Ah, now, this is some proper Classic Doctor Who we've got going on today. There's a scientific research station, built into the caves of Wenley Moor in Derbyshire, and as one might expect they have Dug Too Deep and Awakened Something Dangerous. This story has everything you might want: brilliant but aloof scientists, driven but blinkered administrators, dark and scary caverns, a giant lizard (dinosaur?) prowling said caverns, and prehistoric intelligent Homo Reptilicus adversaries lurking about in the shadows.
Let's talk about that.
Doctor Who and the Silurians - Episodes 1 & 2
(TARDIS Data Core recap)
As you might have noticed, the title of this story is unique in that it begins with "Doctor Who and...". The actual title was supposed to just be The Silurians, which is the title later used for the Target novelization, but due to a production miscommunication the graphic designers it became the only story to contain the words "Doctor Who" in the actual title (although there was an episode of The Chase titled The Death of Doctor Who back when each individual episode had its own title in addition to the overall story name.)
As for the story itself, it basically involves a scientific research station that is powered by their own private nuclear reactor and which is using a cyclotron - I.E. a proton accelerator. UNIT is called in to troubleshoot when the station repeatedly suffers random power drops that could ultimately lead to a nuclear meltdown. The Brigadier ropes in the Doctor and Liz to help with the investigation, and of course hijinks ensue. By the end of the first episode the Doctor has gone off on his own to explore the caverns and gets cornered by a dinosaur. By the second episode we have learned that at least two of the scientists know that they have awakened an intelligent reptilian race, who are the ones pulling power from the nuclear reactor. We finally get a few brief glimpses of the Silurians during the second episode, which ends with Liz Shaw cornered and attacked by an injured Silurian in a nearby barn.
There's a lot more than that going on, and it's all delicious. This is the kind of slow-burn story that I absolutely adore. There is plenty of creepy goings-on, with a slow trickle of reveals as each of the supporting characters get their moments to shine. For his part, Jon Pertwee has already fully settled into his role as the Third Doctor. He and Caroline John as Liz Shaw have an undeniable chemistry, and they are a delight every time they share the screen.
This story also has the first appearance of Bessie, the Doctor's bright yellow roadster with the distinctive WHO1 plates.
I have to say, I am truly loving this era of stories. It is a complete blind spot for me, so I am getting each story as something completely new and unexpected. I do so hope that they all continue to be as fun as this one.
Companion(s): Liz Shaw, Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart
Episode(s): Doctor Who and the Silurians - Episodes 1 & 2
Steps Walked: 6,833 today, 880,458 total
Distance Walked: 3.46 miles today, 427.74 miles total
Weight: 268.44 lbs (five day moving average), net change -38.86 lbs