Doctor Who: Season 1, Episode 2

The Cave of Skulls (30 Nov. 1963)

TV Episode  |  TV-PG  |   |  Adventure, Drama, Family
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The TARDIS takes its new passengers back to the dawn of history. There, the Doctor and his party are captured by a tribe who are trying to rediscover the secret of fire.


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Episode complete credited cast:
William Russell ...
Jacqueline Hill ...
Derek Newark ...
Alethea Charlton ...
Eileen Way ...
Jeremy Young ...
Howard Lang ...


The TARDIS takes its new passengers back to the dawn of history. There, the Doctor and his party are captured by a tribe who are trying to rediscover the secret of fire.

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


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Release Date:

30 November 1963 (UK)  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


This episode takes place in 100,000 BC. See more »


The shadow of a boom microphone can be seen moving across Susan shortly after she leaves the TARDIS. See more »


Susan Foreman: We've left 1963.
The Doctor: Oh, yes, undoubtedly. I'll be able to tell you where presently. Zero? That's not right. I'm afraid this yearometer is not calculating properly. Hm! Well, anyway, the journey's finished.
[looking at Ian on the ground]
The Doctor: What are you doing down there?
Barbara Wright: What have you done?
Ian Chesterton: Barbara, you don't believe all this nonsense.
Susan Foreman: Well, look at the scanner screen.
The Doctor: Yes, look up there. They don't understand and I suspect they don't want to. Well, there you are. A new world for you.
Ian Chesterton: Sand and rock?
The Doctor: ...
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Featured in Doctor Who: Origins (2006) See more »

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User Reviews

100,000 BC Episode 2: Good but I wish it had been aliens instead of cavemen.
26 June 2014 | by (South Wales, UK) – See all my reviews

Review for episodes 2, 3 and 4.

Following on from the brilliant opening episode the remainder of the '100,000 BC' story is a slight disappointment.

It is not remotely bad as it has interesting elements and is of good quality in all respects but it is somewhat ill conceived to start the series with a story set in a prehistoric world with cavemen and their squabbles over the discovery of fire.

Any criticism that it is not correct historically can be answered in that it is not specified that it is Earth and therefore could be another planet at a time of caveman civilization. Also criticisms of how cavemen could converse in English make a lot more sense now that later on in Doctor Who we are told that the Doctor's time machine - the TARDIS - allows the travellers to converse with aliens or people speaking other languages via some sort of telepathic means. However it is somewhat less interesting and somewhat more confusing for viewers than if they had an opening serial featuring alien beings or a more suitable human era such as recent past or future.

The discovery of fire story with tribal in fighting is not really typical of the series to follow and does not afford good guest characters or sufficiently intelligent plot to get really into it. Apart from some very annoying screeching and grunting and lack of interest in the cavemen there is a lot more intelligent scripting and interest provided with the Doctor and his companions. Overall good but could have been better with aliens instead of cavemen.

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