Doctor Who #192: The Enemy of the World Part 5

"I know Salamander. He'd talk his way out of a quicksand."TECHNICAL SPECS: Another episode missing from the archives, another reconstruction. (The episode has since been found, see Versions.) First aired Jan.20 1968.

IN THIS ONE... The Doctor gets Bruce on his side and rescues Jamie and Victoria. Meanwhile, Swann forces Salamander to bring him back to the "irradiated" surface, and Astrid and Kent plan their own escape.

REVIEW: You know, I'm getting more and more frustrated with the stupidity of some of these characters, and at how little impact the TARDISeers are having on the story. Jamie and Victoria didn't really get any evidence against Salamander, and though the Doctor has convinced Donald Bruce to investigate - he's certainly more reasonable than the "goodies" - it looks like the evidence will all be served on a silver platter in the final episode courtesy of Swann, a man from the underground who rumbles Salamander. Perhaps I should be glad Salamander stupidly knocked him upside the head, but failed to deal a killing blow before running off. At least now the story won't go on for another 4-6 plodding episodes. Swann's no light bulb either; he agrees not to tell the rest of the underground what he's found out about the surface world - or else believes Salamander's story about a post apocalyptic world of evil mutants sailing cruise ships and reading newspapers in a radiation nightmare - thereby signing his death warrant (well, his wound warrant, as it turns out). Of course, the bunker people may have been chosen for their placid stupidity if they believe any of Salamander's stories. I'm afraid they live in a very deep plot hole.

Astrid and Kent continue to act recklessly, of course. Just as it appears that Bruce could be swayed to their side, Astrid pulls a gun on him, and only the Doctor can walk him back from the ledge. For no real reason, Kent suddenly thinks he can find the evidence Bruce needs and plans an escape that's bound to look suspicious. He fakes his own death with some ketchup, which acts as a diversion so Astrid can run off, which in turn is only a distraction for him to leave the shed. So why not just run off without any condiments if it were that easy?

And then there's the Doctor who impersonates Salamander even when there's no one other than his friends around, making Jamie and Victoria look at him with suspicion. Why even do that? The script can't even rely on Whitaker's usual wit in this one. It's nice to see Jamie ready to kill for Victoria (it really is more than brother and sister between those two), but unfortunately, they share those scenes of jeopardy with Benik, a two-dimensional mustache-twirler whose very deliciousness as a villain comes off as boring to me.

VERSIONS: Now that we have the episode, I was wondering the whole time how Swann was going to fit in that tube with Salamander. Instead, they go down a cave tunnel and pop out near Astrid... and I have absolutely no idea how the geography works in this serial.

REWATCHABILITY: Low - Very badly written indeed. A major disappointment coming from the man who gave us Power and Evil of the Daleks.

0 comments:

 

Blog Archive

Category

5 Things to Like (21) Activities (23) Advice (74) Alien Nation (34) Aliens Say the Darndest Things (8) Alpha Flight (25) Amalgam (53) Ambush Bug (46) Animal Man (17) anime (52) Aquaman (70) Archetypes (14) Archie Heroes (10) Arrowed (20) Asterix (9) Atom (30) Avengers (58) Awards (33) Babylon 5 (140) Batman (677) Battle Shovel (13) Battlestar Galactica (134) Black Canary (22) BnB 2-in1 (40) Books (60) Booster Gold (16) Buck Rogers (12) Buffy (6) Canada (70) Captain America (69) Captain Marvel (55) Cat (156) CCGs (51) Charlton (12) Circles of Hell (6) Class (11) Comics (3960) Comics Code Approved (12) Conan (15) Contest (13) Cooking (15) Crisis (77) Daredevil (33) Dating Kara Zor-El (5) Dating Lois Lane (23) Dating Lucy Lane (13) Dating Princess Diana (11) DCAU (404) Deadman (9) Dial H (128) Dice (10) Dinosaur Island (16) Dinosaurs (67) Director Profiles (9) Doctor Who (1676) Doom Patrol (22) Down the Rabbit Hole (7) Dr. Strange (17) Encyclopedia (28) Fantastic Four (56) Fashion Nightmares (19) Fiasco (14) Films Within Films (6) Flash (83) Flushpoint (86) Foldees (12) French (49) Friday Night Fights (57) Fun with Covers (56) FW Team-Up (37) Galleries (9) Game design (26) Gaming (111) Geekly roundup (762) Geeks Anonymous (47) Geekwear (13) Gimme That Star Trek (60) Godzilla (53) Golden Age (432) Grant Morrison (75) Great Match-Ups of Science Fiction (8) Green Arrow (50) Green Lantern (87) Hawkman (39) Hero Points Podcast (13) Holidays (241) House of Mystery (15) Hulk (44) Human Target (8) Improv (34) Inspiration (45) Intersect (5) Invasion Podcast (44) Iron Man (50) Jack Kirby (87) Jimmy Olsen (74) JLA (94) JSA (25) K9 the Series (30) Kirby Motivationals (18) Krypto (202) Kung Fu (98) Learning to Fly (11) Legion (129) Letters pages (6) Liveblog (12) Lonely Hearts Podcast (21) Lord of the Rings (18) Machine Man Motivationals (10) Man-Thing (6) Marquee (89) Masters of the Universe (9) Memes (39) Memorable Moments (35) Metal Men (5) Metamorpho (65) Millennium (72) Mini-Comics (5) Monday Morning Macking (7) Movies (457) Mr. Terrific (6) Music (73) Nelvana of the Northern Lights (8) Nightmare Fuel (21) Number Ones (59) Obituaries (41) oHOTmu OR NOT? (76) Old52 (11) One Panel (291) Outsiders (165) Panels from Sheena (5) Paper Dolls (7) Play (76) Podcast (488) Polls (5) Questionable Fridays (13) Radio (18) Rants (20) Reaganocomics (8) Recollected (11) Red Bee (26) Red Tornado (10) Reign (563) Retro-Comics (3) Reviews (52) Rom (116) RPGs (539) Sandman (21) Sapphire & Steel (37) Sarah Jane Adventures (70) Saturday Morning Cartoons (5) SBG for Girls (4) Seasons of DWAITAS (100) Secret Origins Podcast (8) Secret Wars (25) SF (30) Shut Up Star Boy (1) Silver Age (368) Siskoid as Editor (34) Siskoid's Mailbox (10) Space 1999 (51) Spectre (20) Spider-Man (100) Spring Cleaning (15) ST non-fiction (19) ST novels: DS9 (8) ST novels: S.C.E. (19) ST novels: The Shat (2) ST novels: TNG (9) ST novels: TOS (13) Star Trek (1712) Streaky (2) Suicide Squad (38) Supergirl (89) Superman (1060) Supershill (11) Swamp Thing (23) Tales from Earth-Prime (7) Team Horrible (4) Teen Titans (83) That Franchise I Never Talk About (53) The Orville (29) The Prisoner (5) The Thing (54) Then and Now (4) Theory (51) Thor (52) Thursdays of Two Worlds (43) Time Capsule (8) Timeslip (7) Tintin (23) Torchwood (62) Tourist Traps of the Forgotten Realms (5) Toys (65) Turnarounds (7) TV (193) V (6) Waking Life (1) Warehouse 13 (9) Websites (102) What If? (103) Who's This? (203) Whoniverse-B (11) Wikileaked (3) Wonder Woman (82) X-Files (246) X-Men (102) Zero Hour Strikes (26) Zine (5)