Doctor Who #188: The Enemy of the World Part 1

"Perhaps we've landed in a world of mad men." "They're human beings, if that's what you mean, indulging their favourite past time. Trying to destroy each other."TECHNICAL SPECS: Of this episodes from this story, only one still exists in the archives. This is not that episode. Reconstruction, here I come. (The episode has since been found, see Versions.) First aired Dec.23 1967.

IN THIS ONE... The TARDIS lands on a beach and soon flee hovercraft gunmen by helicopter. The Doctor is a dead ringer for a world leader called Salamander and one faction wants him to impersonate the man.

REVIEW: After two stories in very cold places, can we blame the Doctor for his playful antics at the beach? Sadly, the episode's comic bits of business, like its action scenes, have been lost to the ages. The former is always a big loss, but the latter, well, you never know. Seems like a LOT of helicopter flying around, really. I suppose if they really had a chopper AND a hovercraft on loan, they had to get some bang for their buck. And bang it goes too, though the 'copter explosion is stock footage. Appropriately, it's from From Russia with Love and there's a definite Bondian vibe here thanks to the specialty vehicles and world stage plotting, though perhaps more importantly, a UNIT era vibe that may or may not have inspired director Barry Letts' direction for the show when he becomes producer only two seasons from now.

Regardless, it's the only story of the season that's not about a base under siege, and a rare monsterless story for Troughton, so it comes as a breath of fresh air. We've had a Doctor double before (the Abbot of Amboise in The Massacre), but this time, the Doctor's similarity with Salamander is actually part of the plot, what drives it, in fact. Troughton is a wonderful character actor, so he gets a chance to show off here, and in the footage of Salamander, adopts a more confident attitude and a Mexican accent. It amuses me that the Doctor is asked to impersonate someone for Astrid and Kent's faction against his will when so many of his stories have featured him as a deft impersonator. He was born to it, considering he can tell which town a man's accent comes from.

David Whitaker provides a witty script that might have worked in a historical context. I don't know what the kids will make of the political intrigue and near future world building, but it agrees with this adult at least (my heart leaps at any mention of Canada, for example). I love how the Doctor plays coy with Astrid about what his doctorate is for, painting himself in a neutral, and therefore nonthreatening, corner. She's a hard woman and the action hero of the piece, and she's got some moves (Mrs. Peel-inspired, presumably). I hope they keep developing her as the Doctor's "handler", as opposed to the more run-of-the-mill Kent.

VERSIONS: Now restored in full glory, the Doctor running into the sea in his long johns (is this a double? it's so far away) and have a grand old time. What I called coy is actually quite close to flirting. Astrid the Bond Girl has a certain effect on him. The helicopter business doesn't feel as long when you have video, and the shoot-out in the apartment is well staged (get away from the window!!!). Generally, it's just great to have Troughton's entire performance. He goes light. He goes dark. He fiddles with things. And there's twice as much to look at because he plays a dual role.

REWATCHABILITY: Medium - We lost a lot when the video was wiped, but we're still left with an intriguing set-up quite unlike what has gone before. Bit heavy on the helicopter shots though.



Blog Archive


5 Things to Like Activities Advice Alien Nation Aliens Say the Darndest Things Alpha Flight Amalgam Ambush Bug Animal Man anime Aquaman Archetypes Archie Heroes Arrowed Asterix Atom Avengers Awards Babylon 5 Batman Battle Shovel Battlestar Galactica Black Canary BnB 2-in1 Books Booster Gold Buffy Canada Captain America Captain Marvel Cat CCGs Charlton Circles of Hell Class Comics Comics Code Approved Conan Contest Cooking Crisis Daredevil Dating Kara Zor-El Dating Lois Lane Dating Lucy Lane Dating Princess Diana DCAU Deadman Dial H Dice Dinosaur Island Dinosaurs Director Profiles Doctor Who Doom Patrol Down the Rabbit Hole Dr. Strange Encyclopedia Fantastic Four Fashion Nightmares Fiasco Films Within Films Flash Flushpoint Foldees French Friday Night Fights Fun with Covers FW Team-Up Galleries Game design Gaming Geekly roundup Geeks Anonymous Geekwear Gimme That Star Trek Godzilla Golden Age Grant Morrison Great Match-Ups of Science Fiction Green Arrow Green Lantern Hawkman Hero Points Podcast Holidays House of Mystery Hulk Human Target Improv Inspiration Intersect Invasion Invasion Podcast Iron Man Jack Kirby Jimmy Olsen JLA JSA Judge Dredd K9 the Series Kirby Motivationals Krypto Kung Fu Learning to Fly Legion Letters pages Liveblog Lonely Hearts Podcast Lord of the Rings Machine Man Motivationals Man-Thing Marquee Masters of the Universe Memes Memorable Moments Metal Men Metamorpho Micronauts Millennium Mini-Comics Monday Morning Macking Movies Mr. Terrific Music Nelvana of the Northern Lights Nightmare Fuel Number Ones Obituaries oHOTmu OR NOT? Old52 One Panel Outsiders Panels from Sheena Paper Dolls Play Podcast Polls Questionable Fridays Radio Rants Reaganocomics Recollected Red Bee Red Tornado Reign Retro-Comics Reviews Rom RPGs Sandman Sapphire & Steel Sarah Jane Adventures Saturday Morning Cartoons SBG for Girls Seasons of DWAITAS Secret Origins Podcast Secret Wars SF Shut Up Star Boy Silver Age Siskoid as Editor Siskoid's Mailbox Space 1999 Spectre Spider-Man Spring Cleaning ST non-fiction ST novels: DS9 ST novels: S.C.E. ST novels: The Shat ST novels: TNG ST novels: TOS Star Trek Streaky Suicide Squad Supergirl Superman Supershill Swamp Thing Tales from Earth-Prime Team Horrible Teen Titans That Franchise I Never Talk About The Orville The Prisoner The Thing Then and Now Theory Thor Thursdays of Two Worlds Time Capsule Timeslip Tintin Torchwood Tourist Traps of the Forgotten Realms Toys Turnarounds TV V Waking Life Warehouse 13 Websites What If? Who's This? Whoniverse-B Wikileaked Wonder Woman X-Files X-Men Zero Hour Strikes Zine