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
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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
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.
- 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.
- I just… what… THIS IS A CHILDREN’S SHOW.
- WHAT THE HELL SHOW. I’M TRYING TO LIKE YOU. STOP MAKING IT DIFFICULT.
- 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?
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Bessie is cute and cool and I like her. Tell us about Bessie.
- The TARDIS is nowhere to be seen and I hope someone is feeding her. Maybe she could eat LBS.
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.
- Earth in the 70s. There are lots of caves and a research facility. The facility looks pretty sciency and the caves look pretty cavey.
- 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.
- 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 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.
- The sets look really good here, are they sets or real?
- More about Bessie?
- DVD Text Commentary.
Fan discussions and analysis
BTS pictures and articles on production
Nicolas Courtney Acting
Carey Blyton Composer
Moon Origin theories
Silurian Book adaptation Written by Malcolm Hulke