Friday 12 August 2011

263 Doctor Who and the Silurians: Episode Six

EPISODE: Doctor Who and the Silurians: Episode Six
TRANSMITTED: 07 March 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 Doctor returns to the centre to begin work on finding a vaccine for the virus. Centre staff are given a wide ranging antibiotic in an attempt to hold it at bay, but Doctor Lawrence refuses his believing the virus doesn't exist and it's another attempt to interrupt his work. Masters returns to London by train, feeling unwell, and collapses after getting out of a taxi. All over the capital people start to die. The Brigadier starts to receive reports of virus cases from abroad. Lawrence, the virus having taken hold, attacks the Brigadier and dies. The Doctor announces he has found a cure but as he is transcribing the formula Silurians enter the centre and kidnap him.

This episode is essentially "The Doctor races to find a a cure while people start dying in London" Rightly famed for it's location sequence, nicely faded back to the research centre it's something different and there's something happening but it's a bit too little too late. Liz is still with me watching this story, though it's severely testing her patience and she's resorted to Mumsnet to get her through it. She laughs as Lawrence dies ascribing his performance to "Crazy Person Acting 101". We both spot that this is the third episode this story to end with bug eyed gurning Pertwee!

Private Wright in this episode is Derek Pollitt, previously the very Welsh Driver Evans in The Web of Fear, and latterly A. St. John D. Caldera in Shada.

Location filming for this episode took place at Marylebone Station, Melcombe Place, Dorset Square and Swancombe House on 12 November 1969. Unfortunately they were back at Marylebone Station twelve days later to reshoot the scenes there when it was discovered that film recorded at this location had been scratched. To reduce costs members of the production staff and their friends fill in for credited actors during the reshot sequences. I'm told Timothy Combe and Terrance Dicks can be seen in this sequence: I think I've spotted Terrance striding across the concourse holding a briefcase in a long shot. The only person I am sure about is the Ticket Collector who is played by assistant script editor Trevor Ray.

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