Only two episodes long! We start off with everyone unconscious in the TARDIS control room – The Doctor on the floor, Ian in a chair (convenient, that), Susan slumped on the console, and Barbara the first to awaken. She walks around, with a long… curtain, cloth, blanket. She looks at Ian and struggles to recall his name.

 Susan wakes next, stares at Barbara, “I know you…” and complains about her head and neck. She recognises her grandfather, but stands helplessly (as she seems to do quite a bit, when she’s not shrieking at the most ridiculous moments) as Barbara checks on The Doctor. Ian stands up, and says the first thing we ever saw him say, “You’re working late tonight, Ms Wright.” He seems to be unaware of where they are.

 The Doctor rambles in his unconscious state, “I can’t take you back, Susan, I can’t!” Interesting that – a regression to some previously unseen argument? Susan returns from fetching bandage/water and shrieks (well, gasps annoyingly loud) because the TARDIS doors are open, and they can’t open on their own. When Ian tries to go out them, they close on their own.

 When Susan walks to the console, she cries out in pain as if something has attacked her, she spins about and collapses to the floor. Barbara tells Ian to take Susan to a bed, he lifts her over his shoulders and goes. We see another room, where a curved bed (much like a padded curved lounge chair) drops out of the wall and he places her in it.

 While Ian fetches water for her, she has gotten up and tries to stab him with a pair of shears, then stabbing the bed instead, melodramatically. (The acting in this one seems a bit worse than normal. Not sure if there’s a story-element to it or what.) Ian seems to have gathered his memories since waking up.


After trying to determine if there was a fault in the systems, they turned on the outside scanner, only to see a photograph. The doors open on their own, and there’s a roaring sound from outside. They close the doors, and images from previous locations on their journeys appear on the scanner.

 They all seem paranoid of each other for some reason. The Doctor blames Ian and Barbara. Barbara gives him a right proper scolding, and then screams because of a clock. Their timepieces are all jumbled. The Doctor fetches everyone something to drink, quite out of character for him. Susan and Barbara go to bed, though Susan stays up and eavesdrop on Ian and The Doctor’s conversation before they retire.

 “Rash action is worse than no action at all, hmm?” The Doctor, to Ian.

 While everyone is sleeping, The Doctor gets up, checks on them and goes to the console, where a man (presumably Ian)’s hands grab him and spin him around. The credits for the first episode roll.

 This reminds me of a Second Doctor episode, where he, Jamie and Zoe are stuck outside of time and space and weird things happen.

 Part 2 “The Brink of Disaster” starts with Ian collapsing and fainting as Barbara watches. She rushes to Ian and argues with The Doctor, who is back to being suspicious of them. Susan, who is also suddenly there, declares that the teachers are being suspicious, rather ironic.

 The Doctor plans to kick them off the ship. Susan argues. The “danger alarm” sounds, and The Doctor is suddenly no longer suspicious of them. Ian finally comes to.

 Hartnell keeps stumbling his lines. He did it once or twice during The Daleks, but has done so twice as many times in this short serial already.

 The Doctor explains he’s no longer suspicious of them. The TARDIS column rises, even though the ship is supposedly incapacitated. The Doctor announces they have ten minutes to survive, maybe less.

 Melodrama and not-great acting are the keys here. Susan begins to wail and over-act; ironically Barbara tells her, “Don’t, please don’t.” I wish I could tell Carole Ann Ford (the actress of Susan) that. Or I wish the director had.

 They begin to suspect that the TARDIS has been trying to warn them. The Doctor argues that “the machine is not alive”. Obviously, as we all know, it is. This is obviously where he learns this fact.

 The Doctor announces they are at the birth of a solar system. This excites him. Ian gets the Doctor to realises that the Fast Return button was jammed. They unjam it and all seems to be well.

 The Doctor apologises to the teachers; Ian brushes it off as no big deal, but Barbara is obviously troubled by something and walks off.

 Later, they’ve arrived somewhere it’s snowing outside. The Doctor chats up Barbara, and shows that he can be caring and charming when he applies himself. They make their peace, and Susan asks if they’re going outside, and they follow her into the control room. Susan throws snow at Barbara, who chases her outside, where they find a giant footprint in the snow.

 I still don’t understand why they were acting so wooden/off kilter – was the TARDIS making them behave so? It doesn’t really make sense. It’s almost like the actors weren’t even trying during the first episode.

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