I've decided that this is an odd little episode because of the parallels between Hungry Earth and Amy's Choice: In AC, they think they're dreaming of their future selves. In HE, they (supposedly), see their future selves. In AC, the Doctor dumps a lot of young people into a church. In HE, everybody takes refuge in a church. (And that's not even counting the other parallel in AC -- the one where the Doctor climbs through a window to help Amy and Rory like he did in the first episode.)
It'll be interesting to see where this goes. If they are just weird little coincidences that's okay -- I don't think it means the writing is shabby or anything like that. I just think it'd be totally cool if the similarities are related to each other somehow. I probably wouldn't even have noticed it if I hadn't watched the episodes right after another.
I admit, when I first heard the title of this episode, I thought for sure that it would be an environmentally themed one, something like: you push mother earth, she'll shove back, so I was pleasantly surprised in the direction the episode took. Anyway, I don't really like talking about two parters too much, so I think I'll only talk about what I thought was the most meaningful part of the episode - when the Doctor figures out who the...well, who the other people are.
So Eliot says,
Is it monster's comin? Have you met monsters before?
Eliot: You scared of them?
Doctor: No, they're scared of me.
And of course, this could be considered a bit of foreshadowing - but it's not really. The homo-reptilians aren't monsters -- they're just people.
When the Doctor sees Alaya's face he says, "You are beautiful."
Of course, this is in stark contrast to Alaya's view of homo-sapiens, whom she sees as "apes" or "vermin" -- essentially depersonifying those who are different than her.
The Doctor calls her on it too:
Doctor: Do we have to say vermin? They're really very nice.
I think sometimes people forget that, despite all the bad and the faults, people -- the universe, really -- is a beautiful place. It's better to be comprehensive instead of narrow-minded - it keeps things more complex, more objective. It's easier to empathize with people when you realize and understand the similarities that tie people together:
Doctor: They're not aliens! They're Earth...lians. Not monsters, not evil -- only as evil as you are.
And yet, still beautiful (it tickles the humanist inside me). Maybe our flaws make us beautiful, or rather, overcoming our flaws...
And then he continues,
While I'm gone, you four people in this church, in this planet earth, you have to be the best of humanity. No dissecting, no examining. We can land this together. If you are the best you can be. You are decent, brilliant people. Nobody dies today. Understand?
(I love how Nasreen does her little clap at the end of his speech) -- This speech just makes me happy on the inside. It's noble and hugely optimistic and the next time I hear about people committing a horrible atrocity I'll probably have a hard time believing it - but I don't think that should lessen the sentiment, or impede other people from truly attempting to be the best of all they can be.
(Other) Remarkable Moments
Amy: Doctor, it's a graveyard! You promised me a beach.
I don't know what Amy's thinking, but I'd rather a graveyard over a beach any day.
Doctor: The ground's attacking us! Under the circumstances, I'd suggest -- RUN!
It's really quite a terrifying notion - ground attacking people, that is. I mean, it's not like you could ever run out of ground or climb away from it or hide from it...
Rory: Can't you sonic it?
Doctor: It doesn't do wood.
Rory: That is rubbish.
Doctor: Oy don't diss the sonic!
Hee. Rory <3
Doctor: [when Nasreen insists on accompanying the Doctor] It'll be dangerous.
Nasreen: Eh, so is crossing the road.
Which officially makes her awesome.
The sunglasses are awesome too.