Monday 8 August 2011

259 Doctor Who and the Silurians: Episode Two

EPISODE: Doctor Who and the Silurians: Episode Two
TRANSMITTED: 07 February 1970
WRITER: Malcolm Hulke
DIRECTOR: Timothy Combe
SCRIPT EDITOR: Terrance Dicks
PRODUCER: Barry Letts
FORMAT: DVD: Doctor Who - Beneath the Surface (The Silurians / The Sea Devils / Warriors of the Deep)
Episode Format: 16mm b&w film recording recoloured using 525 off air video

The Dinosaur attacking the Doctor is called off by a strange noise. Returning to the research centre The Doctor finds the Brigadier preparing to mount a search of the caves. During the search Security Chief Major Baker shoots at a figure he believes is a saboteur but is injured by another assailant. Taking a sample of the blood spilt in the caves, The Doctor finds it resembles reptile blood. The figure Baker shot has reached the surface and hides in a farm barn. Quinn goes into the caves and confers with his hidden allies. They give him a signalling device to summon the wounded & missing creature. The farmer & his wife discover the creature in their barn, and it kills the farmer. The police summon Unit who investigate. The Doctor & Brigadier talk to the distraught wife at the local hospital and realise the creature is still in the barn ..... with the investigating Liz Shaw!

We get out and about a bit more this episode with more action in the caves and some nice outdoors shots of the creature approaching the farm. But I'm afraid I'm still not being grabbed by this.

Timothy Combe is making his full Doctor Who directing debut with this story He'd previously worked on The Keys of Marinus as assistant floor manager, then The Reign of Terror & The Evil of the Daleks as production assistant, directing film sequences for The Evil of the Daleks: Episode 7. He directs two early Pertwee stories and as we'll see both end up with exactly the same technical problem.

Yes your eyes are not deceiving you, that is who you think it is playing Captain Hawkins - the great Paul Darrow making his first Doctor Who appearance. He is of course best known as Avon in Blake's 7. He'll be back as Tekker in Timelash where he hams it up dreadfully extracting revenge on Colin Baker's performance in the Blake's 7 episode "City at the Edge of the World". We'll here a lot more about Blake's 7 later.... but there's a good chance that I will at some point sit down and watch all 52 episodes of Blake's 7 and write about them when I'm done with Doctor Who.

Several of the Blake's 7 cast show up in other Doctor Who episodes: Peter Tuddenham (Zen/Orac/Slave) is in Ark in Space, Masque of Mandragora & Time & the Rani as various voices, Michael Keating (Villa) is in the Sunmakers, Brian Croucher (the Second Travis) is in Robots of Death and Jacqueline Pearce (Servalan) is in the Two Doctors. Blake's 7 was created by Terry Nation (of Daleks fame), produced by David Maloney (frequent Who director, most recently seen by us directing the War Games), script edited by Chris Boucher (who we'll hear from later) and had episodes written by Robert Holmes. The cast shared by the series is sop extensive I'd be here forever listing them all so as each of the Blake's 7 regulars listed above shows up in Doctor Who I'll list the shared cast for each of it's four seasons.

Ha! Just got the joke behind Paul Darrow's character name. The Brigadier's revolving door of Captains in his first few stories is frequently referred to as "The Interchangeable Jimmys" (Jimmy Turner in the Invasion & Jimmy Monroe in Spearhead from Space). If this character was a Jimmy too he'd be Jim Hawkins!

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