Doctor Who “The Silurians”

Let me make one thing perfectly clear: I will never refer to this episode as “Doctor Who and the Silurians,” despite that being what is printed on the DVD box. It’s one of those anomalies that occur sometimes, and you just ignore it; like the blooper in Diamonds are Forever.

The writer of this story, Malcolm Hulke, said that the Doctor’s exile left you with two types of plots: mad scientist and alien invasion. Script editor Terrence Dicks subverted that notion by tasking Hulke with crafting a tale about a species that has been on Earth for thousands of years, and claims humans are the invaders. It’s a clever idea that never would have come about if not for the changes made to the series.

“The Silurians” is a subversive story in which the Brig (Nicholas Courtney) is cast in the role of “Establishment,” (or more simply “The Man”) while the Doctor (Jon Pertwee) is the voice of reason and empathy. The Brig sees the Silurians as a threat, while the Doctor wants to broker an accord. Not a lot has changed in the four decades that have passed since this story first aired. Matt Smith’s incarnation of the Doctor attempted a similar deal, albeit minus the government intervention. The ending to ” The Silurians ” is similar to the I’m in “The Christmas Invasion,” and I don’t think it’s a coincidence.

This is a good looking story… At times. The helicopter scenes not only hold up, they look better than a lot of stuff you see today. One criticism I have is the use of the Magic Spy Camera™. If you have seen the story, you know what I’m talking about. It’s not as egregious as the one in You Only Live Twice, which has baffled me for decades. Where is it supposed to be?! It makes no sense! It was also deployed on Star Trek, and that has always been considered the more “serious” sci-fi program. So, I guess I’ll just have to deal with it.

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