Doctor Who: The Enemy of the World, episodes 1 -3

New Doctor Who! Practically a whole two stories of new Doctor Who!

So, after some considerable flail, I was able to summon the calm to sit down and watch the beautiful, perfect, shiny new Troughton stories now free in the world, without accidently dancing the dance of Omg!New!Troughton.  Well done me.

They’re not entirely new, course, I’ve heard them once or twice (maybe a bit more) before and had telly snaps to look at to give some idea of what’s going on.

But as I learned with the rediscovered Galaxy 4 episode, the visuals can completely change your mind about a story. Which was nice for Galaxy 4, since I thought meh prior to seeing just how awesome Vicki was in the missing ep, and that the direction of the thing was rather wonderful.

But this is Troughton, where Critical Faculties are for losers and everything is awesome. THOSE ARE THE RULES. I did not make them. Like I did not make gravity, but, alas, we are all subject to both. So being already more than fond of both The Enemy of the World and The Web of Fear, how much more lovely would they be with proper pictures?

A lot. Naturally.

Here are my Vastly Exciting Thoughts as I watched Enemy of the World, episodes one through three:

The Enemy of the World

Episode 1

The Doctor’s just run around the beach, heel-click jumped in the air, and stripped down to go falling about in the sea. This is the sort of loveliness that just doesn’t translate to audio. And shirtsleeves! I approve of Doctors in shirtsleeves! Well done, episode one!

Victoria has a marvellous hat! She does look lovely. And it’s nice how she and Jamie dressed to match, heh. Are their skirts kilts the same length? Is this an oracular third wave feminist comment on the bullshit written about Amy’s clothes in Season 5? (Ooh, this is *also* Season 5…COINCIDENCE? Unpossible.) Yes. Yes, I think it is.

One nice thing about two historical companions is their shared incredulity about stuff a modern day companion would take in their stride.

The sea dune chase is marvellous. That’s some quality running around. And it looks rather lovely. Possibly cause of the novelty of a chase across dunes by the sea, possibly it’s quite well-directed, I do not know. But as Doctor Who chase scenes go, it makes me want to draw little hearts around it.

So much characterisation you miss out on in just audio: Jamie and Victoria’s shared look of judgieness at the Doctor and his love of the beach; the fact that this TARDIS crew don’t so much duck down to hide as bundle down on top of each other.  And there’re plenty of episodes that exist to show how touchy-feely the Doctor and Jamie are, but it’s lovely to see that Victoria isn’t at all excluded.

Astrid! Oh, she’s smashing. I mean, she was smashing on audio, but omg that awesome costume of hers. The coat! The collar! Stunning. I want one. Major kudos to the costume designer.

And how much lovelier the scene with the Doctor tending to Astrid’s wound is now you can see their faces! He loves her, clearly.

Poor Victoria; she is terribly frightened (Victoria’s the only companion where the Screamer companion label might get any traction, but it relies on ignoring the rest of her character and acting as though having one companion who gets scared a heck of a lot is a pattern). Which makes me cheer when she snaps back at Bruce. (It’s such a lovely moment – Jamie speaks for her, realising how scared she is, then Bruce mocks her, so she summons the courage to speak up.)

It all feels rather epic too. Doctor Who, as a rule, does small-scale rather better. And, as a rule, one tends to just nod along politely when, in the last episode of a story (or penultimate episode cliff-hanger), it turns out the whole world is now about to blow up. So it’s rather fine and novel to feel a story is Convincingly Epic and it’s only the first episode.

Episode 2

“Disused Yet?!” Ha! So much better when you can see Troughton’s face! :D:D

And Fariah’s “that’s why it’s very nice to have help for a change”. Lols! Visuals required for the full dryness of delivery. (Also, first female black character in Doctor Who, IIRC? She gets killed off, yeah, but she also gets some good scenes and excellent lines. The actor’s got an OBE now, y’know.)

“I like eating. ” Ilu Victoria.

Oh, poor Hungary is getting volcanoed. Rotten for Hungary, but it’s smashing how just saying that’s where we are makes rather a difference. Yes, dammit, I am QUITE PREPARED to buy we were in Australia and then rocket-shipped to Hungary cause there’s at least one (possibly?) Australian accent, a Czech actor, and the countries get name-checked a couple of times. Bits of the world in danger that aren’t the Home Counties! Characters living in bits of the world that aren’t the Home Counties!  Important things happening and not everyone has an English accent! Exciting stuff, dammit.

I really wouldn’t be surprised if Illya Kuryakin turned up. Alternatively, I think Astrid should join UNCLE.

Episode 3

This one is considerably less new cause it was not just discovered but has been around for some decades. But like magic it’s suddenly EVEN BETTER with shiny visual context leading up to it. Hurrah!

Griff is amazing. He should be in more Doctor Who stories. All those bases under siege have kitchens, I presume, and he should be in them all. All the kitchen scenes are winning. From Jamie just sitting there eating, to Griff’s epic pessimism, to Fariah’s casual cheerfulness at Griff and her epic “sometimes we don’t do the things we want to do, we do the things we have to do” scene.

Astrid has another fantastic costume. It doesn’t have an amazing space collar though, so gets less points.

Jamie and Victoria are terrible spies. Which is okay. There’re worse on MUNCLE and some of them are meant to be professionals, and they do just fine.

Concerning broken crockery: “People spend all their time making nice things and other people just come along and break them.” OH DOCTOR. There are a ridiculous number of lovely little moments in this story.

Ah, the lolarious ‘guarding in a corridor’ thing. Dudes! Come on, you afforded a helicopter, you couldn’t make a wee room to lock a dude up in? (Do I vastly underestimate the difficulty in managing set space?)

I do like how Victoria’s very definitely got over her fear, slamming tea trays into bad guys with abandon.

Oh, credits. Boo.

More later, on episodes 4-6!

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