Wednesday 13 November 2013

188 The Enemy of the World: Episode Three

EPISODE: The Enemy of the World: Episode Three
TRANSMITTED: 06 January 1968
WRITER: David Whitaker
DIRECTOR: Barry Letts
PRODUCER: Innes Lloyd
FORMAT: iTunes The Enemy of the World
DVD Preorder:: Doctor Who - The Enemy of the World
TELESNAPS: The Enemy of the World: Episode Three

"Facts, Kent. I must have facts!"

Salamander gives poison to Fedorin for him to administer to Denes. Bruce is surprised to see Jamie there dressed as a guard and wants to know what "Salamander" was talking to Kent about. Victoria assists Farriah and Grif the cook in the kitchen. Jamie arrives and tells Victoria that Salamander wants to replace the honest Denes with the weak Fedorin. Jamie speculates about the Earthquakes as Giles Kent outlines to the Doctor the same suspicions that he has, showing him television pictures of the destruction. The Doctor hides as Benik arrives, argues with Kent and has his caravan smashed up. The Doctor says he needs facts and hopes Jamie will provide them. Astrid arrives at the European palace with a message for Salamander. She sneaks away and speaks to Victoria and Jamie. She tells them to cause a diversion at 11 o'clock. Victoria takes Denes his food, but Fedorin bumps into her in the corridor and sends her away while he poisons the food. The Guard Captain recalls seeing Astrid to Salamander. Victoria stays with Denes. Fedorin tells Salamander he couldn't bring himself to poison Denes: They drink together and Fedorin is himself poisoned by Salamander. Jamie claims to have spotted someone in the garden: shooting starts and Astrid enters the palace to rescue Denes. Jamie & Victoria are brought to Salamander for interrogation. Bruce asks Salamander what's going on and Salamander finds out Bruce had seen him with Kent, Jamie and Victoria in Australia.

For many years Enemy of the World 3 was the only episode of this story to exist, with the original camera negative for the telerecording being one of two episodes from this season being found in the BBC Film & Video library on Ian Levine's initial visit . (The other was Wheel in Space 6) I first encountered it on the Troughton Years VHS and hated it. Very little Doctor, very little of the main villain, no Monsters. "What's this doing on the tape when I could be watching Web of Fear 1 and getting some more Yeti action?". In the context of the rest story I can see it makes sense and has a function. I still don't think it's the greatest example of sixties Doctor Who though. We've got a prisoner being held in a corridor, mucking about in kitchens and a guest actor hamming it up as much as possible.

Like main guest star Bill Kerr Reg Lye, Griffin the Chef, is another Australian but this time not appearing in the story's main Australian setting. David Nettheim, playing Fedorin, is another Fair Dinkum Aussie though that doesn't come through in either his performance or the background of his character who's meant to be central European!

Remember I said yesterday that 'Aitch was in this episode but harder to spot? Rubbish, once you know he's there he's easy to find:


we can see his boat race clearly here!

Now the other episodes are back it becomes clearer that the Doctor and Kent have switched locations between episodes: The Doctor's brief appearance is in a Caravan a little distance away from the Kanowa research station which itself doesn't feature here.

Appearing in the second & third episodes is George Pravda as Denes (pronounced Den-esh). He returns in the Mutants as Jaeger but is famous for his appearance as Castellan Spandrell in the Deadly Assassin. Guarding Denes in the corridor is Bill Lyons who would later go on to write the Blake's 7 episode Games. Oddly enough the next Doctor Who story, the Web of Fear, features an actor who would go on to write the previous episode of Blake's 7

A piece of film familiar to Doctor Who fans pops up in this episode: When Kent is showing the Doctor footage of the Volcanoes erupting a piece of stock footage is used. The same piece of film, albeit in colour, later resurfaces in Inferno as the background for the custom story and episode slides seen after the title sequence.

So given that it's so bad, why have we still got it? An episode being "good" or "bad" doesn't seem to have any effect on if they were kept or not. For a long while it was thought that this episode was the first to be broadcast using the 625 line standard but the recent find of earlier episodes of this story have shown that they were recorded on that standard too

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