HomeAll postsDoctor Who (1967): Enemy of the World

Doctor Who (1967): Enemy of the World

A review by Nalini Haynes

To be released on 27 November 2013

Missing for 45 years, most of ‘The Enemy of the World’ episodes were found in Nigeria recently, allowing a new release in time for the 50th anniversary.

The Doctor (Patrick Troughton), Jamie (Frazier Hines) and Victoria (Deborah Watling) land on a beach in Australia. Although the weather looks like a bleak British day [shifty eyes], apparently they arrived on a beach in sunny Australia.

Three men on the beach in a 1960s-imagined hovercraft see the Doctor. Believing the Doctor to be Salamander, their nemesis, they start shooting and chasing the Doctor and his companions.

Astrid (Mary Peach), also part of the resistance, helps the Doctor, Jamie and Victoria escape in a three-seat helicopter. Without enough seats, Victoria sits on Jamie’s lap, the two clinging to each other. I’m not sure who was comforting whom as helicopters were new to both of them.

Astrid and her boss, Giles Kent (Bill Kerr), try to recruit the Doctor for their cause. The Doctor isn’t satisfied with their arguments and lack of proof so the trio investigate.

By the time ‘The Enemy of the World’ episode was made in 1967, the doppelganger trope was already well-established in literature. Patrick Troughton’s performance as both Salamander and the Doctor was fun, displaying his impressive acting talents.

The plot had a couple of twists that took me by surprise.

Victoria as a character – a bit whiny – tends to annoy me. Victoria also played a clueless aspiring cook demoted to kitchen hand, giving me the irrits. However, Astrid is the leading non-companion character. She’s strong, capable and authoritative when necessary.

Doctor Who and ‘The Enemy of the World’ is a fun investigative doppelganger story.

Nalini is an award-winning writer and artist as well as managing editor of Dark Matter Zine.


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