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A Teenage boy with a passion for all things nerdy! Expect a lot of Doctor Who, Cult/Horror Movies, Literature and Novels, History, Comic Books and random thoughts. Posts published weekly on a Friday evening. DISCLAIMER: I do not own any of the items reviewed on this site and i also do not own of the pictures (unless stated so). If you own one of the photos and wish for it to be removed contact me at this adress: Super.pig@live.co.uk. However all of the written work is my own and is protected under copyright law.

Saturday, 21 December 2013

Doctor Who at 50: The Enemy of the World (Recently Found Missing Episode- DVD Release)

Looking back I didn’t really do the greatest job with my ‘Doctor Who at 50’ posts, did I? They weren’t the most spectacular collection of posts and being honest the whole idea didn’t really work out- particularly the part when I promised a who-related article every day and barely managed two! Truly, I feel pretty bad about this so in order to try and finish my rather underwhelming tribute to 50 years of Doctor Who with some sense of style, I didn’t think I could do any better than to look at the recently recovered and released Patrick Troughton story- The Enemy of the World. Now for those who don’t know (and if you don’t then where have you been) very recently two previously missing Doctor Who stories, The Enemy of the World and the Web of Fear, were returned to the BBC, with only one episode of the Web of Fear still missing. Considering that the majority of my ‘Who-50’ posts have been concerned with missing stories, a look at one of these would make a suitable finale. Now these episodes have been available for about a month now on I-Tunes so indeed I could have done this earlier, but considering I could pre-order the DVD for £13.99 or download for £9.99, well it was a no brainer really.


One of the sad things about Enemy of the World is that until its recovery it remained something of a forgotten classic, with very little interest in its James Bond style antics due to it being the only story in the entirety of season 5 not to feature monsters of some sort. I first came into contact with the story around the age of 12 when I was going through my ‘Target Book’ phase and happened upon Ian Marters fabulous novelisation, needless to say I was immediately hooked and although the TV soundtrack failed to live up to my expectations the story remained close to the top of my personal most wanted list.

The question that remains then, is was Enemy of the World worth the wait? The answer? Of course it was! So much so that I would go so far to say it is easily one of my favourite Patrick Troughton stories if not my absolute favourite. The story is pretty unique in the history of Doctor Who stories, playing out much like the pure historical of the Hartnell era (the travellers land in a time period and become embroiled in events) but set in the far distant future and pitting the Doctor against his body double, dictator Salamander. Salamander has discovered a way to secretly create natural disasters, the rest of the world seeing how accurate his predictions are, are quick to put him in a position of power and it doesn’t take long for Salamander to try and work (or murder) his way to the top.

Perhaps the best thing about Enemy of the World is just how good it manages to look. After learning their lesson with Tomb of the Cybermen (1967), Doctor Who fans are now always slightly wary that a story that seems too good in their imagination may not appear that way on screen, due to low budgets and hardly perfect special effects. Well ‘Enemy of the World’ never suffers from this, in the first episode we get a much praised chase sequence featuring a Helicopter, a fantastic Balcony set in Episode 2 and a great fight sequence between the Doctor and his Double in the final episode. In short, if someone told me that the majority of the Season 5 budget had been spent on this one story I would believe them. The script is certainly a demanding one, hopping to various countries and featuring a huge amount of action, but director Barry Letts and designer Christopher Pemsel do admirable job with hardly a dull moment in site. I want to draw particular attention to Patrick Troughton’s fight scene in the final episode. If you consider when this story was made and what it was made for, you would hardly be judged if you expected something less than underwhelming when the story calls for Patrick Troughton to literally get in a fist fight with himself. Preparing myself for notable doubles and obvious camera tricks, I was simply blown away when I finally saw it. It really does look incredible and is for me personally, the highlight of the entire 6 part story.

Speaking of Patrick Troughton, he really is good isn’t he? It’s a heck of a challenge for an actor to play two main roles in the same story but make the audience believe they are different people but it’s something Mr Troughton does brilliantly. His portrayal of Salamander is exceptionally well preformed; I particularly loved his scenes with the character of Fedarin where he blackmails him but in the most charming of fashions. Sometimes I struggled to believe it was the same man who played our loveable Cosmic Hobo but the vast differences between the two characters is something Troughton uses to his advantage; we really do get the building up of a show down between Salamander and his mysterious impersonator.

If you haven’t seen ‘Enemy of the World’ yet, Doctor Who fan or not, I recommend that in some way shape or form you try and track down a copy. It’s amazing to think that at the start of the year, this was still only available to listen too (in fact I ended up downloading the soundtrack in May, not ever thinking I would get a chance to see it!). It truly is a remarkable achievement for 60’s Doctor Who and dare I say it- but 60’s British Television.

2 comments:

  1. Hello Callum
    Congratulations on finding something you've been looking for, and in not finding it, as, sadly, often seems to be the case, an anticlimax. I hope you have an enjoyable festive season.

    Best wishes
    Sammy B

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    Replies
    1. Hello Sammy
      Thank you for your kind comments, I can only hope that more missing episodes are found in years to come!
      Hope you enjoyed your Christmas/ New Year period and thank you once again for your comments :)

      Callum

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