Doctor Who and The Silurians: Doctor Who: Season 7
Doctor Who and The Silurians SYNOPSIS:
UNIT are called into investigate a series of power failures at the Wenley Moor nuclear research facility. Exploring the caves beneath the Doctor is confronted by a dinosaur and soon after Major Baker shoots and wounds a reptilian creature that then escapes from the caves onto the moor.
It appears Dr Quinn head of research has made a deal with the silurians for their scientific secrets in exchange for power from the centre so they can revive their race hidden underground. He must first return their wounded member to them and he dies in the attempt. Major Baker is wounded and then captured and interrogated by the silurians.
The Doctor reveals the existence of the Silurians to the Brigadier and the disbelieving Director, Lawrence as he wants to broker a peaceful settlement between the reptiles and humans. But it is too late, the young hot headed silurian overpowers his leader and believing humans to be too hostile releases Baker back to the human race carrying an infectious and deadly disease which will wipe out humanity unless the Doctor and Liz can find a cure for it in time.
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The Silurians DETAILS:
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The Silurians CAST & CREW
Jon Pertwee (Third Doctor)
Caroline John (Liz Shaw)
Nicholas Courtney —Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart
Fulton Mackay — Dr Quinn
Peter Miles — Dr Lawrence
Ian Cunningham — Dr Meredith
Norman Jones — Major Baker
Thomasine Heiner — Miss Dawson
Ian Talbot — Travis
Geoffrey Palmer — Masters
John Newman — Spencer
Bill Mathews — Davis
Roy Branigan — Roberts
Gordon Richardson — Squire
Nancie Jackson — Doris Squire
Brendan Barry — Hospital Doctor
Paul Darrow — Captain Hawkins
Richard Steele — Sergeant Hart
Alan Mason — Corporal Nutting
Harry Swift — Private Robins
Derek Politt — Private Wright
Dave Carter — Old Silurian
Nigel Johns — Young Silurian
Pat Gorman — Silurian ScientistDave Carter, Pat Gorman, Paul Barton,Simon Cain, John Churchill — Silurians
Peter Halliday — Silurian Voices
Production Staff for Serial BBB:
Writer - Malcolm Hulke
Director - Timothy Combe
Script editor - Terrance Dicks
Producer - Barry Letts
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The Silurians REVIEWS
There's a lot of fans that use "Doctor Who and The Silurians" as the title to this story and that's just stupid! Taking fanboy-ism to another level there.
Doctor Who and the Silurians is also known as the return of the seven parter, but it's not bad this one. It's a good second story for Jonny boy and use of the UNIT format which shows that it doesn't have to just stick to the old 'alien invasion' idea. It starts off as a routine investigation and then descends into creepiness. The Doctor, Liz & The Brig bounce off each other as though they've been working together forever and yet again there's an outstanding supporting cast. Peter Miles has his first big role in Who as the snotty director of a nuclear power plant, Norman Jones (ok I looked up the cast list) as a security chief trying to make up for an error in his past etc. the whole cast is full of actors who have or will turn in the show regularly and has an almost theatre company feel about it.
Actually when you think about it the length of Doctor Who and the silurians it allows quite a bit of character development for almost the entire cast seldom seen in the show due to the normal 90 minute length. Hell you don't even get to see a Silurian until the end of part 3 but their menace is felt all the same in shadowy profile or from their 3-eyed viewpoint or just a hand. Actually when you do see them finally it almost distracts from their menace, but once your used to their lizard like moves and head wobbling when they activate their third eye weapon it's still creepy.
In fact the filming on the moors is creepy, as is the direction, music, special background sounds and oh yes, Grob's favourite- the lighting. Plus the design is spectacular, a highlight being the caves and the underground nuclear plant. The whole of doctor who and the silurians has a weird sense of uneasiness all the way through, especially when the Silurians bacterial disease starts killing off the populace around London - a refreshing idea not used that often. It's good to see it restored to colour again. 9/10
Anyhoo, the story itself. I enjoy this which is weird cos the Pertwee seven parters are all well written and paced with tonnes of character development and pace and interesting stuff going on. Yet the six parters are mostly complete rubbish. Go figure.
Having said that, its the stuff that happens ABOVE the ground I like the most. All the running about on the English moors and stuff. I love moors; they're so open and windswept. And we have the lovely Caroline John running through them in her knee high boots being pursued by a man in a rubber alien costume. What more could you ask? This isn't to say that the underground stuff is bad; it isn't. There are some great scenes such as the UNIT men getting all hot and sweaty when the Silurians cut off the air supply by making the cave collapse and the Doctor's initial decent into the caves as well.
The Silurians themselves are okay. A bit too man-in-rubber-suit for me and when they talk they sound like Alfred Hitchcock trying to suppress a vomit after sucking back some helium. By the way; how did they learn English? Or know the name on the Van Allen belt? One other scene worthy the Indian cricket team are a bunch of monkey-faced sore losers of mention here is when the Silurian virus breaks out and everyone starts dropping like flies. As a kid I remember being pretty scared of that scene. The final scene with the Brig blowing up the Silurian base still packs a punch and is still far more effective than the much later one of Harriet Jones nuking the Sycorax spaceship in the Christmas Invasion.
One thing Doctor who and the silurians has that adds to the atmosphere is the fact that its in black and white - although it could be colour these days - I've lost track of whats colour and what isn't. The scenes at the underground research centre and the outside moor scenes and the ones at the farm really look great in monocrome (and more than likely even better now that its just out on DVD) - in fact its like one of the Quatermass stories in tonne and direction. I'll give it an 8.5 here.
There's a lot of good going on in Doctor Who and the Silurians. It's amazing how quickly the regulars became so comfortable… especially considering that some of this was shot before Spearhead. There are a lot of good ideas here too - mainly with the Doctor looking to try and mediate between the Silurians and us (I guess I can call us us!), rather than just blow them up… and that all leads to what is probably the Brigadier's defining characteristic when he does just blow them up!
All this coupled with the interesting introduction of an alien (grown on earth rather than invading from another planet - which I guess is something they were worried about becoming too monotonous as with earthbound stories, there's going to be a lot of invasions!), and interesting and new production values and great cliff hangers (particularly end of part 2) all make for what should be a great story… however, the last time I watched Doctor Who and the Silurians, I couldn't wait for it to end… seven parts is just too long! I know there was some good character development going on, but by the end I just wanted to know what was going to happen, and was starting to get bored with it. Maybe that was partly due to the grainy black and white edition I was watching, and maybe it was cos I was watching it all at once… I'm not sure.
I'd like to see Doctor Who and the Silurians again and then maybe give it a higher rating, but for now it's a 7.5/10