“People spend all their time making nice things, and then other people come along and break them.”
23rd December 1968 – 27th January 1969
The Time Space Visualiser
I am almost too excited at the thought of watching this story! The next 12 episodes would have been recons a couple of years back. New who beckons for the penultimate time and I am really looking forward to it.
The best thing about having one of the best character actors in the lead role is you can get them to play some characters. Troughton excels not just as Salamander but as the Doctor pretending to be Salamander!
Astrid quickly steals the show with her swishing and just when you think it can’t get any better she’s in the helicopter. And there was I thinking Kylie was the sexiest Astrid in Doctor Who! The kitchen scene where Victoria quotes her favourite menu (soup, fish, meat and pudding) is great. The Chef provides some great lines, especially when he is moaning about everything that has gone wrong. Carmen Munroe off of Play School is brilliant too, especially with the mini fight at the start of episode 4. After some dodgy racial stereotypes it is refreshing to have a black character on the show who is worthy of respect. Finally, it’s Milton Johns off of Borusa and all evil roles ever! He looks so young in this.
‘You can’t make me leave here!’ declares Kent to the evil Benik after hiding the Doctor in his MFI kitchen furniture. Then in comes a guard to smash all the crockery. Well you have to agree with Benik. Following the loss of all that willow pattern there is nothing worth staying for! There are several kinky undertones in the story. Benik with his ‘sticks and stones may break my bones but chains and whips excite me!’ routine, Jamie in his cat suit and Astrid.
Then we come to the twist. Salamander is keeping a group of hippies in tie died karate suits under the surface to wreak havoc on the world. Not quite sure why though. It seems like a lot of effort to go through, and they are all so wet. I suppose they would need to be to be hoodwinked by Salamander.
The Doctor seems reluctant to get involved in the adventure for most of the story and the final showdown is more of a let-down. Come on, it was what we were all waiting for. And why does Salamander seem to suddenly think the TARDIS would make a good escape route. Despite the flaws it is a gripping Avengers style mystery with a few twists and turns, some great actors and enough plot to sustain the six episodes. Strange music and some good cliffhangers. It reinforces everything I have said about the missing stories. If they turned up we may even love them. What a gem.
Astrid is surely played by Yootha Joyce off of George and Mildred
Best Extra of the Week
The woman with pram in episode 4. She hobbles through the statuesque guards like Mrs Overall. I actually think she is the Master in disguise!
Catchphrase Error of the Week
Milton Johns as Benik: You leave me no alternative. Break it down! Everyone knows it’s ‘You leave me only one option.’
The 500 Year Diary
10th September 2017 am
Sun! Sand! Sea! Took time to have a dip in the sea (and despite my suggestion, Jamie and Victoria weren’t that keen on making sandcastles) before running away from an approaching hovercraft, with people shooting at us. Victoria thinks we’ve landed in a world of madmen – they’re human beings I tell her. We’re rescued by a young lady in a helicopter and taken to her house.
This Astrid tells me that I look like a fellow called Salamander, who is bent on becoming the world’s dictator. She wants me to meet a Giles Kent, but I really don’t want to get involved in some political game playing. However, I have no choice in the end as the hovercraft men return and we have to make our escape.
Giles Kent shows me a video of Salamander making a speech – yes, it is indeed an uncanny resemblance. He then explains that he’s known as the ‘Shopkeeper Of The World’, but underneath his generous public persona he is sweeping to world power by getting rid of rivals alongside a number of natural disasters, that Giles believes Salamander is causing. Unusually, I don’t want to get involved; however, security chief Donald Bruce arrives and I’m forced to take on the role of Salamander.
10th September 2017 am
Think I convinced Bruce that I was the real Salamander, but he seemed unconvinced. In the end, I agree to pose as Salamander at the nearby research centre to find out what’s possibly causing these natural disasters.
I still don’t know who’s good or not, but Jamie and Victoria seem quite keen to get involved as they travel to the Central European Zone.
10th September 2017 pm
Have to hide in a box as Kent is visited by Benik, a rather sadistic fellow who smashes all Kent’s crockery. Oh dear. People spend all their time making nice things and then other people come along and break them.
10th September 2017 pm
Astrid returns without Jamie and Victoria, who have been taken prisoner, so I really have no choice in co-operating if I want to see them again although I won’t actually kill Salamander. His food taster, Fariah, has brought some evidence, but it’s not enough to prove Salamander is evil. Next thing, I’m going down a ventilation shaft as we’re raided by Benik and his men.
Back at the caravan, I’m being prepared to look like Salamander when we suddenly have a visitor.
10th September 2017 eve
It’s Bruce. He’s not convinced this time, but by gaining his trust, manage to talk him round regarding what Salamander might be up to.
We interrupt Benik’s interrogation of Jamie and Victoria. Posing as Salamander, they get quite angry at ‘my’ actions in the Central European Zone involving murder and blackmail – Victoria even goes to hit me – only my invisible recorder saves the day! Bruce is not 100% convinced, but he’s starting to get on side.
10th September 2017 night
I was right to question who was good and bad as it turns out that Kent is a bad guy whose real reason to rid the world of Salamander was to take power for himself. Both of them had taken a group of people to an underground base, pretending there had been a war, and convinced them their work on creating natural disasters was a good thing. Kent runs away and not long after there’s a big explosion. I get out of there. I hope the people underground are OK.
As I arrive in the TARDIS there is Salamander. He really isn’t very nice at all and threatens me. However, he dematerialises the TARDIS with the doors open sucking himself into space although we might soon be following him….
Artwork: BBC DVD The Enemy of the World
The Five Word Lords
No foam or monsters! ‘Excellent!!!’