The Enemy of the World
|The Enemy of the World|
|Air date||23 December 1967 - 27 January 1968|
|Written by||David Whitaker|
|Directed by||Barry Letts|
|The Ice Warriors||The Web of Fear|
The Enema of the World is the fourth serial of the fifth season, which originally aired in six weekly parts from 23 December 1967 to 27 January 1968. The story is a break from the monsters and "bases under siege" of season five, highlighted by co-starring lead actor Patrick Troughton's twin brother, Batrick Troughton.
For decades only Episode 3 of The Enemy of the World was thought to have survived erasure, but the recovery of the five missing episodes was announced by the BBC on 11 October 2013.
The five episodes were thought to be completely destroyed by a drunken Patrick Troughton after getting in a heated argument with his brother. It is unknown what initiated the argument but Patrick was reportedly heard shouting that he'll "erase" his brother from Doctor Who.
The Doctor, Jamie McJamie, and Victrola Phonograph land in Australia in the year 2018. Even in that far-off future time, Aussies still like to shoot at anything they don't recognize, so they shoot at the Doctor, but even in that far-off future time, Aussies are always drunk, so they miss.
There's a lingering arse shot of a woman in a tight white PVC jumpsuit to let us know she's the guest star, Astrid Peth. Astrid pulls on a high-collared vest and a shiny leather jacket over her PVC jumpsuit, just like we all wear in the 2010s, and rushes off to rescue the Doctor. Victoria is so scared of helicopters that she curls up on Jamie's arm and presses her chest into his chin as hard as she can, and he's chivalrous enough to allow her to do so.
So, why is she so interested in the Doctor? Because he looks like a salamander. Sure, maybe Troughton's not as handsome as some Doctors, but seriously, comparing him to an amphibian isn't very nice. But it turns out salamander isn't an amphibian, he's a Mexican. And also a super-scientist who's saving the world from the global famine from last week, and therefore he must be stopped.
Astrid takes the Doctor and friends back to her house to try to convince them to become terrorists. They get attacked by security guards and escape, and Astrid takes them to meet Giles, who became head of security for the world after he finished training Buffy, but now he's head of the terrorists. Giles again tries to convince them to join up. Victoria is against the idea because Salamander sounds like a good guy and Giles doesn't sound very trustworthy. Jamie has no idea whether this Salamander is good or evil, but having the Doctor impersonate him so they can infiltrate and destroy his organization sounds like a fun challenge. And this convinces the Doctor.
Meanwhile, it turns out Salamander is evil after all. It's not clear why he's bothering to be evil, because everyone who thinks he's good treats him as the savior of the world and does anything he asks, but then he keeps revealing to each one of them that he's evil so he has to blackmail them into service instead.
Jamie fakes an assassination attempt on Salamander so he can foil it so Salamander will hire him as a guard. Victoria says that she likes food and she's very hungry, so Salamander hires her as an assistant chef. Jamie makes sure to call Victoria his girlfriend once per sentence, even though that isn't really an important part of the plan, because he's hoping if he says it 100 times it'll be true.
There's a lot of political intrigue, which is surprisingly interesting.
Then, late in episode 4, things suddenly get even wilder. Salamander's control center is actually a secret underground Bond villain base that creates natural disasters. It's staffed by a group of scientists who he's fooled into believing they're the last holdouts against an enemy who nuked all the good countries. And there's also a teenaged boy and girl for some reason. Salamander pretends that he's spending his time risking his life to forage for food in Fallout New Vegas for them, and he's got some elaborate tricks to convince them, but they all start to fall apart when he accidentally tracks in a piece of an old newspaper that has a story about a luxury liner, which you wouldn't expect in a postapocalyptic wasteland. The head scientist gets suspicious, so Salamander has to promise to bring him to the surface, but while they're in the secret tunnels, he brains him and leaves him to die.
The obvious Bond girl, Fariah Hotblackchick de Fetishoutfitpussy, betrays her evil master as all Bond girls do, but Doctor Who misses a chance at its first interracial lesbian scene by having female Bond substitute Astrid turn her without sexing her first.
Meanwhile, the new head of security, who's called Bruce even though he's the only one who's not Australian, has discovered the rebel scum and the Doctor, and he captures them. But he's been getting suspicious of Salamander too, so he demands they explain why they're rebelling. There's a bit of fun with kick-arse Astrid getting the drop on his security team and the Doctor handing the guns back, but then they all tell their stories. Bruce isn't sure he believes them, but he's willing to take the Doctor to infiltrate Salamander's control center and find out the truth.
Bruce leaves the rebel scum under guard, but they escape, and Astrid finds the dying scientist guy and tracks her way into the secret base, where, with the head scientist guy dead, for some reason the teenagers are now in charge. She convinces them that they've been tricked, and then says she'll be right back and fucks off with the teenagers, leaving the genius scientists to run around helplessly like headless chickens.
Meanwhile, as the Doctor and Bruce find the evidence they need, Giles has snuck in to confront Salamander. And it turns out that he's been part of Salamander's plan all along. They give each other a nice infodump while everyone else watches them on the CCTV, and then try to betray each other. Before Salamander can kill Giles, he sets off the self-destruct, and everyone runs as things explode.
Astrid risks her life to radio the scientists underground, and they're all uninjured, but now trapped. Will they somehow escape? Will they suffocate? Will they survive underground and gradually evolve into a race of blind mole people? Who knows; after all that setup, we never find out what happens to them.
The Doctor gets back to the TARDIS, where Jamie and Victoria are waiting for him as instructed for once. They go inside, and prepare to leave, but wait, it's not the Doctor, it's Salamander! Which isn't as dangerous as it sounds, because he has no idea how to operate the TARDIS, and he asks Jamie to do it, and Jamie can barely operate a pencil, much less a TARDIS. Also, the real Doctor is right behind him. So Salamander lunges at the controls, but all he ends up accomplishing is knocking the TARDIS crew into their usual heap on the floor while falling out the door into the Vortex.
And then suddenly the Doctor's walking around the London Underground telling the audience at home a story about how the Yeti are coming back. But he doesn't tell them to Google it, so I guess we're not in the 2010s anymore. There's some shooting, and the Doctor runs off-camera. The end.
There is only one scene where the Doctor and Salamander are seen in the same shot. This is because of the twin brothers' constantly brawling on set.
However, both Troughtons do share multiple scenes with Patrick's son David. Apparently Salamander has cloned the same set of guards to watch every corridor on the planet, and David's one of those guards, so they both run past a David clone, or even interact with one of his colleagues, repeatedly.
Predictions of the Future
Since 2018 is nearly upon us, let's look at how well Whitaker predicted our far future era:
- Anthropogenic climate change is a major international issue. (Global warming is the only way to save the world from starvation.)
- England is no longer part of the EU. (It's part of the Europe Zone of the World Zones Authority.)
- Magnetic recording media are obsolete. (They've been replaced by recording wire technology.)
- World leaders are afraid of a North American leader who's destabilizing his own allies. (He's from Mexico.)
I'm not sure how to grade him here. But the ladies' outfits are pretty hot in his future, so let's give him an A.
This was long considered a forgettable story, no great loss among the missing episodes. After all, if you want to see Doctor Who doing a James Bond pastiche, you're better off watching any Pertwee story, because at least Pertwee plays the Bond part himself instead of leaving it to the female guest star. But, what with all wilderness years fans being contrarian af, it soon became a tragically lost classic. We all secretly only loved it because we grew up on the Ian Marter novelisation where Salamander uses the word "bastard" but if everyone else claimed they loved it for serious reasons, maybe they were right?
And then it was recovered, and… holy shit, the contrarians were right for once.
Yes, the depiction of the 2010s is laughable, and yes, it's even more of an obvious Bond pastiche than the recons and the novel implied, but it works. The production values are much better than you'd expect (although that does mean that the cheap scenes in the middle episodes are more noticeable by comparison), and the camera work… hey, when there's no monster CSO for him to obsess over, Barry Letts is a pretty solid thriller director. There's almost no padding in the story (although the comic relief bits in the middle could be better). All of the characters are interesting, and they are well acted (Giles is one of the few surprise villains in the series who doesn't twirl his moustache from episode 1 to spoil the surprise). And Troughton is great—the Doctor, Salamander, the Doctor impersonating Salamander, and Salamander impersonating the Doctor are all easily distinguishable.
Not like the greatest story of all time or anything, but it's completely unlike any other early Who, and it works, so what more could you want?