In which Ian teaches The Thals the way of the fist! Also, Susan climbs a tree.
“My dear child, this is no time for morals!”
While the previous episode flirted with a discussion of pacifism, this episode brings the argument to the forefront. Our travelers are desperate. With the fluid link in the Dalek city, they are forced to rely upon The Thals for help. Unfortunately, The Thals refuse to fight, a pacifism The Daleks do not share. The Doctor, Ian, Barbara, and Susan would stand no chance against The Daleks on their own. The Doctor and Barbara want Ian to teach The Thals to fight. Ian doesn’t want to compromise The Thals’ convictions. In the end, he forms a plan by which he can convince The Thals that fighting may be necessary in some circumstances.
The Thals are understandably reluctant to fight. They are a thousand years out from a war that devastated a planet, that virtually killed it overnight. Their current circumstances are a constant reminder of what war can do. They never want to see violence or war again. Yet, The Daleks hate anything un-Dalek, and they will one day find a way out of the city. Ian tries to help convince The Thals that fighting for a cause can be justifiable. He threatens to steal the canister that contains the records of Thal history so he can trade it with The Daleks for the fluid link. While the tribe is unsettled by this possibility, they refuse to stop him. Ian then decides that perhaps The Daleks would be more interested in a Thal to experiment upon, whereupon he grabs Dyoni. Being Alydon’s betrothed, Dyoni looks back at her leader in fear. She needn’t wait long, because Alydon quickly moves forward and attacks Ian. “So there is something you’l fight for,” says Ian, nursing his chin. Touche, Ian. Touche.
Elsewhere, The Daleks have replicated the anti-radiation medication, and are in the midst of a really bad drug trip. It turns out that while The Thals have mutated into perfect beings, The Daleks have mutated into a form that is dependent upon radiation to survive. Thus, the anti-radiation drugs are poisonous to them. The only logical conclusion is to stop use of the drugs and explode another neutron bomb. Obviously.
At night, in the Thal camp, Dyoni and Alydon discuss Ian’s trickery and decide that violence is possibly good. Ganatus then exposits to Barbara, telling her about a lake that borders the Dalek city, a lake with horrible creatures in it. Surely it would be foolish to attack the city from the lake! I smell a plan.