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Doctor Who: Doctor Who and The Silurians (Story 52)

4.7 out of 5 stars 20 customer reviews

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(Jun 03, 2008)
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Editorial Reviews

It's a rude awakening for the Silurians, an intelligent dinosaur race only now emerging from a hibernation begun at the dawn of the Ice Age.

Special Features


Audio Commentary
Documentaries
MAKING OF
Music Only Track
Photo gallery
Production Notes


Product Details

  • Actors: Jon Pertwee, Nicholas Courtney, Caroline John, Geoffrey Palmer
  • Directors: Timothy Combe
  • Writers: Malcolm Hulke
  • Producers: Barry Letts
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Closed-captioned, Color, NTSC, Subtitled
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Rated:
    NR
    Not Rated
  • Studio: BBC Home Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: June 3, 2008
  • Run Time: 165 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00142UZ9Y
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #21,085 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

I fondly recall watching this classic Doctor Who storyline as a teenager in the 1980's and being utterly blown away by its moral complexity. Decades have passed, I'm older and a fair bit more jaded, and it still blows me away! The somewhat unusually titled "Doctor Who and the Silurians" is perhaps one of the most intelligent stories penned for what is typically a very well-written series, and this in a manner cleverly conducive to the tale's good old thrills & chills and general entertainment value. If anything demonstrates that a show can be sophisticated and fun at the same time, this does in style.

Part of what makes this one so great is that it takes one of the most tired clichés of sci-fi and turns it on its head. Reptilian invaders? Well, sort of, except for the fact they were here first. The eponymous Silurians evolved on Earth millions of years ago and developed a highly advanced civilization before an impending catastrophe drove them to seek shelter underground, waiting in suspended animation for the disaster to blow over. The inevitable malfunction keeps them slumbering much longer, until an experimental nuclear power plant built into the caves of England's countryside circa 1970 jolts some of them awake and they start preparing to take their planet back regardless of the johnny-come-lately hominids that seem to have taken their place.
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As is mentioned multiple times on the DVD extras, DOCTOR WHO AND THE SILURIANS began life as a discussion between author Malcolm Hulke and script editor Terrance Dicks. With the show now centered on the Doctor's exile to Earth, Hulke reckoned that there were only two basic story types in this format: alien invasion or Earth-based mad scientists.

THE SILURIANS was an attempt to escape from this way of thinking by presenting a story in which intelligent reptiles have been in hibernation for millions of years while the Earth and humanity evolved and changed around them. Awakening in the present day they claim ownership of the planet not because of their advanced weaponry (although this they posses) but because of their ancient claim of original ownership. It's a nice spin on the alien invasion story, although I wonder if holding it back a season or two would have made it a little more effective. It's difficult to notice or absorb the subverting of a format during only its second story.

This serial is one which I have always attempted to like, but one which I appreciate more on paper than I do in actuality. The story is strong at times, the set pieces are impressive and the acting is good. But it's a serial made up of seven 25-minute episodes, and really only has enough material for four or five. While the padding is generally good and effective, it doesn't quite distract from the fact that the clock is moving and the plot isn't really going anywhere.

Also, several items about the production unfortunately tend to drag down the story. Whenever one notices the incidental music, it's because the sound is annoying and/or bizarre.
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I am just beginning exploring Pertwee's tenure, Baker and Davison being the Doctors I grew up with, and I must say, I am enjoying Pertwee's portrayal. I have only watched SPEARHEAD and this serial so far, planning on purchasing and watching down the line in order.

The incidental music is a bit... jarring (and rather silly to say the least in conjunction with otherwise tense scenes). And after watching some marvelous monster performances during Troughton's tenure, especially the Ice Warriors, I have to say the cerebral palsy-esque twitching of the Silurians is not quite the best of choices. And... well.. the audio commentary is potentially entertaining save for one commenter's constant, tiring, interrupting focus on demonizing the Silurian characters - and he is repeatedly on the majority of the episodes' commentary.

Still, the acting quality is par excellent, and it's a treat to watch the relationship between the Brigadier and the Doctor coalesce and solidify.
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this story I think is very much a combination of thoughts and feeling of the early seventies. the story goes a nuclear research station calls for help to salve a problem and it turn off the a race of being that moved underground to save themselves from a disaster. they start waking up and syphon energy from the research station to power them tech. the funny part is they are the first race to live on the planet earth and they view humanity as an invading force. in the end the Silurians return to sleep and unit preeminently closes off the entrance to the Silurian's base.
the question that was first asked in the 1970s and asked again in 2011, can two races share a planet and live in peace together? I think answer is no, it seems very unlikely that two races sharing one world in peace would ever be possible.
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