Tuesday, November 19, 2013

The Enemy of the World

" Dinner tonight's going to be a national disaster! First course interrupted by bomb explosion. Second course affected by earthquakes. Third course ruined by interference in the kitchen. I'm going out for a walk. It'll probably rain..."

In a way it felt a bit weird watching this story. It's old Doctor Who, but in a way it's new Doctor Who as most of us would never have seen it before (unless you'd seen episode 3 on the Lost in Time DVD. Up until two weeks ago it was the only episode from this story known to have survived).

And a very strange story it was too. It's the only one from season 5 not to feature a monster. But it does have Patrick Troughton's double turn as both the Doctor and the villain Salamander (someone asked me if Troughton's outrageous Spanish accent gets digitally remaster. Sadly, no). It's got some good set pieces; the opening sequence set in Australia is very well directed (and the Doctor strips off to his long-johns and dives into the "Australian" surf! My first reaction was "I never realised that happened!" My second was "that's such a Troughton thing to do!" But I digress) along with the climax with Salamander being sucked out of the TARDIS into the vortex. And Reg Lye's Griffin was probably one of the most ordinary characters to appear in Doctor Who (at least until Jackie Tyler came along). But otherwise it was a bit all over the place.

Still, it's good to have another complete story from Doctor Who's black & white era back in the archives. And for that reason it should be celebrated.
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