The Doctor and crew leave the TARDIS to explore their new surroundings, but are soon captured, thrown in a cave and threatened with death. They only have the secret of fire to bargain with.
We start the episode with the Doctor, Ian, Barbara and Susan still trapped in the Cave of Skulls and looking for a way to escape. We get a great scene with Barbara and the Doctor, which is way too short for my liking, where they almost seem to warm to each other in the circumstances. The reason I wish it was longer is because I desperately want to like this incarnation of the Doctor, but so far, he’s making it difficult for me to warm to him as a character.
It doesn’t take too long for the gang to escape the Cave of Skulls, and they find themselves in a rather sparse forest. Barbara is certain she saw something in the bushes and pretty much has a breakdown. Then she sees a dead boar and she takes that just as badly. Considering she’s been through a great deal in the past two episodes, it seems that a rustling bush is really her downfall. It’s hard to imagine the female characters being written like this nowadays (or any character for that matter).
There’s a scene where Ian decides to help an injured caveman and ruins the TARDIS teams chances of escaping them; and the Doctor seems to act rather reasonably, by complaining that they’d wasted an opportunity for an easy escape. By realising that An Unearthly Child is four episodes rather than three, I think it’s safe to assume that this act of compassion was rather foolish in the circumstances.
I know I said this earlier in the review, but it’s really difficult for the viewer to like the Doctor; even when Ian, Barbara and Susan have tended to the injured caveman, he’s still reluctant to even consider helping. If this is how he acts when it’s just him and Susan, I’m surprised that she’s stayed with her grandfather this long to be honest.
The conclusion of the third episode yet again misses the mark somewhat; with the gang being confronted yet again by the tribe. There’s not much else to say about it really, which is a shame.
Overall, the third episode develops the story slightly by showing how alien the Doctor is compared to Ian, Barbara, and even Susan. The TARDIS team almost have a means of escape and everything is riding on them being able to make fire…