This serial is notable for the introduction of the Silurians, who featured in the Matt Smith episodes “The Hungry Earth” and “Cold Blood” (as well as some smaller appearances later.)

Episode 1:

 Two men climb down a flimsy ladder into a cavern. They hear a strange almost monstrous sound, but one of them says it’s “nothing”. Despite this, he pulls out a small axe and begins prowling about, looking for whatever’s making the noise. They come across a giant reptillian monster and that attacks them.

 The Doctor is seen under a car, singing as he works on “modifications”. Liz interrupts him to tell him that he’s been summoned by the Brig to Wenley Moor, where he is. The Doctor says he’ll drive her up in “Bessie”, which is the car. (Bessie is a canary yellow roadster, a kit car of which only 100 were made and one was bought for the show. It is the Third Doctor’s primary mode of transit during his exile on Earth and this is Bessie’s first appearance.)

 The Brig is seen sitting in on a meeting at a research centre, when Benton comes in to inform them that The Doctor and Miss Shaw are there. He leaves to fetch them, and we learn they’re in an atomic research station that has been built into the cave network. The Brig leads them back to the meeting.

 The meeting is being chaired by Professor Lawrence, the head of the facility; he resents UNIT’s presence, though he verbally extends them every courtesy. (Worth noting – Professor Lawrence is played by Peter Miles, who later plays Professor Whitaker in INVASION OF THE DINOSAURS, but MORE worth noting, he also plays one of my favourite characters, Nyder, from the Tom Baker serial GENESIS OF THE DALEKS, which is probably my most favourite serial of all – that’s something I look forward to figuring out at the end of the year, is GENESIS OF THE DALEKS still my favourite? What are my top favourites? What are the ones I loathed?)

 We meet Lawrence’s number two, Doctor Quinn, as well as his Security Chief, Major Baker. The professor begins telling them about their work, using a cyclotron. The Doctor interrupts to ask what’s going wrong – there are two things – personnel issues (mental breakdowns, the like) and inexplicable power losses.

 The Doctor is rummaging through his pockets looking for his sonic screwdriver; Nyder, I mean Professor Lawrence, gets upset that The Doctor is being so unimpressed. Doctor Quinn takes The Doctor and Liz for a tour of the facility.

 The Brig commandeers the meeting room as his HQ. Major Quinn stays behind to discuss things with the Brig. We learn that issues have been going on for three months. Quinn proposes that an insider is engaging in sabotage.

 Quinn takes his guests into the control chamber of the nuclear reactor. Liz gets a bit of a headache suddenly, in the room. She departs to review the personnel records, which is the task the Brig assigned her. The Doctor stays to talk things over with Doctor Quinn. We hear about the two technicians we saw in the beginning – one died, the other is in the sick bay, though Quinn doesn’t know any specific details.

 The Doctor asks to see the log of the power losses, to see if he can determine any pattern, having a fresh eye. After looking at it several moments, The Doctor says that it is incomplete. We learn that Spencer was the man responsible for keeping the log – he is the injured man from the beginning.

 The Doctor says that doesn’t explain it, as it is obvious that several pages have been torn out.

 Liz meets with Doctor Meredith to review the records. Doctor Meredith isn’t very open to the UNIT team. The Doctor asks to speak to Spencer, but Meredith says no, he won’t allow it. When The Doctor throws around the UNIT influence, he reluctantly gives in.

 We see Spencer in a room, being observed by another doctor. Spencer is squatting at the wall, drawing on it with a marker. Apparently, Spencer is a bit unhinged after his experience. When The Doctor tries to talk to him, he tries to throttle the time lord, but our hero talks him down, getting him to calm down through words (and perhaps force of will?)

 The Doctor says that Spencer’s mind has been “thrown back millions of years” – obviously to caveman days, though it should be tens of thousands of years, no?

 In the control room, Quinn and his assistant, Miss Dawson confer in hushed tones. She’s worried about the UNIT team discovering something – they obviously seem to be up to something. She says he has to “tell them to stop, at least while these people are here”, but he says he’s tried. She asks him to tell Major Baker or the Brig, but he says they won’t believe him.

 When she says it’s not worth the risk, “The knowledge I’ll gain is worth any risk.”

 Major Baker confronts the Brig about The Doctor – seems he’s the only one Baker cannot get any information on. The Brig tells him not to worry about it, he is the Brig’s “personal responsibility”.

 The Doctor arrives and Baker is dismissed. The Doctor reports in to say that he’s “found enough to make me very, very worried.”

 Professor Lawrence declines Quinn the permission to run additional tests. They initiate proton acceleration phase three. Roberts, one of the technicians blanks out for a moment when they ask him for the electron voltage readings.

 The Doctor and the Brig butt heads. Suddenly, there’s a power failure. They call each other Sherlock and Watson during their argument, which is amusing.

 In the control room, they begin a gradual shut down procedure. Technician Roberts has difficulty closing down his section when it’s his turn, even attacking Miss Dawson when she runs over. The Doctor comes to her rescue and shuts it down for them.

 Later, Liz and The Doctor consult about the people with breakdowns. She says the rate is two hundred percent of other installations and everyone who did have a breakdown worked in the cyclotron control room, which is the place where she felt odd. The Doctor notes that it is the deepest part of the centre and the closest to the caves.

 The Doctor reads the death report on Davis, which includes some notes on claw marks, which piques his curiosity.

 We next see him in mining gear and outfit, climbing down the ladder into the caves. He finds Davis’ hammer that he dropped when the creature attacked. Poking around, he hears the roaring of the creature and moves to investigate. He comes into a cave where there’s a dinosaur-like creature. The Doctor throws up his hands… and the credits roll.

 Classic 70s monster and nuclear energy issues story, thus far. Some intrigue going on – at the least Dawson and Quinn are involved with something. What else, what else?


Episode 2:

 As the creature moves to attack, a strange musical sequence is heard and the creature backs away, leaving The Doctor unmolested. Confused, he gets up and follows the tracks, stopping to inspect them.

 The Brig and Liz discuss The Doctor’s location in the caves, using a map. The Brig is quite irritated that he didn’t find out earlier. Major Baker shows up with some spelunking gear, but The Doctor shows up to ask if he can come along with them on their trip.

 Quinn and Lawrence argue in the cyclotron room. Lawrence is very high strung because of all the issues. Lawrence tells Quinn and Dawson about The Doctor going in the caves and returning, which strikes a chord with them. She’s very worried about them searching the caves.

 Major Baker proposes the saboteurs (his pet theory) might have worked up a fake monster to scare people off.

 The Doctor leads a team down. The footprint is no longer there. There’s some rumbling, and Major Baker moves on ahead. The Brig sends three men after him. Baker sees a silhouette of a humanoid figure and fires his rifle. Suddenly, the dinosaur attacks him.

 Hearing his cries, The Doctor and others rush over to check on him. The Brig splits up the group, most to carry on, The Doctor and another to take back Baker.

 We see a Silurian (the one Baker shot out, who was injured by ricochet) climb out of the ground, staggering about in the sunlight.

 The Doctor and Liz look through a microscope at a sample of something that seems to resemble “several of the larger reptiles”. The Brig arrives to report that they lost whom/whatever they were pursuing. He’s sent for reinforcements from HQ.

 The Doctor points out that there must be two types of creatures in the caves – the big one and something smaller that controls the larger, and has called it off on at least two occasions.

 We see through the Silurian’s eyes as it wanders in the night, opening a gate and then enters a barn or stable.

 Professor Lawrence and Miss Dawson discuss the disappearance of Doctor Quinn. She says he had to go and rest. The Doctor shows up, also looking for Quinn. Lawrence deduces that Quinn has gone off to “that cottage of his”, to work on his book.

 In the caves, we see Quinn referencing a map and walks to a specific spot. Looking up, a red light flashes on him and he walks through a secret door that slides open. In a trance-like state, he walks into a room and ends up in an upright ‘chair’.

 He comes out of his trance and says he has come there to warn them about the humans. A voice says that it is too late, they already have come and attacked. Quinn seems to be working with them in exchange for scientific knowledge. They tell him that he must find the wounded one. He is given a device that will help summon the wounded one.

 A farmer finds the Silurian in his barn. He runs off to tell his wife to call the police and the creature comes up behind him and attacks. His wife comes in (typical, she didn’t listen) and screams.

 Professor Lawrence comes into the Brig’s operations room, rather unhappy that more soldiers have arrived. Lawrence challenges the Brig’s reliance on the “mysterious Doctor” and asks if he’s qualified. The Brig’s response is aces, “The Doctor’s qualified to do almost everything.” Lawrence threatens to write the permanent Undersecretary. He leaves, and then the Brig gets a call about the dead farmer.

 The Doctor, Liz and the Brig go to the farm, where The Doctor realises that the farmer died of fear, not the claw marks. They go to the local hospital, where the wife is in a bed, stricken with fear. The Doctor draws a pic of a Silurian and she reacts to it. The Doctor asks her where it went and she says it’s still in the barn, where they left Liz to take samples and run tests.

 We see Liz in the barn, doing exactly that, when the Silurian (still not on camera, again, we see through its eyes) approaches her. She turns and screams and it swipes at her, knocking her down… and the credits roll.

Episode 3:

 The Silurian knocks Liz down and escapes the barn, avoiding a policeman outside.

 Miss Dawson arrives at Quinn’s cottage, where he’s rummaging through some papers, looking for a map. He shows her the device “they” gave to him. He tells her that one of them got wounded and he’s been asked to help it find its way back. He rushes off to the barn, upon hearing about the attack there and realising that a cave entrance is nearby.

 The UNIT men open the barn door and find an unconscious Liz. The barn is searched, but other than some chickens, there doesn’t seem to be anything. Liz recovers, saying she saw it. The Brig sends his men out of the barn to find it.

 Liz describes the creature as a reptile that walked upright, like a man. The Doctor sits with her as she recovers. Quinn comes into the barn, asking what was happening – he claims he saw the commotion as he was returning to the research centre.

 The local police, UNIT forces comb the countryside, looking for the creature. We see various scenes of this, men with dogs, helicopters, men with vehicles, all reporting in. Peppy music is played in the background.

 After Quinn leaves, Liz points out on the map that Quinn must be lying – the farm was miles out of his way for him to just be driving by. Quinn is seen out in the fields, operating the signal device. Nearby, search dogs bark. The search helicopter buzzes by him and he gets back in his car and drives off.

 The Doctor and the Brig arrive where Capt Hawkins is coordinating the search effort. He reports to them about the helicopter spotting a man (Quinn, though they don’t know it) outside his car and a strange noise that Hawkins felt sounded like the one they heard in the caves, about the same time.

 Quinn stops at another location to use the signal device and the Silurian approaches. The closer it gets, the faster the chirping of the device becomes. Quinn spins around and gazes at the creature in surprise.

 The Doctor and Brig are homing on (audibly, apparently) on the noise, but it suddenly stops. The find where Quinn and the Silurian met up, and see the Silurian’s foot prints as well as car tracks. The Doctor seems to have an idea whose car it is.

 Liz, back at the research centre, stops in to check on Major Baker. He seems rather upset about being there. He still is having memory issues over what happened in the cave. He insists that he see the Brigadier, but she says no and departs. When she does, he gets out of bed and begins to undress.

 Back at his cottage, Quinn hears a car. He locks the door, but The Doctor buzzes the door bell and for some reason, he lets him in, giving some lame excuse about why he didn’t go back to the centre yet. The Doctor asks about the temperature on the thermostat – it’s rather warm. “It is rather like a reptile house in the zoo, isn’t it?” – The Doctor

 He asks The Doctor to leave, rather brusquely. The Doctor knows that he’s on to something and all but says so to Quinn.

 “You’d save us a lot of trouble if you let me help you, you know.” – The Doctor to Quinn.

 Back at the research centre, The Doctor and Liz pore through paperwork – presumably Quinn’s? He forces his way into a locked cabinet with a knife. Yes, they’re in Quinn’s office. The Doctor pulls out a ball, but Liz says it is a globe, but the continents are wrong – the land masses are all bunched together. The Doctor realises that it’s pre-continental drift.

 Miss Dawson comes in, demanding to know what they’re doing in there. She threatens to call the director, but when The Doctor says they know there’s something going on in the caves, she puts the phone down. She’s about to reveal something when the Brig bursts in and she changes her mind.

 Quinn is still in his cottage, when someone pulls up. He dims the light and hides, but it’s Miss Dawson. She tells him about The Doctor going through his office. Quinn is paranoid, thinking that The Doctor will just steal the tech the Silurians have promised. He tells her that he has one there, one who will die if he doesn’t return it to the caves and they will reward him for doing so.

 The Doctor, Liz, the Brig and Capt Hawkins are meeting with Professor Lawrence, when Major Baker bursts in, demanding that there are saboteurs and a team must be taken in to the caves to wipe them out. The Brig asserts himself, saying that HE will determine what actions will be taken, if any, and in the mean time, Baker is to return to sick bay. Baker all but froths at the mouth, so Hawkins is sent to escort Baker back.

 The Brigadier tells The Doctor that he does agree with Baker, he’s just waiting for more men to search the caves. Lawrence drops a bombshell that the undersecretary is on his way. The Doctor leaves to find Doctor Quinn, hoping to get him to trust him “before it is too late”.

 The Doctor rings the bell at the cottage, but nobody answers. The Doctor breaks in (this cottage is awfully easy for people to get in) and calls out for Doctor Quinn. Poking about (at least he’s not fiddling) he finds Quinn collapsed on a chair, quite dead.

 He finds the signal device in Quinn’s hand and activates it. The Silurian walks in and we see it for the first time. The Doctor glances over, the camera zooms in on the Silurian… and the credits roll.

Episode 4:

 The Doctor offers his hand in greeting, “Hello. Are you a Silurian?” The Silurian looks at his hand but doesn’t shake it. The Doctor begins to ask it questions, what they want, how many there are. The creature acknowledges that it can understand him, but doesn’t answer verbally. A vehicle is heard driving up outside and the Silurian pushes The Doctor away and bursts through the door.

 Baker manages an escape from the guard posted and heads to the caves. We see him in the cave gear, moving about, but is trapped when he steps into a pool of liquid. Several Silurians come out and he shoots at them, though manages to hit none of them. One of them approaches and his third eye flashes and Baker cries out in pain.

 The Doctor returns from Quinn’s, but doesn’t tell the Brig about Quinn’s death. He tells the Brig that “an invasion by jack-booted soldiers” is not the answer and the Brig storms off in a huff. The Doctor tells Liz what happened to Quinn. She makes him take her down into the caves (or she’ll tell the Brig what happened.)

 In the caves, they have Quinn’s map – a specific route is mapped out, but they realise that there’s a more direct route; one that takes them down the same path Baker went. At the last minute, The Doctor realises they’re about to step into a trap and go back, sticking to Quinn’s route.

 They reach the door way, but have to hide as a Silurian approaches. The Silurian emits musical tones to enter the door. After it has entered, the door closes, but The Doctor uses the signal device to open the door. They skulk about inside, seeing many Silurians about, operating computers (I wonder if this Doctor hates computers, too.)

 We see Baker in a cage in one room, demanding to be let out and saying they’ll be coming to rescue him. The Doctor and Liz find him, but Baker says they have to go back for reinforcements. He tells them he’s being interrogated about the population on the surface and how the live, what they eat.

 As they talk, lights flash in a nearby room. They watch as a Silurian is revived from some form of deep slumber/hibernation. The Doctor posits that the power losses might be the side effect of the Silurians bringing up their numbers. Baker insists they leave while they can or they’ll all be prisoners.

 More skulking (not to be confused with fidding or poking) ensues. The dinosaur is spotted in a cage, not really sure what the whole point of it being there is. It gives Liz a chance to do a half-hearted scream (that none of the Silurians hear… maybe they don’t have good hearing.)

 In the cyclotron room, they’re shutting down as a result of the power loss. Lawrence shows up as Travis is doing everything properly and has already tried everything Lawrence says to do or tries to do himself – including call Quinn’s cottage, but there was no response. Lawrence asks where Dawson is, why she’s not running things, and Travis says she never showed up.

 Just then a call comes through – the Permanent Undersecretary is there, coming down the lift. He arrives moments later. Lawrence takes him away to the conference room (the one the Brig is using as a HQ.)

 The PU pours himself a cup of coffee and tells Lawrence he better get things sorted out. (Interesting to note – Geoffrey Palmer, who plays Masters, the PU, also plays another role in the later Pertwee serial THE MUTANTS, and then again in the Tennant Christmas Special, VOYAGE OF THE DAMNED, where he plays Captain Hardaker.)

 Lawrence tells PU Masters that he wants UNIT out of there ASAP. Lawrence fills him in about the claim of monsters. The Doctor shows up, as does the Brigadier, whom he tells not to take troops down there, as he’s been down there and knows what is going on. PU Masters tells him that he’d best fill them in, to which the Brigadier agrees.

 The Silurians are interrogating Baker, trying to learn what intelligent species there are on the surface (just the humans or others?) as well as what sort of weaponry they have. He refuses to answer the weapon question and one of the Silurians wants to force the answers out of him, but the one who seems to be in charge says no. (It’s the typical bad “alien”, good “alien” syndrome. We saw it in THE DOMINATORS, THE KROTONS, even in parts of THE WAR GAMES.)

 The Doctor argues that the Silurians aren’t evil or aggressive, only defensive. He wants the chance to go and talk to them first. It almost seems the PU and others might agree to his request, but Miss Dawson shows up to say the Silurians killed Quinn. This shoots down any chance The Doctor had of winning the others over to his side. They all depart, to prepare for the morning’s raid on the caves.

 The Doctor makes his way to the Silurians’ base, to warn them about the impending attack. He is taken to the cages and placed in one next to Baker. The Doctor tells them he wants the Silurians to greet the humans in peace, not to fight them.

 When The Doctor tells them he wants peace between them and the humans, “It is their planet, now,” the Silurian says, “This planet was ours, first, it has always been ours.”

 The UNIT troops are in the caves, following Quinn’s map, but they seem to have gotten lost (the Silurians are changing the geography of it behind them.)

 Baker and The Doctor argue over whether he should have told them the Brig’s plans, when the aggressive Silurian arrives to say that he has destroyed the humans and now he will destroy them and attacks The Doctor with his third eye (it’s a sonic or mental attack, perhaps). The Doctor’s eyes go wide as he’s assaulted… and the credits roll.

 A great ending and the end of this post – see you Friday for parts five through seven!

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