Join me here on Tuesdays and Thursdays as I explore the earliest seasons of “Doctor Who” — as a complete newbie to the series. A full explanation can be found here. Today’s episodes — “The Escape” and “The Ambush.”
When we last left our Whovians, Susan and Ian had gone back to the ship to get the anti-radiation drugs for the Daleks. There they encounter Alydon, a leader of the Thals who is seeking a treaty with the Daleks because the lack of rainfall has made it so they cannot grow any crops.
Susan and Ian take word of the treaty back to the Daleks, where Susan helps them write the treaty, but the four travelers are still held captive. They realize they’re being watched and stage a fight to “accidentally” rip the camera off the wall. Once the Daleks can no longer monitor them, they realize the robots are powered through the floor using static electricity.
When their guard comes in, they manage to get Alydon’s cape under him and it stops the Dalek in his tracks because there’s no power. Ian climbs inside. He’s going to pose as a Dalek so they can escape.
The travelers have Ian-as-Dalek pretend to lead them off to be questioned. They make their way up the elevator to ground level and then push a heavy rock down the shaft so the Daleks can’t follow them.
However, the Thals have arrived at the city ready to go along with the Daleks’ treaty — but it’s a trap. The Daleks kill Temmosus, but Ian’s warning is in time to save the other Thals. All the Whovians and Thals hot-foot it back to the TARDIS in the forest, where Ian urges the Thals to fight the Daleks. But Alydon says no, they’re a peaceful people now.
The Whovians also cannot leave because the fluid link — that the Doctor lied about needing to be fixed — is with the Daleks. They took it off Ian when they captured and searched him.
Temmosus: “You must throw off these suspicions. They are based on fear and fear breeds hatred and war. I shall speak to them peacefully. They’ll see that I’m unarmed. There’s no better argument against war than that.”
Barbara: “I don’t understand them. They’re not cowards, they don’t seem to be afraid. Can pacifism become a human instinct? … Are they really pacifists, I mean genuinely so? Or is it a belief that’s become a reality because they’ve never had to prove it?”
Next Tuesday: “The Expedition,” “The Ordeal” and “The Rescue.”