Those of a certain age may recall those lines in the opening minutes of Patrick Troughton’s debut episode as Doctor Who. Sadly if you weren’t born and of cognitive age at the time you will, probably, never actually see the episode in question as it was a victim of the BBC’s archive purge and aside from a few short clips this story, not just the opening episode, are lost forever as moving pictures. Now how does this relate to the prompt? Well aside from the old man William Hartnell becoming the younger Patrick Troughton it is connected . As a school boy with not a lot of pocket money, my main way of experiencing Doctor Who stories was through the Target novelizations, when I finally saw the actual story thanks to VHS and the occasional repeat on BBC2, I would have a little thrill of anticipation at seeing what the story looked like… before usually being a little disappointed that the visuals never lived up to the image in my head or that the author of the novel had changed how events were depicted in screen (Terror of the Autons I’m looking at you in particular! ). But of course as I grew older I appreciated that the visuals wouldn’t be great, the direction would sometimes got flat or Adric was played by a worse actor then me! However a small miracle happened in 2013 when two ‘lost stories’ were returned in (almost) their entirety: The Enemy of the World and The Web of Fear. Enemy was a story which didn’t really register on my radar as a kid as it consists mostly of talking heads, but Web of Fear was the holy grail. So when I purchased the DVDs I was once again a kid with that thrill of seeing the story I had read so much about… and guess what… it pretty much lived up to how I expected. The Yeti may look naff and quite why there are taking over the Underground is logically a bit daft, but the atmosphere, script and direction are top notch as are the performances. Hell, it even has one of the leads from the Avengers in it.
Enemy of the World was a pleasant surprise with a fairly mature script and a truely unpleasant character in the form of the sadistic security guard Benik who enjoys inflicting pain and killing and seems to have his hair cut by his mum. It has a good twist at the end too… pity the cliffhangers are so lame. Enemy probably would have bored me as a child so in many ways I’m glad I saw it now. Web though… I was back to being a child again.
Well that is my PG rated story, if you want the 15 rated one, drop a line in the comments.