"Savage" was a term used to imply that the subject was more primitive or less civilised than the speaker. Sometimes the term was used neutrally or even warmly, and in other contexts, it had a pejorative edge.

On a planet visited by the First Doctor, the Elders dismissed those who lived outside the confines of their cities as savages to justify their medical exploitation of that group. (TV: The Savages)

On more than one occasion, the Fourth Doctor referred to Leela as a savage due to her primal behaviour. However, he employed the term with affection and melancholy — though she could not hear it — when he bade her farewell. (TV: The Face of Evil, The Invasion of Time; AUDIO: The Wrath of the Iceni, Requiem for the Rocket Men)

Rosanna Calvierri described Earth in 1580 as a world of savages. (TV: The Vampires of Venice)