Okay. Bringing things to order. The first meeting of representatives of the human race and homo reptilia
is now in session. Ha! Never said that before.
That's fab. Carry on.
The second part of a two-parter, following on from "The Hungry Earth".
It is the most important day in the history of Earth: the dawn of a new age of harmony or the start of its final war. For the Doctor, it's a battle in which he cannot take sides and a day when nobody must die...
After he and Amy are reunited, he brokers discussions between Eldane (the gentle Silurian leader) and Nasreen Choudry. Humanity is on the brink of a new era of peace and love and justice. On the Silurian side, however, is also military leader Restac, an advocate for the "kill all the primate vermin" option. On the human side is Amy, who just wants to go to Rio
Things go relatively well, until it's revealed to everybody that Ambrose killed her captive reptilian in despair. And she's set the drill to destroy the colony if she doesn't get her family back. Restac does not react as Ambrose expected, first demanding Ambrose be executed, then all the humans and anyone standing near them. (In fairness, it should be noted that she'd already started mobilizing the troops before
anybody found out what Ambrose had done.)
The Doctor leads the others back to the laboratory, where he and Eldane devise a plan to destroy the drill and force the warriors back into their hibernation units, to wake in a thousand years when humanity might be ready. Tony stays behind because he needs the Silurians to cure his poisoning. Nasreen stays behind to be with Tony. The Doctor leads all the other humans into the TARDIS.
So. All is well, right? Of course it's all oka— oh no.
The crack in the universe is here. And it's big enough for the Doctor to stick his hand in. He grabs something using a handkerchief, which gives Restac just enough time to reach them and shoot the Doctor
.Rory makes a Heroic Sacrifice and jumps in front of the Doctor. He dies. And then, just to Woobie up the Doctor some more, the crack in the universe erases him from existence. Despite the Doctor's best efforts, Amy doesn't remember him.
Restac and her soldiers are now dead due to Emergency Protocol Poisoning, which doesn't affect the good reptilians who are in their sleeping chambers like good Lizard People. The TARDIS crew run back to Wales, say their goodbyes, and encourage Eliot's parents to make him the best human being to live, and to prepare the next few generations for the reptilians with myths, stories, religion, anything. Amy spots Future Amy across a field alone, and the Doctor rushes her into the TARDIS.
Hey, now's a pretty good time to look at the thing from the cra— Oh Crap
. It's a shard of the TARDIS.
Quick! Recoup our losses and cut to credits!
- Acting for Two: Neve McIntosh plays both Restac and Alaya
- Arc Words: The cracks in the wall make another appearance.
- Artistic License - Biology: The Silurian doctor refers to the procedure (completed on Mo, interrupted for Amy) as "dissection". Dissection is when you open up and explore a dead creature; for living creatures it's vivisection. It could be forgiven in the previous episode with Mo, but the Silurian should know better. However, the audience probably wouldn't.
- Blasting It Out Of Their Hands: The Doctor effectively does this to the Mooks' weapons using the sonic-screwdriver. Makes more sense than most applications of this trope, as the device in question is using focused sonic waves to damage the internal workings of the weapons directly, rather than shooting a projectile at them and hoping it hits.
- Continuity Nod: The Doctor offhandedly mentions how some celery would be really helpful right now.
- Cold-Blooded Torture: Ambrose Tasers Alaya to death.
- Chekhov's Gun: one put up over the mantle at the beginning of The Hungry Earth goes off with Amy seeing only Future!Amy and nobody else with her on the hill at the end.
- And in the more actual gun sense, you can clearly see the taser Ambrose kills Alaya with among the pile of weapons she puts in her van in the first episode.
- Also, you get a brief shot in the TARDIS of the engagement ring box as everyone's picking themselves up from the explosion, rather blatantly foreshadowing that Amy will find it and regain her memories at some point.
- Department of Redundancy Department: "You've been down here, working by yourself, all alone."
- Diabolus ex Machina: And suddenly, time crack!
- Distressed Dude: The doctor clamped into the scanner/decontamination booth table… thing. Yeah.
- And later, handcuffed to a pillar. This happens a lot in this episode.
- Downer Ending: The Doctor makes a big point on how no one can die this time in order for things to work out. Suffice to say... things don't go according to plan. And then some. Admittedly, though, the narration implies that humanity and the Silurians may be able to make peace a thousand years after the events of the episode, which might raise the ending to Bittersweet for some people.
- Even Evil Has Loved Ones: Restac is obsessed with 'protecting' the Silurians from the humans even it means exterminating everyone on the Earth's surface... but when she sees Alaya's corpse, her grief is very real.
- Everybody Lives: The Doctor attempts to do this, but it doesn't work.
- Evil Gloating: How Alaya goads Ambrose into acting.
- Faceless Goons: The army that Restac wakes up consists solely of these. They even have masks.
- Fantastic Racism
- Fate Worse Than Death: Rory dying and being pulled into the crack in time — rather than being "remembered and celebrated" — is simply erased. The Doctor remembers however, so he feels doubly responsible for his death and the utter obliteration of a large part of Amy's life. Yet despite there allegedly being nothing to remember, his engagement ring survives inside the TARDIS...
- General Ripper: Restac
- Heroic Sacrifice/Taking The Death Ray: Rory.
- Humans Are The Real Monsters: Played with; considering how previous interactions between humans and Silurians have gone, the humans — with one notable exception — come off quite well, all things considering.
- Idiot Ball: Seriously Ambrose, what the hell?
- It probably had to do with Alaya capturing her son, poisoning her father, then taunting her at length while withholding the antidote for the express purpose of goading her into killing her.
- Don't forget she still doesn't know what happened to Mo.
- But then she sets the drill to attack the Silurians after she's already broken peace talks down once, so again: what the hell?
- The Doctor not heeding his companions when they urge him to leave leads to Rory's death.
- Imperial Stormtrooper Marksmanship Academy: How many shots are fired by the mooks here?
- Jack Bauer Interrogation Technique: How Ambrose threatens to get information on how to cure her father. It doesn't work.
- Last Breath Bullet: Restac at the end.
- Looks Like She Is Enjoying It: Alaya during her last few breaths.
- Mad Scientist: Subverted. The Silurian scientist that we first see Playing With Syringes was actually quite a nice guy, and reasonably sympathetic to the humans.
- Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: Ambrose killing Alaya. Which gives Restac just the excuse she needed to declare war on humanity.
- Putting on the Reich: Restac's epaulettes are red, white, and black like the old German flags, and she has a scar down one side of her face like Nazi commando leader Otto Skorzeny. Plus, Fantastic Racism and MadScientists.
- Reasonable Authority Figure: Eldane.
- Really Dead Montage: Rory gets one
- Reset Button: At least the reset button has a "snooze" function, although it is usually ten minutes not a thousand years, which is when the Lizard people will wake up again.
- Ret Gone: Rory.
- Ripple-Effect-Proof Memory: As in "Flesh and Stone", being a time traveller allows a person to remember the history that has been swallowed by the cracks. Unless it's too much a part of the time traveller's own personal history. So when Rory is vanished, the Doctor still remembers him, but Amy forgets.
- Sociopathic Soldier
- Sealed Evil in a Can: Restac's Army, re-canned at the end.
- Sealed Good in a Can: The Silurian elder Eldane, woken up to try and prevent the war, then re-sealed to do the same again in 1,000 years time.
- Shown Their Work: All of the warrior Silurians are female, with the males being more peaceful and willing to debate options. In many reptile species the females are larger, more aggressive (although often to protect young) and more territorial than the males.
- The reason would be appear to be the same here too, as Alaya taunts Ambrose about being unable to protect her family. A later episode has a Silurian placing emphasis on "a mother's instincts".
- Strawman Has a Point: The Silurians have kidnapped three people, are openly and unapologetically threatening genocide, and are now taunting her about the impending death of her father, and Ambrose is the bad guy when she strikes back at Alaya?
- Well, for starters, it's nowhere near all the Silurians who wanted to commit genocide (although admittedly, Ambrose has no way of knowing this), but the bigger problem is that she was supposed to be better than that, not because her actions weren't justifiable as retribution, but because they were absurdly freaking stupid. She essentially made peace impossible (or at least extremely unlikely), and then she did it again later in the episode.
- Tear Jerker: Amy screaming Rory's name, then struggling to remember him, before he's erased from history and her memory.
- Thanatos Gambit: It's pretty clear that Alaya goaded Ambrose into killing her, knowing that her death would start the war she so wanted.
- They Killed Rory Again: Death number two for Rory with a dose of Retgone thrown in for good measure.
- Torture Always Works: Haha, no.
- Villain Ball: Alaya and Restac. They're just aching to exterminate humanity, seeking to gain just cause for a genocidal war.
- Wham Episode: Rory's death, followed swiftly by being erased from time and then forgotten by Amy, and the Doctor discovers a shred of the TARDIS in the time crack.
- What Could Have Been: While it was cut for whatever reason, Rory and Alaya have a nice scene where he brings her food, his deeply religious Dad is mentioned for the only time and manages to foreshadow both his many deaths and "The God Complex".