The 8th episode of Series Fnarg, The Hungry Earth (which puts the image of a Sarlacc into my mind) features the return of the ever-popular space fish (okay, they’re space reptiles, but to me they look like green space fish), The Silurians. Actually, now I come to think of it, a lot of the ‘Monster Of The Week’ examples in Doctor Who seem to be some sort of Space Fish. Episode One had the weird Space Eel thing, Episode Two had the Space Whale, Episode Six had Vampire Space Fish and this one has Space Reptile Fish things. So, half of the episodes have space fish. Methinks I spot a theme here.
The setting is a Welsh Mining Village (no mention of ‘the only gay in the village’) in 2020, where an ambitious drilling project is going on. The Doctor, Amy and Rory land, expecting Rio. Surely if you were the Doctor, you’d consult the scanner before going outside and proclaiming “RIO!” like a nonce.
Rory goes to play Sherlock while Amy and The Doctor check out the aforementioned drilling project which has just penetrated more than 21 kilometres (more than 13 miles, measurement fans!) under the ground. Rory is almost staggeringly incompetent at this, and the only child in the village has to do the detective work for him, even quoting everybody’s favourite detective while he does so. This child explains that the bodies that have been going missing from graves have been clearly dug up from below and taken.
Meanwhile, the Doctor and Woman Assistant #4 (discounting one shot companions and not counting the classic series, that number is actually correct) go to the drilling site (The Doctor should’ve used the time away from Rory for some drilling of his own, IYCMD*). Hilarity ensues when some holes in the ground open up and start eating Amy and some random fella who she tries to save (to her credit, she did save him). She ends up being eaten by the Earth (hence the title, presumably), but any savvy viewer will know that she’s not dead, due to it: A) Being the 8th episode and B) Being less than 25 minutes into the episode.
My complaints with the episode are as follows:
1) Nasreen (mining lady) never actually learns the Doctor’s name, much like Rufus in Bill & Ted (he never tells them his name at any point during the movie), yet is calling him The Doctor and singing his phrases. This one was pointed out to me in my screen-writing class by a friend as I didn’t notice it myself.
2) How stupid the aforementioned child, who is dyslexic, got in the last bit of the episode. Kid goes out to get some headphones from his house when there are unknown creatures about to get to the surface any minute. I would understand if it was a hearing aid or an inhaler but headphones seem counter-productive.
3) In fact, the stupidity in general on behalf of most of the characters bugged me. Drill (RedShirt) Guy #1 stuck his hand into a steaming hole in the ground, the previously mentioned child and headphones incident, and Rory not clocking where the dead bodies went from their graves…what a moron.
This episode was decidedly average. It’s the first of a two parter though, so hopefully the next one will be better. It’s worth watching, but not by much.
*If You Catch My Drift. I’m starting this up!