Doctor Who (1963–1989): Season 1, Episode 2 - The Cave of Skulls - full transcript

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.

Where is the fire Za makes?

In his hands.

We're not going to the wood.

My father made fire.

They killed him for it.

It is better that we live as we have always done.

He showed me how to sharpen the stones

and trap the bear and the tiger.

He should have shown me this, too.

So that everyone would bow to you
as they did to him?

Tell me what my father did to make fire.

I never saw him make it. That is all I know.

Out of my sight, old woman.

You should have died with him.

Za will never make fire.

Put on more of the dead fire.

The old men are talking against you, Za.

They say it would be better
for the stranger Kal to lead us.


They say you sit all day rubbing your hands
together while he brings us meat.

Without meat, we go hungry.

Without fire, we die.

Old men see no further than tomorrow's meat.

They will make Kal the leader.

My father will give me to him.

Kal is no leader.

The leader is the one who makes fire.

Where has the fire gone?

Where? Where?

Ian? Ian.

I'm all right.

I must have hit my head.

The movement's stopped.

The base is steady.

Layer of sand, rock formation. Good.

-We've left 1 96 3.
-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.


Well, anyway, the journey's finished.

-What are you doing down there?
-What have you done?

Barbara, you don't believe all this nonsense.

-Well, look at the scanner screen.
-Yes, look up there.

They don't understand
and I suspect they don't want to.

Well, there you are. New world for you.

IAN: Sand and rock?

DOCTOR: Yes, that's the immediate view
outside the ship.

But where are we?

You mean that's what we'll see
when we go outside?

-Yes, you'll see it for yourself.
-I don't believe it.

You really are a stubborn young man, aren't you?

All right, show me some proof.
Give me some concrete evidence.

I'm sorry, Susan, I don't want to hurt you,
but it's time you were brought back to reality.

-But you're wrong, Mr Chesterton.
-They are saying I'm a charlatan.

What concrete evidence would satisfy you?

IAN: Just open the doors, Dr Foreman.

Eh? Doctor who? What are you talking about?

-They're so sure, Ian.
-Yes, I know.

And remember the difference between
the outside of the police box and the inside.

I know, but....
Are you going to open the doors or aren't you?

-You see?

Not until I'm quite sure it's safe to do so.

Well, yes, good. Yes, it is, it's good.
Excellent. Excellent.

You've got the radiation counter there.
What's it read?

-It's reading normal, Grandfather.
-Splendid. Splendid.

Well, I think I'll take
my Geiger counter with me in any case.

So, you still challenge me, young man?

Well, just open the doors and prove your point.

You're so narrow-minded, aren't you?
Don't be so insular.

-Grandfather, do you know where we are?
-Yes, we've gone back in time.

One or two samples
and I shall be able to make an estimate.

With rock pieces and a few plants....
But I do wish this wouldn't keep letting me down.

-However, we can go out now.
-Just a minute.

-You say we've gone back in time.
-Yes, quite so.

So that when we go out of that door,

we won't be in a junkyard
in London in England in the year 1 96 3?

That is quite correct.
But your tone suggests ridicule.

But it is ridiculous.

Time doesn't go round and round in circles.

You can't get on and off whenever you like
in the past or the future.

Really? Where does time go, then?

It doesn't go anywhere.
It just happens and then it's finished.

You're not as doubtful as your friend, I hope?

-Barbara, you can't....

I can't help it. I just believe them, that's all.

If you could touch the alien sand
and hear the cries of strange birds

and watch them wheel in another sky,
would that satisfy you?


Now, see for yourself.

It's not true. It can't be!

That's not on the screen.

I've no more time to argue with you.
I must get some samples.

Be careful, Grandfather.

Ian, come out and look.

-Lean on me.
-No, thank you.

I'm all right. Thanks.


There must be some explanation.

It's still a police box.

Why hasn't it changed?

Dear, dear, how very disturbing.

BARBARA: What do you think it could be?

Ian, look at this.

I don't know.

Hasn't got any horns or antlers.

Could be a horse.

Could be anything.


A police box in the midst of....

Oh, it just doesn't make sense.

It should have changed.

-Wonder why it hasn't happened this time.
-The ship, you mean?

Yes, it's been an Ionic column and a sedan chair.

-Disguising itself wherever it goes.
-Yes, that's right.

But it hasn't happened this time.

I wonder why not.

I wonder if this old head would help Grandfather.

Where is he?

You're very quiet.

I was wrong, wasn't I?

Oh, look, I don't understand it
anymore than you do.

The inside of the ship,
suddenly finding ourselves here.

Even some of the things Dr Foreman says....

That's not his name. Who is he? Doctor who?

Perhaps if we knew his name,
we might have a clue to all this.

Look, Ian, the point is, it's happened.

Yes, it has.

But it's impossible to accept.

-I know I'm here....
-Can't see him anywhere.

He can't be far away.

I had a feeling just now
as if we were being watched.


-IAN: Come on!

IAN: Look.
SUSAN: What is it?

-Some of his things.
-Grandfather, where are you?

-Susan, don't panic.
-I must find him. I must see!

-Well, be careful, then.
-Ian, look.

It's not much good anymore.

Well, maybe he saw something
and went off to investigate.

Leaving this?

-Well, what do you think happened?
-I don't know.

Perhaps he was excited

and went off to investigate something
as you suggest, but....

He may have been taken.

I can't see him. I can't find him anywhere.
There's not a sign of him.

-Calm down, Susan.
-Susan, don't worry.

-What's the matter?
-It's his notes.

He'd never leave his notebook.
It's too important to him.

It's got the key codes
of all the machines in the ship.

It's got notes of everywhere we've been to.

Something terrible has happened to him,
I know it has. We must find him.

Susan. Susan.

We'll find him, I promise you.
He can't be far away.

What's on the other side of those rocks?

There's a line of trees.

There's a gap in them.
There might be a path on the other side.

All right, we'll try there first. Come on.


This sand. It's cold.

It's nearly freezing.

CHILDREN: Kill! Kill!

Kal says...

where he comes from,
he's often seen men make fire.

Kal is a liar.

He says Orb will soon show him how it is done.

All his tribe died in the last cold.

If he had not found us, he would have died, too.

What else did he say?

He says Orb only shows the secret to the leader.

I am leader.

Orb will show me.

I am the son of the great firemaker.

But he does not show me
how to put flames into the sticks.

Kal comes. I do not kill him.

I let him eat with us and sleep in our caves.

I will have to spill some blood
and make people bow to me.

This is a strange creature.

Is Za, son of the firemaker,

afraid of an old man?

When will Za make fire come from his hands?

-When Orb decides it.
-Orb is for strong men.

Orb has sent me this creature

to make fire come from his fingers.

I have seen it.

Inside, he's full of fire.

Smoke comes from his mouth.

As lies come out of yours.

He wears strange skins.

Za is afraid.

There was a strange tree. The creature was in it.

Za would have run away had he seen it.


When I saw fire come from his fingers...

I remembered Za, son of the firemaker.

And when the cold comes, you will all die

if you wait for Za to make fire for you.

I, Kal,

am a true leader.

We fought like the tiger and the bear.

My strength was too much for him.

He lay down to sleep.

And I, Kal,

carried him here

to make fire for you.

Why do you listen to Kal?

Za has many good skins.

He has forgotten what the cold is like.

Tomorrow, I kill many bears.

You all have warm skins.

I say tomorrow

you will rub your hands together

and hold them to the dry sticks
and ask Orb to send you fire.

And the bears will stay warm in their own skin.

What I say I will do, I will do.

The firemaker is dead.

You all carry dry sticks with you.

But tonight, I make them burn.

I am leader.

The creature has opened its eyes.

Where's my.... Where....

Do you want fire or do you want to die in the cold?

ALL: Fire! Fire!

When it's cold, the tiger comes
to our caves again at night.

Za will give you to the tiger.

Za will give you to the cold.

Za rubs his hands and waits
for all to remember him.

My creature

can make fire

come from his fingers.

I have seen it.

But I, Kal, brought him here.

The creature is mine.

He's just an old man in strange skins.

Kal has been with us too long.

It is time he died.

I say there is truth in both of you.

Za speaks truth, but fire cannot live in men.

And Kal speaks the truth that we die without fire.

Will my father listen to a woman?

If this old man can make fire
come from his fingers, let us see it now.

I say what is to be done here,
not old men and women.

Za tries to talk like his father, the firemaker.

Za does not want to see fire made.

But I, Kal, am not afraid of fire.

I will make my creature make fire.

I will take him to the Cave of Skulls
and he will tell me the secret!

I can make fire for you.
Let me go and I'll make all the fire you want.

You don't have to be afraid of me.

I'm an old man.

How can an old man like me harm any of you?

What does he say?


He says he can make fire for us.

He makes it for me and I give you fire.

I am firemaker.

He will make it for me.

My matches. Where are they?

I must get back.

Must get back to the ship.

Kal's creature, he makes fire only for Kal.

Take me back to my ship
and I will make fire for you.

All the fire you want.

This is more of your lies.

The old man cannot make fire.

There was a tree,

and the creature came from in it.

And the fire, it came out of his fingers.

You want to be strong like Za,

son of the great firemaker.

You all heard him say that there would be fire.

There is no fire.

Za does not tell you lies.

He does not say ''I will do this thing''
and then not do it.

He does not say ''I will make you warm''

and then leave you to the dark!

He does not say
''I will fight away the tiger with fire''

and then let him come to you in the dark!

Do you want a liar for your chief?

ALL: No!

Make fire.

-Make fire.
-You are trapped in your own lies, Kal.

Great chief who is afraid of nothing!

Oh, great Kal, save us from the cold.

Save us from the tiger!

Make fire.
Make fire come from your fingers as I saw you....

I have no matches. I cannot make fire.

-I cannot make fire.
-Let the old man die.

And we'll watch the great Kal
as he kills his strong enemy.

Make fire! Make fire! Or I kill you now.

Or we'll keep them and make them hunt for us.
It's good to have someone to laugh at!


If he dies, there will be no fire.

Kill her.

Kill her.


You cannot kill all our enemies.

When Orb gives fire back to the sky,
let him look down on them.

Then, that is when they die

and Orb will give us fire again.

Take them to the Cave of Skulls.



All right!

The woman is mine.

My daughter

is for the leader of the tribe.

Yes, the woman is mine.

I do not like what has happened.

Old men never like new things to happen.

I was a great leader of many men.

Many men, yes.

They all died when Orb left the sky
and the great cold was on the ground.

And Orb will give me fire again.

To me. Not to you.

Just as you will give me her.

Za will be a strong leader of many men.

If you give me to him,

he will remember and always give you meat.

There were leaders before there was fire.

Fire will kill us all in the end.

You should have killed the four strangers.

Kill them.

I have said we will wait until Orb shines again.

Then they die.

You all right?

-Did they hurt you?

Ian, I'm frightened.

Try and hang on.

-But how are we going to get out of this?
-We should use our cunning.

I hope you can get yourself free, Chesterton.

I can't.

The stench in here. The stench.

I'm sorry, it's all my fault.

-I'm desperately sorry.
-Don't blame yourself, Grandfather.

Look at that. Look at it.

IAN: They're all the same.

They've been split open.