Episode 17: Daleks’ Invasion Earth: 2150 A.D.

This week on Daleks Aren’t Robots!? the team looks at the second and final Peter Cushing Doctor Who film.

How do they feel it compares to the serial it’s based on?

Find out!

Daleks Aren’t Robots!? is a podcast in which two Whovian friends take two non-Whovians on a deep dive through the show from the very beginning.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/daleksarentrobots

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Look for us where all podcasts are found.

See more at https://daleksarentrobots.com/

Theme: Garage – Monplaisir

Podcast Contents Include

Editor’s Note: The following are my original notes for the podcast, slightly edited for readability. They’re very far from the full contents of the pod, though.  – Kari

SUMMARY

Same as the show, mostly… mostly.

For this outing the team is Dr. Who, his neice Louise, granddaughter Susan and a cop who accidentally ran into the TARDIS trying to call the station for backup after a robbery. They head to 2150… for some reason… and the Tardis is immediately buried in rubble when Susan kicks a thing. Tom the Cop rescues Susan and then keeps her safe when it happens so we know he’s all right.

They split up and find Daleks have occupied the planet, meet a resistance that’s pared down to three guys and a bunch of extras, and head to a mine where the Daleks are forcing humans to dig a giant hole so they can detonate a bomb, suck the core out of the earth and use it as a spaceship to go back to Skaro and occupy THAT. Are these Daleks still fighting the war against the Thals?

Hijinks ensue, but in the end the group thwarts the Daleks with the help of some sticks, magnetism and a whole lot of ridiculous “science.” Earth is liberated, Tom is sent home to in turn decisively thwart the robbers who beat him up at the beginning and we all wonder why the hell Louise was even in this story.

THE TEAM

  1. Dr. Who is the kindest, gentlest doctor still. He adores his niece, he’s super smart but not at all arrogant about it, which means he sometimes totally fails to grasp that other people totally fail to grasp what he’s saying. It’s cute. I felt really sorry for him when he beat the escape room and then got caught because he wasn’t being a jerk about it.
  2. It’s nice to see this without the “Susan is departing” baggage. Also this Susan is a great little kid. She’s smart, but still a child and occasionally does silly kid things that get her into trouble, like kicking the thing that causes the rubble to fall, or saying BOO to Wyler while evading Daleks. But she’s also a very sweet little girl. She apologized to Wyler about the “boo” thing, and she also fetched a towel for him when he was washing his face after he came back from the disastrous battle with the Daleks. Her chemistry with the Doctor and with the grumpy Wyler is great.
  3. Louise is the Barbara stand-in, but she really does very little in this story. Initially I thought they were going to pair her off with Tom or maybe still David but they didn’t even do that. She doesn’t get any of Barbara’s boss actions, but she also doesn’t get anything new. Waste of a part really.
  4. Tom is the Ian stand-in, a policeman who gets into the Tardis thinking it’s a police box and then faints due to his robber-inflicted head wound. He gets taken with. He’s pretty brave, he DOES try to protect his fellow people and is willing to risk himself to do so, and he’s also bemused a lot of the time which is cute. He’s pretty likeable, and kinda stands in between real Ian and Other Movie Ian as far as personality goes. There’s a good slapstick physical comedy moment with him as he pretends to be a robo-man, and it’s genuinely pretty amusing because it looks like he really is trying to keep up with them and not just goofing around.
  5. The Tardis. Buried in rubble for most of the movie, poor thing.

THE GUEST STARS

The rebels are a LOT better now. They condensed them!

  1. Dortmun is David Boreanaz now! Seriously, he looks like a 60s David Boreanaz, it’s kind of great. Also, I apologize for calling him Wheelchair guy last time; that was pretty insensitive and ableist. I’m very faceblind and I have a hard time telling people apart in movies, so I usually pick the most obvious visual cue like hairstyle or clothing. Unfortunately I picked the wheelchair and was accidentally super ableist. Sorry guys. Anyway, Dortmun is Angel and he’s actually much cooler here; his speeches are briefer and more actually inspiring, his bombs work perfectly well against robo-men (though not against Daleks) and when he sacrifices himself he does take a bunch of Daleks with him. He was cool.
  2. Tyler the rebel I didn’t care about became Wyler, a rebel I DID care about. He was gruff and pessimistic and a little bit scary when he came and barked at Louise and helped her to the rebel hideout at the very beginning. He ends up getting injured in the attack on the Daleks and then helps Susan look for her grandfather. He shields her with his body when the Daleks photon torpedo a van they were riding in, and is genuinely pretty caring if a bit curmudgeonly. At the end I wished they’d take Wyler with them, it’s almost like they split the Doctor into two people, a sweet old man and a grouchy but still very cool one, and I liked it.
  3. This David is way more charismatic than the other one. He’s a quieter rebel, but he’s also insistent on saving people despite risks every time it comes up, even strangers they don’t know. He’s got a bit more dynamic of a personality and he helps the Doctor get to the mines.
  4. The two women who betray our people now betray Susan and Wyler–a CHILD and a wounded man–instead of two capable adult women, and then they laugh smugly about it, so they’re definitely evil this time.
  5. The War Profiteer/Black Marketer is not eaten by the slyther since there isn’t one. Instead he is EXPLODED by Daleks after he betrays hte Doctor.
  6. The Daleks are… not really Nazis here, although they’re definitely still the bad guys. I feel like a lot of the Nazi stuff got filed off for the movie along with the location-based stuff and the grittier, more opressive atmosphere.
  7. The Daleks still come in many colors, including red and black and silvery, and while they don’t have tiny satellite TV dishes anymore they do have hoverskirts like Tom Servo.
  8. People talk about Daleks and stairs but in this one, a ramp murders a Dalek. And then a Dalek is thwarted by putting a tarp over it, like it’s a hawk.
  9. The Robo Men are now all wearing motorcycle gimp suits and this includes a motorcycle helmet and reflective sunglasses. Why?
  10. The robo-man drowning at the beginning is gone, but the robomen do still have whips and we even see one deployed a couple times. Was the body removal part of the overal removal of the Nazi stuff or was it due to complaints?
  11. Also why are all the robo men men? Are the Daleks sexist? Are women too smart to fall for the escape room trick?

THE SETTING

  1. Why ARE we going to 2150 London? They never say.
  2. The on-location stuff seems to all be gone, alas, I kind loved that.
  3. The Easter candy aesthetic of the Daleks is MOSTLY gone but their flying saucer has some minty interiors and also some less beautiful but equally colorful and cool consoles. They also do still use shower curtains in their decorating.
  4. The flying saucers in this one are totally different than the adorable pie plate saucers in the TV version but the are GREAT. They are basically what roombas would have looked like if they’d been invented in 1965. Also the flying saucer HAS PHOTON TORPEDOS.

THE PRODUCTION

  1. WHY IS LOUISE?!?
  2. I realized on the second watch through that this movie isn’t Doctor Who, it’s Escape the Bronx’s sequel, Escape the London.
  3. The music is great in this, it’s so very 1960s and the krumhorn guy needs to go watch this to see how you do themes for bad guys and such, because the Robo Men’s theme is used perfectly. Did this guy do anything else?
  4. I didn’t think I was gonna see the doctor in a rubber gimp suit, but here we are.
  5. Even the movie acknowledges that the Daleks’ plan is insane. How did the Daleks’ plan get MORE messed up for the movie??! HOW IS THAT POSSIBLE!?
  6. The Daleks use the term “rels” a couple times, what is that?
  7. Remind me why they didn’t make a third one?
  8. Was this movie successful?

General

Peter Cushing Sick

Daleks

Cushing radio play

Radio play pilot reconstruction with original script

Rels

Terry Nation Army

Dalek Origin

Contemperary Reviews

Third Movie

Fake Trailer

Opinion: A “Jolly Good Smacked Bottom”

Recently our podcast covered “The Dalek Invasion of Earth.”

At the time, there was some discussion about the “What you need is a jolly good smacked bottom!” line that the First Doctor says to Susan, his granddaughter.

In this situation, though, we did kind of just move on from it: given the way the Doctor says the line it seems quite obvious he has no intention of doing it, and is more concerned and scared for Susan’s safety. It is still sexist and not a good line.

It’s hard to find out where this line came from; it is claimed it is not in the original Terry Nation script, and is generally attributed to an ad lib by William Hartnell.

Now the First Doctor, as we have discussed, does have a lot of British paternalistic qualities and sexist elements. A lot of this does come from the time but it is still there. However, as we have also discussed, the show notices these and generally shows more nuance than you would expect with the character especially given that it was produced in the 1960s.

But if it isn’t that big of an issue in the episode, why do I feel the need to bring it up? Because on Dec. 25, 2017, more than 50 years later, the line came up again in Peter Capaldi’s final episode as the Twelfth Doctor and Steven Moffat’s last episode as showrunner, “Twice Upon A Time.”

In “Twice Upon A Time,” the First Doctor (played by David Bradley) and the Twelfth Doctor meet, right before they both are to regenerate. Moffat did intend this to be a cyclical thing showing how the character has changed and how they haven’t. Additionally, this episode wasn’t meant to happen when it did — Moffat wanted to complete his run with the end of Capaldi’s final season.

However, Chibnall did not want to start with a Christmas special, and if the show didn’t have a Christmas special, Doctor Who would have lost the Christmas special slot permanently. This meant Moffat had to rush to write and record a whole extra episode while still having basically wrapped the Twelfth Doctor’s story at the end of his final season. Meanwhile, Paul Cornell was writing the novelization at the same time the episode was being written, and they had to cut 30 minutes from the final episode.

Some of the issues I have can thus be explained, but I am judging based on what we got on screen.

The portrayal of the First Doctor that ended up on our screens for this episode seemed to be based fully on the “smacked bottom” line and sexist attitudes of the 1960s. They even had the First Doctor say that line to a woman he was not related to and had just met.

This is played as a joke in the episode, and it isn’t the only one. One of the only character traits Moffat plays up in the aired episode is how sexist and out-of-touch with the modern day the First Doctor was. Which is certainy an aspect of the character having been written and portrayed in the 1960’s we can’t ignore that aspect of the character,however Moffat exxaggarates an highlights no other aspects of the character.

In other post-Hartnell appearances, the First Doctor has often fared better; for example, in “The Five Doctors,” he is portrayed as being the most knowledgeable and experienced of all the incarnations.

This may have been Moffat’s way of popping that fan view… which is a complete misunderstanding of who the First Doctor is.

Even this one line was not as bad as it sounds, as I explained earlier, and while the First Doctor certainly comes across as paternalistic, sexist, and from the 1960s there is more equality there that Moffat in the aired episode seems to ignore, basically boiling it down to the Twelfth Doctor being embarrassed by this sexist, rude past version of himself that is completely out of touch with current attitudes.

This is completely unlike any other portrayal of the First Doctor, and bordering on an insult in how it is handled.

While it has been argued that instead of just the First Doctor, Moffat was portraying the attitudes of the 1960s show in general, there was also racism then and the episode really doesn’t deal with that at all. Also, putting all that on the First Doctor still makes it a terrible characterization.

As I mentioned earlier, Cornell was working on a novelization at the same time as Moffat was writing the episode, and at least 30 minutes of the episode didn’t make it to the final version on screen.

Some of the problems with the rushed episode are fixed in the novelization. For example, in the book it is explained the First Doctor acted sexist and out-of-character to annoy the Twelfth Doctor because he didn’t like him, and in the book he tones it down as he begins to like this other incarnation of himself.

Whether or not this was the intention of Moffat’s on-screen version, it does not come across that way when watching the episode.

Also, I want to be clear: none of this is on David Bradley, who has portrayed Hartnell brilliantly in the Big Finish audios and in the docudrama “An Adventure in Space and Time.” Moffat may have intended to show a more nuanced version at some point but what came across was an awful “joke” that really did not work and instead came across as the worst interpretation of the First Doctor in a canon appearance.

Let me know if you agree or disagree, and either way, I hope you join us by listening to future and past episodes of Daleks Aren’t Robots!?

Sources:

Episode 16: The Dalek Invasion of Earth

On this episode of Daleks Aren’t Robots!? we return to Hartnell and to the Daleks as we also say goodbye to a companion who has been with us from the beginning.

Daleks Aren’t Robots!? is a podcast in which two Whovian friends take two non-Whovians on a deep dive through the show from the very beginning.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/daleksarentrobots

Twitter: https://twitter.com/daleksrntrobots​

Find us on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC8ngosXDOzVLrJe4KIcW8Qg

Look for us where all podcasts are found.

Theme: Garage – Monplaisir

Podcast Contents Include

Editor’s Note: The following are my original notes for the podcast, slightly edited for readability. They’re very far from the full contents of the pod, though.  – Kari

SUMMARY

The Tardis FINALLY reaches London but it’s not the London Ian and Barbara came from. We know this because there’s a sign that says “Emergency Regulations: It is forbidden to dump bodies into the river.” Despite this a guy immediately dumps himself into the river.

Susan gets hurt trying to figure out when they are, the Tardis’s door gets blocked by rubble and the men go off to look for a way to remove the rubble. Some rebels show up and there is a flying saucer that is adorable. The boys find a whip and a guy packed into a box, which like… no comment.

Then a Dalek comes OUT OF THE WATER. There are aquatic Daleks now? WHAT.

It is the future, 2164. The Daleks are “masters of the planet,” are digging under Bedfordshire, and are able to turn humans into robots, but there’s still human resistance. The boys get taken onto the saucer, the girls meet more resistance people and the rebels plan to attack the Daleks. There’s a LOT of stuff with the rebels, a lot of whom die, and/or become robo-men. Eventually they go to Bedfordshire and find out the Daleks utterly absurd plan, which is to replace the planet’s core with an engine and turn the whole thing into a spaceship, which is not how any of this works, but whatever.

Barbara runs some Daleks over with a truck, a tiny alligator in a sewer menaces Susan, and a Dalek keeps a hilariously adorable monster called a Slyther as a pet. Everyone is reminded that the Daleks ARE the Nazis, actually, right down to firebombing London and being very fashy.

Eventually they manage to use the Daleks’ system to tell the robo-men to turn on the Daleks, there’s a massive rebellion and the Daleks are either killed or chased away, exploding into stock footage.

One of the rebels asks Susan to stay and she doesn’t want to have to choose between him and her grandfather, so the Doctor chooses for her and locks her out of the Tardis. She doesn’t object, though, and Susan leaves the show.

The end.

THE TEAM

THEY STOPPED SPLITTING UP ON PURPOSE.

  1. Susan leaves the show in this episode, which kinda sucks. While I can totally buy that she falls for the rebel David, there’s not enough of this relationship shown to make it plausible. Also, she’s given a few lines about how she doesn’t really have an identity, which is bull, and that they always just leave planets when there are problems. The thing is Susan HAS an identity and a pretty great character… when the writers bother with her at all. If only she’d stayed as smart and cool as she was in the first serial!
  2. The Doctor has some great moments in this one. His speech at the end to Susan is really touching, and he doesn’t ACTUALLY take the decision wholly out of her hands–had she said anything to stop him he probably wouldn’t have left her. He says some condescending stuff to her earlier on but in a way that makes it clear that he doesn’t really believe it, about how she needs to be “taken in hand” and stuff. There’s also a great series of scenes where he solves a Dalek puzzle and brags about how smart he is, only to be dragged away by the Daleks because he just proved he’s smart enough to be a robo-man. Oops.
  3. Barbara is a boss here, as usual. She bravely escapes from the Daleks, helps the rebels out regardless of what that entails, and bowls for Daleks while driving a massive freaking truck, which was awesome. She’s paired with a rebel woman for a lot of this episode and she’s by far the more active and decisive of the two. She even bullshits the Dalek leaders to try to get to the transmitter so she can tell the Robo-Men to rebel, but this doesn’t work. Eventually this plan IS used to win, though!
  4. Ian is also pretty great in this episode. He has come a LONG way, and not only does he use his Action Physicist powers to good effect, evading Daleks and the Slyther, but he ALSO is responsible for the ultimate failure of their plan, because he puts some sticks in the way of their “destroy the core” capsule thingy.
  5. The Tardis. Is mostly under the rubble in this episode, probably because no one has fed her. Why do they keep parking the Tardis in the worst possible places?

THE GUEST STARS

Honestly there are a lot of rebels and most of them aren’t that memorable but at least do have a couple character traits.

Rebels

  • Not Churchill Guy: Is a “smart” rebel and makes bombs to use against the Daleks, but ends up killing himself when he thinks he’d stop Barb and Blondie from escaping. His bombs don’t really work–are they meant to be an analogy for what if we didn’t have the atomic bomb?
  • Blondie: The most prominent female rebel, she has been resisting the Daleks a long time and is kind of worn down from it, but she’s still doing it and she’s still brave and smart.
  • David: The guy Susan stays behind with. He’s brave and seems nice but like… we don’t know him that well. They have a couple good moments together but it’s not enough and he’s not compelling enough to make it work because the actor just doesn’t have the time to do it.
  • There are a couple other rebels that get nice vignettes, like the guy who is just looking for his brother, who finds that he has been turned into a robo-man and then is killed by said robo-man brother. Then there’s a greedy war profiteer black marketer who is killed by the Slyther. And a couple others.

Other Humans

There are two women living in the woods who betray Barb and Blondie to the Daleks and receive food from it. While the show clearly doesn’t approve of this action they aren’t portrayed as negatively as they could have been.

Daleks

  • Clearly my comments about the Daleks from the previous episode went back in time and Terry Nation heard them because this episode really hammers it home: THE DALEKS ARE THE NAZIS. They firebomb London. They have a leader called a Commandant. The Daleks make a Selection from their prisoners to decide who becomes robo-men. They enslave and brainwash people and use them against their fellows, like the sonderkommandos. Some of the imagery looks like it could have been taken directly from the actual Blitz and I think this would have hit home MUCH HARDER with audiences that fresh from World War II and the Nazi bombings they would have experienced or heard their parents talk about.
  • I feel like Nation really asked himself “what would a British resistance have looked like?” and just made that. Everyone has a stiff upper lip, even those who are exhausted by all the fighting and only one guy seems to be genuinely villainous. Even the women who betray Barb and Blondie are mostly just desperate.
  • The Daleks now have air power and can submerse themselves in the river. They are no longer bound to roll only on metal and seem significantly faster too. They also come in multiple colors now, including black and striped, though it’s still black and white so it’s kind of hard to tell what other colors they are.
  • There is now a Dalek leader with a voice slightly different than those of the others. Is this where Trek got the Borg Queen from?

THE SETTING

  1. Well, we’re back in London. The scenes of the group sneaking around London and evading Daleks and robo-men are amazing and wonderful and I love them.
  2. It’s also a decayed London. Some places look pretty decayed, others don’t, it just kind of depends, but overall they did a great job. The “It is forbidden to dump bodies into the river” sign is kind of iconic.

THE PRODUCTION

  1. What were the connections with World War II in this movie?
  2. There was some stock footage in this movie and I wondered if they actually used any real footage from World War II?
  3. Why did Carole Ann Ford leave? What was her career like afterward, and how did she feel about being part of the Who phenomenon?
  4. Why did they write Susan leaving as they did?
  5. How many Daleks did they have for this serial? I can tell there are more but are there more than 4? What color WERE they IRL?
  6. What locations did they shoot at and what was done on set?
  7. Were there toys? What about soap? Dalek soap? Is there Dalek soap?
  8. DALEKMANNNIIIIIIAAAAAA.

DALEK SCORE

This episode drags a bit, and honestly there are too many characters. They should have cut some of the rebels and given more time to David to make Susan’s departure more plausible. Overall, though, it’s pretty well paced and beautifully filmed, especially given the budget they were probably working with, and so I’d say 4/4 Daleks for this one. It’s everything I want from a Doctor Who so even though it sometimes drags a bit things are still HAPPENING during the dragging parts.

Sources Include

Dalek Product Pictures

Sources: What Did People Think About Doctor Who in 1964?

An interesting summary to start with. This article feels like not only has the reviewer not watched the episode, but the author also seems to think Ian Chesterton is the focal character. https://cuttingsarchive.org/index.php/A_new_adventure_on_a_strange_planet_begins_today
The news really was pushing at the time that the Voords would be more popular than the Daleks. As you can tell by the fact that you almost never hear about the Voords, they were wrong. They also barely appear in the serial that was their debut, and as yet their only, onscreen appearance. https://cuttingsarchive.org/index.php/New_TV_monsters_will_rival_the_Daleks , https://cuttingsarchive.org/index.php/After_the_Daleks_a_new_horror%E2%80%94_VOORDS
Here are some promotional pictures of Carole Ann Ford with a Voord. This monster was pushed quite hard for being just someone in a modified wetsuit. https://cuttingsarchive.org/index.php/In_the_grip_of_a_Voord! , https://cuttingsarchive.org/index.php/My_word%E2%80%94it%27s_a_Voord
An interesting background piece on William Hartnell, especially for us nowadays who may not know that he was often typecast as a military actor. The Doctor was very much outside the normal roles that he got, and in my opinion he did it amazingly. https://cuttingsarchive.org/index.php/The_Man_Who%27s_Who
And so pretty much from the start the legend of Dr. Who causing kids to watch from behind the sofa even hits some newspapers. It may not seem like it with today’s eyes but back in the 1960s this really was frightening but engaging for children. https://wordpress.com/post/daleksarentrobots.com/552
This one is more tangential; however it addresses an important issue then and now — representation in all aspects of any business but particularly women in entertainment. And none of these writers interviewed here seem particularly bothered by their attitude and of course none of the writers are women. https://cuttingsarchive.org/index.php/Why_can%27t_they_write_for_women%3F
A nice picture of the main cast of the first season with Verity Lambert. It’s a sign of how worldwide the show would end up going, to Canada and Australia even then. https://cuttingsarchive.org/index.php/The_cast_of_BBC-1%27s_Dr._Who
To end on for now, an odd one loosely tied to “The Sensorites” by the Daily Mail. It’s about scientists developing a “thought machine.” I have searched and this is the only record I could find of it; still, it illustrates the show’s influence in that the go-to in 1964 for a telepathy comparison was Dr. Who. https://cuttingsarchive.org/index.php/Scientists_invent_a_thought_machine#tab=Description

Episode 15: The Silurians

On this episode of Daleks Aren’t Robots!? we meet another of the Doctor’s famous adversaries, the sympathetic Silurians.

This episode opens us up to such topics as genocide, misinformation during an epidemic, the hazards of nuclear power…and an adorable pet dinosaur.

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Theme: Garage – Monplaisir

Look for us where you get your podcasts!

Podcast Contents Include

Editor’s Note: The following are my original notes for the podcast, slightly edited for readability. They’re very far from the full contents of the pod, though.  – Kari

SUMMARY

Two guys in spelunking gear are attacked by Godzilla. It turns out an “atomic research center” is experiencing power losses described as “leaks” and UNIT, including LBS, Liz and the Doctor, are brought in to find out why.

They eventually find out that the Silurians are the culprits–they are lizard people that resemble the Gill Man, native to Earth, that put themselves into suspended animation a long time ago because they believed an asteroid was going to hit earth, and now that they know it didn’t they want to wake up their whole population and take over the earth, as they were legitimately here first.

The Doctor spends most of the episode trying to convince the Silurians not to murder all the humans and trying to convince the humans not to murder all the Silurians.

Unfortunately, the Silurians have an internal power struggle a lot like that of the Sensorites, but it ends in a Silurian murdering the peaceful Silurian leader and releasing a plague on the humans that seems to have a 100% kill rate and an incredibly rapid spread. Literally incredible, as we see a TON of people die and the disease spreads to France and likely the whole world.

The Doctor finds a cure to the “bacteria” that cause the disease but it’s not penicillin or some other antibiotic. Nothing about producing enough of it for everyone quickly enough or distributing it, and apparently UNIT managed to cover all this up SOMEHOW even though a massive number of people in London and elsewhere have DIED, which is absurd.

There’s some power jockeying with the Silurians, they take over the atomic research center, the Doctor manages to scare them all back into hibernating by convincing them the whole area will be irradiated and he expects to come back and study their setup.

Then LBS commits genocide by blowing up the Silurian compound and sealing the door shut. And the Doctor and Liz are sad and I’m confused about why a kids’ show just showed the good guys genociding some lizard people, and sad and angry that we just watched The Sensorites but with a really depressing ending that again, is the GOOD GUYS GENOCIDING SOME PEOPLE with no consequences shown and barely any discussion of the fact that the GOOD GUYS GENOCIDED SOME PEOPLE.

THE GENOCIDE

  1. I’m actually not sure on a second watchthrough that it WAS genocide. Maybe he just bombed the entrance to close it off? It doesn’t sound like it.
  2. I just… what… THIS IS A CHILDREN’S SHOW.
  3. WHAT THE HELL SHOW. I’M TRYING TO LIKE YOU. STOP MAKING IT DIFFICULT.
  4. Here’s the thing. The episode ENDS with the genocide and it’s BARELY addressed. Does the Doctor stop working with UNIT after this? Does Liz? Does LBS get called up on war crimes? Does ANYONE?

OUR TEAM

  1. The Doctor gets a lot of great moments here, trying to convince both sides to not murder each other. He also makes it clear that he’s not a human, though he claims to be several thousand years old (I think he’s lying but it’s not totally plain). At one point he does hide information and it does come back to bite him in the butt. Also the doctor wears a spelunking ascot and it’s adorable.
  2. Liz gets some good moments too, helping with the scientific stuff but also some of the skullduggery. She gets attacked (pushed gently) by a Silurian and has a pretty sensible reaction to it, particularly compared to the reactions of others.
  3. LBS commits genocide and also acts like an asshole throughout a lot of this one. Sometimes he’s reasonable but he’s also very jerky in a lot of it for no obvious reason. Also he should pay for his war crimes.
  4. Bessie is cute and cool and I like her. Tell us about Bessie.
  5. The TARDIS is nowhere to be seen and I hope someone is feeding her. Maybe she could eat LBS.

THE OTHERS

So many characters.

  • Combover: The lead scientist of the facility, he’s also an antivaxxer and doesn’t believe in the Silurians. He gets the plague and dies yelling at people about how the plague is totally fake you guys, which is hauntingly on point.
  • Martin Freeman: Another scientist who tries to use the Silurians to get scientific advances, ends up holding one captive and then is kind of killed by them, but actually had a heart attack.
  • Martin Freeman’s secretary: She helps Martin Freeman and after he is killed she advocates for murdering all the Silurians before they murder us.
  • Baker: A nut who wants to kill all the Silurians and also is patient zero of the plague. He dies.
  • Politician: He comes to figure out wtf is going on in the facility and basically spreads the plague to London when he tries to go home. and dies.
  • Silurian Leader: A decent person who is concerned about the humans but becomes convinced we’re intelligent and doesn’t want to genocide us. Then he’s murdered by another Silurian.
  • Mean Silurian: He wants to kill all the humans so the Silurians can have the whole world, even though they probably don’t want all of it because it’s too damn cold.
  • Fido: The dinosaur pet of the Silurians, who looks like a man in a godzilla suit, but is supposed to be bigger. It’s adorable.

Lots of others we don’t really care about.

THE SETTING

  1. Earth in the 70s. There are lots of caves and a research facility. The facility looks pretty sciency and the caves look pretty cavey.
  2. The Silurian area of the caves looks pretty neat, with green slabs of material made to a proportion humans wouldn’t make things, to accomodate their dino pets.
  3. There’s NO WAY the public doesn’t know about the plague with a death count that high. How the HELL do they cover this up?

THE PRODUCTION

  1. The plague. How did they come up with that and what was it based on? I knew the antivax movement was old but I didn’t know it was that old.
  2. The sets look really good here, are they sets or real?
  3. More about Bessie?
  4. Music.

Sources Include

General Sources

Contemporary reviews

Fan discussions and analysis

Bessie

BTS pictures and articles on production

Nicolas Courtney Acting

Carey Blyton Composer

Moon Origin theories

Silurian Hypothesis

Silurian Book adaptation Written by Malcolm Hulke