Doctor Who: The Enemy of the World (Story #40)

7.5 Overall Score
Story: 7/10
Acting: 8/10
Visuals: 7/10

Nice serial for Troughton, great to have rediscovered

Longer serial


I’m totally not the Doctor…I have a funky accent and I’m dressed for a bull fight

A beach vacation in 2018 is interrupted when the Doctor (Patrick Troughton) is targeted by assassins.  The Doctor, Jamie (Frazer Hines), and Victoria (Deborah Waiting) learn that the Doctor is a dead ringer for a man known as Salamander who has overtaken the world.  To save Victoria and Jamie, the Doctor finds himself in a desperate attempt to impersonate Salamander and help topple Salamander’s rule.  Salamander is keeping secrets himself including a society living beneath the Earth who believes that nuclear fallout has made the Earth uninhabitable.  As the Doctor tries to save his friends and himself, more danger may surface that proves no one can be trusted.

Doctor Who:  The Enemy of the World aired in the fifth season of the long running BBC series.  The serial aired in six parts from December 23, 1967 to January 27, 1968.  Following Doctor Who:  The Ice Warriors, Doctor Who:  The Enemy of the World was collected as part of The Patrick Troughton Years as Story #40.


You know…maybe we have too many people in this helicopter

Doctor Who:  The Enemy of the World is one of those Doctor Who stories that give fans hope.  Long believed to be lost with only Episode 3 in possession, the other episodes were discovered in a TV station in Nigeria (along with episodes of Doctor Who:  The Web of Fear).  With hope of these type of discoveries occurring as the world “shrinks” with the internet, Doctor Who:  Enemy of the World is a positive stories for fans of the original series who feared they’d never see a “new” episode again.

The long serial is kind of fun in that Patrick Troughton (the Doctor who found much of his run on the series missing) gets to flex his acting muscles a bit more.  Troughton allegedly was unhappy with the limitations of the role and playing a duel role as the Doctor and Salamander was a way to appease him.  Troughton (who I’ve seen in other films) does have some acting ability and it is good to see him act because it gives you a better feel for his performances as the Doctor.


Don’t mess with me, bro

With no monster however, this series is a little tedious at points as the Doctor, Jamie, and Victoria try to infiltrate Salamander’s network as Salamander keeps the unsuspecting people trapped below the Earth.  A six episode serial can be tough to handle, and Doctor Who:  Enemy of the World fares slightly better than many of the longer stories in that affect.  Plus, it ends in a bit of a cliffhanger (the TARDIS is out of control)…something that later Doctor Who stories rarely did.

As I start to actually near seeing all of Doctor Who’s existing original run, it is nice when little bonuses pop up like the discovery of this story.  I like what I’ve seen of Troughton and find it a shame that he’s a bit of an enigma simply because his shows were those lose to time…which is a bit ironic since he plays a Time Lord.  Doctor Who:  The Enemy of the World is followed by the mostly rediscovered Doctor Who:  The Web of Fear which introduced the longstanding Doctor Who associate Colonel Lethbridge-Stewart.

Preceded By:

Doctor Who:  The Ice Warriors (Story #39)

Followed By:

Doctor Who:  The Web of Fear (Story #41)

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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