Most people are no doubt familiar with the Doctor Who of the ‘70s
and ‘80s starring Tom Baker – thanks to endless re-runs. Then in
2005 everyone was introduced to the revitalised Doctor Who series
but did you know that the 2005 series was actually season number 27?
This is following a movie in 1995 that is part of the canon too. So
where did it all begin? Let me load you into an imaginary TARDIS as
we travel back to the year... 1965.
Back then, you see, not only was television technology and acting
quality more rudimentary than what we are used to today, but the BBC
was even more strapped for cash. The end result is a wonderful ride
back to the time of blissfully naive sci-fi, black and white
reproductions and laughably unreal costumes.
The Powerful Enemy has The Doctor landing on the planet Dido where
the last two survivors of a crashed spaceship are imprisoned and
terrorized by the fearsome alien Koquillion. The Doctor and his
companions must save the poor humans, and uncover a mystery in the
Make no bones about it – this is a low quality episode. Clearly they
could only work with one camera, one sound boom, and limited editing
tools. This gives us varying sound levels which can make the
characters a little hard to understand at times and lengthy close
ups that can’t cut away to more interesting features. Having said
that though, these are the things that make an old classic like this
so much fun!
The original Doctor, played by William Hartnell is played more as a
‘nutty professor’ as compared to the later incarnations. It appears
not to have his wits about him most of the time, but is able to tap
into a vast knowledge and able to grab clarity just in time to see
through the puzzle and save the day. The Doctor’s evolution
throughout the years is fascinating and it’s great to see where it
The special effects, such as the ray gun (whose effect consists of a
zoom up, a classic ‘60s ‘pew pew pew’ and no visual) are what you
can expect here. This is all augmented with cheesy settings, and
fairly poor acting. The Doctor and his friend trying to pretend that
they are creeping along a precarious ledge is only topped by the
fearsome monster below that is a guy in a sleeping-bag costume.
The writing is quite good, however, with some twists and turns which
could be thought to be a little too sophisticated for the ‘60s – but
don’t under estimate audiences from back then – their suspension of
disbelief was stronger and it made necessary to be entertained by
good old fashioned story-telling.
A classic episode of a classic series. Compared to today’s
standards, it is lacking in every regard, of course, but with
nostalgia glasses on, it’s a fun ride. There are no special features
on this disc.