Doctor: Patrick Troughton
Companions: Jamie McCrimmon (Frazer Hines), Victoria Waterfield (Deborah Watling)
(Please forgive our formatting difficulties this week...)
|Denes and his wary look.|
Donald Bruce and Theodore Benik (another of Salamander’s lackeys) get suspicious of the Australia encounter with the Doctor impersonating Salamander, and begin to investigate. Jamie and Victoria are arrested, and the existence of an impersonator revealed- Salamander heads to Kanowa to catch his doppelganger.
Once there, Salamander attires himself in a radiation suit and descends in a secret elevator- into a secret bunker beneath the research facility in which a small civilization believes that they are living in an irradiated, post-apocalyptic world (due to a nuclear war five years prior), and Salamander is their brave and noble benefactor- out ‘scouting for food’ in the irradiated wasteland these last few weeks. It is revealed that the machinery to create the natural disasters lies in the caverns, which Salamander’s society uses in the belief that they’ve been reshaping the Earth’s surface for re-colonization when the radiation abates.
|This is Kent...in case you were just dying to know what he looked like.|
Of course, the real Doctor quickly shows up at the door, disheveled and dusty, announcing that Salamander has decided to turn the tables and impersonate him! Salamander attempts to activate the controls, and the TARDIS takes off with open doors as the two men struggle. Salamander is knocked out into the Vortex as the ship flies out of control, threatening to suck the Doctor, Jamie, and Victoria out after him...(NFS: Yeah...that's as AWESOME as it sounds! A little Doctor on Salamander action. :-D)
|Would this face lie? Or kill you?|
The characters are fun, the story engaging, and the ending is spectacular... or at least sounds to be. The dual-performance is excellent, giving Patrick Troughton a chance to shine. His revelation as the Doctor faking Chameleon at the end (a cringing, frightened sounding “No, Victoria, don’t hit me!” as she gets angry) is funny and endearing... and Troughton also makes Chameleon a memorable villain- cunning, clever (with his ruse at the end), yet able to appear very kind and gentle, caring, to the point that even you almost believe it. This was a fantastic turn for him, and one that will be hard to top. (NFS: Definitely one of my favorite ever serials, and I totally agree; Troughton so got a chance to really show off his acting chops. I really liked the accent he gave Salamander too.)
|Ooh! Pick me! Pick me!|
The chases at the beginning- and the battle in the house- were exciting, fun, and even a little tense at times- a great introduction to the story once you got past the hovercraft yawner. The Doctor’s helicopter experience prefigures his chance to try it for himself in Fury of the Deep.
Victoria and Jamie both have decent roles- taking center stage for most of it, and yet ending up far less memorable than Troughton despite less screentime for him (at least, as the Doctor).
|Her hair comes into the room before she does.|
4 out of 5 Electrified Cybermats for the Enemy of the World, a fantastic Troughton showcase and espionage/intrigue thriller that is tarnished only by the out-of-place and clichéd underground shelter elements tacked on to the second half. And even those are only enough to take one sizzled little cyberslug from this gem’s overall rating!