and had already begun working to address the issue, by notifying the rest of their care team, before the Doctor even showed up.

He's sensible without using "common sense" as a reason to reject the evidence of his own experience, such as taking the initiative to study science after he first meets the Doctor, so that he's not take by surprise by the bigger-on-the-inside nature of the TARDIS.

By the end of his life, he's developed a smooth teamwork with the Doctor. He does more than anyone for trying to help the Doctor be both above and below ground at once in order to deal with the Silurians, by understanding and working to implement the Doctor's goals and plans.

I can't see how Rory isn't a major character for the season. In less than one season, he's already done as much with and for the Doctor than Micky did in his first three seasons.

And yet his death is random, not something built up to or necessary to solve the problems of the episode where he dies.

Mind, I rather like it that way. People die, and often die senselessly. Being a hero doesn't mean you get a heroic exit.

But it is an unusual thing to do, from a story-telling perspective.
Jacy Clark
30. Amalisa
@Ursula

Please don't think I was disparaging Rory in any way. Everything you say about the quality of Rory-the-character is very true. He is loyal, resourceful, courageous - all of that.

However, if it wasn't for Amy, he wouldn't be along for the ride.

As for Mickey - poor kid. He never, never really had a chance. And I can see where you're coming from; Rory was much more proactive, much less, well, less than Mickey. But it's still the old apples & oranges argument. The Doctor and Amy are apples. Rory and Mickey are oranges. It takes both to make a good fruit salad (especially if the oranges are mandarin), but one can never confuse the two. (Hmmm... fruit salad. *remembers she hasn't eaten today and is getting a little hungry*)
Ursula L
31. Ursula
Teresa - is there going to be a review on "Vincent and the Doctor"?

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