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”.
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!
ROLL CREDITS, YO.