Doctor Who: The Ordeal

Spoilers for the episode


Ian, Barbara and some Thalls are trying to make their way through the caves in the mountains while the Doctor is having fun sabotaging the Daleks. And no one talks about pacifism.


One of the Thall has just been dragged under the water by a mutated creature. All that’s left is swirling water and one of the Thalls gets scared. We’ll call him the cowardly Thall because I can’t remember his name.

While on the edge of the city Susan, the Doctor, Alladon and his love interest are making a map and coming up with a plan to distract the Daleks. They say they’ve got speed on their side but they’re still missing the fact they’ve got no weapons.

In the city and the Daleks think it will take 23 days to assemble the neutron bomb so they’re going to find another way to spread radiation.

Ian’s group has got to the mountains and they’ve found caves. Barbara and a Thall are exploring but it only leads them to a dead end. But Barbara has a competent moment and can hear water so they find a passage. The Thall ties a rope to himself and goes through finding a hole.

Instead of backing out and going to get the others he decides to descend with only Barbara to hold the rope. She wraps it round a large rock and then under her foot.

It goes well for a little while but I guess he’s too heavy because her foot slips and he goes crashing to the ground.

Ian turns up and takes control. The Thall only cares if Barbara is okay, even though he’s the one who’s just fallen quite a distance, because a woman is so delicate falling over is worse.

On the outskirts of the city they’re using light reflection to stop the Daleks from being able to get pictures of them. The Doctor then says very sinisterly says “we’ll show them a thing or two.” He’s enjoying this way too much.

In the caves and the cowardly Thall from earlier wants to go back because he’s only just realised going deeper into the caves means you’re going further in. He wants to abandon the others and tell everyone they’re dead so they don’t have to face the Daleks. He’s sure that if they carry on they’re probably going to get killed anyway. But the other Thall isn’t so sure.

They have a little fight and cause a cave-in so they can’t go back anyway. The cowardly Thall gets knocked out and the other Thall lies to Ian saying he saved him from the rocks.

The Daleks are trying to get around the light reflection by tracking vibrations instead. If they could do that I don’t why they weren’t doing both.

The Doctor, Susan and Alladon have made it into the city and begin sabotaging the Dalek’s technology. They remove a cover form a panel and the Doctor smashes the contents. He then sends Alladon back to the other Thalls who are distracting the Daleks to make sure they move around so they don’t get caught.

The doctor shorts the circuit and gets caught up in his own brilliance telling Susan what a few simple tools and a superior mind can do. Susan’s more worried about the Daleks having a fault locater and being caught. Which happens in the next second as they are surrounded.

Back in the caves and they’ve come across a wide gap. Ian decides they’re going to jump even though there’s not much room on the other side. They tie a rope around Ian and he makes it to the other side.

In the city and the Daleks and the Doctor are accusing each other of stuff. The Doctor destroyed their things but the Daleks killed a Thall. Then the Dalkes go into monologuing mode but thankfully it doesn’t last that long and they get told the plan to radiate the planet. They found a way to do it by bombarding the atmosphere with radiation.

In the caves and they’re still jumping the gap. Barbara makes it across but then gets stuck and has to be rescued by Ian when trying to get round a corner.

The next Thall makes it as well. Leaving only the cowardly Thall who’s looking at the drop and saying I can’t do it. Well not with that attitude you can’t.

He jumps (with a lot of build up so you know it’s going to go wrong) and sort of bounces off of Ian. Or you never know Ian might have given him a little push. He’s not to keen on pacifism after all.

Ian ends up on his stomach with the rope while the Thall dangles below screaming “I can’t hold on.” That’s not really an issue because the rope’s tied to him. Even if he lets go he won’t fall. It’s if Ian lets go then he’s screwed.

This episode was better than the last episode. There were no discussions of pacifism and very little sexism. There’s lots of action and the plot actually moved forward.

The jumping of the gap in the cave didn’t even slow it down too much because they switched to what was happening elsewhere and back. Otherwise that cave would have got boring quickly.

The Doctor is what makes this episode entertaining because firstly he’s actually getting to do something and secondly he’s really enjoying doing it.

Previous Doctor Who: The Expedition                                                                        Next Doctor Who: The Rescue

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