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Doctor Who and the Silurians (TV story)

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Doctor Who and the Silurians
Silurian and the Doctor
Novelised as: Doctor Who and the Cave-Monsters
Doctor: Third Doctor
Companion(s): Liz
Featuring: The Brigadier
Main enemy: Morka, K'to, John Quinn
Main setting: Wenley Moor nuclear research facility
Key crew
Writer: Malcolm Hulke
Director: Timothy Combe
Producer: Barry Letts
Release details
Story number: 52
Number of episodes: 7
Season/series: Season 7
Premiere broadcast: 31 January - 14 March 1970
Premiere network: BBC1
Format: 7x25-minute episodes
Production code: BBB
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Spearhead from Space The Ambassadors of Death
Memorable moment
A Home for the Silurians - Doctor Who - The Silurians - BBC03:29

A Home for the Silurians - Doctor Who - The Silurians - BBC

Another memorable moment
The Silurian Plague Hits London - Doctor Who - The Silurians - BBC02:17

The Silurian Plague Hits London - Doctor Who - The Silurians - BBC

Doctor Who and the Silurians was the second story in season seven of Doctor Who. It introduced several important recurring elements to the programme, including Bessie, the Silurians and, behind the scenes, colour videotape recording and colour separation overlay. The story is technically "missing" because those videotape masters were wiped. However, it is still viewable today because it was recorded to several different other formats.

Casting was notable for the first appearance of recurring Doctor Who guest actors Peter Miles, Paul Darrow and Geoffrey Palmer, as well as noted actor Fulton Mackay's lone turn on the programme. Silurians also had an unusual number of crew cameos, with Terrance Dicks, Barry Letts and, most prominently, Trevor Ray showing up at the Marylebone station scene. (DWM 222)

Due to a miscommunication with the graphics department who created the credits sequences, it was the only Doctor Who television story to have "Doctor Who" in the title. As such, it is often referred to simply as The Silurians, its originally intended broadcast title.

Synopsis Edit

At Wenley Moor nuclear research facility, they're experiencing technical difficulties. The source is something old, the former rulers of the Earth, and they have awoken.

Plot Edit

Episode one Edit

Two potholers, Davis and Spencer, make their way down a metal rope ladder into a cave with a remarkable amount of stalactites. They are delighted at the sight of its majesty, but a loud roar spooks both of the men and incites them to find out where it came from. As they continue down a tunnel, another roar bellows from the distance. When Davis, rounds a corner, he is met with the hostile face of a reptilian creature. Davis is mauled to death. Spencer dashes over to find the body. He sees the creatures and runs away screaming.

In a UNIT garage, the Doctor is merrily working to restore a bright yellow vintage car, which he had been given at his request, humming the first lines of Jabberwocky. A license plate emblazoned "WHO 1" lays in front of him as he sits beneath the car's undercarriage fixing its parts. Liz enters the room and calls for him. The Doctor doesn't hear her, and continues to tinker away at his vehicle, which he has affectionately nicknamed "Bessie", telling it to cooperate when it becomes a hassle to repair its chassis. Liz approaches the Doctor directly and gets him to emerge from underneath Bessie. She is sceptical to think he can get it running, but the Doctor is quick to defend his car, stating it has great character and he was very lucky to get it. The Doctor plans to take it for a test drive, though he seems to have left out a metal hoop, which he looks at with confusion. Unable to recognise the part, he tosses it aside. Liz informs the Doctor the Brigadier has an urgent message for the two of them while he's away investigating scientists. They are to go to Wenley Moor forthwith to attend a meeting. Seeing it as beneath him to comply, the Doctor claims he's too busy, and goes back to work on Bessie. However, Liz tries to make it sound like less of an order by noting that Wenley Moor is famous for its caves. Eager to give Bessie a trial run, he submits. The Doctor kisses his hand and plants it on Bessie's radiator. Her engine starts and the car rumbles to life.

At the Moor, the director, Charles Lawrence, is speaking about the issues regarding their facilities. He resents UNIT's presence and feels it will interfere with the working of the plant. A UNIT soldier enters and notifies Lethbridge-Stewart that the Doctor and Liz Shaw have arrived and he leaves to meet them. The Doctor isn't pleased to be called in for a simple meeting, but follows the Brigadier and Liz back to the conference room with the hope it was important. Shortly after the trio enters to the conference room, Lawrence concludes the meeting. The Brigadier introduces his colleagues to Lawrence, Doctor Quinn, his number two, and Major Baker, station security officer. The group tells the trio they are at an experimental nuclear power for research centre for a cyclotron; a proton accelerator. They are trying a new process to convert nuclear energy directly into electric power. It is experiencing mysterious power drains and a high incidence of mental breakdowns, absenteeism, and accidents. This has stagnated their research program and Lawrence refuses to let it continue. UNIT have been called in to investigate. Brigadier orders Baker to triple check security arrangements, puts Liz in charge of investigating the issues with the personnel and the Doctor is given charge of the scientific troubles. The Brigadier establishes the conference room as his working HQ so Lawrence will not complain that UNIT is interfering with the operation of the centre. After everyone but Baker and the Brigadier have left the room, Baker confides to him that he believes there is a saboteur from the inside.

Quinn shows the Doctor and Liz the heart of the cyclotron. The Doctor is bemused to learn it is still being tested while power failures are happening. If one occurred at a critical time, when the machine was in use, it could incite a massive atomic explosion equal to a nuclear bomb. Quinn replies it is up to Lawrence to shut down the cyclotron, whom the Doctor knows is being too stubborn to halt the research. Suddenly, Liz becomes dizzy and grips her forehead. The Doctor sees Liz in pain and voices concern. She says she is okay, then departs to examine her reports of personnel. Quinn assumes his duties at a booth while the Doctor commends the scientists for constructing an underground accelerator. Quinn expresses his like of potholing to the Doctor because the caves intrigue him, but he isn't so keen anymore as recently, one of the workers at the centre was killed while exploring the caves with a companion on their day off. He says they have brought in Doctor Meredith from a local hospital to treat the survivor, Spencer, who is still in sick bay. Quinn feels the status of his condition and what happened to him are being covered up. The Doctor grows suspicious. He asks if the power losses follow a pattern. When Quinn says the scientists think of them as random, the Doctor requests to look at the reports. Quinn hands over the log showing the power losses, and the Doctor notices the log is incomplete. Quinn summons Miss Dawson and asks who was responsible for maintaining the log. She states it was Spencer, the same man who has been kept in sick bay, leaving no one to update it. Despite this explanation, the Doctor finds it more complicated than the log falling out of date- he's discovered some pages have been torn out entirely. Quinn and Dawson exchange troubled looks.

Madness of art

A maddened Spencer draws humanoid reptiles and other prehistoric creatures.

In the medical wing, Liz speaks to Doctor Meredith about the recent outbreak of mentally-affected patients. He does not understand why UNIT have been called in. They are soon joined by the Doctor, who wishes to see Spencer, but Meredith won't allow it; Spencer is due to be moved to the local hospital and the Doctor has no authority to warrant a visit. The Doctor briskly asserts his power as an associate of UNIT. Meredith concedes, but warns him the visit is at his own risk.

The group enters the sick bay to find Spencer scribbling with a marker on the walls. A member of the medical staff is supervising him, who walks out to allow Meredith to take over. Spencer has emerged from a coma and has previously tried to throttle Meredith. He's left Spencer to mark up the room's walls, since it's all that keeps him quiet. The Doctor approaches him to see if he can communicate as Liz warns him to be careful. He tries to speak to Spencer, but the man jumps and panics, immediately wresting his hands around the Doctor's throat and forcing him down onto a cot. Liz and Meredith rush to subdue him, but the Doctor tells them to stop and pries Spencer's hands loose and quells his violent reaction. Spencer resumes his scribbling while the Doctor nurses his neck. He remarks that a great fear has caused his mind to regress millions of years.

Off in a corner of the cyclotron testing room, Quinn argues with Miss Dawson when she protests that they should stop "them" from taking the power. Dawson pleads with Quinn to order "them" to stop. He says he has already tried and they have refused to listen. She implores him to tell Baker or the Brigadier, but he refuses. When she warns him of the risk he states that the promise of potential knowledge gain has outweighed the risk.

The Brigadier and Baker discuss UNIT's security clearance while the Brigadier checks the security reports. Baker says he has no central intelligence records of the Doctor, but Lethbridge-Stewart states the Doctor as his responsibility. The Doctor returns to the conference room and Lethbridge-Stewart excuses Baker, giving him a chance to warn the Doctor he's trying to run a security check.

Lawrence checks on Quinn before the next test. Quinn states that all is normal. Quinn asks to run some supplementary tests but Lawrence blocks it as they are already behind schedule. The experiment begins. One of the scientists, Roberts, seems in a daze.

The Doctor has explained his discoveries to the Brigadier, but the Brigadier is sceptical of any link. They are interrupted by a power failure.

The Doctor charges into the cyclotron testing chamber and learns it undergoing a dangerous fluctuation in power. As the operators attempt to stabilise the nuclear reactions, they shut down two sectors. Roberts is due to close down the third sector but suddenly he goes completely still. Dawson tries to get his attention, but he attacks her. The Doctor and the Brigadier grab hold of him and rescue Dawson, the Brigadier knocking Roberts out. The Doctor manages to stabilise sector three.

The Doctor returns to Liz to check the medical patients' records. There has been a startling outbreak of neuroses in the cyclotron room, where she previously felt ill. She describes how she felt as oppression and horror. The Doctor thinks it doesn't have anything to do with the cyclotron itself, but the caves. That room is deepest and closest to the cave systems. He also believes the sickness affects only some people. The two look at the reports of Davis's death. His death was caused by a fracture to his cranium but unusual abrasions were found on his side that resembled scratches or claw marks.

Now changed into suitable clothes for exploration, the Doctor makes his way into the caves, where he hears a loud roar and goes to investigate. He finds a cave hammer and a rope abandoned from the last expedition. He hears the roar again, only closer, and draws nearer to the sound until he is in the same place as the original attack. He almost leaves, but hears the roar directly behind him. He turns to see a dinosaur, and it instantly bears down on him.

Episode two Edit

A beeping sound calls the creature off. The Doctor pursues the creature and finds a huge footprint embedded in the mud.

Liz has told the Brigadier about where the Doctor is. The Brigadier is angry that he has put himself into danger and that Liz let him. Baker has organised a search party, and comes in with climbing equipment. The Brigadier apologises to Baker, but is cut off when the Doctor enters.

Lawrence is questioning Quinn as to why the power supply is still failing. Lawrence tells Quinn of the Doctor's disappearance in the caves. Quinn seems worried until he is told that he has been found and no search party will be deployed.

The Brigadier does not believe the Doctor has seen a dinosaur. Baker speculates that whoever has been draining the power may have mocked something up to scare people away. It is decided that they will all go and explore. The Doctor is bemused when the Brigadier and Baker talk about how to arm themselves.

The Doctor leads the way in the cave system. He seems confused when the footprint in the mud has gone. They hear a rumbling and Baker runs off with the UNIT officer Captain Hawkins and two troops in pursuit. Baker sees a figure further down in the cave system. The figure raises it's hand, but Baker shoots above the figure's head but the bullet ricochets down and strikes it. The dinosaur them appears and attacks Baker. Hearing the screams the rest of the party run to his aid, and find Barker conscious but confused. Hawkins finds blood on the floor. Hawkins, the Brigadier and most of the other soldiers decide to follow ita, leaving the Doctor and Morton to carry Baker back. The Doctor takes a sample of the blood, plannng to take it to HQ for testing.

A wounded creature emerges into the moorland.

It begins

A Silurian comes above ground, the first in thousands of years.

The Doctor has discovered that the blood sample has many similarities with the blood of reptiles. The Brigadier enters and says he has lost tracking the creature, and plans to summon more men and continue the search the following day. The Doctor lies and says that results on the blood have proved inconclusive. The Brigadier tells everyone that Baker is alright and has minor concussion. The Doctor wonders why the creature killed it's first victim but was called off from himself and Baker. The Doctor theorises that their are two types of creature: one large and ferocious, the other small, more intelligent and less hostile.

The wounded creature stumbles into a barn.

Lawrence is furious with Miss Dawson when she tells him that Quinn has disappeared. Lawrence accuses him of being more interested in the book that he is writing than the project. The Doctor enters and is keen to question Quinn too.

Quinn is in the cave system. He reaches a certain point and a door in the cave opens for him. He is led, in a trance, to a console. When he comes to his senses he warns the creature he is talking to through a computer system of the UNIT soldiers. He is told that it is too late and that one of their men have injured one of their kind. Quinn says that the UNIT soldiers will withdraw if they stop taking the power. The creature refuses. The creature says Quinn must get their injured number backa, but Quinn refuses. He is told that they will not share their scientific secrets with him unless he does. He relents. He is given a summoning device, put back in a trance and sent off.

The next morning a farmer named Squire discovers the creature in his barn. He calls for his wife, Doris, to call the police. The creature wakes up and attacks the farmer. Doris sees the creature and screams.

The UNIT soldiers have arrived and are to start to search for the creature in the moors. Lawrence enters and coldly tells the Brigadier that his men are not helping at all. The Doctor enters and says that he has investigated all the machinery and there is nothing wrong. The power is being affected by an outside agent. The Doctor recommends the closing of the base. Lawrence refuses and says he is going to go over the Brigadiers head to get him to leave the site. Lawrence leaves and the Brigadier gets a phone call informing him of Squire's death. The police have noticed claw marks on his body.

Later the Doctor, the Brigadier and Liz are investigating the farmer's body. He suspects that the farmer cornered the creature causing it to attack. He observes that the claw marks are smaller than the ones on Baker. They are also not the main cause of death. Squire died of heart failure.....of fear. The Doctor and the Brigadier are to go and interview Doris Squire, who has been hospitalised with shock whilst Liz is to stay and carry out some forensic tests.

Doris is beside herself with shock. The Doctor draws a picture of a creature and shows it to Doris. Doris states this is what killed her husband, and the Doctor asks where the creature is. She responds "In the barn." The Doctor and the Brigadier realise the creature is still there.

Liz is doing her tests whilst the creature approaches her. She turns to see the creature just as it claws her across her face.

Episode three Edit

The creature attempts to leave, but is blocked by a policeman and turns back.

Dawson comes to Quinn's cottage. Quinn is frantically looking for the tracker given to him in the caves. He tells Dawson about the wounded creature and Dawson tells him about the UNIT soldiers rushing off to the farm. Quinn thinks the creature must be there and heads off.

The Brigadier, the Doctor and the UNIT soldiers manage to break into the barn and find Liz unconscious. Hawkins and another soldier search the top floor, and almsot shoot a chicken. Hawkins says there's no trace of the creature, except that the door was bolted from the inside. Liz starts to regain consciousness, Hawkins finds a back door which the creature must have escaped through. The Brigadier orders a full search around the barn. The Doctor asks Liz what the creature looked like, and she says it was a reptile that walked upright. Quinn arrives in the barn. He says he was just passing and saw all the fuss. He tries to question Liz as to what the creature looked like but the Doctor doesn't allow her to tell him. Quinn stops by, but seeing there are too many people around, tries to slope off. However, the Brigadier asks for his help with local landmarks.

The UNIT soldiers have started their full search using dogs and helicopters.

Quinn offers his help and then leaves. The Doctor asks him if he could give Liz a lift back to the headquarters. Quinn changes his story and says he needs to head into town to the garage first. Once he has left Liz points out that the barn isn't on Quinn's way from the cottage to the headquarters- so why was he passing?

Quinn pulls up in the middle of the moors and switches on the tracker. The search dogs in the area go crazy. A helicopter passes at low altitude. Quinn hides the tracker and gets back in the car.

The Doctor and the Brigadier join the search. Hawkins receives reports from the helicopter that it's seen a man in the same place as a strange noise was detected. The Doctor and the Brigadier head off in Bessie to explore.

Quinn has moved on and turns the tracker back on. The beeping builds up rapidly. The creature is approaching Quinn rapidly from behind.

All of a sudden the noise stops. The Doctor and the Brigadier have reached the area where it was emanating from. They find the tracks of a reptilian biped and car tracks. The Brigadier focuses his search to this area.

Back at headquarters, Baker has gained consciousness and is eager to join back up with UNIT, but Liz says he is not well enough yet. He remembers everything that happened in the cave up until the moment he was attacked. He is insistent he wants to join back up but Liz refuses. As soon as she leaves, he begins to dress himself.

The doorbell at Quinn's cottage rings. It is the Doctor. He questions why Quinn is neither at the garage nor at the centre. Quinn tires to pacify him and send him on his way but the Doctor forces his way in. He notes how warm it is in the cottage. Quinn says the thermostat is broken. The Doctor comments on it being like the reptile house at the zoo. This rattles Quinn who asks the Doctor to leave. The Doctor tells Quinn to let him help but Quinn just shows him out.

Liz and the Doctor are in Quinn's office and are looking through Quinn's files. The Doctor opens a locked cabinet and finds a strange ball and some notes. Liz inspects the ball and sees it is some kind of globe. The Doctor inspects it and says it is a representation of the world before the Great Continental Drift, two hundred million years ago. He has also deduced that the notes are calculations to do with the age of the Earth during it's Silurian period. Dawson interrupts them. The Doctor reveals his suspicions to her and implores her to tell him what she knows. She is about to tell all when they are interrupted by the Brigadier. Dawson apologises to the Doctor and leaves. The Brigadier asks the Doctor about Dawson, but the Doctor just says "never mind".

Quinn's doorbell rings insistently. He leaves it, and whoever it in lets themselves in. It is Dawson. She tells of the Doctor and the fact he knows more than they thought he did. She implores him to tell someone. He refuses saying the Doctor will want to steal the scientific discoveries that he will gain. She gets cross and says he hasn't gained any scientific knowledge. He confides he has one of the creature locked up and isn't going to return it until it gives him the knowledge he requires.

In a meeting at the centre, the Doctor confirms that the interference affecting the power is coming from the caves. Baker enters and demands they move in the caves in force. The Doctor disagrees. The Brigadier orders Hawkins to take Baker back to the infirmary. Lawrence is peeved that the Brigadier is "arresting" his staff. The Brigadier says he agrees with Baker and that they should use force in the caves, but Lawrence says he has very little time to take action on this as he has sent for the Permanent Under Secretary, Masters, who is coming to inspect UNIT's operation and potentially call the Brigadier back. The Brigadier pursues Lawrence, arguing. The Doctor heads off to Quinn's cottage to convince him to trust him.

Quinn's doorbell again goes unanswered. The Doctor lets himself in and looks round. He finds Quinn unmoving on a chair with the tracker in his hand. The Doctor inpects Quinn, who he realises is dead. He examines the tracker, and turns it on. A reptilian humanoid enters the room and confronts the Doctor.

Close the door behind you

The Doctor finds Quinn dead, but the murderer isn't far away.

Episode four Edit

The Doctor offers the creature his hand. He asks if it is a Silurian. It nods in agreement. He asks what help he can offer it and how many of his species are in the cave system. The Silurian hears an approaching car and runs.

Baker is examining a map on his hospital bed. He hides it away when his guard, Sergeant Hart, turns to look at him. Baker calls Hart in and asks him for help taking off his jacket. As he does he knocks Hart out and runs.

The Brigadier is furious with Hart. Hart asks if he wants the Brigadier to summon up a search party. The Brigadier declines saying that he suspects to find Baker in the caves - they will find him when he and the UNIT soldiers enter.

Baker is, indeed, in the caves. As he explores he gets trapped in some water that begins to froth. Two Silurians approach. Baker fires at them until he has run out of bullets. The Silurians produce a noise that immobilises him.

Liz tries to dissuade the Brigadier from military action. The Doctor enters and reaffirms Liz's point - he says that the establishment should be closed down and a scientific investigation should go ahead in lieu of an invasion. When left alone, the Doctor tells Liz that Quinn is dead. When asked why he didn't tell the Brigadier, the Doctor explains it would have further provoked him into military action when he believes that the Silurians only attack when cornered. The Doctor says he is to go to the caves to talk to them. Liz insists she comes too. The Doctor shows Liz a map he found in Quinn's office that has a route written out on it.

Into the base

Liz and the Doctor enter the Silurian base.

The Doctor and Liz follow the route. Liz points out a more direct route they could take. As they go off to follow it, the Doctor discovers bullet cartridges and Baker's pass. He throws a rock into the puddle before them which begins to froth. They decide to stick to Quinn's route. As they walk Liz expresses concern as to how hot it is. Soon enough they discover a doorway. They hear a Silurian approaching and hide. The Silurian comes to the door and emits a beeping noise which causes it to open. The Doctor and Liz inspect the door. Liz finds that it is boiling hot. The Doctor tires the scanner that he took from Quinn. It opens the door. They sneak in and find a group of Silurians working at a workstation. As they explore they find Baker in a cage. Baker asks if they have brought the army with them, but the Doctor says he hasn't. Baker says it is an electric lock and he cannot escape, and tells them that he hasn't been harmed and that they have just been questioning him regarding the population of the Earth, weaponry and food. The Doctor tells Baker to cooperate with them for the time being, but a humming noise draws the attention of the Doctor and Liz. They observe some kind of apparatus that is reviving a Silurian from deep hibernation, and the Doctor wonders if this explains the power losses. Baker implores them to run. They agree promising to return. As they leave the way they came they are met by three Silurians, but manage to sneak away unseen. As they try a different corridor they come across the dinosaur that attacked the Doctor in a cage.

There is a further issue with the cyclotron. A technician named Travis is having to deal with it in lieu of any of the other staff. Lawrence enters and enquires as to the whereabouts of Quinn and Dawson, but Travis is no reply from either of them. The Permanent Undersecretary, Masters, arrives. Lawrence shows him through to the conference room. Masters questions the usefulness of the cyclotron and whether it is living up to the hopes that Lawrence had for it. Lawrence shifts the pressure towards UNIT - highlighting the Doctor's theory about monsters. Lawrence implores Masters to withdraw the Brigadier and UNIT - but he refuses. The Doctor enters and interrupts Lawrence criticising UNIT. He asks if there has been a power surge recently. The Brigadier enters and asks Masters when he is getting his reinforcements. He tells him that he will not be getting any as he cannot justify such manpower with no proof. The Doctor says there is no need for reinforcements as he knows what is going on. Everyone concerned asks him to share his knowledge.

Two Silurians are questioning Baker. They ask if humans are the only intelligent species and whether all people carry the projectile weapons that he had. Baker refuses to discuss anything regarding weaponry. The younger Silurian threatens him but the older one stops him. The two Silurians argue. The younger one wants to kill Baker and any humans that they find, but the older one wants to study them.

After the Doctor has told everything he knows he is met with disbelief from Lawrence. The Brigadier asks if he has any idea of their weaponry and number. The Doctor questions Masters as to whether this is a giver meant matter so as to stop any rash actions by the Brigadier. He replies that, as yet, there is no proof. The Doctor argues that they shouldn't fight and that he is willing to go as an ambassador to discuss with them. Dawson enters and tells everyone that Quinn is dead and admits he knew about the creatures and was keeping one prisoner. The Brigadier says this is proof that the creatures are hostile. Masters agrees and they decide to move in first thing in the morning. Once left alone, the Doctor tells Liz he is going to sneak into the caves and warn the Silurians. Liz asks him to be safe.

The Doctor enters a packed room of Silurians in an attempt to warn them. They do not allow him to talk and drag him to a cage near Baker. Once in the cage they ask him why he is there. He says he is there to warn them. Baker tries to stop him. The Doctor tells the Silurians everything and implores them to meet any humans in peace. The Silurians suggest they will not - they say the planet belongs to them and that the humans have stolen it from them.

The Brigadier and the UNIT soldiers are following a map through the cave system but have got lost. They turn back the way they came and find a wall blocking them that want there before.

Baker and the Doctor argue in the cave. The young Silurian enters and tells the Doctor that he has destroyed the soldiers and that he will now destroy them. The young Silurian's third eye produces a high pitched noise and begins to glow red, causing the Doctor to twist in pain.

Episode five Edit


The Doctor convinces the Silurian leader that Silurians and humans can co-exist.

The older Silurian sees what is going on and stops the younger Silurian. He tells the Doctor how their race retreated underground and their lives in suspension when they saw the Moon approaching Earth millions of years before, with their scientists calculating that the Moon would draw off Earth's atmosphere, destroying "all life". The hibernation mechanism never woke the Silurians as the arrival of the Moon never created the predicted catastrophe; instead, the Moon was captured in Earth's orbit. The Silurians did not revive until a new power source—the nuclear reactor—was discovered.

The Doctor manages to persuade the older Silurian to release the Brigadier and his men, but the younger Silurian orders Baker infected with a bacteria before he is released. When the older Silurian discovers this, he releases the Doctor, giving him a canister of the bacteria culture so he can discover a cure. The younger Silurian kills the older one for this act.

At the centre, the Doctor warns everyone to stay away from Baker, who collapses with the infection. Masters, however, decides to return to London, unaware that he has also been infected. Baker is taken to a local hospital without the Doctor's knowledge and dies there. "The first one", the Doctor grimly notes.

Episode six Edit


The Brigadier and the Doctor examine Baker, the first victim of plague.

The Brigadier holds Baker's doctor and nurse at gunpoint to prevent them from leaving and spreading the disease while the Doctor returns to the centre to work on the cure. The Brigadier and Liz try to warn London, while all of the centre's staff are inoculated with a stopgap vaccine.

All, that is, except for Lawrence, who refuses. Masters, in the meantime, has reached London and eludes the search parties desperately looking for him. The illness begins to spread and the deaths begin, the infection even reaching France. Lawrence eventually dies from the bacteria, complaining in his last moments that the affair has ruined his career.

The young Silurian decides the Doctor must be killed before he finds a cure. The Doctor has indeed found one, and as he writes down the formula, the Silurians attack the centre and stun him with their third eyes and take him away.

Episode seven Edit

Liz, however, discovers the formula and it is soon being mass produced and distributed. The Silurians have a back-up plan, however. They intend to use a weapon to destroy the Van Allen Belt and make the Earth's environment hostile to humankind, and will force the Doctor to connect the reactor to provide power to the weapon.

Fire in the hole

The caves are destroyed, along with the Silurians.

UNIT troops are lured into the caves and commence a battle with the Silurians while the younger Silurian takes the Doctor to the reactor control room along with Liz and the Brigadier. The Doctor, however, overloads the reactor and tells the younger Silurian that the area will be irradiated for at least 25 years. The Silurians disengage from the battle with UNIT and reenter the caves to hibernate until the danger has passed. Since the mechanism is faulty, the younger Silurian will stay awake to operate it and sacrifice his life. The Doctor and Liz, meanwhile, repair the reactor, and go to the underground base, where the younger Silurian realises he has been duped into sending his race back to sleep. He attacks the Doctor in a rage, but is killed by the Brigadier.

Later, on Wenley Moor, the Doctor tells Liz that he proposes to revive the Silurians one by one and try to reach a peaceful compromise between them and humanity. However, the Brigadier has other orders, and the Silurian base is blown up. The Doctor is horrified at this act of genocide, but Liz tells him that the Silurians would never have agreed to come to terms. The Doctor, still disgusted, drives away.

Cast Edit

This serial had a sizeable cast of background characters, doubles and extras that did not receive on-screen credit.

Crew Edit

References Edit

  • Bessie (the Doctor's car) is seen for the first time.
  • Wenley Moor is an underground atomic research establishment, based around a cyclotron where protons are bombarded with subatomic articles. The aim is to produce cheap, safe electricity by finding a process to convert nuclear energy directly into electrical current.
    • The energy released inadvertently woke some of the Silurians in their base in the nearby caves.
  • The Doctor takes the summoning device from Quinn's dead body to enter the Silurians' base.
  • In episode 1 the Doctor recites the first lines of Jabberwocky by Lewis Carroll in song while working on Bessie.
  • The Brigadier deceives the Doctor and bombs the Wenley Moor Silurian base.
  • The Silurians have at least one dinosaur, which guards their base.
  • The Brigadier tells one of his soldiers to give a injured Major Baker a shot of morphine.
  • A UNIT private named Upton is killed. Another UNIT soldier named Morton is present in the caves.

Story notes Edit

  • This story had a working title of The Monsters (also sometimes referred to as Doctor Who and the Monsters).
  • Bessie (on-screen numberplate WHO 1) is seen for the first time. Its real life numberplate was MTR 5, as WHO 1 was not available — having already been registered elsewhere. Special WHO 1 numberplates were made and used on the car when filming on private ground or on the public highway with permission from the police.
  • This is the first use of CSO (Colour Separation Overlay) in Doctor Who.
  • The unusual music in this story was conducted by Carey Blyton and featured clarinets, recorders, cellos and horns.
  • This is the only serial title to break the "Doctor Who" naming taboo (i.e. directly identifying the character by the incorrect name "Doctor Who"). Previously, an episode of the serial The Chase also broke the taboo by being titled "The Death of Doctor Who".
  • The title of the story came about because most of the scripts (up to this point) were titled Doctor Who and the... While the Doctor Who and the... was ordinarily left off the titles, this time, the title retained the words. To avoid this occurrence in the future, the Doctor Who and the... was left off the scripts in the following stories. The practice was, however, retained for the Target Books novelisations, although when the time came to adapt this story, a different title was chosen (see below).
  • There are non-speaking cameo appearances by members of the production team, including Barry Letts and Terrance Dicks as rail passengers and, most prominently, Trevor Ray as a ticket collector struck down by the Silurian bacteria, in the location scenes shot at Marylebone Station in London.
  • The cave creatures are named Silurians on the presumption that they come from the Silurian Period. It was known that reptiles had not evolved by the Silurian Period, so technically the name is a misnomer. Nevertheless the name was kept because it sounded good for the story. [source needed]
  • When the Silurians return to hibernation at the end of the episode, they say they will be revived in fifty years. While the year of this episode is not given, it was broadcast in 1970. Fifty years later would be 2020, which coincides with the events of TV: The Hungry Earth.
  • With Mission to the Unknown, The Mind of Evil, The Daemons, The Sea Devils, The Sontaran Experiment, Genesis of the Daleks and Midnight, this is one of only eight televised stories in the history of Doctor Who not to feature the TARDIS.
  • For episodes one, three and four, Carey Blyton is given the credit "Incidental music by". For episode two and episodes five to seven, the credit is given as "Incidental music composed and conducted by".
  • Despite its 1970 airdate, this was the final story in the series to be filmed during the 1960s, having begun location filming in November of 1969. (DOC: Now and Then) As such, this story and Spearhead from Space are the only two of that sort to have been shot in full colour.

Ratings Edit

  • Episode 1 - 8.8 million viewers
  • Episode 2 - 7.3 million viewers
  • Episode 3 - 7.5 million viewers
  • Episode 4 - 8.2 million viewers
  • Episode 5 - 7.5 million viewers
  • Episode 6 - 7.2 million viewers
  • Episode 7 - 7.5 million viewers

Filming locations Edit

  • Marylebone station, Marylebone, London (Where the disease breaks out)
  • Dorset Square, Marylebone, London (Where Masters gets out of the taxi)
  • Sheephatch Farm, Sheephatch Lane, Tilford, Surrey (Location of the farm the Silurian hides in)
  • Milford Chest Hospital, Tuesley Lane, Milford, Surrey (Wenley Hospital)
  • Hog's Back Transmitter Station, Hog's Back, Guildford, Surrey (Exterior shots of Wenley Moor Nuclear Power station)
  • Melcombe Place, Marylebone, London (Masters hails a taxi from here)
  • Swancombe House (walkway), St. Ann's Road, Shepherd's Bush, London (Masters succumbs to the infection and dies at this location)
  • Hankley Common, Rushmoor, Surrey (Wenley Moor)
  • High Street, Godalming, Surrey (The town through which the Doctor and Liz Shaw are seen travelling in Bessie at the start of the story)
  • BBC Television Centre, Studio 3, Studio 1, Studio 8

Production errors Edit

If you'd like to talk about narrative problems with this story — like plot holes and things that seem to contradict other stories — please go to this episode's discontinuity discussion.
  • Quinn arrives in the barn with a wet coat. In the next shot in the same scene, his coat is dry.
  • The vision impairment of the injured Silurian changes between episodes.
  • The "Doctor Who - Jon Pertwee" end credit card "ghosts" throughout Episode 6. Visually it looks similar to screen burn on a plasma television. The cause of this is unknown.
  • When Major Baker is released by the Silurians in order to spread their disease, the rock he gets up from can be seen wobbling.

Continuity Edit

Home video and audio releases Edit

DVD releases Edit

Digital releases Edit

  • Released in standard definition in iTunes stores (Australia, Canada, France, Germany, UK and US) as part of the Doctor Who (rather than Doctor Who: The Classic Series) collection Monsters: Silurians, which additionally includes The Hungry Earth and Cold Blood, also in standard definition. (Individual episodes in this collection are titled The Silurians, Episode 1, etc.)
  • On 4 November 2013, this story was released in standard definition in non-UK iTunes stores (Australia, Canada, France, Germany and US) as part of the Doctor Who: The Classic Series collection Doctor Who Sampler: The Third Doctor, which additionally includes Revisited: John Pertwee, The Third Doctor. (Individual episodes in this collection are titled The Silurians, Episode 1, etc.)
  • This story was released in BBC Store, opened for UK residents on 5 November 2015.
  • Was available for streaming in the US through Hulu Plus until early 2016.

VHS releases Edit

  • This was released on video in episodic format in 1993 in the UK and Australia and 1995 in the US.

Editing for both VHS and DVD releases was completed by the Doctor Who Restoration Team.

CD release Edit

The story's soundtrack was released by BBC Audio in January 2008, with linking narration by Caroline John.

External links Edit

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