Classic Who

You can’t handle the… knife! (Episode 4)

The Doctor pulls A Few Good Men on Cal (would be leader of the tribe,) proving who really killed a tribal elder. This was after Ian and Barbara saved Za from death. So of course the tribe is grateful… just kidding!

Our main characters are back into the cave! However, this episode focuses on the tribe. They wax philosophical, in as monosyllabic ways as they can, about the power of the many over the one, the importance of fire and arrive exactly where we were at the beginning of the story. It’s a boring, tedious exercise for the modern binge watching audience. I’m sure it worked very well back in 1963 when there were no VCRs or DVRs or cassette collection releases.

Despite this, my teen and youngest child still gravitated toward the television to watch the seemingly unending fight between Cal and Za for the fire our companions create. I am shocked every time I watch by how violently it ends: with a Mike Tyson-esq move just before a giant smashing rock is thrown down.

Za tries to force “The New Tribe” to join them (he can’t lose his fire makers or he loses power.) Somehow this leads to a bizarre plot twist to help them escape. I get the show makers were trying to be both cheap and not graphic. However, it still doesn’t completely add up. It’s a minor point, overall. There is not great lines in this episode as in the previous three.

That doesn’t mean there are no reveals. Barbara and Ian beg to go home. It’s not to be. We get the first realization that The Doctor doesn’t fully understand how to work the TARDIS.

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