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The Silurians are a fictional race of reptile-like humanoids in the long-running British science fiction television series Doctor Who
The first Silurians introduced are depicted as prehistoric and scientifically advanced sentient humanoids who predate the dawn of man; in their backstory, the Silurians went into self-induced hibernation to survive what they predicted to be a large geological upheaval caused by the Earth capturing the Moon. The Silurians introduced in the 1970 story are broad, three-eyed land-dwellers.
Peter Bryant and Derrick Sherwin, drawing on the ideas of the Quatermass serials, decided that for the season’s seventh series the Doctor should be restricted to contemporary Earth and working alongside the UNIT organisation, featured prominently in the recent serial The Invasion. Barry Letts and Terrence Dicks, inheriting this new vision for the series, also wanted their stories for the seventh season to have a serious, deeper subtext. They approached Malcolm Hulke, co-writer of the Patrick Troughton serials The Faceless Ones and The War Games, to write a serial for this new season.
Hulke saw limitations with this earthbound format – he believed there would be two types of stories, one featuring mad scientists and the other alien invasions. Terrence Dicks claims credit for thinking of the idea of creatures that had been there all along, however other sources give Hulke credit for deliberately thinking his way outside of his earlier preconceptions.
While planning stories for Doctor Who’s ninth season, Terrence Dicks and Barry Letts decided to revive the Silurian concept, this time with the twist of these new Silurians originating in the sea. Originally dubbed “Sea Silurians”, they were rechristened “Sea Devils” for dramatic effect as the scripts were edited
When we first encountered the Silurians in the Silurians, 1972, they were awoken by the energy of a nearby nuclear research station. They tried to reclaim Earth by creating a deadly virus and, then try to use a disperser to destroy the Van Allen Belt. Both times the Doctor scuppers their plans. The Doctor tries to come up with a peaceful solution so that they can live alongside human beings, but Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart has other plans and destroys the Silurians in their caves.
They appeared again in,’The Warriors of the Deep,’ the Silurians appeared alongside their aquatic cousins the Sea Devils. The reptiles now call themselves Silurians and, ditto with the Sea Devils. Both the Silurians and Sea Devils are different in appearance to how they looked previously and, the Silurians now wear breastplates. They also have another weapon a Mykra, a giant electrified sea beast, which the Doctor destroys by using ultra violet heat. Again the Silurians try to reclaim the earth by causing a global war, but are stopped when the Doctor reluctantly suggests to the scientific and military team to kill the reptile warriors, by using hexachromite gas which is lethal to marine life.
Though this is scientifically incorrect, as there were many letters at the time, from scientists, stating that was impossible for any reptilain life form to exist in this period.
The Silurians Returned in 2010 with Matt Smith in the episodes Hungry Earth and , Madame Vastra who was in these two episodes helped the Doctor in A Good Man Goes To War. Madame Vastra is now a recurring character for the Doctor
- In “The Pandorica Opens”, some Silurians appear in 102 AD alongside various alien enemies of the Doctor (including alien Daleks, Sontarans, Nestenes and other species) to imprison the Doctor in the mythical “Pandorica” in order, as they see it, to save the universe from him.
- Silurians are mentioned in the 2011 Torchwood: Miracle Day episode “The Blood Line“; Jack Harkness (John Barrowman) briefly muses that the Blessing (an ancient phenomenon beneath the Earth’s surface) could be out of “Silurian mythology”.
- A Silurian doctor named Malohkeh (played by Richard Hope) is seen attending to Winston Churchill (Ian McNeice) in “The Wedding of River Song” in an aborted timeline.
- Hope plays another Silurian in “Dinosaurs on a Spaceship” (2012), seen briefly on a computer screen.
- The titular spaceship is a Silurian Ark searching for a new planet with a cargo of dinosaurs, the Silurian colony on board having been ejected from the ship by Solomon (David Bradley) prior to the episode. The ship is shown to have reached a planet named Siluria with its dinosaurs at the episode’s conclusion.
- In “The Time of the Doctor” (2013), a Silurian Ark is seen among the ships gathered round Trenzalore.
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