Doctor Who and the Silurians (Story #52)

7.0 Overall Score
Story: 6/10
Acting: 7/10
Visuals: 5/10

Jon Pertwee begins to take the reigns as the Doctor, lots of series firsts

Long series, Silurians costumes are really poor


I’m sorry, I’m just distracted by your horrible costume…

A scientific installment searching for a new form of energy begins to suffer loses in the caves below the compound.  When the Doctor (Jon Pertwee), Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart (Nicholas Courtney), and Liz Shaw (Caroline John) discover an underground race of lizard like people named Silurians are responsible, the Doctor finds himself trying to create peace between the two warring races.  When a disagreement arises between the Silurians on how to deal with the humans, a Silurian releases a contagious disease that could wipe out the human population.  Now, the Doctor finds himself in a race against time to stop the disease and save humanity before it is too late.

Doctor Who and the Silurians falls during the seventh season of Doctor Who.  It aired in seven parts from January 31, 1970 to March 14, 1970.  Following Doctor Who: Spearhead from Space, Doctor Who and the Silurians has been collected as part of The John Pertwee Years as Story #52.



Doctor Who and the Silurians is Jon Pertwee’s second outing as the Doctor and has the rare distinction of not having a traditional title (most Doctor Who episodes don’t have “Doctor Who” as part of the title and this series sometimes is just referred to as Doctor Who:  The Silurians). Jon Pertwee in Doctor Who: Spearhead from Space was just finding his feet as the Doctor and really nails his “Doctor” in this serial but we do get to see the Doctor’s mysterious tattoo again (it isn’t mysterious, but Pertwee has a real tattoo on his arm which seems rather odd for the Doctor).


No, I have the worst costume!

The series features a number of first.  The story was the first to use color studio cameras (Spearhead from Space was shot on location).  The episode introduces the Doctor’s car Bessie, and Bessie appears through much of Pertwee’s reign as the Doctor.  It is also features the first Silurians who cousins the “Sea Devils” appeared later in Doctor Who: The Sea Devils (Story #62).  Silurians have appeared in the modern Doctor Who in Doctor Who—Season 5’s “The Hungry Earth”.  Of course the Silurians seen here are much more rubbery than the Silurians in “The Hungry Earth” which are quite cool looking.


Does my face make you not notice my wicked comb-over?

The Silurians are fun in a retro sense, but as real characters here, they’re rather ridiculous.  The characters just look like rubber suits and they aren’t even put together very well.  I like the monster Doctor Who episodes because they are so goofy, and Doctor Who and the Silurians definitely qualifies for the goofy monsters.

Doctor Who and the Silurians is a fun entry into the Doctor Who series.  Jon Pertwee is developing nicely as a Doctor in this series and really gets a grasp of what makes the Doctor fun.  It might not be the best looking Doctor Who episode due to the dated costumes, but it is a good one. Doctor Who and the Silurians is followed by Doctor Who: The Ambassadors of Death.

Preceded By:

Doctor Who:  Spearhead from Space (Story #51)

Followed By:

Doctor Who:  The Ambassadors of Death (Story #53)

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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