The Doctor tries to get everyone to Rio, but nothing quite goes as planned. They arrive in a small Welsh village where the Doctor immediately senses that the ground isn’t quite right. There is a drilling rig nearby that has reached a depth of 21 kilometers when odd things begin to happen.
Okay, as you can see, I’ve combined this week’s two parter. Normally, I would talk about each part individually, since in this season, the two-parters do a pretty good job of functioning as complete episodes on their own. For cases such as this, there’s usually some big change of set or character motivation that separates the two halves.
This week, though, lacks that kind of development. On top of that, the episodes kind of suck. So, really, I just want to talk about these episodes for as little time as possible. They suck, and I hate them. Too harsh? Well, them’s the breaks.
There’s a lot of potential in these episodes and it’s almost completely wasted. Really, this two-parter functions as the complete opposite of the series 5’s first batch of double episodes, “The Time of Angels” and “Flesh and Stone.”
I have a feeling this is intentional, because even the way these titles are chosen and written out kind of mirrors those previous episodes. (But I’m sure the crappiness of the episodes isn’t at all intentional.)
You’ve got Rory (Arthur Darvill) trying to keep the peace between humans and the Native Earthlings, and then you’ve got The Doctor (Matt Smith) rescuing damsel-in-distress Amy (Karen Gillan) below the surface of Earth.
That’s basically what the entire two episodes are about. Yeah, yeah, there’s also some BS about how the two races need to work together, but the plot line is never used in an interesting or even believable way (you get the feeling that Amy and The Doctor’s new female scientist ally are just blankly going through the motions required for the situation, instead of actually feeling anything).
Everything goes to hell. The plot is resolved by resetting, which is probably the worst possible way for things to wrap up.
But you know what, now that I think about it, the reason for the rest might be thematic, since these episodes climax with Rory dying, and Amy forgetting he ever existed.
This moment is extremely important for Amy’s character growth, yet the arrival of the cracks is very random, and their appearance doesn’t fit in smoothly like their role in the Angel episodes.
That fact is a perfect capper to these two rather unfortunate episodes.