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Science Fiction - Doctor Who 52 - Jon Pertwee - The Silurians

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Doctor Who 52 - Beneath the Surface Box Set
Doctor Who and the Silurians (1970)
Jon Pertwee, Caroline John, Nicholas Courtney
7 episodes 2 DVDs
BBC / Warner Home Video 2008
Colour

Doctor Who Beneath the Surface is a DVD box set of three connected episodes of this great BBC science fiction classic: The Silurians (program 52), The Sea Devils (program 62), and Warriors of the Deep (program 131) which brings together the creatures from the previous two episodes. There are two Doctors here: Jon Pertwee and Peter Davison and no Daleks whatsoever. Doctor Who and the Silurians was digitally remastered so this 70's episode looks and sounds really good aside from the exterior shots which still show their videotape age.

In this Jon Pertwee episode the Doctor, recently banished to earth sans Tardis, is part of something called the UNIT and is at an underground research centre where they are testing a particle accelerator. This has disturbed the inhabitants of this region below the earth's surface, the Silurians.

One of the scientists wants their advanced knowledge and the credit for it. Meanwhile the military want to investigate the caves and the center director is being very bureaucratic about the whole thing.

Doctor Who and the Silurians is quite a good show even if there is a lot of mucking about padding before the Doctor encounters the creatures from under the earth and everyone figures out what it is they want.

This program is in part about colonization. In this case the aborigines are more or less the humans and the colonizers the Silurians. It is also about the ongoing struggle for power between scientists, the military, bureaucrats, and people and creatures of good will.

Extra features abound in Doctor Who and the Silurians. Subtitled factoid about this Doctor Who segment are available as well as a commentary track and a music only track. Most interesting is the 35 minute documentary that places this Jon Pertwee episode in its historical and social context thus explaining the backstory to an audience almost 40 years removed from the original airing. Also included are a Making Of, a 13 minute segment on the music used in the shows of the time, and a location featurette. The segment on the restoration of this episode is fascinating and proves the restoration owes a lot to a fan who taped the original PBS presentation of this episode.

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