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The Hungry Earth [Saturday 22nd May 2010 at 9:55 pm]

[Feeling |thoughtfulthoughtful]
[Playing |Spirit Temple ~ Nintendo/Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time]

"The graves around you eat people"

They mined too deeply, and too greedily... and awoke the Balrog in the depths of Moria. More seriously, 21km is a very impressive depth to achieve - the deepest real borehole is 12,262m deep, and that pushed the limits of the available technology.

I'm amused at the spoiler into Amy's own future, though it does result in the usual questions about time travel and causation. Did future!Amy wave at present!Amy because she saw her past self (with no memory of having done so), or because she remembers seeing her future self do so? Fortuantly the Doctor stops it going any further before bad stuff happens. Curiously we don't see future!Amy and future!Rory again in this episode, so either they were far enough away to begin with, or they remembered and made sure they were far enough away.

Interesting failure of the Tardis' perception filter, though I suppose if someone's actually looking for the police then it'd be hard to hide a big police call box from them. Note for non-Brits: there is a real present-day police call box in London that looks like the Tardis, so it's not entirely crazy for a random passerby to assume that the Tardis is an actual police box (though a random passerby assuming that one parked on a church doorstop in the middle of a Welsh village is a mobile incident room is stretching it).

I do wonder about the strategy of most opponents of the Doctor. The drill has triggered some sort of early warning system, so the reptiles go and capture someone by pulling them through a hole in the ground. Then they capture Amy through the same method, right under the nose of the Doctor. Next they create a localised force field and mount a reasonably successful raid on the few that are left. But then the Doctor traps one in a refrigerated van, and the reptiles... retreat? And disable the force field?

So, the reptiles had the enemy on their knees and then allowed them to go away and get reinforcements? Weird strategy. But fine, both sides have hostages, so maybe they can do a hostage exchange and then all live happily ever after. Except the reptiles have apparently decided to sacrifice their hostage as an excuse to wipe out all the humans. Fine, that makes sense as a gambit... if it wasn't for the previous raid which didn't have the look of someone trying to get taken as a hostage. And for the fact that the Doctor doesn't do that sort of thing.

And if they want to rise up and reclaim the Earth, why have they waited until now to do so? The current crop of baddies all seem to be trying for suicide by Doctor.

Still no arc image, though it is a two-parter. Then again, they've gotten much more complex with their story arcs over the years - back in the days of the ninth Doctor it was just a subtle phrase ("bad wolf"), but now it's more of a concept (cracks in the universe, with the silence coming). I wonder if the reptiles are running from the silence as well?

Hmm, a thought: both River Song and Prisoner Zero mentioned the Pandorica. Could this be Pandora's Box in some form? It almost fits, though classically Pandora's Box is full of generic bad stuff rather than anything spectacularly world-destroying. Then again, modern media has a habit of changing classical mythology to behave however the plot requires: in Tomb Raider: The Cradle of Life the box contained very deadly diseases, while in Professor Layton and Pandora's Box it gave whoever opened it very vivid hallucinations.
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[User Picture]From: crschmidt
Sunday 23rd May 2010 at 6:19 pm (UTC)
One thing I was kinda 'enh' about -- they were like "If we're deeper than the drill, why isn't it hot under here?" I don't know a ton about geology, but my understanding is that the earth is pretty thick -- even the crust is as much as 70km thick in some places. I believe the depth of the reptilians mentioned at some point was 30km -- even if they were twice that deep, would there really be any noticeable difference in ambient temperature?

Also, at first I thought that the drill had 'woken up' the homoreptilians -- like, they had been dormant for a while, and the drill woke them up. The end of the episode sort of belies that theory with the giant seemingly-bustling city, though.
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[User Picture]From: boggyb
Sunday 23rd May 2010 at 9:45 pm (UTC)
They'd certainly notice it - the 12km hole I mentioned was abandoned because the temperature at that level was 180°C and they estimated that if they'd achieved the original target of 15km it would reach 300°C. It's enough of a temperature gradient that it causes problems with the deeper mines as well.
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[User Picture]From: crschmidt
Monday 24th May 2010 at 3:37 pm (UTC)
Huh. That's completely different than I would have expected. Interesting! (So I guess I really do wonder why the temperature isn't hotter down there; the Doctor didn't have a real explanation for that, did he?)
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