And there we have it. The first Troughton story I didn’t like.
The Enemy of the World is a six-part story that was written by David Whitaker and ran from 23 December, 1967 to 27 January, 1968. Set on Earth in the far distant year of 2018, the only thing that made this story enjoyable was the fact that Troughton played both the Doctor and the villain of the piece Ramon Salamander.
Salamander has made himself the de facto ruler of the planet, and seems to have an uncanny ability to predict natural disasters, which always seem to strike those he has a problem with. We learn that these events are being orchestrated by a group of researchers that Salamander has kept underground, for over five years, having convinced them, that they are the lone survivors of a war, and that by working on machines that can impact the weather and create disasters he has them believing they will be able to turn the tide against the radiation he tells them exists.
Jamie (Frazer Hines) and Victoria (Deborah Watling) ingratiate themselves with Ramon, finding a way into his inner circle so that they can be in position for when the Doctor takes over as Salamander and ends his tyrannic reign.
Despite Troughton, there just really isn’t a lot going for this story, and it feels like a lot of wasted opportunities, there was nothing really engaging in the tale, especially after all the base under siege type stories that had preceded it. Sure those types of stories can get played out, but what they did do was establish a sense of fun and adventure, both of which seem to be sadly lacking in this story.
Jamie gets to get out of his kilt for a while as he works in Salamander’s security forces, but Victoria, in yet another sexist move, can only find employment in the kitchen. Sigh.
I know that stronger female characters are coming, but it’s still rather upsetting that characters and possible stories are being squandered because of sexism.
I knew I wasn’t going to like all the Doctor Who stories I came across, and I know for a fact that there are some clunkers coming along, I had just hoped that it wouldn’t be with Troughton.
It’s obvious from the get go that Salamander is up to no good, but the Doctor hems and haws for far too long before taking action, and, that too, drags the story down.
Oh well, perhaps next week, when the Doctor finds himself in the Web of Fear, which sees the return of a recent enemy as well as the introduction of a character who will be with the series for quite some time…