The Enemy of the World - Grading & Discuss

Discussion in 'Doctor Who' started by Candlelight, Oct 11, 2013.


Rate The Enemy of the World

  1. Excellent

    8 vote(s)
  2. Above Average

    8 vote(s)
  3. Average

    0 vote(s)
  4. Below Average

    0 vote(s)
  5. Poor

    0 vote(s)
  1. Candlelight

    Candlelight Admiral Admiral

    Apr 12, 2000
    New Zealand
    Rate The Enemy of the World, which was discovered and released to the world on October 10.


    Last edited: Oct 11, 2013
  2. Rarewolf

    Rarewolf Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Feb 23, 2002
    Devon, England
    The first episode is the best, I'm glad I watched the whole story before the trailer though.
  3. inflatabledalek

    inflatabledalek Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Jun 7, 2011
    Random thoughts:

    Well first of all, it shows how very much we miss from having so much Troughton on audio only, he's such a visual actor that even the best recons can't really convey the subtle (and sometimes not so subtle but still hugely entertaining) nuances he puts in that elevate even the most ordinary and dull lines. He almost single handed drags this story up by the boot straps and raises it up above a slightly silly and done to death premise (I'm actually surprised no one involved remembered they'd done the evil double of the Doctor thing only two years earlier, sure different production team but they apparently had a list of done stories on the wall of the production office specifically to avoid this sort of thing).

    Hines is as solid as ever, but doesn't really get a lot to do. I'm not a huge Victoria fan, but I do have a completely random thing for women in tartan skirts (Jamie obviously leaves me very confused) so she at least looks very nice.

    The direction was probably Letts best for the show, I think not being the producer and thus not having free reign to do whatever he likes coupled with not being able to carry out his strange obsession with CSO (I think even George Lucas at his worst would baulk at using greenscreen to do an ordinary living room as happens in Terror of the Autons) in black and white helped there.

    Though we do get the monochrome equiverlent in a back projected garden (and even though the trick used is quite smart- when Jamie's walking towards them in the distance he's on the back projection before a couple of cuts let him sneak into the set, creating the sense of depth) it does feel like a slight waste of location filming when they could have just had a set with a bush.

    Overall though, a nice fun and surprisingly pacey story. The confrontation at the end, however brief, is well done as well. IIRC I once read claims that the one shot of Troughton looking at Troughton was done by superimposing a picture of the still Doctor over the scene after the spit-screen had failed, but no, he's clearly moving and the fact the split is done at an angle makes it feel nice and different from the usual ITC stuff.

    It does make me smile though that Salamander's accent is exactly the same one Troughton uses in shows like Danger Man and The Saint whenever he's playing a swarthy foreigner of any nationality.

    And that scene of him casually smoking his giant cigar, very proto-Delgardo isn't it?

    The sheer, delightful, silliness of the opening beach scene really makes me want to see the very similar one that opens Fury From the Deep now.
  4. Emh

    Emh The Doctor Premium Member

    Jul 20, 2000
    Brussels, Belgium
    Prior to watching the recovered episodes, I had previously seen a fan reconstruction of this serial, so I had a general idea how the story played out, particularly the confrontation of Salamander and The Doctor in the TARDIS. However, there were certain aspects of the story I had completely forgotten about, such as Salamander enslaving scientists to do his natural disaster bidding, the true nature of Giles Kent, and the swaying of Donald Bruce to The Doctor's side.

    With that perspective in mind, I found The Enemy of the World very enjoyable, which is a step up from not being impressed by it the first time around. I think a large part of that comes down to the physical presence of Patrick Troughton. There's quite nothing like watching Troughton running down beach, stripping down to his underwear and jumping into the sea, an act that is wonderfully and retroactively reminiscent of The Eleventh Doctor. This is easily one of his finest performances on Doctor Who, tackling multiple roles: The Doctor, Salamander, The Doctor pretending to be Salamander, and Salamander pretending to be a survivor of a post-apocalyptic war. As always, he's wonderful as The Doctor but he really shines as The Doctor pretending to be Salamander. He fooled even myself when he tricked Jamie and Victoria and, later on, Giles Kent that he was actually Salamander and not The Doctor.

    The story itself is fairly straight forward from the get go with a man who is slowly taking over the world for malevolent reasons without the world realizing it (which reminds me of Greg Cox's take on Khan and the Eugenics Wars, even though Khan wasn't a center stage figure like Salamander). What's interesting about the story is how The Doctor, Jamie and Victoria are simply told Salamander is an evil dictator but there isn't much proof provided other than he's slowly taken control of certain "zones" around the world. However, from the public eye, it seems that he is benevolent man with his inventions such as the Sun Store, which helps alleviate world hunger. It comes down to a matter of trust.

    Out of the people who claim Salamander is an evil dictator, only Giles Kent knew him directly. Everyone else takes his word for it, from Astrid to The Doctor's would-be assassins. The Doctor clearly doesn't trust the accusation, but is forced to pretend as Salamander by Giles. From here, The Doctor, Jamie and Victoria are swept into a world of intrigue quite unlike most Doctor Who stories. In fact, the only example that pops up to mind is The Reign of Terror, but unlike that story, The Enemy of the World isn't a historical but rather set in the future.

    The story is filled with wonderful characters, particularly Salamander, Donald Bruce, Benik, Astrid, Giles Kent, Fariah, even Griffin the sardonic, sarcastic chef. The only characters that don't really appeal are the scientists enslaved by Salamander, particularly Collins with all his whining about going with Salamander up to the surface. Unfortunately, with all of these wonderful characters, Jamie and especially Victoria are largely underutilized. Jamie gets to shine in episode 2 but then he mostly disappears for the rest of the story.

    With the story taking place in 2018, the story was set 50 years into the future from the original air date. However, at times while watching this serial, I couldn't help be amused by the level of technology presented. Telephones, data storage, and radios appear obsolete by today's standards. And yet, at the same time, the story still has science-fiction elements: the SPECTRE-esque ability to create natural disasters, rockets that travel from Australia to Europe in two hours, and face-to-face video communication that's certainly better quality than what we have at the moment.

    In addition to expanding Patrick Troughton's, Frazer Hines', and Deborah Watling's Doctor Who library, the return of the missing episodes expands David Troughton's library as well. Episodes 5 and 6 are Troughton's earliest contribution to the series, playing the uncredited role of a guard. So minor is his role that I couldn't find him either episode, but I suspect he was amongst the guards who took Benik into custody in episode 6.

    Now that you mention it, yes it does. :lol:
  5. Captain Fine

    Captain Fine Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Mar 1, 2002
    Toronto, ON
    I haven't watched much Classic Who, but I very much enjoyed these episodes. I like this Doctor!
  6. Emperor-Tiberius

    Emperor-Tiberius Commodore Commodore

    Jul 30, 2005
    Kavala, Greece
    The greatness of Troughton - instantly infectious. :)
  7. diankra

    diankra Commodore Commodore

    Jun 22, 2005
    At two episodes in...
    Does seem to confirm that the surviving episode three was the runt of the litter (as with Underwater Menace, and possibly Space Pirates... except there it's 2, obviously). Costume design is spot on for what is basically a political drama in some future version fo the Napoleonic/Roman society. And a really rather good one, a match for the Power Game or The Caesars.
    Episode one not as good as I'd hoped (the rewrite from crowded resort to deserted beach does leave a few lulls), but still...
    I do begin to think that 'mediocre' stories are far more likely to be enjoyable when recovered than classics (but am hoping not to be disappointed by Web in a few episodes' time). Certainly, I can see Enemy creeping up into the top three of the season come the 50th anniversary poll...
  8. Mr Awe

    Mr Awe Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Jan 15, 2002
    Above average!

    This is definitely one of the better Troughton stories. Some of these older 6 parters can drag, but not this one! This was a fun and fast paced story.

    Troughton was superb playing Salamander. Absolutely superb! Actually kind of chilling at points! And, I didn’t realize that he played it with a Mexican accent. Not sure that the accent is totally authentic, but it’s a very effective accent and really adds to him being a different character.

    There were also some very strong guest characters, from the resistance to the Salamander's food taster, and the chef! Even the head of security who initially seemed 2D was well portrayed as the Doctor won him over.

    The pllot was decent, a little thin at points in logic, but it was mostly a fun, fast moving story so you tended to overlook the gaps in logic and enjoyed the ride.

    What a great find! :)

    Mr Awe
  9. Davros

    Davros Fleet Admiral Admiral

    Mar 8, 2001
    Kaled bunker, Skaro
    A very fine story indeed. Far better than the program guides that had been my only insight to this tale before now had lead me to believe. Troughton is without any doubt in my mind one of the best actors ever to play the role.
  10. Candlelight

    Candlelight Admiral Admiral

    Apr 12, 2000
    New Zealand
    Having coincidentally listened to this story a few days prior to discovery this was fresh in my mind, and for part it's not a good thing. I had an image in my mind of how I thought the story might look and for most of it I was right (naturally I couldn't have guessed how creative Barry Lett's direction was).

    Arguable one of the more grown up stories of Troughton's era, and a nice change from a monster-driven story.


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