Number : Season 5, serial 4 of 7
Which One : Troughton’s double-act.
Cast : The Doctor/Salamander : Patrick Troughton
Jamie : Frazer Hines
Victoria : Deborah Watling
Giles Kent : Bill Kerr
Astrid Ferrer : Mary Peach
Donald Bruce : Colin Douglas
Denes : George Pravda
Fedorin : David Nettheim
Benik : Milton Johns
Anton : Henry Stamper
Rod : Rhys McConnochie
Curly : Simon Cain
Fariah : Carmen Munroe
Griffin : Reg Lye
Swann : Christopher Burgess
Colin : Adam Verney
Mary : Margaret Hickey
Written By : David Whittaker
Produced By : Innes Lloyd
First UK Broadcast : 23 December 1967 – 27 January 1968 .
Length : 6 x 25 minute episodes.
Plot : The Doctor attempts to take a trip – to the beach but is mistaken for a despotic future-world leader; called Salamander (whom he bears a striking resemblance to!). The Doctor is then drawn into a plot – to impersonate Salamander.
Whats good : Memorably campy “James Bond/Man From Uncle/The Avengers” influenced number. Troughton gets to play an evil double of the Doctor. Jamie.
Whats bad : The bizarre camp edge to this, won’t suit the Who purists. Victoria. That the entire episode was presumed lost until 2013 due to Beeb wiping policy.
Review With Spoilers : The Enemy Of The World is the fourth serial of season 5 and hit the headlines in 2013; when the whole episode was rediscovered, (having previously been missing) on old film canisters from a Nigerian TV studio – along with one episode of still incomplete; Web Of Fear.
The Doctor, takes Jamie and Victoria to a future Australian beach – in the “Australasia Zone”, where they are attacked by guards – in a hover craft.
The Doctor learns that this was because he uncannily resembles ‘Salamander’ – a prestigious but despotic world leader of South American descent.
The Enemy Of The World, is a strange-tale indeed, part-James Bond, part-Man From Uncle; with a healthy dose of The Avengers. It doesn’t feel like an episode of Who but that is either – it’s biggest draw or it’s biggest detraction.
It is nice to see Troughton get an opportunity to show, he has serious range by playing the quietly cool and cruel Salamander; as well as the Doctor (sometimes together in the same scene).
“Perhaps we’ve landed in a world of mad men!?” Victoria
“They’re human beings, if that’s what you mean. Indulging their favourite past time – trying to destroy each other!” The Doctor
Jamie gets a good action turn in this, who goes undercover to infiltrate Salamander’s organisation but other companion Victoria – is strangely subdued and a bit wooden.
The Enemy Of The World is not going to suit all of the fans, especially not the bread-and-butter sci-fi purists; who were generally blessed with good sci-fi – in the Troughton “monster” era.
That said, I for one – am glad that The Enemy Of The World was re-discovered, as it reminds us that a show like Who did occaisionally take risks – with the format, whilst homaging all of the other political intrigue and spy thrillers – of the 1960s.
The Enemy Of The World‘s stand-out moment, has to be when an injured Salamander slips aboard the Tardis and impersonates the Doctor (an alternative riff on the Doctor impersonating Salamander; all the way through). Before the duo have a scuffle, resulting in Salamander falling out of the Tardis – to his death.
The Enemy Of The World is an interesting – and fun Who nod to the political spy thriller, with the added bonus of a memorable villain – also played by the lead actor.
The Enemy Of The World has dated, since being rediscovered newrly 50 years later. In line with all of the spy thrillers of the day – but that remains part of it’s continuing and enduring quintessential British charm.
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