Tuesday 3 September 2013

The Enemy of the World

The notion of these two brilliant and spectacularly successful monomaniacal over-achievers existing simultaneously like some Good Twin/Evil Twin duality, watching each other ascend to dominance as living iconic images, then "meeting" in a David-Goliath match playing on movie screens internationally... you couldn't pitch that story line to Hollywood even as an X-Men flick.

Previously on No Complications…

Me:  Oo – it’s a trailer…

The Doctor, looking crumpled and windswept, appears to be on holiday.

The Doctor:  I don’t think I like the look of this.  Let’s go.

Victoria:  Why?  What’s the matter?

The Doctor:  Come on… Run.  Don’t argue!  Run!

Doctor Who and the Confusion of the Sixties

Voice of God:  Next week, the TARDIS lands on a sunny beach.  But where is it?

Me:  Rhyl.

Voice of God:  And why is the reception so unfriendly?

Me:  It’s Rhyl.

Gunshots:  ptchoo spwiing

Him:  “And then… everyone dies.”

Victoria:  Why does he want to hurt us?1

The Doctor:  Why indeed?

Victoria:  Can’t we go back to the TARDIS?

The Doctor:  No we’ll never make it.

The Massive Chopper:  whoosh whooshy whoosh

Jamie:  What is it, Doctor?

Victoria:  I‘m frightened!

Cover of the Unreleased David Whitaker Target Novelisation:  Over here!  Run!

Victoria:  I can’t!   I can’t!

The Doctor:  You must!  It’s our only chance!

Cover of the Unreleased David Whitaker Target Novelisation: FLEEEEEE!1
  The Doctor: Come on!

The camera zooms in on each of our chum’s faces in turn, followed by a zoom out on a snap of the Massive Chopper.2

Massive Chopper:  whooshy whooshy whoosh

Voice of God:  Why has this strange woman rescued them?

Me:  I’ve no idea.

Voice of God:  Dr3 Who and3 the Enemy of the World” begins…  Umm…  Next Saturday!

Or thereabouts.

The fading sounds of the Massive Chopper bring us to a shuddering conclusion.  For now…7



Me:  Guess who directed this.

Him:  David Whitaker?

Me:  No, he wrote it.

Him:  Maybe he directed it as- Was it you?  Did you direct this?  Because that’d be awesome.

Me:  It wasn’t me.

Him:  Are you sure?

Me:  Yes.

Him:  Was it someone who sounds like you?

Me:  In what way?

Him:  Your voice.

Me:  Not… really.

The johnnyfanboy reconstruction that we’re watching comes with added Frazer Hines narration.  Mr Hines always sounds like he’s grinning when he reads out the stage directions, which goes a long way to making this bit of the Ascent easier.  It’s a little like listening to Radio 4 when you’re ironing or perhaps using a talking book to help a long drive/fall seem to pass faster.

Anyway, the TARDIS has landed on a beach - sand stretch far away.  It could be anywhere.  Cornwall?  Cromer?   

“Golden, sun-kissed sand dunes” just out of shot.
Our heroes emerge.  The Doctor is delighted to have gone on holiday by mistake, Victoria’s preparing a sonic blast and Jamie still wonders whether he’ll ever get to visit Glasgow.  The Doctor tells them to stop fussing.

Mr Hines:  With that, he runs down to the seashore for a paddle.

Him:  Ha!  Okay, this is good.

The Doctor:  See if there’s any buckets and spades in the TARDIS!

Jamie:  ‘Buckets and spades’?  Is he going to dig for worms?

Him:  Why worms?

All Jamie’s thoughts of lunch fade away as the Three Stooges’ hovercraft – ummm – hoves into view further down the beach.  The Doctor spots the hovercraft, waves cheerfully and gets back to the serious business of provoking jellyfish.

Anton, the Stooge standing next to the hovercraft asks the Stooge inside (Rod) for some binoculars.  He’s probably got an Australian accent.

Mr Hines:  The binoculars offer a much clearer view of the Doctor.
Me:  Frazer’s enjoying this.

Anton appears to recognise the Doctor.  Very strange.  The final Stooge, Curly, pokes his head out of the hovercraft’s window.  Anton hops in and they prepare to get a closer look. 

The Doctor meanwhile, is re-enacting his The Prisoner dream sequence as seen in The Space Museum.  Say you what like about these old stories, they knew how to keep an eye on the continuity back then.4 

The Stooges make a call.  It’s answered by the lady who would’ve appeared on the cover of the unreleased David Whitaker Target novelisation.  We’ll call her Astrid.5

Anton tells Astrid they’ve made a surprise discovery.

Anton:  It’s Him alright.

Me:  Not you.

The Him looks disgruntled, but it’s for his own good.  He’s not imaginary, and he’s just going to have to come to terms with that.6

Astrid tells Anton to wait until she’s consulted with her Watcher, but the headstrong young Stooge declares he’s going ahead with whatever it is he’s going ahead with hangs up and cracks open the hovercraft’s gun cabinet.  The music goes unexpectedly giant monster all of a sudden.

Astrid’s contacted Giles – he wants the Stooges stopped.  Astrid leaves to do so.

Back on the beach, the Doctor gets his clothes back on.  Jamie and Victoria sulkily watch.  None of them have ice-cream.

The Stooge’s hovercraft hoves ominously closer.

The Doctor:  I don’t think I like the look of this.  Let’s go.

Victoria:  Why?  What’s the matter?

The Doctor:  Come on… Run.  Don’t argue!  Run!

The music goes mad as our heroes are shot at by the Three Stooges.

Gunshots:  ptchoo spwiing

Our heroes take cover in the dunes.

Victoria:  Why do they want to hurt us?

The Doctor:  Why indeed?

Victoria:  Can’t we go back to the TARDIS?

The Doctor:  No we’ll never make it.

Victoria:  Perhaps we’ve landed in a world of Mad Men.7

The Doctor:  They’re human beings, if that’s what you mean.

Him:  They might not be human beings.  They might be Lumarians.

Me:  Keeping the tenuous Ian Marter link going there, good job.

That’s pretty vague, even for us.

The Stooges have left the hovercraft and begin a deadly game of cat and mouse with our chums.  The music takes this literally and goes a bit Tom and Jerry – but not in a Murray (“Itsa me!”) Gold way, thankfully.

Curly corners our heroes and gets lamped by Jamie – to Victoria’s delight.  Suddenly…

The Massive Chopper:  whoosh whooshy whoosh

Jamie:  What is it, Doctor?

Victoria:  I‘m frightened!

The Massive Chopper lands in the dunes and Astrid bounds out.

Me:  This is alright

Him:  Uh-huh.

Astrid:  Over here!  Run!

Victoria:  I can’t!   I can’t!

The Doctor:  You must!  It’s our only chance!

Astrid: Hurry!

The Doctor: Come on!

The camera zooms in on each of our chum’s faces in turn, followed by a zoom out on a snap of the Massive Chopper.2

Massive Chopper:  whooshy whooshy whoosh

The remaining Stooges continue shooting at the departing chopper.  Inside the cockpit, Astrid struggles with the controls.

Him:  Astrid.

Me:  Yup.

Victoria clings to Jamie.

Jamie:  But, what is this thing, Doctor?

The Doctor:  It’s a helicopter, Jamie.

Jamie:  Huh?

The Doctor:  A chopper.2 

The escape banter continues.  Astrid announces they there’s a bullet hole in the fuel tank and they might explode at any moment.  Far beneath them the hovercraft keeps up the chase for as long as it can.

Astrid, who has either been shot or pulled a muscle, lands the Massive Chopper next to a bungalow.

Me:  We’re just taking it for granted, but that was a scene in Sixties Doctor Who that was made up of a helicopter chasing a hovercraft.  On location.

Our heroes help Astrid limp back onto the set.  The Doctor sends Jamie off to find a first aid kit, and lowers Astrid onto a chair or something.

Mr Hines:  He sits beside her and tears the sleeve of her blouse-

The Doctor:  Oh, yes…2

Mr Hines:  -to reveal an open wound.

The Doctor and Astrid enter a verbal dance that’s not dissimilar to speed-dating, I imagine.  Jamie returns from the kitchen.

Astrid:  Do you know how to use those things?

Jamie:  Oh, don’t you worry.  The Doctor’ll fix you up just fine.

After the mandatory “doesn’t mean it’s a medical title”, Astrid starts listing different PHD courses.

The Doctor:  Which law?  Whose philosophies, eh?

Astrid gives up with a grin and introductions are made.  Finally, we start getting somewhere.  Astrid explains that the Three Stooges assassination attempt was aimed solely at our favourite cosmic hobo.8  She then starts outlining the spheres of opinion that surround the personified political Marmite that people keep mistaking the Doctor for.

Astrid:  Will you do something for me?

Me:  “Will you sign this?”

Astrid:  It’ll probably cost you your life.

Him:  Ha!

Astrid wants the Doctor to come and meet Giles Kent – the Watcher we saw earlier – and he’ll answer questions.  After a pause, the Doctor declines.  Before he can leave the set, Astrid starts spewing exposition all over it.  

Astrid:  You resemble, very closely, a man who’s determined to be Dictator of the World.9 A man who will stop at nothing.9   

Victoria reminds us she’s stuck in the past10 as Astrid names the Monster of the Week…

Astrid:  Salamander.

The musical sting that underscores this moment appears to be missing.  I do hope it’s restored when the DVD finally escapes…7

Meanwhile, Anton and the other Stooges park their hovercraft on the film outside.

Me:  It’s certainly non-stop.

Him:  Uh-huh.

Our heroes hide.  Rod rushes on the set, only to be grabbed by Astrid.  She throws him across the set and drives a stake into his black heart.

Mr Hines:  Rod falls to the floor – dead - as Anton and Curly burst through the front door.

Him: ‘Curly’?

There’s some aimless shooting through a window from the remaining Stooges as our heroes hide behind the other side of the bungalow.  Totally outwitted, the Stooges steal the Massive Chopper instead -


- which explodes. 

Me:  Blimey!

The Amazing Criswell:  In the future, friends, all vehicle security will be like this, in the future.7

Mr Hines:  Astrid takes the Doctor and his companions to Giles Kent’s office.

The Watcher is astounded at the Doctor’s likeness to Salamander.  The possibilities for mischief are endless.  Nowadays, it’d be Salamander charging a fortune for personal appearances at Conventions, but this was the Sixties when anything was possible and the air smelled funny.

Me:  This isn’t really like Doctor Who.

Him:  No.

Continuing a running gag, the Doctor explains the weird gaps in their knowledge of current affairs with a punny allusion:

The Doctor:  On ice’, shall we say?

There are two things to mention quickly here.  Firstly, as running gags go, this is pretty unsuccessful – it’s twisted its ankle in a rabbit hole and been humanely destroyed long before the series jumps to colour; secondly, if a similar scene was shot today, comedy parp-parp music would be slathered loudly in the foreground to prevent ‘content users’ experiencing a‘cross-message dissonance resulting in disincentivisation and an ultimate disengagement with product content’, ‘selecting discomparitive platforms more in line with target demogragaphics’ as a result.11

Me:  There’ve been a few “It’s the Doctor’s Evil Twin” stories. Let’s see… There’s The Chase-

Him:  That wasn’t the Doctor’s double.  The Reign of Terror.

Giles turns on the video-wall and pops on one of Salamander’ speech so we can see what all the fuss is about.

Iconic Moment #193
Me:  Arc of Infinity.  Meglos.

It’s a clever way of covering a lot of back-story.  Using a massive mirror (or something) Salamander is able to make the sun shine in specific bits of the world for crop harvests, quality holidays and so on.  Basically, he’s a young Mr Burns.  The underlying ecological message from the last story carries through again.  There must’ve been something in the (funny-smelling) air.

Me:  The Ganger two-parter.  Journey’s End.  The Android Invasion.  Ummm…  You could probably argue that The Enemy Within is mostly comprised of someone pretending to be the Doctor, if you were being really mean.  Or it counted…  Probably not arguable as a double story though.  What’s happening in Oz?

The Doctor and Victoria are quite taken with the speech, amongst other things.  Giles explains that most of the world thinks he’s their saviour.  Jamie’s also spotted the underlying ecological message from the last story, but as he’s just filling in time until the rubber jumpsuit gets pulled from the cupboard, the Doctor skates over this.  Giles starts on his pet conspiracy theory – that his old boss is actually trying to take over everything by stealth.  The Doctor comes to Salamander’s defence.  Giles says he has proof and produces…

Him:  It’s a Wii remote!

The video-wall begins showing a slideshow of oddly familiar faces.  All these people worked with Salamander, but now...

Me:  That’s David Whitaker!  And Peter Bryant.  I think.11 

Giles’ replacement has now become Salamander’s security chief.  With the world’s media drinking from Salamander’s hands, there’s nowhere sane that’ll run with Giles’ accusations.  Remember, this is pre-internet.

There’s one person, Denes, who might not yet have turned totally to the dark side – which sets up later episodes quite nicely. 

Astrid suggests that the Doctor has a go at impersonating Salamander.

The Doctor:  Yes, I thought that’s what we were leading up to…  What about the voice?

This bit’s excellent.  Well, to be fair, Troughton’s onscreen so how could it not be?

The Doctor:  Only the accent?  My dear young lady!  Oh dear…  Now, what was it he said?  “We steel - cannot guarantee - good zummar ‘olidayz far ar…  Garrantee…”  No… no…  “Garr. An.  Tee.”  See?  It’s very difficult.  Mmmmmmmm.  ‘course, I always was interested in phonetics… “’olidayz…  Zummer…  Zummer…”  He must’ve come from Mexico - Quintana Roo, Yucatan or somewhere-

Me:  Ha!  Go on.

Scheming begins.

Wii Remote:  boop boop

Giles answers the phone, listens and replaces it gently.  He asks the Doctor how long he thinks it would take to master Salamander’s unconvincing accent convincingly.  The Doctor says three weeks.  Giles tells the Doctor that the new security chief, Donald Bruce has cordoned off the entire area, so his rehearsal time is nearer two minutes.

Me:  Ha!

Definitely something in the air.
The Doctor tries to refuse, but Giles points out that just by looking like Salamander he’ll probably be arrested for impersonation.  He opens the cupboard door.  Rubber suits flutter at the sudden inrush of pungent air.  The Doctor twigs that he’s been set up by someone who may well be a bit too keen on conspiracy theories, but it’s too late to argue.  With the Doctor getting changed, everyone turns to the other door.  It opens to reveal an armed security guard.

Mr Hines:  A tall, thick-set man with glasses steps past him.

Me:  Is that Reuben?

Him:  ‘Reuben’?

Me:  Reuben the Rutan.  From Horror of Fang Rock.

It is, sort of.  It’s Colin Douglas playing Donald Bruce, Salamander’s security chief.

Bruce:  Hello.  Kent.

Bruce runs through a list of everything that’s happened so far – to give Troughton the chance to get changed, I guess.  The air thickens even more, tension adding to the atomic weight of the perfumed oxygen mix.  Suddenly, the cupboard door opens.  Bruce is baffled as someone emerges - but who?  Who?

Credits roll.

Him:  Where’s the Doctor?

Me:  That was alright.

Him:  It was, wasn’t it?


We’re off and singing along to the Greatest Theme in the History of Forever.

Him:  The background looks like trilobites.

We recap. 

Bruce:  I was under the impression you were in the Central European Zone, Leader.

‘Salamander’ blusters desperately. 

Me:  “Ah shall egzplane layter.”

Bruce tries an easier tack, he turns to Astrid the Stooge Slayer and asks where the body in her bungalow came from.  She says he was protecting her from the murderous advances of his fellow Stooges.

Bruce:  Now, why would they want to do that to a nice young girl like you?

Me:  “They’ve met me.”

Giles hops in and takes the blame.  ‘Salamander’ joins in, muddying Bruce’s waters further.

‘Salamander’:  Zey av eenformashun.  Ah shall get eet.

Him:  “By ‘ook or by crook!”

Me:  Oh, very good.

‘Salamander’ dismisses Bruce.  Disgruntled, Bruce gives Jamie a quick “watch your step” and huffs out.  As the door closes our heroes relax and the Doctor stops putting on an outrageous accent.  For now.

Astrid:  That was a dangerous game to play.

Me:  “Mexican roulette.”

Him:  Ha!

Astrid and Giles attempt to persuade the Doctor to join them.  Jamie agrees – Astrid is very pretty after all.  Scheming begins – Astrid, Jamie and Victoria will go one way and the Doctor and Giles another.

After the adverts, we visit a research base.

Mr Hines:  Inside, a thin, agitated-look man joins Donald Bruce in an office.

Me:  Oh!

Him:  Who’s he?

Me:  It’s Benik.  As seen during invasions of androids and time.  He’s playing Milton Johns.

Milton Johns’ been left in charge of the research base whilst Salamander’s off globe-bothering.  Milton Johns and Bruce shout exposition at each other.  When Bruce huffs out, Milton Johns leaves a message on Salamander’s answer-phone and then stares at the leader’s photograph that decorates his otherwise sparse desk.

Him:  It’s not a great picture to have on your desk.

Me:  Rather than the wife and kids?

Elsewhere, Salamander is having a battle of accents with flunkies Denes and Fedorin.

Me:  Patrick Troughton actually looks different.

Him:  Yeah – unlike the Abbot.  That was just William Hartnell in a cloak.

Me:  Different performance too.

Him:  Same voice

Me:  Grumpier?

Him:  He was pretty grumpy anyway.  Actually – I always remembered Patrick Troughton as being the grumpy Doctor.

Me:  And now?

Him:  He’s still pretty grumpy.

Me:  Hmmm…

Salamander’s managed to build the type of solid reputation for accurately predicting natural disasters that the Today programme sports monkeys would give their left arms for.

Me:  For some reason Patrick Troughton’s performance reminds me of Bruce Campbell.

Salamander is interrupted mid-bellow by his gorgeous assistant Fariah – it seems he’s got a message.  Denes leaves, Fedorin doesn’t.


Mr Hines:  Jamie and Victoria are sat on a park bench-

Me:  “-in a set painted to look like a small public garden.”

Astrid and her bouffant arrive.
Me:  Amazing hair.

Him:  Didn’t you used to have hair like that?

Me:  Never.

Him:  Do you want-?

Me:  Nope.

Jamie gets sent on his mission.  Astrid tries to contact someone but the sunspots are playing merry hell with the connection.  Astrid updates the Doctor and the Watcher through the sun wibbling.  He mishears the arranged meeting place location.  Rather than ‘disused jetty’ it’s…

The Doctor:   ‘Disused yeti?’

Me:  Ha!  Next story.4

Fedorin’s having a nervous drink with Fariah.  She tells him she’s Salamander’s food taster at which he nearly chokes on the wine.  Salamander turns up with a guard.  Suddenly, Jamie hops over the wall and knocks out the guard and then aims his gun at everyone on the balcony.

Me:  What?

Jamie makes everyone back against the wall, before picking up the communication box that’s on the table and…

Mr Hines: He pitches the box over the side of the terrace…

Jamie:  Get down!

Mr Hines:  Nearby, Astrid triggers a detonator.  There is a huge explosion.

Me:  “Which wakes the orchestra.”

Jamie and Salamander exchange pleasantries, Jamie soon wins him over.  Salamander offers to employ Jamie and Victoria.

Jamie:  I’ll say this though; your security system’s rotten.

Him:  Ha!

Salamander tells Fariah to get Jamie some proper clothes and get rid of his skirt.

Me:  Ha!

Fariah leads Jamie away – he doesn’t complain. 

Me:  Meanwhile, on the set.

Victoria and Astrid are sat on the bench.  According to the orchestra, Mothra is trashing everything just out of shot.  Jamie joins the ladies and tells them the plan’s worked.  Astrid slips off as Fariah (and guards) arrive.

Fariah.  A lady.
Me:  She’s lovely.

Him:  Is she the new Barbara?

Me:  No.

Him:  You sure?

Me:  Yeah.

Fariah introduces herself and offers Victoria a job in the kitchen.

Elsewhere, Astrid makes her way to the crumpled remains of a disused yeti.  Denes meets her there and they remind the audience what’s been going on.

Salamander has accused Fedorin of all sorts of iniquities.  The bearded gentleman’s terrified.  Salamander tells Fedorin that he will replace Denes as Zone leader, just before the Zone undergoes a terrifying disaster.  Also, using his amazing powers of precognition, Salamander predicts that Denes will be assassinated in mysterious circumstances just as soon as he can get around to finalising the necessary paperwork.

The terrace vibrates gently.  Salamander points out the terrible damage caused by Mothra the distant volcano.

Him:  Volcano!

Bruce arrives and they watch as trees and buildings are swept away.  Denes runs straight into Salamander’s prediction.

Me:  They’re watching Inferno.

Him:  Not yet.  Give it a month.

Fedorin turns his back on Denes and the credits fly.

Him:  Hang on…

Me:  Yeah?

Him:  Is this not three hours long?

Me:  Not quite.

Credits:  Directed by Barry Letts.

Him:  I’ve heard of him.  Isn’t he the producer?

Me:  Yeah…?

Him:  Of the…  Jon Pertwee stuff?

Me:  Yup.  Well done.


Me:  This’ll actually make sense now.

Him:  I know.  I think we watched this when I was younger and I just thought it was the Doctor being weird.

Me:  Movement!

Denes remains defiant despite everything – he’s still under the impression he’ll be getting the chance to defend himself in court.  Salamander slithers away with the spineless Fedorin flapping behind him.

Me:  Troughton’s ace.

Salamander locks the file of Fedorin’s indiscretions away in the most insecure wall-safe imaginable.  He hands the shivering Fedorin a small box, filled with career advancement possibilities.

Fedorin:  Poison…?

Elsewhere, Bruce is asking possibly the only question worth asking… 

Despite a vigorous pumping, Bruce fails to get any information out of the young Scot and we move on.

Further up the corridor we saw earlier, Denes is bemoaning his conditions of imprisonment.

Denes:  How much longer am I to be kept here?

Me:  “Until I’ve excavated this cavern.”7

Bruce arrives and comments on the corridor situation.  The guard captain offers a marvellous response.

Guard Captain:  It’s easier to guard him here.

Denes orders a light book and some rich food from doom service and the action switches to the kitchen underneath Gormenghast.  It’s Victoria’s first day on her new job, let’s see how she gets on.

Him:  So, is this set in the future then?

Me:  Yup.

Kudos to Griff, the long-suffering Chef, played by Reg Lye (who you could nearly see, a few years later, being torn apart by racing vultures in a bleak slice of Yorkshirana).  His every line’s a delight, but we’ll only quote a few.

Chef:  Peel those spuds now!

Victoria begins peeling.

Chef:  My mother was right…

Victoria:  What?

Chef:  She wanted me to be a dustman.

Him:  Ha!

The Chef goes out for a walk –

Chef:  It’ll probably rain.

- and Fariah encourages Victoria to get the rel out of there while she still can.  Just then, Jamie arrives and the padding continues with yet another recap.  As wonderful as it is, The Enemy of the World does feel a bit as though it was under-running by about four episodes.

Victoria:  You don’t really believe that Salamander could cause earthquakes, do you?


Me:  Oop, Inferno again.

Him:  It’s not Inferno, it’s Coronas of the Sun.

Me:  Nice.  You win this story’s obscure reference by a long chalk.

The Doctor and Giles are sat in a caravan (which is probably called ‘The Highlander’, or ‘The Marrow-Cracker’ or ‘The Oncoming Storm’ or something, going on the enthusiastic labelling that caravan manufacturers seem obsessed with doing in order to make their mobile cabins of despair seem more enticing)7 watching a show from 1970 and filling in the time between credits by talking about manufactured natural disasters.  Giles is convinced there’s a hell mouth or something right underneath Salamander’s research station.  It’s the only explanation that fits all the facts.  And by ‘facts’, I mean ‘clues’.

Giles hears a noise at the door – there’s no-one there.  This fills in a few more seconds.  More exposition takes place until the sound-effect of sirens fills the set.  Giles pulls up a seat cushion to reveal a storage space that should be filled with tins of beans and sweetcorn.  He tells the Doctor to hide.

The Doctor:  I hope there’s plenty of air in here.

Me:  Ha!

Milton Johns bangs the caravan’s door open and sneers his way in. 

Milton Johns:  So…  I might have known…

Me:  “Washing up, eh?”

There follows some intense exposition, accusations of ornithology and crockery bullying.

Him:  “Not my dirty dishes!”

Me:  He’s missed one.

Milton Johns glides out and into a sudden breeze that carries him away.  Giles rescues the Doctor from under the seat.

Him:  I love that line.

Astrid sashays swiftly through the upper levels of Gormenghast.  She’s stopped by Denes’ very bored guard (Bill Lyons).  You can tell he’s bored because he’s put on an outrageous accent in order to ask Astrid out for a drink – even though she’s obviously in a rush.  She then runs straight into Denes and the Guard Captain.

Me:  It’s a very busy corridor.

Astrid’s message to Salamander passes the Guard Captain’s inspection.  He recognises Astrid from somewhere but…

Light Book:  THUD

Distracted by the fallen literature, the Guard Captain turns and Astrid fleeeeees.  Denes shrugs.

Astrid arrives in the kitchen and tells Jamie to continue eating his way through the European Food Mountain.  She runs off as Griff returns.

Me:  He’s ace.

Chef:  How’s the food?  Terrible!  Terrible!  I’ll get the sack tonight for sure.  Maybe they’ll shoot me – I won’t have to worry any more.  No.  The firing squad would miss me.

Him:  Ha!

Me:  The Enemy of the World hasn’t got a reputation for being funny, which is a shame.  It’s alright.  Just not very Doctor Who.

Fariah turns up to collect Denes’ dinner.  Jamie – now fully recovered - starts flirting.

Jamie:  Why travel then?

Fariah:  Sometimes we do what we have to do, not what we want to do.

Him:  That should be the slogan for the blog…6

Salamander is filling in some paperwork.  Bruce gruffs around in the background, accidentally playing into Salamander’s hand.

Continuing this story’s odd obsession with mealtimes and kitchen utensils, the Chef sends-

Me:  Victoria and the Dessert Tray of Doom.

- into the corridor with Mr Denes’ rich food.  Fedorin stops Victoria.  He compliments the smell of the food whilst palming some of the silver.  He’s learning fast.  This boy’ll go far.

Fedorin:  Where’s the salt?  You forgot something.

A flustered Victoria returns to the kitchen.  Fedorin looks around guiltily and doesn’t twirl his moustache once.  He produces, and opens, the Career Advancement Box that Salamander gave him earlier.

Me:  There’s a tiny orchestra in there.  Does the Master’s evil know no limit?

The Captain of the Guard has remembered where he saw Astrid before – it was in the park.  With Jamie and Victoria.  Oh dear.  Salamander instructs the Guard Captain to let Astrid escape but leave the other two for him to deal with.

Fedorin’s toxic seasoning of Denes’ dinner would be much more subtle if it wasn’t accompanied by such blaring sinister music.  There’s an impressive set of speakers hidden in the tiny container – the corridor’s positively vibrating.

Victoria (finally) delivers Denes’ dinner.  The Guard Captain confiscates the steak knife, which puts him in an awkward position.

Denes:  It’s a long time since I’ve had my food cut up for me.

Him:  Ha!

The Guard Captain wanders off, leaving Victoria to provide comfort to Denes.

Elsewhere, Fedorin’s failed the practical part of his job interview.  Salamander tells Fedorin not to worry, poisons some plonk and hands it to the spineless jobseeker.

Salamander:  I hope you will appreciate this wine.  It’s made for me especially, in Alaska.

Fedorin necks it, the uncultured oaf.

Him:  “Tastes like death.”

Me:  “With a hint of cherry.”

Fedorin suddenly becomes very depressed, loses his temper, becomes forgetful, experiences a sudden moment of exquisite happiness and then jumps in the corner and dies.

The Guard Captain arrives and Salamander asks him to tidy up the body.

Him:  “A heart attack.”

Me:  Ha!

Salamander hurries off to sort out the Denes dilemma.

Jamie and the Chef have spotted photographers in the shrubbery (or something).  Jamie runs off and there’s a gunshot.

Chef:  Hey!  I know the food’s bad but you don’t have to go that far.

Him:  Ha!

Following the fastest attempt to escape from a corridor that’s ever been recorded on film, Denes has died from lead poisoning, Astrid’s stood up her dishy guard and vanished and Victoria and Jamie having been taken to Salamander’s office for a severe telling-off.

Me:  Bit of a jump there.

No wonder this episode’s been set in a corridor, Patrick Troughton’s eaten all the rest of the scenery.

Salamander confronts Jamie.

Salamander:  Pretending to safe my life was ingenious, but ingenuity requires a constant stream of new ideas.  Yours seem to have dried up.

Him:  That’s a clever word choice.

Me:  David Whittaker was a talented chap.

Our chums are taken away.  For the life of me, I can’t understand why Victoria hasn’t let fly with a sonic blast.  Oh well.

Bruce is a bit confused. After all, didn’t he see Salamander with Jamie before?  Remember?  In the library?  With Giles?  In episode one?  Remember?

Bruce:  Or…


Bruce:  …someone…

Come on, Bruce – you can do it…

Bruce:  like… you.


 The credits erupt.


We recap. 

The Doctor and Giles are still holed up in ‘The Oncoming Storm’.  There’s not much happening other than exposition.  Astrid phones them – unaware that Milton Johns is listening in.  He orders a guard to go and grab her.

Me:  It’s quite tense, really.

Astrid finishes her call just in time to have a quick tussle with Fariah who’s chosen this moment to switch sides.

Elsewhere, Milton Johns has a quick chat with the Guard Captain, who runs through what happened in the preceding paragraph.

Me:  It’s all falling apart.

The Doctor and Giles have joined up with Astrid and Fariah for a chinwag about the plot.  And Fariah’s motives.  The Doctor points out that nobody has any proof.  Fariah says that might not be entirely true and produces Fedorin’s file.  Seems that corridor safe was even less secure than it looked.

Meanwhile, Milton Johns, the Guard Captain and thousands of unseen guards, have our heroes surrounded.

I know I’m being mean, but that’s because we’re engrossed in it and I’ve got to fill in these gaps with something.  Even though the story’s made up entirely of people talking about what might be happening elsewhere on the set it’s still compelling stuff.14

The Doctor’s got to impersonate Salamander again.  This time with Fariah acting as peril-monkey.  There’s a quick chat about morals to fill in some more time…

Him:  Wii remote!

Me:  It’s an odd one, this.  No telesnaps exist for this episode and Jamie and Victoria don’t appear.

Him:  Oh.

Our chums spot the guards outside.

Milton Johns is also having a quick chat about morals with the Guard Captain.  
Milton Johns:  These people are terrorists.  Give the order.

Astrid puts her Slayer skills to good use and single-handedly holds off the attacking waves of unseen guards whilst the others escape through a ventilation shaft.

Milton Johns storms in – followed by everyone else - but our heroes have vanished.

Fariah, for some reason, has been separated from the others and gets shot.  In fairness, I didn’t see that coming.  Milton Johns turns up.  He’s not happy.

Fariah:  You can’t threaten me now, Benik.  I can only die once…  And someone’s beaten you to it…

She dies, dropping Fedorin’s file…

Me:  Oo.

Milton Johns takes the file to Salamander.  Bruce arrives and there’s a three-way shout-off that – apart from Salamander announcing he’s aware that the Doctor’ll probably impersonate him again - does nothing to advance the plot.  Bruce and Milton Johns leave.

Salamander presses a button and a secret panel in the wall opens.  Inside it is the lift to the Batcave.

Him:  Movement!

Me:  That’s from… um… The Dalek Invasion of Earth.

Him:  I know.  But it looks like it’s from this.

Bruce is surprised to be told that he’s not allowed to see Salamander.  Milton Johns – being wonderfully reptilian – gloats a bit.  The plot sits patiently, waiting for the lights to change.

In the Batcave…

Me:  That music’s fantastic

Salamander’s got a Batoffice in the Batcave.

Him:  It’s made of Dalek.

Me:  Or Yeti eggs…

Nearby are the Morlocks workers.  Swann leads them (he’s quite old), Mary (she’s quite young) and Colin (he’s quite young and wants to visit the surface again) are acting as audience identification figures, and we’ll hear more about them later on.  Salamander’s been playing them for chumps, insisting that the surface is radioactive and pretending to go on food gathering missions.  He’s a proper wrong ‘un and no mistake.

Me:  This is an interesting twist.

Salamander shares out some Alaskan wine.  He’s treated as a saviour.

Salamander:  In a few short weeks, we survivors will have been down in this shelter for exactly five years…

Me:  Whoah.  As above, so below.

More lies spew out.  The Morlocks workers believe there’s a war raging on the surface.  Salamander’s been using them to generate natural disasters (and provoke Mothra) as part of the ‘war effort’.  Colin’s not happy, but he’s young and idealistic, so that’s only to be expected.

Back on the surface, Astrid is adding slap to the Doctor while Giles watches and Bruce barges in with guards-

Me:  Oh – that was quick.


Him:  I love how it’s the same theme song, even though it’s changed so much.

Me:  Well, they got it right to start with.


We recap…

Bruce reveals that Salamander had arranged for a tracking device to be attached to the base of ‘The Oncoming Storm’.  It’s a fair cop.  Like Bruce.  Slowly, the caravan begins to fill with exposition. 

Astrid grabs a leaf-blower from someone and opens the door, allowing the exposition to gush out onto the hard, Australian soil.
 Elsewhere, Milton Johns is sliming up and down a corridor.  Jamie and Victoria, exhausted from their visit to Cromer, are stretchered past.  Milton Johns gleefully rubs his claws together, tiny sparks briefly soar into the miasmic air.

Me:  He’s a wrong’un.

Him:  They’re all wrong ‘uns.

The Doctor:  Please, Mr Kent!  You’re forgetting one very important thing.

Giles:  What?

The Doctor:  Me.

Me:  Ha!

The Doctor pretends to be a pacifist, takes the leaf-blower from Astrid and hands it to Bruce.  It’s a dangerous gamble for the fifth episode, but it works.  Bruce agrees to help on the condition Astrid and her Watcher remain locked in ‘The Oncoming Storm’.

In the Batcave, the daily dairy delivery’s arrived.

Him:  ‘Radiation milk’?

Me:  It’s orange.

Colin starts whining to Swann about wanting a gap-year.  Mary drifts through the scene a bit dreamily.  Swann finds a piece of newspaper stuck to one of the boxes of radiation milk.  The jig, it appears, is up…

Me:  Oop.

Swann confronts Salamander, who bluffs desperately.  He admits the war’s over but… um… the society is… um… made up entirely of monsters?

Swann’s understandably unhappy.  He wants to go the surface.  Now.

Me:  Oop.

Salamander says that’s okay, as long as he doesn’t tell anyone what he’s found.  Swann agrees and makes an announcement.

Colin:  Why not me?

Me:  “Because you’re an unstable pain in the behind?”

Meanwhile, Jamie wakes up and grabs Victoria.  They hurry to leave but Milton Johns appears without warning – apparently scaring the sensorite15 out of an innocent telesnap.  


Him:  God, he looks evil.

Jamie:  Where are we?

Me:  “Cromer.”

Milton Johns slides around our chums, his tongue flicking in and out – tasting the air and dripping venom everywhere.  Jamie punches a guard, but Milton Johns grabs Victoria with his tail.  Victoria’s so afraid she’s forgotten her sonic blast.  Again.

Me:  He’s creepy isn’t he?

Him:  Yeah.

At this point, ‘Salamander’ and Bruce arrive.  He tells Milton Johns to go and lie on a rock or something, before winding up Jamie and Victoria with lashings of exposition.

Me:  There’re some great performances in this story.  Everyone’s really good.

The Doctor proves he’s the Doctor with some whistling and accidentally letting something rather important slip.

Bruce:  ‘TARDIS’?  What’s that?

Him:  Ha!

A guard makes the mistake of telling Milton Johns that Salamander hasn’t left his office.  Milton Johns thoughtfully swallows a rat, before turning and scuttling up the wall of the corridor and onto the ceiling.  He hisses and turns to face the interrogation room.

Astrid and Giles use the oldest trick in the book to escape ‘The Oncoming Storm’.

In one of the rocky tunnels leading from the Batcave to the surface, Salamander prepares to brain Swann with a Batrock.

Astrid hides in some bushes – Salamander brushes by.  Astrid hears a groaning.  Suddenly, Swann, his head covered in blood, falls into an unexpec- CREDITS!

Me:  Odd cliffhanger.

Him:  I do wish they’d find more of The Enemy of the World.

Me:  Why’s that?

Him:  Because we’re watching recons.

Me:  Ha!

Him:  Hey – I bet by the time we start Spearhead from Space, the BBC announce that they’ve found all the missing episodes.

Me:  How cool would that be?

Him:  Well, they’re all in the BBC canteen.  And the reason it’ll be when we start Spearhead from Space is…?

Me:  Not being revealed at this time.


We recap.

Swann’s in a bit of a state.  He blames Salamander and then points down the tunnel, toward the Batcave far, far below.

Back in the interrogation room everyone’s getting ready for a conga when the door bursts open and the reptilian form of Milton Johns casts a terrifying shadow over them.  

Him:  Wouldn’t that have been a better cliffhanger?

Me:  Yes.

Everyone talks for ages, but otherwise nothing really happens.  I notice something odd about the soundtrack.

Me:  Bit of an echo.

Astrid is carrying Swann down the tunnel.  Surely a hospital would be a better idea? 

‘Salamander’ shouts at Milton Johns.  Cunningly, he doesn’t sign anything.  Eventually, Milton Johns crawls off.  The set floor is pitted with venom.  Small tendrils of smoke rise from the tiny holes.  The Doctor looks at the papers that Milton Johns has handed him.  It’s the script.

In the tunnel, Swann’s worked out what’s going on – luckily there’s enough time for him to exposit over Astrid before he dies.

‘Salamander’ is on the phone.

Me:  It’s lucky that Salamander didn’t speak like Joe Pasquale.

Him:  Or have only one leg.

Bruce sends our erstwhile chums on a mission.  They’re to phone a chap called Forrester and tell him the secret password, ‘redhead’.

Jamie:  ‘Redhead’…  Is that your wife?

Me:  Jamie!  Leave it alone.

Suddenly, we’re in the Batcave again.  Colin the teenage Morlock is sulking.

Me:  Bit of a jump.

Him:  No.  I don’t know whether you’ve ever taken drama, but cuts are allowed.  You can change scene, location, characters and everything.

Me:  Good isn’t it?

Astrid arrives in the Batcave, she stares open-mouthed at the giant penny and model tyrannosaur before she gets jumped and nearly thrown in the decontamination microwave.  Oddly, Colin saves her and it’s exposition for all!

Him:  Astrid sounds like Sybil.

Me:  So, Salamander’s actually from Barcelona?

Astrid prepares to lead the Morlocks to the surface.

Giles is sneaking around and nearly bumps into Milton Johns who’s swapping exposition with a baffled guard.

Milton Johns:  Of course it doesn’t make sense if you haven’t got any sense.

Us:  HA!

Me:  He oozes evil.

Him:  Uuurgh.

Me:  Not literally that would be hideous.

Giles confronts ‘Salamander’, watched by Milton Johns and Bruce while a guard burns through the locked door.

Me:  When Accents Attack.

Him:  “Claws!”

Me:  Oh – that’s good.  “Clause!”

Him:  I did it yesterday.  “Claws!”  “We’re gonna need a bigger box”.

Me:  We’re talking homophones, I think.

And suddenly – the Morlocks and Astrid arrive, ‘Salamander’ reveals himself to have been the Doctor all along.  Giles turns out to have been in cahoots with the real Salamander.

Me:  Wow!

Giles escapes into the tunnel – Salamander’s already there. 

Milton Johns is arrested by Forrester.

Me:  Justice!

The Doctor calls Bruce.

The Doctor:  I think Kent is going to try and blow us all up.

Giles confronts Salamander and gets shot in the shoulder as a reward – he stumbles down the tunnel toward a Massive Lever.

Astrid and the Doctor watch as Salamander shoots Giles again. Giles falls, and with his dying breath pulls –

Me:  “Not zat zvitch!”

Lots of Explosives:  BANG

Me:  Whoah.

Debris and panic everywhere, but the Morlocks are okay.

Me:  This is really good.

Him:  Yup.

Suddenly, we’re back on the beach.  It’s night.  Jamie watches the Doctor stagger toward them.  He helps our hero into the TARDIS.  Victoria begs to leave.

And then the Doctor arrives.  Again.

Iconic Moment #200

Him:  Wow.

It’s brilliant, but you already knew that.

The TARDIS takes off – but the doors are open…  Salamander is sucked off into the void…


Me:  Wow!  What an ending.

Him:  It was quite good.

NEXT:  “Mind the gap!”


Him:  Is this the alternate ending?

Me:  It is.  Let’s see what’s different

Him:  I’m glad that the sound survives.

Me:  You know why that is, yeah?

Him:  No.  Didn’t people record it?

Me:  They did…

Astrid and the Doctor watch as Salamander shoots Giles again. Giles falls, and with his dying breath pulls –

Me:  “Not zat zvitch!”

Lots of Explosives:  BANG

Me:  Whoah.

Debris and panic everywhere, but the Morlocks are okay.

Me:  This is really good.

Him:  Yup.

Suddenly, we’re back on the beach.  It’s night.  Jamie watches the Doctor stagger toward them.  He helps our hero into the TARDIS.  Victoria begs to leave.

Him:  I’m glad that the sound survives.

Me:  You know why that is, yeah?

Him:  No.  Didn’t people record it?

Me:  They did…

And then the Doctor arrives.  Again.

Iconic Moment #200

Him:  Wow.

It’s brilliant, but you already knew that.

The TARDIS takes off – but the doors are open…  Salamander is sucked off into the void…

Our heroes struggle desperately to close the doors – Jamie in particular is in great danger of being flattened.  With a massive effort, Jamie throws the switch and the doors close.  Equilibrium returns.

Victoria:  Are we safe now?

The Doctor:  Now then, where shall we go?

Jamie accuses the Doctor of being unable to control the TARDIS.  Or hero takes umbrage at this.  The TARDIS is in flight.

Victoria:  Here we go again.

Jamie:  I wonder where we’ll end up this time.

Me:  “Ah hope it’s Glasgow.”

The Doctor:  Yes, I wonder.


Me:  I thought he knew where they were going?

Him:  Is this the end of season episode?

Me:  No.

Him:  Why’s it got a different ending?

Me:  I’ll find out…16

NEXT:  “Mind the gap!”

Me:  The Enemy of the World’s a strange story really.  Doesn’t seem to fit – but I can’t put my finger on why.  Other than the lack of monsters.

Him:  What about Salamander?

Me:  That’s the thing.  He fills the monster space for the story – and because he’s such a big concept, he more than fills it.  It’s a very Doctor Who idea, but it wouldn’t work every week, whereas the base-under-siege ones do.  It’s a bit of a one-off.


Him:  What about…?

Me:  Yeah?

Him:  Hmmm?

1.  This is almost certainly not the actual line, but it has been taken from a very old bootleg.

2.  “Yes, Jamie.  That is a big one.”  Etc.

3.  It’s always struck me as really smug and snarky to add ‘(sic)’ just to get a cheap laugh.  You’ll notice it hasn’t stopped me though.  I’m so ashamed.

4.  It’s not like in the Sixties they’d have had unexplained comments about silence falling; missing storeys; between two and three forgotten TARDISes (not to mention the exploding one); the Omega symbolism – both uniform and scorched lawn versions; vanishing pirates; the otherwise unmentioned third-party POV at Caerphilly Castle; the Silent pulling a picnic version of Banquo when he should have been genocided decades before; the shadowy Doctor running through the kitchen of an impossible house – I mean, I could go on…

Personally, I think these little escape hatches have been written into the new series solely as a bait and switch to make us feel we’re in the presence of a genius, rather than a damn clever showman.  And maybe we are.   


If any of the little doors above don’t get shut before Mr Moffat’s leaving do, then I’m afraid it proves that someone’s really been winging it more than we’re supposed to have noticed.   It’s one thing to have the Doctor alarm a stranger with some tie business at the start of an episode, only to reveal that it was part of the plan all along at the end - when you watch Smith and Jones for the first time it seems to be a really clever moment, because we forget that the writer’s already read the script (and anyway, we’re expecting Shade to make an appearance, so we’re looking in the wrong direction).  A story’s one thing but it’s a bit cocky to attempt the same trick over an entire run as the producer.  It’s been like watching Graham Williams pretend that not only was Horror of Fang Rock part of the Key to Time arc, but Shada was always destined to be the glorious conclusion - the moment When All the Threads of Time Shall Pull Together (as predicted in a vague, ancient prophecy that he’s still scribbling on a napkin whilst, behind him, Erato is being wheeled onto the set for the first time).  Also, can we stop reverse-engineering classic stories to make them appear to be warm-ups for your new stuff, please?  Hear that?  That’s the sound of forgotten plates smashing.

And I know the pirate doesn’t count.  I threw that in as a red herring.  Sorry.  I’ll sit down, shut up and get back to being grateful now.

5.  And make no mention of the fact that this was possibly the reason that when Kylie the Antipodean Songstress made her only appearance in Doctor Who the following century, Russell T Davies gave her character the same name.  After all, it makes a lot more sense than just “because it’s an anagram of TARDIS”.  We’ll talk about Idris later - when we’re further up the Ascent.

6.  And the same goes for the Doctor.7

7.  “Stop that, it’s silly.”

8.  © BBC 1966.

9.  Feel free to insert your own topical satirical reference here.  Make it as pithy as you can because it’ll date faster than-10

10.  Return to 9 (Now we’ve trapped you in a chronic hysteresis.  Forever…  Bwah ha ha ha!)7

11.  Yes, yes it is.

12.  Made-up terms © BBC Worldwide 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013 and renewed until the heat-death of the Universe.13 

13.  Somewhere, within the dank bowels of the corporation, there sits a Dalek, counting beans.  This is the bubbling sack of hate that ruled there was no time to overdub a fluff because the US DVDs: “MUST-BE-SHIPPED-BE-FORE-BROAD-CASTS-CON-CLUDE!-DA-LEK-PROF-ITS-EX-CEED-QUAL-I-TY-CON-TROL!-O-BEY!!-O-BEYY!!!-O-BEYYY!!!!”11 

14.  Barry Letts learned a valuable lesson while directing The Enemy of the World, and when he took over as producer ensured that never again would a pointless, budget-destroying, location-shot chase scene be allowed, as that would compromise the quality of the remaining story.  Oh, hang on a minute…

15.  We don’t do that joke any more.

16.  Turns out it’s a special happy ending added by johnnyfanboy and not from an off-air audio recording of a repeat like what I thought.  Oh well.

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