The Enemy of the World

People spend all their time making nice things and then other people come along and break them!

The Second Doctor

Synopsis

On Earth in 2018, the Doctor and his companions are enmeshed in a deadly web of intrigue thanks to his uncanny resemblance to the scientist/politician Salamander. He is hailed as the “shopkeeper of the world” for his efforts to relive global famine, but why do his rivals keep disappearing? How can he predict so many natural disasters? The Doctor must expose Salamander’s schemes before he takes over the world.

Review

Season 5 is sometimes referred to as the monster season, and The Enemy of the World is a pretty obvious outlier in this regard as it features no aliens except for the Doctor himself. With Troughton playing both the Doctor and Ramón Salamander, this story is real exhibition of his talents as an actor and considering his acting CV, it is no surprise that he is fantastic in the dual role.

It would be all too easy, with hindsight, to say that this story shows the direction the show would take in the coming years, especially the early Pertwee era, especially considering that Barry Letts directs it. In reality, at the time, it was just another story, experimenting with what kind of stories the show could get away with showing. Some draw parallels between this story and the James Bond films of the era and to an extent, I can see where they are coming from. This story is certainly globetrotting, with locations such as Australia and Hungary featured, although on a budget and it is to the production team’s credit that the British locations don’t let the side down. Salamander is also similar to Bond villains in a lot of ways, with his seemingly amiable public façade covering for much more diabolical schemes. When it’s revealed later on in the story that Salamander has slaves working underground, it certainly feels like a plot element that you wouldn’t be surprised if it came up in a Bond movie, lurking in a traditional lair. The story also evokes a dystopian future, almost like 1984, with a situation that feels quite bleak and hopeless at times.

The story is pretty great, though, and I was pleasantly surprised that it kept me engaged throughout. It has a pretty action-packed opening, with the helicopter and hovercraft, before becoming a Cold War thriller, trying to bring down a dictator with a plot about duplicates. Jamie even gets to step into the Bond-esque role when he is sent to earn Salamander’s trust by saving his life, complete with Victoria and Astrid in tow. I quite liked the fact that the story delivers a good twist in its final part, revealing that the seemingly affable Kent wants Salamander out of the way so that he can take his place, which worked really well for me. Equally, Salamander impersonating the Doctor towards the end of the story was a good idea even if it was disappointing that we didn’t get a bit more of it.

Whilst the majority of the story works really well, there are aspects that aren’t great, for instance, Victoria doesn’t have a lot to do, and the conclusion feels distinctly underwhelming after waiting for the Doctor and Salamander to come face to face. This is not entirely the story’s fault, as the technology did not exist to do this more often, but I feel that the story does struggle due to this. The kitchen interlude is bizarre, introducing the constantly complaining Griffin, and doesn’t really feel like it services the story going forwards, except for the attempted assassination of Denes.

Patrick Troughton is a great actor, and this story is one that allows him to show off his abilities to the full, using subtle things to differentiate between the Doctor and Salamander. Troughton manages to even lose his sparkle when he is playing the villain and is capable of being quite menacing at times, like in his scenes with Denes and Fedorin. Admittedly, part of this is down to the changing hairstyle, but Troughton’s entire face seems to switch effortlessly between characters. When the TARDIS arrives on the beach, I was struck how similar the Second and Eleventh Doctors are when the Second Doctor is so enthusiastic at being at the seaside, much to the bemusement of his companions. Salamander is an effective villain, although it would be nice to see more characters who adore him rather than the characters we get, who all seem to be firmly on the other side.

Verdict: One of the high points of Troughton’s time as the Doctor, The Enemy of the World feels different to the stories surrounding it but struggles with practicalities of the time. 8/10

Cast: Patrick Troughton (The Doctor/Ramón Salamander), Frazer Hines (Jamie McCrimmon), Deborah Watling (Victoria Waterfield), Bill Kerr (Giles Kent), Mary Peach (Astrid), George Pravda (Denes), Colin Douglas (Donald Bruce), David Nettheim (Fedorin), Milton Johns (Benik), Henry Stamper (Anton), Simon Cain (Curly), Rhys McConnochie (Rod), Reg Lye (Griffin), Christopher Burgess (Swann), Adam Verney (Colin), Margaret Hickey (Mary), Andrew Staines (Sergeant to Benik), Bob Anderson (Fighting Guard), Gordon Faith (Guard Captain), Elliot Cairnes (Guard Captain), Dibbs Mather (Guard in Caravan), William McGuirk (Guard in Corridor) & Bill Lyons (Guard on Denes).

Writer: David Whitaker

Director: Barry Letts

Parts: 6

Behind the Scenes

  • This is quite a notable story from a production aspect. This was the last serial broadcast whilst creator Sydney Newman was working at the BBC, as his contract expired at the end of 1967. The key production roles for this story were all occupied by men heavily involved in the development of Doctor Who:
    • David Whitaker was the first script editor for the show;
    • Barry Letts makes his directorial debut for the show here, and he would become the show’s producer for the majority of the Pertwee era, executive producer for Season 18 and occasional script writer.
    • Peter Bryant (script editor) would become producer from the next story; and
    • Innes Lloyd was the current producer and left after this story.
  • Troughton is credited as “Dr Who” for episodes 1 and 6 and as “Dr Who” and “Salamander” for the remaining parts. This is the second time a doppelganger of the Doctor has appeared following William Hartnell’s double performance as the Doctor and the Abbott of Amboise in The Massacre.
  • The helicopter explosion in Episode One was stock footage originally shot for From Russia With Love.
  • It was intended for the Doctor to come face to face with Salamander more often in this story, but due to the technical difficulty in accomplishing this, the characters only meet once.
  • Episode 3 was the only episode to survive in the BBC Archive until 2013 when the remaining five episodes were returned, having been found in a television relay station storage room in Nigeria.

Cast Notes

  • Frazer Hines and Deborah Watling do not appear in Episode 4 as they were on holiday that week.
  • Milton Johns would reappear in The Android Invasion and The Invasion of Time.
  • Colin Douglas appeared in The Horror of Fang Rock.
  • George Pravda would reappear in The Mutants and The Deadly Assassin

Best Moment

The scenes with the hovercraft on the beach in the first episode are great, really well directed and tense scenes.

Also, Jamie and Victoria being terrified of the helicopter is great.

Best Quote

Perhaps we’ve landed in a world of mad men!

They’re human beings, if that’s what you mean. Indulging their favourite pastime of trying to destroy each other.

Victoria Waterfield and the Second Doctor

Previous Second Doctor Review: The Ice Warriors

The End of the World

You lot. You spend all your time thinking about dying. Like you’re going to get killed by eggs or beef or global warming or asteroids. But you never take the time to imagine the impossible. That maybe you survive. This is the year 5.5 slash Apple slash 26. Five billion years in your future. And this is the day – hold on. This is the day the sun expands. Welcome to the end of the World.

The Ninth Doctor

Synopsis

The Doctor takes his new companion, Rose, to the year 5,000,000,000 to witness the death of the world party on Platform One, along with some of the richest beings in the Universe. Meanwhile, robot spiders brought onboard by the Adherents of the Repeated Meme as gifts to the others on the station are infiltrating and sabotaging Platform One.

Review

The End of the World is a bold second episode for the revived series. The story takes us to the far future, introduces us to a series of new aliens and shows us the destruction of their world. The episode does also briefly touch on humanity and what it means to be human – Cassandra regards herself as the last “true” human, despite her never-ending cycle of cosmetic procedures, as opposed to the rest of the human race, who went out into the stars and “mingled”. It is an episode that you’d expect to come perhaps slightly later in the series, with perhaps an iconic classic foe such as the Daleks or the Cybermen, but the fact that we get an episode like this is great.

It seems strange to praise an episode by jumping straight to the ending scene, but this episode really puts Eccleston in particular through his paces emotionally. He has to convey great joy at one moment, burning rage another and almost unimaginable sorrow at yet another. This is the first mention we have of the Time War. Taking Rose to witness the death of her planet almost gives them something to share, although, as the Doctor states, Gallifrey went “before its time”, meanwhile the death of the Earth is something much more natural. The way he says “my planet’s gone”, is so matter of fact but so weighed down with sorrow. It has parallels with the scene at the end of Gridlock, where the 10th Doctor tells Martha that he’s the last of the Time Lords. I love both of those scenes equally, but the scene here is slightly better as it’s the first occurrence.

There are several nice moments in this episode, and what surprised me is how well this episode has aged. There are pop culture references, such as the use of Tainted Love by Soft Cell and Toxic by Britney Spears, however, these don’t date as badly as some later on in series one (I’m looking at you, Bad Wolf). There is also a nice conversation between Rose and the plumber Jaffalo where Rose realises the absurdity of her situation and perhaps how foolhardy she has been coming travelling with a man she barely knows. I gather that this was an eleventh-hour addition, and if that is the case I’m very glad it made it.

End of the World 2

That being said, the episode does have problems, especially surrounding the ending. It feels extremely rushed and the climactic scenes with the Doctor and Jabe with the spinning fans is a bit anti-climatic. However, the Doctor and Jabe are two of the most interesting characters in this story, and to spend more time in their company is definitely a positive. I also like the fact that immediately after Jabe’s demise, the Doctor goes to inform her people before reversing the teleport and bringing Cassandra back to the ship. However, the whole conclusion is ultimately rushed, although I do enjoy the fury and anger that we see come from the Doctor in this final confrontation. It is the first time we see this Doctor truly angry. I do also feel that there are perhaps too many aliens thrown in here, who serve no real purpose except to be in peril. This does allow us a fleshing out of the new universe but does seem a bit of a waste, especially when some of these creatures are never seen again.  We also don’t really care when characters like the Moxx of Balhoon die, for instance, because we spend absolutely no time with them.

Verdict: A strong second episode for Eccleston which gives us our first mention of the Time War. 8/10

Cast: Christopher Eccleston (The Doctor), Billie Piper (Rose Tyler), Simon Day (Steward), Yasmin Bannerman (Jade), Jimmy Vee (Moxx of Balhoon), Zoe Wanamaker (Cassandra), Camille Coduri (Jackie Tyler), Beccy Armory (Raffalo), Sara Stewart (Computer Voice), Silas Carson (Alien Voices)

Writer: Russell T Davies

Director: Euros Lynn

Behind the Scenes

  • This episode is the first to establish that the Doctor is the last of his kind and to feature mentions of the conclusion of the Time War, although the Time Lord’s foes are not named here.
  • The psychic paper makes its debut here. Russell T Davies devised it as a time saving mechanism to prevent the Doctor spending time being distrusted and locked up, something that happened in the multi-part serials of the Classic series.
  • The first story of the revived series to feature a cold open, something that would be consistent up until Series 11. The Classic series featured cold opens sparingly, with them only being included in Castrovalva, The Five Doctors and Remembrance of the Daleks.
  • This marks the first appearances for the Face of Boe and Lady Cassandra, who would both appear in New Earth and the Face of Boe would also appear in Gridlock.
  • Due to complexities regarding the animation of Cassandra, the episode ran short necessitating Russell T Davies to write scenes with Rose and maintenance worker Raffalo.
  • First contribution of director Euros Lyn, who would direct a number of episodes including the final story of the Russell T Davies era, The End of Time.

Best Moment

The ending scene is just, to coin a phrase, fantastic.

Best Quote: 

Everything has it’s time, and everything dies.

The Ninth Doctor