The Hungry Earth
The Doctor: Oh look, a big mining thing.
Production Code: 1.8.
Story Number: 209a.
One great thing about the two-parters is that they can vary the pace of the enjoyably energetic Nu-Who…
A story can be told with a different rhythm over 90 minutes, a duration which was the “norm” in the days of Classic Doctor Who four-parters. The Nu-Who two-parters, so far, could perhaps be divided between two types: radically different from the Classic style (Silence in the Library/The Forest of the Dead, with its bizarre cliffhanger); a fresh revamping of Classic tropes (The Time of Angels/Flesh and Stone, a “base under siege” filtered through fairytales).
That would perhaps be too simplistic a division though, and anyway, this two-parter seems to be, in style, just: “Classic” – rather than either of those two ways of thinking. A Pertwee-era pic’n’mix with a dash of Frontios.
The opportunity of a two-parter is taken and the pace is less energetic than usual for Nu-Who, if not quite the pace of the Pertwee era and its two “Silurians/Sea Devils” stories which seem to provide the model for the plot. The way that these creatures return is curious though. The mask idea is a clever one, allowing for a suitably “monsterish” look while also allowing the actors to emote more effectively than the Classic era.
The story isn’t over yet, but what’s broadcast so far is intriguing and enjoyable Doctor Who. The seeming appearance of “future Amy and Rory” hints at an even more intriguing second half though…
Rating: 3/5 (for this part of the story.)