The Firemaker (Spoiler alert: It’s NOT a caveman.)

Gotta be honest, I am SO glad to be done with this whole “Unearthly Child” series of episodes. It’s interesting to see groundwork laid, but I’m getting impatient because the next 4-part episode is called…THE DALEKS! WOOT! But let’s not get ahead of ourselves. We’ve still got a bit of ground to cover until we’re there. Ready…go!

First thing I’d like to do is point out that, in our opening shot here, Ian looks a LOT like young Kenneth Branagh. This is exciting to me, of course, because Kenneth Branagh is one of my all-time favorite actors/directors/godsthatwalktheearth. Just look at this and tell me you can’t see Ian performing in Much Ado About Nothing:



You beautiful men, you.

Regardless of his resemblance to King Henry V, they all get captured by the cavemen once again and are taken back to the rest of the tribe of cavepeople.  This plot point of them trying to escape, getting away a little bit, then being captured once more is getting a bit tiresome.

Anyway, once they are back amongst the cave-dwellers, Kal totally tries to blame Za for the death of Mama Cavelady. The Doctor, in a stroke of…adequacy…brings out the knives of both Kal and Za and compares them. He points out that Za could not have killed Mama Cavelady, because there is no blood on his knife. Kal’s knife, however, has a lot of blood on it. 




The Doctor then encourages all of the tribe to throw rocks at Kal and drive him out.  This seems a bit extreme, but I am honestly more surprised that the Doctor didn’t just suggest they kill him directly.

Once Kal has been driven out, the Doctor and Company are put right back into the cave of skulls. Again.  They are all seriously bummed out that they can never, ya know, escape.



Outside of the caves, we see our favorite romantic duo chatting about what has happened and what shall happen in regards to fire, their captives, the forest, blah blah blah.  This conversation takes far too long, and is weirdly eloquent considering most of their other dialect has been grunting and pointing.  Ultimately, Hur asks Za if he plans on letting the Doctor and Company go free, and Za says that he will either force them to make fire or kill them. So, I guess that’s a no.


Za then goes into the cave and discovers that Ian has made FIRE. He is just admiring this when Kal breaks into the cave and a massive fight ensues.  None of the particularly graphic stuff happens on camera, which surprises absolutely no one, but the gist of it is that Za bashes Kal’s skull in with a big rock-club-thing.



Maybe I’m caveman racist, but I can’t tell which one is which.

So once Kal is dead, Ian gives Za a torch to go show his tribe the fire.  Upon seeing the flames, Za is declared the official leader.  The Doctor and Company think that they will be set free now, since they have helped Za twice at this point, but NOPE. Back into the cave they are sent.

Ian then comes up with a plan to escape. He sees morbid freaking Susan lighting one of the skulls on fire (I can only presume she does this when she’s bored). He concocts the idea that this might just scare the cavemen enough to at least distract them while they try to escape…again.



So this plan totally works.  They escape and run back to the TARDIS, this time being pursued by a mob of cavemen who ACTUALLY have torches (although no pitchforks).  The gang makes it into the TARDIS and takes off, but the Doctor is commenting on how it isn’t functioning properly. They land in some weird forest thing (again with the forest?!) and the Doctor has no idea where they are.



This is totally not a miniature clay model.

Before going out and exploring, because THAT is a good idea, the Doctor asks Susan to do a radiation reading. Remember that plot from before? It’s back! Susan looks down and gives the all-clear, but as they leave the TARDIS the meter goes up.


This is where we (finally) end the first episode of Doctor Who.




The Forest of Fear (Except…not.)

Alright, kids. Reel in your excitement, because we are back on track dissecting the third part of this “Unearthly Child” series.  This installment is not-so-aptly named The Forest of Fear. Personally, I found absolutely nothing fearful about this forest, and we in fact spent very little time in the forest, but that being said…Barbara found everything upsetting in this segment.  I gotta say, I am getting really sick of the women in this show screaming, because boy does it happen a lot.

Anyway. This is how we open:



The Doctor and everyone are all lying tied up and trapped in the previously mentioned ‘Cave of Skulls’.  This is the first time I notice a redeeming personality trait for this particular Doctor– as they are struggling to get free, the Doctor blames himself for getting them into this mess.  However, he quickly rescinds on that self-reflective thinking and starts being a total buzz-kill. He sits and complains about how nothing they’re doing is working, it’s hopeless, what’s the point…serious Debbie Downer. 


They finally (understandably) get sick of it, and Brad/Ian explodes:

“Don’t just lie there criticizing us– do something!”

They all proceed to loosen their bindings as the scene cuts away to the cave with all our lovely sleeping cave people.  Mama Cavelady is sneaking about, grabbing Za’s knife as he slumbers, and creeping out to talk to the Doctor and Company.  She says she will help them escape as long as they promise not to teach anyone how to make fire, because she believes fire will only cause trouble.



Za, self-declared leader of the cavemen, soon discovers that Mama Cavelady helped them escape, and kicks the crap out of her, leaving her unconscious in the cave of skulls.  Za and Hur (…Remember? The girlfriend?) go after Doctor and Company, who have now escaped into the Forest of Moderate Anxiety.

Here is where we get back to my aforementioned shit-losing that Barbara graces us with.  Everything about this forest is a big, tall glass of NOPE to our teacher companion.  Here is Barbara being comforted by Ian immediately upon entering the forest:



As they are making their less-than-merry way through the Forest of Reasonable Frustration, they run across a dead boar. Or hog. Or pig. Or alien.  For whatever reason, this causes Barbara to positively lose her shit once again and scream worse than a lobster in a boiler.  Here is Barbara reacting to the dead pig:


Za and Hur catch up to where Doctor and Company are hiding in the Forest of Mehhhh, undoubtably because they could follow the sound of Barbara freaking out…but trouble occurs! Za is attacked by a beast that we do not see on screen (because let’s be real, this is some low-budget business).  This is Barbara reacting to Za getting mauled by a beast:



So they convince Hur to let them help Za, because he’s pretty bloodied up but somehow totally alive and not at all losing any body parts.  By “they”, I mean Ian and Barbara (once she’s calmed her sky-high bid-niz), and to a small extent Susan.  The Doctor takes a very un-modern-Doctor-like stance and proclaims they should just leave him because they had just barely escaped those “savages”.



Dang, Doctor.

Barbara collects her cool enough to retort to him.

“You treat everybody and everything like they are less important!”

Meanwhile, in CaveLand, the rival-leader Kal is confronting the battered Mama Cavelady, and decides to kill her because…because. Yeah.

Flashback to the Forest of Whatevsies: The companions are making a stretcher to carry Za, and the Doctor is pouting and disapproving of, ya know, helping. 

Susan declares “He’s always like this when he doesn’t get his own way.” Which I think is pretty crummy.



Quick! Back to CaveLand! Kal is convincing the other cavepeople that it was ZA who killed the Mama Cavelady! WHAT! They basically grab torches and pitchforks and go after Za (and consequently the Doctor and Company).  There is an exceeding amount of grunting to be heard, and I’m pretty sure that the Geico Cavemen are supremely offended.


Over with the Doctor and Company they have finally left the Forest of Blah and they see the TARDIS. But OHHH NOOO!!! Somehow (but really, how?!) the other cavemen have beaten them to it and are ready to ambush them!