Doctor Who Logo 'The Hungry Earth'
(Story Code 5.08)

by Chris Chibnall
The Doctor, Amy and Rory

“We’re trapped, and something is burrowing up towards us.” - Nasreen Choudhly

2020: the tiny, remote hamlet of Cwmtaff in South Wales. Mine worker Mo Northolder waves goodbye to his wife Ambrose and son Elliot and cycles off to work at the nearby Discovery Drilling Project, which has just bored to an incredible depth of twenty-one kilometres, the furthest anyone has ever drilled into the Earth’s crust. After the project’s head, Nasreen Choudhly, and her associate, Mo’s father-in-law Tony Mack, have sent their team home for the night, Mo settles down for another quiet night shift; unfortunately, his peace is soon interrupted when the ground starts shuddering and all the CCTV cameras in the complex inexplicably cut out. Investigating the disturbance, Mo discovers the appearance of a curious, smoking hole in the floor of the storeroom – and when he looks closer, something grabs him and pulls him into the earth below… The next morning, the TARDIS materialises and an eager Doctor, Amy and Rory step outside; but instead of the beaches and carnival atmosphere of Rio, the three time travellers are disappointed to find they have arrived in a church graveyard. The Doctor is intrigued by the odd way the ground feels, and his interest is further piqued by the patches of strange, blue grass everywhere; meanwhile, Amy and Rory are surprised to see two people waving at them from a far off hill – even more so when the Doctor tells them that they are being hailed by their future selves. Distracted by a “big mining thing” in the distance, the Doctor rushes off for a look with Amy in tow; Rory stays behind, wanting to leave his fiancé’s expensive engagement ring in the safety of the TARDIS. On leaving the ship Rory meets Ambrose and Eliot, who mistake him for a member of the authorities; believing Rory has answered her call for help, Ambrose explains how her family plot has been disturbed and her aunt’s body stolen from its coffin – all evidence pointing to the fact it was taken from beneath the grave… Gaining access to the drilling complex, the Doctor and Amy meet Nasreen and Tony and learn from their project records that the ground is somehow shifting. At that moment the earth shakes violently and more holes appear: everyone rushes for safety, but Amy is grabbed by something below and pulled into one of the fissures. Desperately clinging onto his friend’s hand, the Doctor orders Nasreen and Tony to turn off the drilling – but they are too late, and even though the drill shuts down, Amy is dragged beneath the soil. Speculating as to why the ground fought back against the drilling, the Doctor uses his sonic screwdriver and learns that the earth was bio-programmed to attack them. After Nasreen and Tony explain that they chose the village because the blue grass contained trace minerals from twenty million years ago, the Doctor notices something else: even though the drill has stopped, they can still hear drilling – something is coming up towards them... With the sensors showing three life forms rapidly approaching through the network of tunnels below the village, the Doctor hurries Nasreen and Tony outside; but as the trio race from the complex the sky overhead glows red: an energy barrier has sealed off the entire village. Reunited with Rory, the Doctor leads him, Nasreen, Tony, Ambrose and Elliot to the safety of the nearby church; with less than nine minutes until the attack, the Doctor instructs everyone to set up a line of defence using every item of sensor equipment to cover the area. Then the barrier goes black, plunging everything inside into darkness. When the scanners show the three signals have reached the surface the Doctor attempts to get a fix on their location – but then something cuts the power supply, causing the equipment to explode. Just then Ambrose realises her son is missing: to her horror, the Doctor tells her the boy went home to get his headphones – and outside, Elliot becomes the next victim to be taken by the mysterious attackers. When Ambrose goes to look for her son she is assaulted by a humanoid reptile; Tony intervenes, but the creature stings him with its prehensile tongue before slipping away into the darkness. Donning a pair of thermal-imaging sunglasses, the Doctor sets off into the gloom to track their attackers; seeing that one of the creatures is cold-blooded, the Time Lord realises that he knows their identity, and with the aid of Rory and a CO2 fire extinguisher, he manages to trap one of the creatures inside Ambrose’s refrigerated ‘Meals on Wheels’ van. Then the barrier drops and the sun returns: now that both sides have hostages, their attackers have withdrawn… Elsewhere, Amy comes to inside a translucent coffin; as a reptilian figure appears beyond the glass, Amy is gassed back into unconsciousness... Back at the church, the Doctor tells Rory he has met their attackers before, although this time they are a different ‘branch’ of species to the creatures he met previously. Descending into the crypt when their prisoner is chained to a wall, the Doctor removes the creature’s mask to reveal a female member of Homo Reptilia – Earth reptiles colloquially known as ‘Silurians’, or more accurately, ‘Eocenes’. Commending the Silurian, Alaya, on her peoples’ use of geothermal currents to project themselves up the network of tunnels, the Doctor demands the return of Amy and the other abductees; but Alaya refuses to listen: having been awoken from their three hundred million year hibernation by the drilling, she and her people want to reclaim their world from the ape vermin now infesting it. Wishing to avoid bloodshed, the Doctor decides to negotiate a peaceful settlement with the Silurians. With Nasreen bullying her way into accompanying him, the Doctor enters the TARDIS and begins setting the controls – but the ship is hijacked and pulled down through the tunnels at incredible speed. When the TARDIS finally comes to a halt, the Doctor and Nasreen find themselves in an underground cavern deep below the surface of the Earth. Elsewhere, Amy awakes again to find herself strapped to an upright gurney next to Mo, who explains that their captors are using them for dissection – as the awful scar on his chest attests; to Amy’s horror, a Silurian doctor advances on her, a wicked-looking surgical instrument in its grasp… Back in the tunnels, the Doctor and Nasreen make a shocking discovery: they are not facing a small tribe of Earth reptiles – the massive city situated under the earth contains an entire civilisation of Silurians…

Matt Smith (The Doctor), Karen Gillan (Amy Pond), Arthur Darvill (Rory Williams), Neve McIntosh (Alaya), Meera Syal (Nasreen Choudhly), Robert Pugh (Tony Mack), Nia Roberts (Ambrose Northolder), Alun Raglan (Mo Northolder), Samuel Davies (Elliot Northolder)

Directed by Ashley Way
Produced by Peter Bennett
Executive Producers Steven Moffat, Piers Wenger and Beth Willis
A BBC Wales production

TX (BBC 1 & BBC HD):
22nd May 2010 @ 6.15 pm

*Featuring the Eleventh Doctor, Amy and Rory

*Part one of a two part story

*Working titles: 'Unearthed' and 'The Ground Beneath Their Feet'