Doctor Who (1963–1989)
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The Firemaker 

Kal accuses Za of Old Mother's murder but the Doctor exposes him as the real killer.However, Za then insists the travellers be held prisoner until they show him how to make fire.


Waris Hussein, Douglas Camfield (uncredited)


Anthony Coburn, David Whitaker (story editor)




Episode complete credited cast:
William Hartnell ... Dr. Who
William Russell ... Ian Chesterton
Jacqueline Hill ... Barbara Wright
Carole Ann Ford ... Susan Foreman
Howard Lang ... Horg
Jeremy Young ... Kal
Alethea Charlton Alethea Charlton ... Hur
Derek Newark Derek Newark ... Za


Kal accuses Za of Old Mother's murder but the Doctor exposes him as the real killer.However, Za then insists the travellers be held prisoner until they show him how to make fire.

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


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This episode was watched by 6.4 million viewers on its original transmission. See more »


Dr. Who: Yes, it's matching up.
Susan Foreman: We're beginning to land.
Dr. Who: Oh, how I wish.
Ian Chesterton: Have you taken us back to our own time?
Dr. Who: You know I can't do that. Please be reasonable.
Ian Chesterton: What?
Barbara Wright: Please, you must take us back. You must.
Dr. Who: You see, this isn't operating correctly. Or rather, the code is still a secret. When you put the right data, precise information to a second of the beginning of a journey, then we can fix a destination, but I had no data at my disposal.
Barbara Wright: Are you saying that you don't know how to work this thing?
Dr. Who: Well, of ...
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Featured in When Worlds Collide (2012) See more »

User Reviews

100,000 BC episode 4: Good but I wish it had been aliens instead of cavemen.
26 June 2014 | by A_Kind_Of_CineMagicSee all my reviews

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 the story is not correct historically can be answered in that it is not specified that the setting is actually Earth. It could, therefore, be another planet at a time of caveman civilization. Also, criticisms of how cavemen could converse in English are explained because 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 of the day than if they had an opening serial featuring alien beings or a more suitable human era such as recent past or the future. Also why would Ian and Barbara not question the fact the cavemen speak English?

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. There is some very annoying screeching and grunting at times and the cavemen are somewhat lacking in interest. There is, though, a lot more intelligent scripting and interest provided with the Doctor and his companions. Their characters begin to be fleshed out and their relationships begin to develop. That aspect of the story is very good.

Overall 100,000 BC is really good but could have been an all time classic with aliens instead of cavemen to follow up the wonderful debut episode.

My Ratings: Episode 1 - 10/10, Episode 2 - 7, Episode 3 - 7, Episode 4 - 6.5

Overall 7.63/10

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Release Date:

14 December 1963 (UK) See more »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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