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The hibernation unit, (TV: Doctor Who and the Silurians, The Sea Devils) also referred to as the hibernation chamber, (AUDIO: Bloodtide) with the force that kept the Silurians in suspended animation being called the hibernation matrix, (TV: The Blood Line) was an item of Silurian (TV: Doctor Who and the Silurians) and Sea Devil (TV: The Sea Devils) technology which allowed them to enter into a state of hibernation in order to survive harsh conditions and the centuries. They resembled coffin-shaped blocks in which a Silurian resided. (TV: Doctor Who and the Silurians)
They built the hibernation units during their rule of the planet Earth when their scientists first detected a small planet, (TV: Doctor Who and the Silurians) which some scientists, such as Dr Wolik, calculated would draw off the atmosphere when it passed very close to Earth, (PROSE: Doctor Who and the Cave-Monsters, COMIC: Twilight of the Silurians) destroying "all life". (TV: Doctor Who and the Silurians) The Fifth Doctor recalled that the Silurian astronomers predicted that Earth was about to be "struck" by the planet at the time, (PROSE: Warriors of the Deep) while the Eleventh Doctor described the trajectory of the planet the astronomers had predicted as a "crash course". (TV: Cold Blood) It was decided that the Silurian race (TV: Doctor Who and the Silurians) along with a male and a female of all the more useful reptile animals, (PROSE: Doctor Who and the Cave-Monsters) would go into hibernation until the atmosphere returned. (TV: Doctor Who and the Silurians) At the top of each Silurian shelter was a device which automatically triggered a masssive burst of electricity to wake up the Silurians once the atmosphere returned. (PROSE: Doctor Who and the Cave-Monsters) The catastrophe as calculated never happened, and the atmosphere was never drawn from Earth. The planetoid was instead captured by Earth's gravity, becoming the Moon, and the Silurians remained asleep for millions of years, until human activity woke their shelters up. (TV: Doctor Who and the Silurians) During millions of years of hibernation, the reactivation machinery of the Silurians and Sea Devils' hibernation units deteriorated. (TV: The Sea Devils)
The criminal Tulok, after being exiled by his people for genetic crimes, wreaked his revenge on his race by sabotaging the hibernation chambers which destroyed several settlements except for a dozen or so. They made use of hydrogen fusion reactors as a power source. (AUDIO: Bloodtide)