Silurian warrior Alaya is counting on her human captors’ animal bloodlust: she expects to be killed, and her resulting martyrdom will remove any objections among her own people to declaring war on humanity. Rory tries his best to keep a lid on the growing tensions between Alaya and the humans, but he can’t guard her every moment, and soon enough Alaya gets her wish. Beneath the Earth’s surface, the Doctor and Nasreen discover that Amy and the other vanished humans are alive and well, and that there are both sympathetic and warlike factions among the Silurians. He tries to get peace talks started between the two dominant species of Earth, but he may not be able to keep the warrior faction’s ambitions quelled when Alaya’s body is returned. Stopping an all-out war now will come at an agonizing cost.
written by Chris Chibnall
directed by Ashley Way
music by Murray Gold
Cast: Matt Smith (The Doctor), Karen Gillan (Amy Pond), Arthur Darvill (Rory), Neve McIntosh (Alaya / Restac), Meera Syal (Nasreen Chaudhry), Robert Pugh (Tony Mack), Nia Roberts (Ambrose), Richard Hope (Malohken), Stephen Moore (Eldane), Alun Raglan (Mo), Samuel Davies (Elliot)
LogBook entry & review by Earl Green
Review: As with The Hungry Earth, Cold Blood closely mirrors the structure (and the underlying message) of 1970’s Doctor Who And The Silurians. What’s surprising in this installment is that the Doctor steps back and lets the humans do their own talking. Rory is more or less left in charge on the surface, while Amy and Nasreen negotiate with the Silurian elders in their city. He doesn’t do this without sternly explaining that everyone needs to be on their best behavior, but it remains an interesting and mature twist to the standard-issue way that Silurian stories unfold. Most of the time (Doctor Who And The Silurians, Warriors Of The Deep) the Doctor steps out of the way very late in the (attempted) peace proceedings, only to watch the humans he has championed slaughter the emerging Silurian population. And he even admits to that having happened here, a direct reference to the 1970 story (in Earth’s history, Warriors still has yet to happen). Maybe he’s learned that humanity will need to do its own talking for this to work.
Unfortunately, things of course do not go well, and Rory ends up not only paying for it with his life, but suffering a fate arguably even worse than death: the dreaded “crack” that has plagued the TARDIS crew all season long envelops Rory, wiping him from the timeline altogether. By the end of the episode, Amy has forgotten him (but the Doctor hasn’t). This is the most upsetting departure of a TARDIS traveler that the new series has given us thus far (and that includes Rose’s exit/exile to an alternate universe), and possibly the most disquieting fate for a companion since The Trial Of A Time Lord. It also occurs without a lot of last-episode signposting, so it’s truly a shock to the system. But it’s also just as possible that it may not be that simple, as the “crack” remains to be resolved. Rory was enormously likeable and had huge potential; this one wasn’t “just the tin dog.”
But there’s yet another shock as the Doctor reveals the piece of debris he’s recovered from the crack: a chunk of what appears to be the TARDIS, destroyed at some future date by an unknown cataclysm. It’s safe to say that, at the conclusion of this two-parter, things are not looking good.