A First-Timer Watches Doctor Who: “Cold Blood”

Doctor Who


The human race is such a disappointment. That or our evolution is progressing at a disappointingly slow rate. On an individual level, some of us are pretty great. As a whole? Pretty rubbish.

Sure, it’d be unsettling to discover an entire civilization living beneath the earth’s crust (as a select number of people do in the second half of this Doctor Who two-parter) but it’s depressing to think that if we did, our first reaction as a species would be to declare war. We don’t like stuff that’s different. We can barely get along with each other as it is.

I haven’t been this bummed out by an episode since learning that “The Beast Below” was a tortured Star Whale. The Doctor, en route to negotiate a hostage exchange with the reptilian Silurians, tasks Rory, Ambrose, and Tony with one simple thing: don’t kill the one they’re holding in the church. Because a) killing is wrong; and b) she’s the only damn bargaining chip they have!

But can three distressed humans help themselves? Well, two can. But that’s not good enough. And in the end, taser-happy Ambrose’s mistake is going to cost everyone so much.

Down below, the Doctor, Amy, and Nasreen are managing to make slow progress on an agreement that would see the human race share the planet’s surface with the Silurians…

…meanwhile, the team left up top have killed their hostage and put in place a plan to destroy the city below with their giant drill (the big dumb thing that ignited this conflict in the first place). Not so fab.

Not that the Silurians are an entirely peaceful race. Their military, led by Alaya’s sister, the human-hating Restac, is keen on wiping us “dirty apes” off the face of an earth they believe is rightfully theirs.

Eldane, their leader, is of a different mind though, and for a brief moment, it seems like a deal could be reached.

Of course everything goes to hell when Rory and co. show up with Alaya’s corpse and her militant sister loses her lizard mind. The Doctor uses his screwdriver to sonically disable the Silurian soldiers’ weapons and the human delegation retreats to Malokeh’s (RIP) lab where Eldane resorts to emergency measures to save both sides.

No shared earth. No Silurian technology. No cool half lizard/half ape babies. Maybe in another thousand years. Things are already so gloomy by the end of this episode that when Rory dies and is wiped from Amy’s memory by the crack in her childhood bedroom wall/the universe it’s just like, ‘Yeah, guess that had to happen too.’

Remember at the beginning of this story when future Rory and Amy were waving at present Rory and Amy like nothing could go wrong?

And just when you think things couldn’t get worse, The Doctor reaches into one of those cracks and pulls out this:

They really should have gone to Rio.