Doctor Who and the Cave-Monsters

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Pages 158
ISBN 0-426-11471-X
Publication Date 17 January 1974


1974 edition

All is not well at the Wenley Moor underground atomic research station: there are unaccountable losses of power-output; nervous breakdowns amongst the staff; and then – a death! UNIT is called in and the Brigadier is soon joined by DOCTOR WHO and Liz Shaw in a tense and exciting adventure with subterranean reptile men – SILURIANS – and a 40ft. high Tyrannosaurus rex, the biggest, most savage mammal which ever trod the earth!

“DOCTOR WHO, the children’s own programme which adults adore …” Gerard Garrett, The Daily Sketch

1992 edition

“If you really want to know what I think, the man simply died of fright…”

All is not well at the Wenley Moor underground atomic research station. Power is being unaccountably lost; the staff are on the verge of a strange nervous collapse and one man, his face horribly marked by some hideous claw, has been killed. The Silurians, ancient creatures who once ruled the Earth, are beginning to stir from their centuries-long slumber…

This is an adaptation by Malcolm Hulke of his own original screenplay, which featured Jon Pertwee in the role of the Doctor and which was originally published under the title The Cave Monsters.

2011 BBC Edition

“Okdel L’da looked across the valley to see the tip of the sun as it sank below the horizon. It was the last time he would see the sun for a hundred million years.”

UNIT is called in to investigate security at a secret research centre buried under Wenley Moor. Unknown to The Doctor and his colleagues, the work at the Centre has woken a group of Silurians – intelligent reptiles that used to be the dominant life form on Earth during prehistoric times.

Now they have woken, the Silurians are appalled to find ‘their’ planet populated by upstart apes. The Doctor hopes to negotiate a peace deal, but there are those on both sides who cannot bear the thought of humans and Silurians living together. As UNIT soldiers enter the cave systems, and the Silurians unleash a deadly plague that could wipe out the human race, the battle for planet Earth begins.

This novel is based on The Silurians, a Doctor Who story which was originally broadcast from 29 January-14 March 1970.

Featuring the Third Doctor as played by Jon Pertwee, his companion Liz Shaw and the UNIT organisation commanded by Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart.



  1. Prologue: The Little Planet
  2. The Doctor gets a message
  3. The Traitor
  4. Power Loss
  5. The Fighting Monster
  6. Into the Caves
  7. Quinn Visits His Friends
  8. Into an Alien World
  9. The Search
  10. Man Trap
  11. The Doctor Makes a Visit
  12. Goodbye, Dr Quinn
  13. The Prisoner
  14. Man from the Ministry
  15. Attack and Counter-Attack
  16. The Itch
  17. Epidemic
  18. A Hot World
  19. The Lie


  • A prologue tells of the Silurians going into hiding to avoid catastrophe. Each of the reptile men is given an individual name and personality.
  • The Dinosaur controlled by the Silurians in the caves is explicitly stated to be a Tyrannosaurus rex, while in the televised story its species is unclear, although it does appear to be a Tyrannosaurof some sort. It is hinted to be a species genetically created by the Silurians themselves by the fact that The Doctor is unable to identify it.
  • All the scenes with Spencer and Davis in the caves are cut out; they are replaced by Quinn and the Brigadier explaining the events.
  • The Brigadier meets The Doctor and Liz at the lift when they arrive at the centre. In the televised episode, a soldier informs the Brigadier, who is in the conference room.
  • A UNIT corporal named Grover tells Liz that The Doctor is working on Bessie.
  • The Doctor’s humming of Jabberwocky is removed.
  • A new scene features some security guards at the main gate checking The Doctor and Liz’s passes. Liz gives a password, which is”Silurians”.
  • Liz goes straight from the conference room at the research facility to the medical bay. In the televised version, she briefly goes to the cyclotron room with The Doctor.
  • The scenes when The Doctor first visits the Cyclotron room are cut out.
    Meredith is described as a good-looking young man, while in the televised serial he is older.
    More background is given to Miss Dawson; she is said to have lived in London her whole life, looking after herold mother, while all herother siblings went to America and Australia. Her mother then died, and she took the job at Wenley Moor. She is also given the first name of Phyllis.
  • The entire third chapter is devoted to Miss Dawson, including her past life and her experiences with Dr Quinn.
  • It is said that Dr Quinn’s wife died in a car accident some years before the events of this story. His first name is also changed from John to Matthew.
  • Quinn is the son of Sir Charles Quinn, a famous scientist.
  • At one point, The Doctor is referred to as “Doctor Who”.
  • Major Baker is renamed “Major Barker”.
  • The scenes featuring Roberts are different from the televised story: on-screen, Roberts tries to strangle Miss Dawson when she tries to shut off the reactor, but in the novelisation, Liz notices him drawing extinct animals on his clipboard. When The Doctor confronts him, Roberts tries to strangle Liz, but is hit by Barker with his revolver, killing him. He is also given the first name of George.
  • When Quinn goes to see the Silurians to warn them about UNIT, he speaks with Okdel in person, rather than over a speaker system as in the televised serial.
  • The Silurian that is wounded and forced to the surface is named as Morka. He is also the younger Silurian who kills the leader, a distinction which is not made clear in the television story (where the two are played by different actors).
  • Morka kills Squire by breaking his neck, rather than Squire dying of fright as in televised serial.
  • Captain Hawkins is demoted to Sergeant.
  • Only The Doctor, the Brigadier, Major Barker, Sergeant Hawkins and an unnamed soldier go into the caves to search for the Dinosaur. On-screen, there is more than one unnamed soldier.
  • Morka hides in the cellarof the barn at the farm. On-screen, there is no cellar, and the Silurian hides in the hay.
  • Major Barker is not guarded when he leaves the sickbay. On-screen, a UNIT sergeant is guarding Baker when he leaves.
  • The death of Dr Quinn differs from the televised episode. On-screen, Quinn is killed by the Silurian and the Doctor discovers his body. In the novelisation, Quinn is talking with Miss Dawson when the Silurian (Morka) burns down the doorof the store room he is locked in. When Quinn tries to talk to him, Morka kills him and knocks out Dawson and escapes. Dr Meredith later comes to the cottage searching for the recently-escaped Major Barker and finds Quinn’s body. He then finds Dawson has succumbed to her race memories and is drawing pictures of Silurian’s and animals on the walls from the ash of the burnt door.
  • Masters’ first name is changed from Edward to Frederick. He and Dr Lawrence attended prep school together.
  • The Brigadier and his team realise The Doctor has gone into the caves ahead of them when they find Bessie by the entrance.
  • The Doctor and Liz enter the Silurian shelter through a air ventilation tunnel, instead of using the calling device he took from Dr Quinn as in the televised story.
  • Morka is able to control Robins’ mind and forces him to leap off a chasm to his death.
  • The Brigadier and his team are attacked by the Silurian’s dinosaur while escaping.
  • The Brigadier tells The Doctor that Barker has been taken to the hospital. On-screen, it is Liz who informs him.
  • The Doctor and Brigadier drive a jeep to the hospital instead of Bessie as in the televised serial.
  • The name of the hospital is changed from Wenley Hospital to St Mary’s Cottage Hospital.
  • The Doctor instructs Sergeant Hawkins to tell the police that there is an outbreak of the bubonic plague at the hospital so they’ll cordon off the area.
  • Masters’ death is different from the televised serial: in the novelisation, his train is stopped to prevent him from spreading the virus. Masters exits the train, but not before infecting the train guard. He manages to get a hire-car and goes to London, but dies in the car. The hire-car driver and a policeman are also infected by Masters.
  • Dr Meredith helps The Doctor and Liz find the cure for the virus.
  • The characters of Sergeant Hart, Private Wright, Private Upton and Corporal Nutting are completely removed.
  • Sergeant Hawkins is not killed by the Silurians.
  • Dr Lawrence is killed by the Silurians While in the Cyclotron room, instead of being killed by the virus as in the televised serial.
  • Liz witnesses the Silurians’ kidnapping of the Doctor.
  • At the end, the Brigadieronly seals the Silurians in the caves, as opposed to blowing them up. The Doctor’s reaction is more muted.
  • Travis is now a female technician. She saves the day when the reactoroverloads.
  • As one of the early titles in the Target range, the writer was encouraged to flesh out his script for the novelisation.

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