The Enemy of the World part 5

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    Craig @craig

    Bruce has tracked down the Doctor by following Benik. The tables are turned but the Doctor bravely plays a trust card and Bruce agrees to take him to Salamander’s, where Jamie and Victoria are being questioned.

    Meanwhile Salamander continues his exploits underground. The suspicion of others forces him to take someone else to the surface with him.

    Nice to see milk still comes in glass bottles during a nuclear holocaust.

    Barbara Lefty @barbaralefty

    Yay! Astrid exposes the shortcomings of the security guys!

    Boo! Benik might give Salamander a run for his money in the horrid git stakes, with a higher pulling the wings off flies quotient.

    Yay! Bruce may be a terrible security boss, but he might be a good egg!

    It’s all unravelling pretty fast. Can’t wait for next week’s thrilling instalment!

    Bluesqueakpip @bluesqueakpip

    I like the way big tough Jamie goes into gooey marshmallow the second Victoria is threatened.

    Yes, Bruce does look like a terrible boss, a dreadful bully – and an honest man. It’s interesting that the Doctor seems to instinctively trust him. They developed the ‘semi-telepathic’ nature of Time Lords later (at this point, the Time Lords are still in the future), but they do seem to play it as if the Doctor generally knows who to trust and who not to.

    Ooh, Milton is really creepy as Benik. Keen on a bit of torture, isn’t he? Though had the Doctor not turned up, I’d say his possession of that file puts him fairly high on Salamander’s list of ‘problems to be disposed of’.

    Patrick Troughton continues to deliver nicely considered performances – his ‘Doctor playing Salamander’ hasn’t got the accent quite right and is slightly less assured than his Salamander. Meanwhile, the cast members playing the underground scientists seem to have decided that being confined underground for several years is going to affect everyone’s mental health, with the main symptom being rampant overacting.

    I think they were really all going for ‘subdued hysteria’. Or in the case of Colin, not remotely subdued hysteria. But even the normally reliable Christopher Burgess (who clocked up three BG Who appearances) seems to be affected.

    I also noticed one minor goof. When Swann picks up the carton labelled ‘meat’, he’s concentrating so much on finding the vital bit of newspaper that he forgets to do the ‘this empty cardboard box is heavy’ acting. That box is as light as – well, as an empty box.

    I do wonder whose idea it was to have Giles Kent in that position when he was playing dead. Somebody was having a little joke; that’s a fairly well known ‘don’t’ position for a stage corpse – so well known, in fact, that it appears in the satire ‘The Art of Coarse Acting’. It’s a) bloody uncomfortable and b) impossible to maintain for a long period of time. It’s always embarrassing when the corpse gets cramp and falls to the floor with a thump and a scream.

    And finally, after all this looking for evidence, it crawls into Astrid’s lap. Salamander has finally made a mistake. Swann isn’t quite dead.

    ScaryB @scaryb

    I liked this one. Victoria’s function as leverage for Benik to get to Jamie (and he does rather crumble at the first bit of hairpulling – but that’s why our heroes are better than Benik and Salamander’s functionaries) is nicely balanced out by Astrid’s effectiveness.  Although Salamander seems to use the same guard training school as Star Wars troopers 🙂

    @bluesqueakpip – that wasn’t a goof – the box WAS light – the meat would be dehydrated and highly compressed, otherwise it would go off. Well, duh!! 😉  I have to admit to a chuckle or two at the gadget concepts – a radio tracking transmitter and almost instantaeous travel – yet the phones are extremely clunky and easily tapped into.

    “Subdued hysteria” but coupled with rampant hormones in Colin’s case – always a tricky combination.  Swann doesn’t want to believe he’s fallen for a complete pack of lies, so is reluctant to confront Salamander outright. How did he end up on the surface though?

    Benik is seriously creepy – he has to be to have survived this long in a promoted post in Salamander’s employ.  (Did Milton ever play an evil nazi I wonder, it’s certainly out of that school of acting. It’s interesting watching him ramp it up though – at first he came over as mostly a camp minion, and then gradually his cunning is revealed).

    Troughton continues to impress, his character actor experience coming to the fore. Playing the Doctor playing Salamander is a joy to watch, convincing yet with just enough of the Doctor that we aren’t in doubt.  And yes at this stage the Doctor is still just a wandering traveller. But he is indoubtedly “a good man”. He couldn’t have got a way with pulling the handing the gun to the enemy tactic with Benik. Then again he recognises a basic decency in Bruce.

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