Follow TV Tropes


YMMV / Doctor Who S5 E4 "The Enemy of the World"

Go To

  • Complete Monster: Ramón Salamander, while renowned publicly as a genius whose inventions helped the food shortage, secretly has his sights set on world domination. Keeping dozens of scientists prisoner in an underground shelter for five years, Salamander convinced them that a nuclear war rages on the surface and so they must create natural disasters to fight back at the evil armies ravaging the world. In fact, the disasters are killing innocent people, and Salamander is using them to gain popularity by leading relief efforts and predicting where the disasters will strike, while also discrediting the helpless officials. Others Salamander has been systematically killing, replacing all of them with people under his control. Caring nothing for his followers, Salamander never hesitates to remove those who outlive their usefulness, discrediting his original partner-in-crime and poisoning one of his puppets when he's unable to kill his superior. Suave, cunning and audacious as he is, at heart Salamander is nothing more than a power-hungry mass murderer, who manipulates innocents into killing innocents, all for his own benefit.
  • Advertisement:
  • Ensemble Dark Horse: Griffin the chef. His constant pessimism and regarding the crazy world around him with resigned acceptance does a quite lot to endear him to the audience.
  • Fair for Its Day: The story features a strong, sympathetic, vulnerable and relatively three dimensional black female character (played by an actually black woman rather than by a white woman in makeup) who gets to be tragic and kicks ass, but also includes the Doctor putting on brown face paint to pass as a Mexican villain with a South African accent.
  • Harsher in Hindsight: The line by the Doctor about people making nice things and others coming along and destroying it, cue the destruction of Doctor Who stories. (Including this one, though thankfully it's no longer missing).
  • Hilarious in Hindsight: It's mentioned that the people in the bunker went underground five years prior to the events of the story. The story is set in 2018, meaning they went down there in 2013, the same year the episodes were recovered.
  • Advertisement:
  • Magnificent Bastard: Ramon Salamander. A public benefactor for his own ends, he was consolidating power by engineering tectonic disasters. He did so by herding some people into a giant fallout shelter under the pretext of avoiding a war, and telling them the survivors were so warped it would be a mercy to kill them. Also, his supposed arch-nemesis was actually The Dragon (and The Starscream). When his plans went aft a-gley, he used his resemblance to the Doctor to get into the TARDIS (His cover did not last, of course).
  • Vindicated by History: Doctor Who has a lot of Missing Episodes which tend to get regarded as 'classics' simply because they can't be watched, but no-one really cared about this one - it's a bit of an Out-of-Genre Experience in that it's a spy story focusing on a human Diabolical Mastermind and with no monsters, and the recons made the story seem silly and difficult to follow (not helped by the fact that it's about a Criminal Doppelgänger and Impersonating the Evil Twin). Additionally, the only episode to survive in full was a comic-relief one with many deliberately-silly scenes. But when the whole thing was suddenly discovered in Nigeria, fans suddenly were able to see the surprisingly good action scenes in the first episode, and observe the character acting from Patrick Troughton that made the story make sense, and suddenly reappraised it as one of the best Troughton stories. Doctor Who Magazine pointed out that in their top 200 stories poll of 2009 it was the 30th rated story of the '60s, but in 2014 it was the 10th rated.
  • Advertisement:
  • Vindicated by Reruns: For years this story was considered the odd one out of a season dominated by "Monsters of the Week" and the "Base Under Siege" plots. The only existing episode was part 3, a slow middle episode and one which didn't give an accurate picture of the entire serial. But that was all fans had to go on. Now, with all six episodes recovered, there has been a major fan reevaluation, and the story is considered fresh for its time in integrating political intrigue with Doctor Who. DWM pointed out that in their top 200 stories poll of 2009 it was the 30th rated story of the 60s, but in 2014 it was the 10th rated.
  • Visual Effects of Awesome: The effects used to make the Doctor and Salamander appear in the same scene.
  • The Woobie: Any decent person under Salamander, especially those thirty-odd people in the shelter.

Example of: