Doctor Who: Alaya & Restac

Doctor Who: ‘The Hungry Earth’ & ‘Cold Blood’

The Silurians are a species of Earth reptile. Technologically advanced, they developed during the Silurian era. At some point in Earth’s history, the Silurians were the rulers of the planet and used their aquatic cousins,the Sea Devils, as soldiers. In this era, the Silurians co-existed in groups of clans that lived alongside the original ape primitives that were developing on their planet. These hominids became the primary livestock of the Silurians. In order to improve their flavour a Silurian scientist began to genetically engineer the apes; this had the unfortunate – for the Silurians – side-effect of increasing their intelligence.

In the fifth season episodes ‘The Hungry Earth’ and ‘Cold Blood’, the Doctor tries to get everyone to Rio but, as usual, nothing quite goes as planned. Arriving in a small Welsh village where, after a nearby drilling rig has reached a depth of twenty-one kilometers, odd things have begun to happen: a local village man has disappeared and Amy is swallowed into the ground. When Alaya (Neve McIntosh) is captured the Doctor realises that the drilling has disturbed the Silurians.

The Doctor goes underground to negotiate with the Silurians but their military commander, Restac (Neve McIntosh), is convinced that they are spies for an invading force. Calmer heads prevail and the Doctor manages to negotiate a truce pending the transfer of prisoners. But when she discovers that her twin, Alaya, has been killed Restac is ready to go to war.

The Silurians are a species of Earth reptile. Technologically advanced, they lived during the Silurian era alongside the Sea Devils. At some point in Earth’s history, the Silurians were the rulers of the planet and used their aquatic cousins,the Sea Devils, as soldiers. In this era, the Silurians co-existed in groups of clans that lived alongside the original ape primitives that were developing on their planet. These hominids became the primary livestock of the Silurians. In order to improve their flavour a Silurian scientist began to genetically engineer the apes; this had the unfortunate – for the Silurians – side-effect of increasing their intelligence.

Neve McIntosh returned in the sixth season to play another, Silurian, Madame Vastra, in ‘A Good Man Goes to War’.

The makeup

Barbara Southcott was the makeup designer; Pam Mullins was the makeup supervisor; Neill Gorton’s MillenniumFX was responsible for the prosthetics and special makeup design.

Neve McIntosh said about the experience:

The whole process amazing and very different because my face covered by the makeup. But they didn’t touch my eyes so anyone who knows me well might still realise it’s me.
I had never worn prosthetics like that before so it was the first time I to sit in the makeup chair for hours on end. Sometimes I’d get an itch and, course, I couldn’t scratch it.
Even after the makeup been carefully stripped away, you can spend the rest of the night picking bits of glue and rubber from your nose and ears.
That [playing both Alaya & Rastac] was a brilliant challenge but this was the type of job that made me want to become an actress in the first place. I get to have great makeup, funky costumes and run around pointing ray guns at people. It’s just like being a kid again.