Wednesday, 16 November 2011

40: The Enemy Of The World - A Futuristic Political Intrigue Drama With A Doctor Doppleganger

Written By: David Whitaker.
Companions: The Doctor, Jamie McCrimmon, Victoria Waterfield.
Monsters/Villains: Salamander.
Brief Synopsis: In the year 2017, a dictator called Salamander has an insane plan to take over the world.
Rating: 6/10.

Well hello again bloggers. I am happy to be back again so soon with a report on The Enemy Of The World. The Enemy Of The World is packed with classic Doctor Who hallmarks; dopplegangers, mistaken identity, action sequences, and musical recorder antics to name but a few, but it is rather different as far as Doctor Who stories go. The piece is set in the future, but it is not aliens trying to take over the world, but a man. The story is yet another casualty of the great wiping, with only episode three still in full existence. It's penned by David Whitaker wordsmith of such previous stories as the bananas Edge of Destruction, the tedious Rescue, the literate Crusade, and the two pepper-pot-themed-pieces Power of The Daleks and Evil of The Daleks. I think the rule with Whitaker tends to go, unless he's writing a Dalek story don't get too excited. Here, Whitaker gives us a political drama, filled with back-stabbing, escapes, twists and turns and an action sequence extravaganza.

The TARDIS materialises on a beach. Jamie and Victoria want to know where they have landed but the Doctor is more interested in a seaside holiday and goes for a paddle. The trio have arrived in Australia in the year 2017. They are observed by three men in a Hovercraft. The men recognise the Doctor and contact their superior, Astrid Ferrier who contacts her colleague Giles Kent.

Astrid and her Helicopter.
Then we get a climax of an action sequence. Impulsively the three men shoot at the Doctor, believing him their enemy and the hovercraft chases the trio through some sand dunes. Just then, Astrid arrives in her helicopter. She beckons the Doctor and co into the helicopter and they escape, but the helicopter is damaged and Astrid wounded.

The Hovercraft.
At Astrid's house the Doctor tends to her wounds. Astrid explains that she wants to use the Doctor against the man he resembles Salamander, a tyrant with plans to become global dictator, but the Doctor declines. The three men catch up but are killed when they try to use the helicopter and it explodes. And now that we've got all the action and budget out of the way, we can get into lots of long scenes in offices, research facilities and corridors.

Giles Kent.
Astrid takes them to Giles Kent. Kent shows them a video of the Mexican Salamander, who is indeed the spitting image of the Doctor. He is addressing the United Zone General Assembly meeting and reporting his success using sun-catching satellites to restore the Ukraine's corn and flour production, which had been devastated by natural disaster. Kent explains that he used to be deputy security leader for North Africa and Europe before he was discredited by Salamander. Salamander's beneficence is actually a way for him to take power and Several high ranking politicians have gone missing, all with one detail in common: the last time each one was seen they were with Salamander. Donald Bruce who took Kent's place is in league with Salamander and has since risen to World Security Chief. Kent's only ally is Alexander Denes (George Pravda), controller of the central European Zone.

Astrid and Giles are pleading with the Doctor to impersonate Salamander,  when Security chief Bruce arrives forcing the Doctor to pretend to be Salamander. The Doctor guesses that Kent tipped off Bruce. The Doctor reemerges as "Salamander" with a side parting, and a "Mexican" accent, and questions Bruce's arrival.

Donal Bruce.
Bruce buys it and begrudgingly leaves. The Doctor agrees to continue to pretend to be Salamander while Astrid, Jamie and Victoria travel to Europe by rocket and attempt to infiltrate the real Salamander's base. 

Salamander is meeting with Denes and warns him that a few dormant Volcanoes in Hungry will soon erupt, but Denes ignores the warning. Astrid and Jamie concoct a fake attempt on Salamander's life. Jamie pretends to save his life and is hired immediately as a member of Salamander's personal guard. He also hires Victoria, Jamie's "girlfriend," as assistant to Salamander's personal chef, Griffin. 

George Pravda as Denes.
Salamander meets with Denes aide, Fedorin and blackmails him into betraying Denes. The Volcanoes begin to erupt, and Salamander accuses Denes of ignoring his warnings, denounces him as a traitor and has him arrested with plans for Fedorin to take his place as Salamander's puppet.

Salamander gives Fedorin a vial of poison to take care of Denes. For some incredibly bizzarre reason Denes is being held in a corridor because apparently it is and I quote, "easier to guard him here." Hmmm? Easier than a room with walls and a door?

There's no escape for Denes, not from this impregnable corridor?
We then meet Fariah, Salamander's assistant, who urges Victoria to escape as soon as possible, after she shows how rubbish she is in the Kitchen. I must admit I feel a little sorry for Victoria, she never gets anything to do, and people are always minimising her and saying how crap she is.

Victoria and Jamie don't get to do much in this one.
Astrid joins up with Jamie and Victoria, and the three plan to rescue Denes. Victoria is taking Denes some food, when Fedorin comes across her and sends her for some forgotten salt so he can poison the food, but he bottles it. Salamander gives Fedorin some wine to relax after his failure but the wine is poisoned, killing him. The rescue attempt fails, Denes is killed, and Jamie and Victoria captured, with only Astrid escaping. Bruce tells Salamander about seeing him in Australia and realises it must have been an impostor.

Carmen Munroe as Fariah.
Astrid manages to escape back to the Australasia zone, along with Fariah who claims to have some information that will aid in bringing down Salamander: the information he was using to blackmail Fedorin. Fariah admits that she was being blackmailed too and once again the Doctor agrees to again pose as Salamander, to free Jamie and Victoria. Benik (Milton Johns), Salamander's deputy and his men surround Kent's office. Benik orders his men to shoot on sight. Kent, the Doctor and Astrid escape but Fariah is shot and the files are recovered.

Milton Johns as Benik.
Salamander enters the records room and locks the door. He accesses a secret elevator, and descends to a underground facility where he meets a group of researchers who have been underground for five years.

Salamander brings them food and has them believing that a nuclear war has devastated the Earth. He has them creating natural disasters on the surface to turn the tides against "the enemies of truth and freedom." Salamander says that they cannot leave until the radiation levels have fallen to a safe level. Astrid and Kent are preparing the Doctor to resemble Salamander, but the door opens and Bruce is standing in the doorway with an armed security guard.

Bruce demands to know why the Doctor is posing as Salamander. The Doctor claims it is to free his friends and Astrid adds it's also to find evidence to bring down Salamander. Bruce doesn't believe them and Astrid takes the guard's gun but the Doctor takes the gun and gives it to Bruce as a gesture of trust. Bruce has some doubt as to Salamander's intentions and agrees to help the Doctor get into the station, provided that Astrid and Kent remain in the office as hostages.

The unground base's leader, Swan, is examining the food and discovers a scrap of newspaper that confirms that surface life is perfectly normal. He demands that Salamander explain. Salamander explains that the 'war' is over, but that the survivors are mad and deformed and these 'abominations' must be destroyed before the surface is fit to repopulate. Swan demands to see for himself, and Salamander agrees.

Meanwhile Jamie and Victoria awaken in the Australasian Zone. Benik enters gleefully looking forward to 'interrogating' them, when "Salamander" enters with Bruce, and orders him out. Victoria and Jamie confront Salamander with his crimes, including the murders of Fedorin and Denes. Victoria hits Salamander, who then reveals himself to be the Doctor. Bruce is still not wholly convinced to turn against Salamander, but enough doubt is planted that he agrees to investigate. Astrid and Kent escape and whilst hiding in a cave mouth Astrid find Swan mortally wounded by Salamander.

As promised, Astrid goes into the underground base and tells the researchers that there was no war, and that Salamander killed Swan. Bruce goes to help Jamie and Victoria escape whilst Kent comes to see Salamander in the record room, but it is the Doctor. Astrid takes the lift to the record room and discovers that Kent was in league with Salamander all along. Kent is revealed to have taken the researchers into the base in the first place. He only wanted to get rid of the real Salamander to steal his power. Kent flees into the cave system, and Bruce takes over the research centre and arrests Benik. 

So Kent was in cahoots with Salamander all along.
Salamander and Kent meet in the caves and Salamander shoots him. The dying Kent flees and destroys the cave system. Astrid manages to get the researchers out through the caves.

The Doctor emerges from the caves meeting Jamie and Victoria at the TARDIS. Silently, the Doctor gestures for Jamie to pilot the TARDIS. Then the real Doctor enters. Foolishly Salamander attempts to pilot the TARDIS, but the doors are open and he is sucked out into the space-time vortex, while the Doctor, Jamie and Victoria cling on for dear life.

This certainly isn't the first or the last time we'll see a Doctor Doppleganger, previously we saw Hartnell's first Doctor the spitting image of Abbot of Amboise in the story, The Massacre. I wasn't looking forward to The Enemy Of The World, but I quite enjoyed it in the end, it certainly has it's faults, but considering it's length it plods along quite nicely. I like the ending very much and am really looking forward to the next story.

Join me next time for a London Underground themed blog, The Web Of Fear. I am planning to listen to the entire story in the location where it is set, on the Tube, during the next few days whilst on my commute.

1 comment:

tigerna said...

I think I must have missed this one, or else it's subsided into forgetfulness. Looking forward to the next one!