I just watched it on BBC3 and it simply wasn't anywhere close to as bad as it's been dressed up to be. Yes there are problems with it but mostly in the design and somewhat flat direction, the script is actually quite good.
The moral themes underlining the story are well done, there is simply no way the episode can ever deliver on these ideas but it can & did do a credible job raising them, it's more realistic to say it is one of those occasions where the 45 minute format is a hinderance rather than blame the writer - he's just working within his alloted screentime.
There's a lot to like here with superb set design and the bare bones of an intriguing society, what undermines the potency is definitly the too human Silurians. Ironically while they historically may have been 'men in rubber suits'
here they are just 'men in latex masks'
... Too obviously human actors with all too human tics, eyes and worst of all teeth
Theere is almost no sense of deep contrast here between humans and aliens as there was in the original Silurian stories but worst of all these Silurians are too generically sci-fi aliens you see churned out in American sc-fi. It could have almost been an episonde of star trek.
Still, the moral core of the story is what drives it and it actually works for the most part, Ambroses actions are indefensible but the fact she actually gets away with what she did by storys end is not a travesty in my view, it actually reinforces the unfairness of the world as the original series often did - not everything ends up how it ideally 'should' in life and while a lot of Cold Blood
was very PC this was a neat twist that subverts that idealism.
As noted above there is a rather complex society glimpsed in the Silurian city, time and script necessity preclude any deeper exploration i accept that but we could still have done with a bit more elaboration on their political hierarchy to make what the Military guild did more understandable and less forced. The Warmongers seemed much too prevailant and accepted in their society, one wonders why Alaya & Restac were so predisposed for instigating a war when their society was actually very ill prepared to sustain one....
I think the ending was a good one even though, again, the Silurians are waaaayy too quick to accept Hibernation again. The scenes with Nasreen & Tony choosing to stay with the Silurians was a nice one and rang true, if this story doesn't have a direct sequel it will be no shame to be left pondering their fate as and when they wake up a thousand years hence.
Good story, I'd rate it very very well indeed as I think it is one of those that will actually stand up to a good deal of rewatching in the future, I do think it a shame however that it is made to link so heavily to the Umbarella arc instead of standing on its own merits, the time-crack stuff is becoming seriously annoying as it is too heavily handed and unsubtle. It sends the message that THAT is the real story and all this other stuff inbetween is just salad dressing. Season Arcs are okay by me but not when they are walking all over the stories inbetween as heavily as this...