Friday, July 10, 2009

PP3 - The Enemy of the World 3

With Episode 3 being the only installment of The Enemy of the World in existence, we finally get to see Patrick Troughton's dual performance in all its full, 625-line, HD (for 1968) quality. It's actually quite a good performance, but that's what we've all come to expect from an actor as skillful as Troughton. His Mexican accent, though, is a bit dodgy, to be fair, or it just seems that way given that we're all so used to hearing Troughton in his normal voice.

Unlike previous and future "The Doctor's double" stories, this one works the best because while Salamander looks similar to The Doctor, the dictator has slightly darker skin and his hair is parted differently. This adds to the believability or the premise of this story. It also lets Troughton stretch his legs a bit in both roles. While William Hartnell was great in his dual role in The Massacre, his Abbot of Amboise featured so briefly onscreen, and was the exact double of The Doctor, that the impact of the performance was muted somewhat.

The other thing that stands out about this episode is how horribly it's edited. Scenes overlap and bleed into the next with reckless abandon. Video editing was still, apparently, uncommon back in those days, but out-of-order shooting had been done before this, and without the lacklustre results seen here. I could blame the editor, I could blame the unfamiliarity with the new 625-line broadcast system, but instead, I'll just blame director Barry Letts (don't worry. I'll let him off the hook in a few weeks.)


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