Thursday, 3 October 2013

The Monster Collection: The Silurians

As one who has watched very little classic Who, not for lack of will but for lack of time, not knowing where to start, etc., these sets are quite convenient.  They make for a bite-sized starting point to whet one's appetite for more classic episodes, while they also give a lifeline to the current run.

This particular set, dedicated to the Silurians, is comprised of the 7 part serial from 1970 that introduced the foes and features the Third Doctor, as well as the 2010 two-parter, "Hungry Earth" and "Cold Blood" featuring the Eleventh Doctor.

The Silurians-

The inciting incident is that of two researchers being attacked in a cave, and the generator for their nuclear research centre occasionally losing power.  At this point, Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart calls in the Doctor and his current companion, Liz Shaw, to investigate the occurrences and hopefully find the solution.  UNIT is heavily involved in the story, as was common at this point in the show, and thereby shows a large amount of military involvement very uncommon for a viewer of the recent episodes.  As is usual, there is more to the scientific team and their findings than meets the eye, and over the first few episodes, suspense builds in regards to the creatures causing the attacks.  There are brief glimpses of scaly hands or POV shots, complete with an ominous panting.
The reveal of the creature's appearance occurs several episodes in, and does not disappoint.  About half way through, the focus turns to preventing an attack on humans, and we see the Doctor spending lots of time in the lab in the hopes of saving the day without his trusty sonic.

Hungry Earth/Cold Blood-

When a drilling project in 2020 disturbs the earth's surface and causes unnatural readings and occurrences, the Doctor sets about investigating with companions Amy Pond and Rory Williams.  Things go wrong when some Silurians come to the surface with ill intentions toward the humans from the start.  This time negotiations for peace between humans and Homo reptilia are far more productive until specific Silurians bent on domination and revenge commandeer the proceedings.

As far as storylines go, both plots have major similarities regarding the reason for the Silurian conflict.  What drives the episodes are the characters involved and the specific circumstances surrounding each event.  Both are worth watching for their handling of the topic.

So, getting back to the product, if I were looking to buy episodes of Doctor Who, would I purchase this?  Probably not.  I'd save up for one of the full series or a larger collection of Classic Who (something with special features, as these sets do not have any).  However, is it a good place to start for a whovian in training?  Yes.  These sets are the sorts of things I'd recommend to people I want to get hooked on my favourite program. Although most of the sets seem to include current episodes with an incomplete cliffhanger unrelated to the collection, they still offer an adequate sampling of both eras, which will hopefully bring more people into the brilliant world of Doctor Who.

1 comment :

Ingold Inglorion said...

Without his sonic? The Sonic Magic Wand wasn't used as such back in Pertwee's era. But regarding that story, it has some very interesting particularly memorable scene is the Doctor meeting with one of the more trusting Silurians, musing over a small globe of a very different Pangaea Earth. Once again you get the impression that he really is a time traveler finding out something new to him for the first time. The tale of why the Silurians went underground is fascinating (the incoming Moon)...the incoming Moon is also what threw Mondas out of orbit, as I recall. The one thing I do like between the old and new Silurian stories is the immense respect both Three and Eleven have for the former reptilian overlords of Earth, even despite a couple "bad eggs" that want to kill the human infestation.