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Appearance / Type: Reptilian humanoid
Also known as: Earth Reptiles, Psionosauropodamorphae
Affiliated with: Sea Devils
Place of origin: Earth
Appearances: DW: Doctor Who and the Silurians, Warriors of the Deep
NA: Blood Heat, Happy Endings, Eternity Weeps
MA: The Scales of Injustice
DWM: The Cybermen: The Dead Heart
DWM: Final Genesis, Twilight of the Silurians, City of Devils
BFA: Bloodtide, The Coup
Mentioned in: NA: St Anthony's Fire
DW: The Sea Devils
Notable Individuals: Icthar

The Silurians (known amongst themselves as Earth Reptiles) were Earth's first known sentient species. They were also referred to as Homo Reptilia, Psionosauropodomorpha and more correctly as Eocene. Technologically advanced, they lived during prehistoric times.




Physical Appearance

A Silurian stands over the body of Major Baker(DW: Doctor Who and the Silurians)

Silurians were tall, some reaching up to 7 feet in height. They had long fingers and three webbed toes on each foot. Their mouths were small and somewhat sucker-like. The most noticeable feature of the Silurians were their three eyes. Their main eyes were bright yellow with cat-like pupils. The third eye was red and on the forehead, surrounded by a fluting bone structure. Their three eyes provided them with a triple-faceted form of vision, with the top eye seeing in infrared.(DW: Doctor Who and the Silurians) They also had external ears, capable of hearing all around themselves. (NA: Blood Heat)

The Silurians had a wide variation in appearance beyond these basics. The Silurians seen at Wenley Moor had green, lumpy skin, a large mouth, rectangular ears and an inset third eye. As well as having a more powerful third eye, they were active creatures who spoke quickly in a deep voice. (DW: Doctor Who and the Silurians) The Silurians seen on Sea Base 4, on the other hand, had a stockier build, brown skin, suckers on the tips of their fingers, a smaller mouth and the third eye on top. They also had ornate, curving spikes on their head and wore thick armour. They were also slower and spoke in a higher pitched voice. (DW: Warriors of the Deep)


Silurians were cold blooded and were only capable of surviving in warmer temperatures. They would become sluggish and slow when too cold. Silurians had a hunter's anatomy, with powerful muscles and hollow bones. Though they were taller than Humans, they were also lighter and faster. Silurians were incapable of crying. (NA: Blood Heat) The typical lifespan of a Silurian was 200 to 250 years. (MA: The Scales of Injustice)

Whilst many Silurians appeared similar, among some there were subtle differences which was attributed to being the result of a different caste. One such caste consisted of aquatic warriors who were known as the Sea Devils. There were other such clan families with differentiating physical characteristics with some suited for environments that had extreme cold or others which lived on high plateaux (MA: The Scales of Injustice)

The Sea Devils , though related to Silurians, were genetically divergent enough to create problems for the offspring of such matings. Such offspring were often shunned by their society and suffered from biological problems such as being sterile and possessing a shorter lifespan due to them suffering from cellular degeneration. (MA: The Scales of Injustice) Whilst this was the case, in at least one alternate reality, there was a Human-Silurian hybrid which demonstrates that mating between the two was possible. (BBC: Spiral Scratch)

In the future, it became illegal to trade in Earth Reptile pituitary analogue extract on the planet Dramos. (MA: Burning Heart)

Third Eye

A Silurian using his third eye.

The Silurians possessed a third eye on their forehead which allowed them to use a variety of telepathic powers.

The Silurians used their third eyes to communicate with other Silurians in a process known as "linking". The third eye would glow along with their emotions, becoming brighter when angered. They could also sense the presence of Silurians, even from great distances. Silurians were capable of controlling the minds of other creatures. (NA: Blood Heat) They were known to hypnotise and coerce Humans through a link to a primal part of their subject's mind, though stronger wills were capable of resisting this control. (BFA: Bloodtide)

The third eye was capable of either simply harming organic beings, killing them or leaving them unconscious. Alternatively, they were able to revive a Human that they had made unconscious through this third eye. Energies emanating from it allowed them to burn through walls and create tunnels. (DW: Doctor Who and the Silurians, NA: Blood Heat)

The Silurians also employed their third eye in more mundane tasks, such as activating their technology, opening passageways or creating forcefields to trap prisoners. (DW: Doctor Who and the Silurians)


The Silurians were described as generally a peaceful race with their highest laws preventing outright warfare except in the case of defensive engagements. (DW: Warriors of the Deep) Despite this being the case, there was a great importance placed on the species pure eugenics which was believed their most important principle and most sacrosanct belief. Thus, breeding between the Silurians and Sea Devils was considered a crime punishable by death. The eggs of such a union were normally crushed and the parents were typically executed for the crime. However, in some cases, namely the time when their entire races went into hibernation, those that broke those teachings were instead abandoned in a shelter where they were entombed. (MA: The Scales of Injustice)

Silurians communicated by telepathically linking with the use of their third eye, as well as by body language. Though they could communicate with words, they generally only used it for effect, when talking to children or to species without telepathic linking abilities. Silurians had little in the way of literature, since their mind linking abilities were a more effective method of transferring ideas. (NA: Blood Heat)

Silurians of advanced age would festoon their third eye with pearls as a form of decoration. (NA: Blood Heat) Some Silurians kept early homonids as pets. (Doctor Who and the Cave-Monsters) Whilst in the future, they became known to take the term of Earth Reptiles', there were some amongst their kind in these eras that instead chose to refer to themselves as Silurians as they believed those that accepted the title of Earth Reptiles were pathetic assimilationists. (MA: Burning Heart)

They were also known to had possessed a Lizard God. (MA: The Crystal Bucephalus) In addition, there was an entity within their myths known as Urmungstandra who was a devil god. (EDA: The Taking of Planet 5)


A Silurian/Sea Devil hybrid (MA: The Scales of Injustice)

The Silurians had many advancements unknown to the Humans. They had simple cryogenic technology, though it had a faulty timer and relied on nearby energy sources. They had some holographic technology as well. The Silurians processed their own food and didn't rely on harvesting animals or plants, (MA: The Scales of Injustice) except for times of food deprivation. (NA: Blood Heat) They also used mechanical airships, which Bernice used and found to be of high quality. (NA: St Anthony's Fire)

The Silurians had advanced genetic capabilities. They were capable of bringing species back from extinction, such as many species of dinosaurs. (DW: Doctor Who and the Silurians, NA: Blood Heat) They could also modify species, like they did with the Myrka. (DW: Warriors of the Deep) Furthermore, they demonstrated their ability in creating a genetically engineered plague, which they once used against early Humans who invaded their crop settlements. The disease was highly virulent to Humans and was used as a form of 'pest control'. (DW: Doctor Who and the Silurians) Despite this, they were still having problems with Silurian/Sea Devil hybrids' deficiencies. (MA: The Scales of Injustice)

Other noted technological abilities of the Silurians included the ability to disperse the Van Allen belt, which would have left Earth defenceless against cosmic radiation. (DW: Doctor Who and the Silurians) They could also modify the atmosphere, increasing the temperature in certain areas. (NA: Blood Heat)

Though the Sea Devils used sonic weaponry, the Silurians relied on the Sea Devils and their third eye for defensive purposes. As such, the Silurians tended not to use weaponry, though they used a Battlecruiser for transportation and offensive purposes. (DW: Warriors of the Deep) They could amplify the powers of their third eyes, allowing them to cause even more damage.


The second type of Silurian (DW: Warriors of the Deep)

Original Rule

At some point in Earth's history, the Silurians were the rulers of the planet. They were led by the Triad and used the Sea Devils as soldiers. (DW: Doctor Who and the Silurians) In the early era of their rule, there were many stories of the rise of their civilization. One noted legendary warrior chieftain was Masz K'll of the Third Dynasty who fought against the legendary Two-Faced Lizard who was his evil alter-ego. Another noted figure was Panun E'Ni who was the leader of the Southern Clan and conquered much of the world which he ruled cruely for a brief period until his defeat at the hands of Tun W'lzz. Following that event, the previously imprisoned and cast out tribes reconverged into a new more unified civilization that ate their foes mindless beasts such as the Myrka. Whether these were folk stories or historical fact was of no importance to them as it inspired the Earth Reptiles for a millennium with many of these writings left within their Hall of Heroes. (MA: The Scales of Injustice)

In this time, they had built cities of metal millions of years ago which was the height of their civilization. However, some of their scientists such as Doctor Wolik believed that a large space moving object was destined to crash to their world. Despite their findings, some of the Silurians were cynical of this coming disaster with a few believing it to be a simple scare story. In time, they panicked at the coming event and decided to make steps to protect themselves in hibernation chambers in order for their civilization to survive the coming disaster in the hopes that they would reclaim their world once the danger had passed. (DWM: Twilight of the Silurians)

In this era, hundreds of thousands of years ago, the Silurians co-existed in groups of clans that lived alongside the original ape primitives that were developing on their planet. Being a lesser species as the time, these hominids became the primary livestock of the Silurians as well as a food source. In order to improve the flavour of these creatures, a Silurian scientist by the name of Tulok began to genetically engineer the apes. This led to the hominids gaining an increased breeding cycle as well as intelligence and thus created the early Homo sapiens. For his genetic crimes, the Silurians banished Tulok and his creations to die in the coming cataclysm. (BFA: Bloodtide) During this time, primitive ape-like man began to hunt in packs and began attacking the Silurians. (DWM: Twilight of the Silurians) In this time, the apes began to prey on the crops of the Silurians leading to the Earth Reptiles in using plagues to exterminate them as they were considered pests. (DW: Doctor Who and the Silurians)

Twelve years before the large planet came dangerously close to Earth, the Silurians were divided on the matter of a mating between the land caste and their aquatic castes. Normally, such matings were forbidden and any offspring were killed along with their parents. However, facing the dangers of the global cataclysm, they instead allowed a colony of such hybrids to remain in their Shelter near Smallmarshes. They along with the rest of the Silurian race took part in the Great Hibernation. (MA: The Scales of Injustice) The panicked Silurians later sealed themselves in their underground hibernation chambers to protect their race and re-emerge onto their world once the danger had passed. They were, however, unaware of the fact that the hibernation technology was faulty and never awoke them. Furthermore, they were not aware that the dangerous planetoid that they believed would devastate their world instead was captured by the world and became the Moon. (DW: Doctor Who and the Silurians) Despite their intentions on punishing Tulok, the renegade Silurian scientist instead sabotaged a number of the hibernation chambers and destroyed them as a result. (BFA: Bloodtide)

The time of this rule has never been consistently dated.


Over the millions of years since their rule, many of their prominent structures such as the Hall of Heroes were lost due to erosion and plate movement which wiped any traces of the Silurians ancient civilization. (MA: The Scales of Injustice) After millions of years, some of the Silurian Hibernation units had been awoken.

Charles Darwin and the HMS Beagle expedition, along with the Doctor and Evelyn Smythe encountered a rogue Silurian group in the Galápagos Islands. It was revealed that the leader of this group had been responsible for creating humanity's prehistoric ancestors via a forbidden breeding program. (BFA: Bloodtide) At some point, H. P. Lovecraft discovered a reawakened settlement of Silurians who were freed from their hibernation by the machinations of The Master. However, they refused to follow him and decided to sacrifice both him as well as Lovecraft to their idol. During the event, Lovecraft stole a gemstone that was the key to the reactivation of the hibernation chambers and escaped with the Master to his TARDIS which was actually disguised as the sacrificial idol. Without the gemstone, the Silurians were forced to return to their sleep. (CP: Perfect Timing)

This may have inspired Lovecraft's writings and had him turn the Silurians into the Deep Ones from his stories.

During the Howberry expedition in 1920, Lord Barset took part in an expedition to Antarctica with a group of fellow travellers. Once there, they discovered a city consisting of intelligent reptiles who were the Silurians. All of the expedition members except one were killed as a result with the sole survivor returning to civilization where he was considered insane after telling the fate of his comrades. (AV: Endurance) This later inspired a second expedition to Antartica in 2012 led by Barset's grandson who intended to find the advanced technology of the Silurian civilization though instead he encountered a band of Ice Warrior war criminals that were frozen in the ice. (BFA: Frozen Time) Jules Verne and the Doctor once encountered Silurians and a giant squid. This adventure would be reworked into 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, though the Doctor had some difficulties convincing Jules to remove the parts with the Silurians. (NSA: Peacemaker)

In the late 20th century a group of Silurians were awakened from hibernation by the energy from the nearby nuclear power research centre at Wenley Moor. After disagreement between Okdel and Morka over this course of action, Morka won out and the Silurians then attempted reclaim the planet from Humanity by releasing a deadly virus. This plan was stopped by UNIT and the Doctor. Despite the Doctor's best efforts to broker a peaceful solution, the Silurian base was bombed by UNIT on Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart's order. (DW: Doctor Who and the Silurians) Shortly afterward, a second base was awoken in Oregon, and was likewise dealt with by UNIT. (PDA: The Devil Goblins from Neptune) Shortly afterwards, a different base of Silurians was found in the Smallmarshes consisting of hybrid born of unions from the Silurians and Sea Devils. They too wanted to take back the Earth, and there was also a schism of power leading to the end of the conflict. The Doctor, however, managed to ensure that this shelter was left in peace and that an end to hostilities emerged. (MA: The Scales of Injustice)

An alternate picture of the first type of Silurian. (DW: Doctor Who and the Silurians)

In 1983, Sarah Jane Smith and K-9, while visiting Warren Martyn's archaeological expedition in Egypt, discovered an underground city of Silurians and Sea Devils. Sarah Jane opened diplomatic relations with them, and on her return to England, contacted the Brigadier, who was willing to make amends for his earlier mistakes. (DWM: City of Devils)

By 2003 there were Silurians serving as part of UNIT, in particular Imorkal, who was working with Liz Shaw at Tranquillity Moonbase on Earth's Moon. (NA: Eternity Weeps) A number of decades later, General Sir Lethbridge-Stewart, helped the Silurians attempt to finally make peace with the humans, though the general public believed it to be a stunt involving men in rubber suits. (BFA: The Coup) Later, the Silurians aided UNIT in finding a cure for a new deadly plague. (BFA: The Wasting)

How this peace eventually breaks down into the open hostility some eighty years later at Sea Base 4 is not known.

Circa 2084, a group of Silurians allied themselves with the Sea Devils to invade Sea Base 4. They attempted to launch the Proton missiles to provoke a war between the two major power blocs. They were killed when the based was flooded with Hexachromite gas. (DW: Warriors of the Deep) At another point in the future, an Earth colony faced a devastating war against the Earth Reptiles. A last resort weapon develoepd by Humans was the creation of a doomsday device which they placed on a moonbase around the colony and designed to scour the surface of the colony. To combat this, the Earth Reptiles dispatched Quarra to infiltrate the base and take it over. However, she was unaware of an entertainer called Jen Yates who was not on the crew count and this last survivor managed to activate the weapon thus killing everyone on the colony below. Though Quarra killed Jen, the shock of the event led to Quarra taking on the entertainer's personality to shield her from the truth of the events. She believed that she was now Human and that she was guarding the weapon alone in case the Earth Reptiles won the war. After a visit by the Doctor, Quarra remembered the past events and killed herself by walking onto the surface of the moon without a spacesuit. (ST: Cold War)

By the 26th century they had been accepted into Terran society, when the term "Earth Reptile" was apparently popularized among the Humans. (NA: Love and War)


Alternative histories

  • In one alternative version of the 1990s, the Doctor having died during the Wenley Moor incident, the Silurians ruled Earth unchecked, introducing dinosaurs into Earth's ecosystem. (NA: Blood Heat)
  • In another alternative 1990s, the Doctor died during the same incident. Silurians, Sea Devils and Humans live, however in peace, under the URIC or United Races Intelligence Command, formerly known as UNIT. (DWM: Final Genesis)
  • In a timeline diverging from the 1970s, the Silurians (refered to as "lizards") unleashed an army of dinosaurs on London. UNIT used time-travel technology to wipe out the Silurians with nuclear weaponry before they could wake up in the 1970s. (DWU: Sympathy for the Devil)

Other information

  • The Silurians have never been accurately dated. As implied by their names, they were first said to be from the Silurian period (roughly 440 million to 415 million years ago), though this was before the first reptiles had evolved. The Third Doctor stated they were from the Eocene period (roughly 55 million to 35 million years ago), but this was after the extinction of the dinosaurs (which the Silurians were shown using). The Silurians were also seen using a map of Pangea from around 200 million years ago. The PDA The Quantum Archangel suggests that the Moon was orbiting the Earth before 150 million BCE, which means the Silurians ruled before then.
  • One account shows portrays Cybermen on Mondas discovering Silurians and Sea Devils during an unspecified time in the past. Whether these Earth Reptiles evolved on Mondas or were transported there is not clear. The strip also portrays Golgoth, a primordial god-figure, who resembles a Sea Devil and may have some link to the Silurians. (DWM: The Cybermen: The Dead Heart)
  • One account has the Silurians referred to by the Latin name Psionosauropodamorphae, which literally translates as psychic lizard-foot shaped. This may be intended to suggest a connection between the Silurians and the sauropod family of dinosaurs, though this seems unlikely given the near-total lack of physical resemblance and the comparatively small cerebral capacity of most sauropod dinosaurs. (NA: Blood Heat)

Behind the scenes

  • Contrary to popular belief, Malcolm Hulke did not name the Silurians after the era, but after the society of an ancient celtic tribe known as 'Silures'.
Silurian television Stories
Doctor Who and the Silurians  • Warriors of the Deep
Sea Devil television stories
The Sea Devils  • Warriors of the Deep
Aliens and Enemies of Season 7
Spearhead from Space: Nestene Consciousness  • Autons  • Channing Doctor Who and the Silurians: Silurians  • Old Silurian  • Young Silurian The Ambassadors of Death: Alien Ambassadors  • General Carrington  • James Quinlan  • Bruno Taltalian  • Reegan Inferno: Primords  • Brigade Leader Lethbridge-Stewart  • Stahlman
Aliens and Enemies of Season 21
Warriors of the Deep: Silurians  • Icthar  • Scibus  • Tarpok  • Sea Devils  • Myrka The Awakening: Malus  • George Hutchinson Frontios: Gravis  • Tractators Resurrection of the Daleks: Davros  • Gustave Lytton  • Daleks  • Dalek Troopers  • Dalek Duplicates Planet of Fire: Kamelion  • Timanov  • The Master The Caves of Androzani: Sharaz Jek  • Morgus  • Stotz The Twin Dilemma: Jacondans  • Mestor  • Gastropods

This article uses material from the "Silurian" article on the Dr Who wiki at Wikia and is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike License.


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