Things get off to a great start with the third volume of Series 5 (though aren't we all just waiting for the box set in November?) with Amy's Choice
, a story which introduced the most excellent Dream Lord played so exquisitely by Toby Jones. It's a terrific yarn and its freshness is thanks to the Who
newbie, Simon Nye who takes a sci~fi/fanatsy staple and creates a most engaging tale. Top marks to the production team for making the TARDIS looked like its never looked like before. The denouement may come a little too abruptly but that chilling reminder of the Doc's dark side and his deepest admissions make this a corker.
"Corker", however, is not a word I'd use to describe either The Hungry Earth
or Cold Blood.
Although many "fans", and I use the word quite wrongly, seemed to take umbrage at the redesign of the Silurians the problems I have with their two~part return are not caused by their rather spiffy new appearance. Before I get to my issues, I will state that I like the Silurians update. Frankly the three eye thing they had going on in the Seventies didn't particularly convince me (though the story was top~notch). But back to 2010. Or, rather, 2020.
This series got off to such a good start but I feel that midway a certain familiarity had already begun to sink in. What am I referring to? Well, The Hungry Earth
marked another story with church scenes in it (the previous Vampires of Venice
for example, and there were similar environs in The Beast Below
and The Time of Angels
). And then Cold Blood
saw more underground scenes (witness the aforementioned Weeping Angels story). If I may return to Amy's Choice, we get more dilapidated buildings and yet another monster baring teeth; The Eleventh Hour, Beast
all featured that trope (not to mention the Weeping Angels, again).
Not only that, but we get characters who, frankly, didn't interest me at all - the family and Nasreen Chaudhry fail to emotionally connect. Most galling of all was Rory's death - didn't we just see that in Amy's Choice
? No shock, or even sadness, at all. As he was brought back to life in the previous story, his demise is obviously not final so any drama that was meant to have been garnished from his death here is non~existent. The story itself is adequate, the two parts giving it a chance to breathe, as it were, and the underground visuals are purty
bloody great but, barring the recovery of a piece of the TARDIS, it's unmemorable.EXTRAS
Included here is the ten minute installment of The Monster Files taking a look at the Silurians. It's a bit too brief and doesn't really focus on one aspect of the creatures. Steven Moffat & Co. are on call and The Moff talks a little about his lurve for the Target novelisation of the original story, Dr. Who & the Cave Monsters (catchy title!) and we even get the sight of a Silurian picking his nose. Sadly, however, we don't get to find out why the Myrka didn't make a comeback...