Doctor Who SN1 EP2 – The Cave Of Skulls – The William Hartnell Years Review


The second episode of the William Hartnell years. After landing in some time and place following the confrontation the Doctor had with his companions, we find they have landed in the time of cavemen.

The cavepeople, who speak English amazingly well can I add, are attempting to make fire. The main guy has a bone in his hand and is trying desperately to figure out how to get a fire going so the people can survive. (Curious as to why they can’t make fire, but the speak very well for Neanderthals.) One of the cave men though has found the TARDIS and is looking in awe.

In the TARDIS, they have discovered they have landed, and Ian does not believe they have landed somewhere else. He thinks they are being cray-cray about traveling though time. The Doctor seems perturbed yet pleased that Ian is a disbeliever, and can’t wait to show him. There is a wonderful banter between Ian and the doctor, Ian fully thinking they are still in London in the 60s, and finding it very hard to believe they are anywhere else in time, let alone that time travel is possible. You can see the twinkle in the Doctor’s eyes as he discusses the time travel idea with the young man, and you can tell he thinks this person is a stupid human.

The opening of the TARDIS doors is fantastically retro…. Those big dots on the walls, door opening… omg retro, lovely retro. And this is when Ian makes his way out of the TARDIS and into the time of the cave peeps… and he is in major disbelief. This is also when the Doctor is puzzled as to why the police box has not changed.

*side note, for those of you who do not know,,, and I’m sure most of you do, The police box was not supposed to be noticeable by those who saw it. In fact, according to the Doctor, this was supposed to go into a camouflage and blend in or disguise itself so that it’s not noticed by the other people or things passing by*

Ian is very perplexed. The poor man is unable to cope with the idea that they are somewhere else. Mean while, the Doctor is collecting samples to figure out where they are, when he is abducted!!! Susan is in hysterics when they go to find her grandfather and realize he is no where to be found. Ian and Barbara console her, and Ian discovers that the sand is freezing cold.

We now jump back to the cavemen. They are the ones who have captured the Doctor. They are examining the Doctor in a sense. The caveman who discovered him talks about seeing fire coming from the fingers of the Doctor and smoke coming from his mouth. Khal, the name of this caveman, gloats of his findings. The other caveman dude, the one attempting the fire making with the bone in the earlier part of this show, is now challenged to make fire by the Khal guy, challenged for the leadership of the cave-onians. The Doctor wakes up while hearing the arguing of the Zha and Khal, and tells them he will give them the fire if they chill. But Zha does not believe him and challenges him to make the fire. Khal begs the Doctor to do as seen before and make fire… As this is all going on, we see Ian jump in and attack one of the cavemen, attempting to save the Doctor. The Doctor stops him by threatening ‘no fire’ should the man be injured or killed. The plot thickens when there is a discussion between Zha and an old woman who argue that the four strangers should be killed or they will bring destruction to the cavers. Where Zha reassures the old woman that the strangers will be killed when the bright orb (I’m guessing the sun) appears in the sky again.

We then cut to the four heroes, in a cave/dungeon area, where they notice the skulls on the ground,… and the skulls have holes in their heads…. Dom dom dom…..

This episode of the cavers was pretty amusing to watch for sure. I mean the English language, though somewhat primitive, was pretty good linguistically if you ask me. The only parts that made them seem “stupid” in any form was when they referred to the sun in the sky and talking about fire from the hands… cute really. The next episode to be reviewed is number 3, the Forest of Fear   ^_^


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