Recap: Doctor Who S31 E9 "Cold Blood"
Unintentional foreshadowing, this picture is.note
"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 Doctor
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...
The Doctor and Nasreen try to sneak into the apparently empty Silurian city, but are captured and taken to be examined by the Silurian head scientist, Malohkeh. The Doctor is close to once again fall victim to yet another bit of medical malpractice, but this time he manages to explain to the practitioner that he isn't human, so he survives. However this knowledge doesn't do to much to placate the leader of the Silurian warrior caste, Restac, an outspoken advocate for the "kill all the primate vermin" policy, who that insists both the Doctor and Nasreen is be executed and have them escorted them to a Silurian court. Malohkeh, quite the gentle scholar (once one gets past that whole "dissecting people to poke a bit at their insides" business), objects to this, preferring to find a peaceful solution, but unfortunately he has no authority.
Amy and Mo, meanwhile, manage to escape. They find Elliot inside a pod, and many, many
sleeping Silurian warriors. They sneak a couple of weapons from them, and set out to rescue the Doctor.
They get captured as well, and are about to be executed — unless the humans give them back their hostage. Problem is, Alaya really wanted her war, so she did her darndest to get a human to kill her — and succeeded. Ambrose electrocuted her after one taunt too many about how her father as going to die and Alaya would be happy to watch.
The humans can't very well tell
the Silurians this, so Restac orders the execution of Amy — to be stopped by when Eldane, the gentle Silurian leader, woken by Malohkeh to stop Restac.
The Doctor brokers discussions between Eldane, and Amy and Nasreen. Humanity is on the brink of a new era of peace and love and justice. Things go relatively well, the Doctor rescues Elliot, and there seems to be a peace offer in the works between the two species. But Malohkeh discovers some suspicious activity around the hibernation champers and decides to investigate. To his horror, he discovers that Restac is awaking a large platoon of warriors and is staging a coup against Eldane and have already made plans to move on the surface despite the outcome of the negotiations, before she kills him, as she can see no use for a good scientist in a war. And it all happens just in time for the "hostage exchange".
Then it's revealed to everybody that Ambrose killed her captive reptilian, and that 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.
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. Eldane initiates a "toxic fumigation" of the city, causing the warriors to stand down and return to hibernation. Tony stays behind because he needs the Silurians to cure his poisoning, and 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, giving Restac just enough time to reach them and shoot at the Doctor before she dies from the exposure to the toxic gas.
Rory jumps in front of the Doctor
. He dies in Amy's arms
. 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 forgets him.
The TARDIS crew run back to the surface, say their goodbyes and encourage Elliott'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 crack... it appears to be a burned shard of a police box sign
. The worried Doctor compares it to the TARDIS's own sign, and aside from the damage, they appear to be identical.
- Acting for Two: Neve McIntosh plays both Restac and Alaya.
- Arc Words / Arc Symbol: 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.
- Chekhov's Gun:
- One from 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 with which Ambrose kills Alaya among the pile of weapons she puts in her van in the first episode.
- Continuity Nod:
- Cold-Blooded Torture: Ambrose Tasers Alaya to death.
- Department of Redundancy Department: "You've been down here, working by yourself, all alone."
- Diabolus Ex Machina: And suddenly, time crack!
- Distressed Dude:
- 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.
- Imperial Stormtrooper Marksmanship Academy: How many shots are fired by the mooks here?
- In Spite of a Nail: The Doctor makes a point to explain that their meeting with the Silurians is not one of this examples, and is quite happy with the idea of seeing what the effects of it will be.
- 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.
- Mama Bear: Both Ambrose and Restac wish to protect their families. Given the circumstances, they nearly cause a war acting on this.
- 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 Mad Scientists.
- 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 Silurians 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.
- Screw This, I'm Out of Here!: Eldane plans to pump the city full of poison gas, killing anyone not in a hibernation pod. As soon as the announcement of this goes out over the city's PA system, Restac's loyal soldiers immediately about-face and march off to their pods, abandoning her.
- Sociopathic Soldier: Alaya and Restac.
- 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".
- Stun Guns: Ambrose hits Alaya with a taser repeatedly, trying to force her to get her son back. Alaya dies from the repeated attacks.
- Thanatos Gambit: Alaya goaded Ambrose into killing her, believing that her death would start the war she so wanted.
- They Killed Kenny Again: Death number two for Rory with a dose of Retgone thrown in for good measure.
- 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.