While we wait for a predictably disappointing Series 12 of NuWho, I have decided to dive into the Classic Era. It has been rewarding. (Spoilers!)
The Enemy of the World is the fourth story of the fifth season of Classic Who. It starts with the TARDIS landing on an alternate reality of Earth in the far future, with one man, Salamander, taking over the world. The Doctor and his companions take it upon themselves to find out what is happening. All is going well until it is discovered that the Doctor looks exactly like Salamander.
It was interesting watching some Classic Era stuff because, unlike today, they didn’t have a massive budget or a global fandom or half a century of episodes resting on their shoulders.
The production team were a lot more experimental back then. Even Doctor Who itself was an experiment. Nothing like it had ever existed before. The thing about The Enemy of the World is that is unlike any other Doctor Who story in existence. It is more like, as a fellow DW fan described it, James Bond than Doctor Who. There are murders and spies and explosions and an evil villain with an underground lair. Seriously!
There are even action sequences that look like the classic Bond films.
Of course, the Doctor and his companions come out alive, as always, but they receive their fair share of injury and trauma – being held hostage, being shot at and witnessing the execution of their friends.
I really wish that NuWho would be a bit more experimental. Less of the same formula. Heck, why not scrap the whole Series format entirely? Instead of doing 12 episodes and a Special, do a six-part mini-series like Torchwood did with Children of Earth. I would argue that Children of Earth is actually the best TV series in the entire Whoniverse.
Whoever takes over from Chibnall for the future of Doctor Who, please take a leaf out of Classic Who’s book. Be creative. Do something different. Doctor Who is stale.
Featured image Copyright BBC.