Doctor Who: Sharing the planet

KT is all kinds of curious about the end of the season.

DOCTOR WHO:  5.09 “Cold Blood”

When they put the clip of Amy and Rory seeing their future selves waving at them into the previouslies, I figured that we’d find out those are actually Amy and Rory from part two waving at Amy and Rory from part one. I was way wrong — there’s something more ambitious going on here.  But that comes later.

The episode opens with some enigmatic narration about remembering the history of a thousand years ago, which won’t make sense until later, too, and kind of reminds me of the narration for “The End of Time” — never a good association.  Happily, we quickly flip to the Doctor and Nasreen, who have made it to the front door of the reptiles’ underground city and are quickly captured.  Meanwhile, Amy and Mo, who were captured, manage to get away and find Elliot as well.

On the surface, worry continues to bring out the worst in Ambrose, even as leadership is bringing out the best in Rory we’ve seen to date.  Tony’s poisoned shoulder is looking pretty bad, and Alaya prefers to gloat rather than bargain with him.

It quickly becomes clear that the Silurian leaders have some pretty major philosophical differences.  The military leader, Restac, is cut from the same cloth as Alaya, while the scientist and the political leader prove willing to aid, protect, and negotiate with the humans.  The characterizations aren’t terribly nuanced — once we figure out which Silurians are friends and which are enemies, there’s really no middle ground.

That doesn’t mean that friends don’t disagree, though.  There’s a lovely bit of calm in the middle in which it really seems almost possible that Nasreen, Amy, and Eldane might hit on a way to share the planet between the two species.  That bubble pops when the surface folks come down with Alaya’s body.

It’s hard to decide exactly what to think of Ambrose.  She doesn’t act out of malice, precisely, but when her attempt to bargain with Alaya fails, she reacts very badly — although Alaya firsts throws herself on Ambrose’s taser, Ambrose doesn’t hesitate to follow it up with a second hit and maybe a third.  Later, when she admits that she was the responsible party, you’d think it might be a good opportunity to apologize, but instead she’s defensive and even threatening.  Although the audience is pretty tired of her whining and foolish choices, the narrative is merciful towards her in the end — I think more for Elliot’s benefit than her own.

Like Ambrose, Restac is in no way ready for interspecies cooperation, and she calls out her troops, setting off the final countdown portion of the episode.  This week the sonic screwdriver can shock the Silurian guns, making the soldiers drop them, which is random, but handy.  Eventually it’s decided that the Silurians will hibernate for another thousand years, Tony will stay so that the poison can be cured, and Nasreen will stay with him.  Elliot and his parents make it to the TARDIS and then we have a scene that feels like it doesn’t quite belong here.  The countdown seems to pause at about four minutes until disaster when Amy, Rory, and the Doctor spot the mysterious crack again.

Everyone else seems to know something about this crack that he doesn’t, the Doctor points out, and this time the crack is big enough to pull shrapnel out of.  But then, here’s the dying Restac, and here’s Rory, dumb enough and brave enough to take this shot for the Doctor.  And there’s the light from the crack, the time energy that pulls a person out of history entirely.  And despite her frenzy, despite the Doctor’s coaxing, despite a gorgeous, horrible, waterworks-inducing scene in the TARDIS, a jolt breaks Amy’s concentration, wiping out all memory of Rory.  Whoa.

Moffat, I didn’t know we were playing for keeps.  I’m impressed.  But will we see him again in the finale, somehow?

Then Elliot and his parents appear and we’re suddenly back in this episode.  The Doctor has a quiet scene with Ambrose that manages to justify her survial, and we see future Amy waving from the opposite hillside — alone this time.  But most chillingly, we get a look at that shrapnel the Doctor pulled from the crack:  it’s a piece of the TARDIS.



4 thoughts on “Doctor Who: Sharing the planet

  1. Pingback: Doctor Who: Adding to the pile of good things « Raked

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  4. Pingback: Doctor Who: How do you start a triceratops? | Raked

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