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Classic Doctor Who Review: An Unearthly Child, Part 3

Posted by: Whochick

Classic Doctor Who Review: An Unearthly Child, Part 3
An Unearthly Child Part 3 (The Forest of Fear)
The First Doctor: Story 1.3

And now, my review of Part three of the Classic Doctor Who serial An Unearthly Child, which is known as The Forest of Fear. I will be reviewing each episode, rather than each story, as some of the classic stories are really long. When I finish all four parts of this first episode, I will also review (or rather, discuss) the pilot episode. Luckily, it is available on my DVD. I will try and note any differences.

An Unearthly Child features The First Doctor as played by William Hartnell.

Episode: An Unearthly Child by Anthony Coburn
Rating (1 to 5): 2.8
Doctor: The First Doctor
Companions: Susan “Foreman” (The Doctor’s granddaughter.), and Ian Chesterton and Barbara Wright against their will.
Time: 100,000 B.C. (according to the original title of the show.)
Place: Someplace sandy, near a forest and a cave.
Baddie: Kal
The Doctor’s Alias: Just “The Doctor”
The Doctor enjoys: Getting his own way.
The Doctor dislikes: Being ordered about by Ian.
The Doctor apologizes to: Everyone, for getting them into that situation. (Tied up in the Cave of Skulls)
Doctor-y Strangeness: Susan seems to act a bit like his conscience at times. Also, you get the feeling that he might have killed the injured Za if Ian hadn’t stopped him.
Susan-y Strangeness: Susan seems to remember the way back to the TARDIS better than the others.
Scary Stuff: The Cave of Skulls.
Does someone local help out? The Old Woman sets them free. Za and Hur tell them how to get back to the TARDIS.
Connections: Even in this first story, The Doctor is not without fear.
What we learn: The Doctor admits to being afraid. The Doctor gets out of breath from running. The Doctor says that he is not a Doctor of Medicine. The Doctor is ornery and cranky.
My Favorite Bits: The Doctor and Ian arguing about who is in charge. Hur is obviously the brains behind the would-be leader, Za. Barbara up and deciding to help Za.

Observations and musings:

The Doctor is an ornery and cranky old fellow who likes to get his own way. He is glad to be out of the cave, but that doesn’t mean that he is willing to let Ian take over and order him about. He is not that likable at this point.

Susan will do what she feels is right, even if it means going against what her Grandfather tells her to do. In this episode, she seems a little less freaked out about what is going on than before, and she is the one with the best recollection of how to get back to the TARDIS.

Ian and Barbara are stuck in a world that they don’t understand. It’s a darn good thing that they have each other. When Barbara gets hysterical, Ian is strong. When she decides to help Za, Ian assists her. Ian also tries to take charge of things to get them all back to the TARDIS. I wish him luck if he wants to win The Doctor over to his way of thinking.

Stay tuned next week for part four.

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About the Author

Whochick is a huge Doctor Who fan. She loves the show so much that she not only co-authors a blog on the topic, but also a podcast that you should listen to. Whochick resides in California with her husband (the Shadow Architect), and occasionally refers to herself in the third person.