My Thoughts on Story 040 – “Enemy of the World”

This is, without a doubt, the best of the early Doctor Who stories. It has great acting, great writing, and Patrick Troughton in two roles! What’s not to like?

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Well, as a minor complaint, what’s not to like is the DVD. The disc has the episodes and…that’s it. Nothing else. No interviews, no commentaries, no behind-the-scenes stuff, nothing. Very irritating, especially given the quality of previous releases.

This story had been missing for nearly fifty years before it was recovered in Nigeria, along with almost all the missing episodes of the next story, “Web of Fear”. I’m very happy that it was recovered, because it really is amazing.

First off, Troughton is just incredible as both Salamander and the Doctor. He oozes just the right level of menace and charm for Salamander. It’s a shame that we didn’t get more than a few seconds of the two characters on screen together.

I really also liked the various supporting characters, especially Astrid and Bruce. He especially could have been written as a very one-dimensional bad guy, but instead proved to have several layers.

I also find it quite interesting that the Doctor, Jamie and Victoria really just…don’t do much in this story. It’s not that they aren’t there or active, but it’s very clear that the revolution that’s shown likely would have happened in a few months anyhow. They kind of push things forward, but that’s it.

So that’s that. If you haven’t seen this story, seek it out. It’s very good.

Cast
Others
  • Patrick Troughton — Ramón Salamander
  • Bill Kerr — Giles Kent
  • Mary Peach — Astrid Ferrier
  • Colin Douglas — Donald Bruce
  • George Pravda — Denes
  • David Nettheim — Fedorin
  • Milton Johns — Benik
  • Henry Stamper — Anton
  • Rhys McConnochie — Rod
  • Simon Cain — Curly
  • Carmen Munroe — Fariah
  • Reg Lye — Griffin the Chef
  • Christopher Burgess — Swann
  • Adam Verney — Colin
  • Margaret Hickey — Mary
  • Gordon Faith, Elliott Cairnes — Guard Captains
  • Bill Lyons — Guard on Denes
  • Andrew Staines — Sergeant to Benik
  • Bob Anderson — Fighting Guard
  • William McGuirk — Guard in Corridor
  • Dibbs Mather — Guard in Caravan
Production
Directed by Barry Letts
Written by David Whitaker
Script editor Peter Bryant
Produced by Innes Lloyd
Executive producer(s) None
Incidental music composer Stock music by Béla Bartók
Production code PP
Series Season 5
Length 6 episodes, 25 minutes each
Date started 23 December 1967
Date ended 27 January 1968

Next time: “Web of Fear”

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