Saturday, 12 October 2013




Everywhere on the planet, Friday 11 October 2013





























Why I won't be watching 'The Enemy of the World' and 'The Web of Fear' any time soon.


Of course, it's brilliant news. Seeing nine missing episodes of Patrick Troughton's Doctor Who announced to the world this morning was truly wonderful. The YouTube trailers are amazing. Troughton drawing languidly and stylishly on a cigar like the Bond-villain-that-should-have-been Salamander in 'The Enemy of the World'; the film noir-claustrophobia of sets with ceilings in 'The Web of Fear', together with the creepy model work of the foam advancing through the tunnels of the Underground, that I remember so well from being a wide-eyed four year-old. And, as ever, a joy to hear Toby Hadoke's opinions, after he stayed up all night to watch the stories, bouncing around on the Breakfast Time sofa like a wee boy who's had his whole list of presents delivered on Christmas morning.


In today's instantaneous media culture, you could download all the episodes just after midnight. It goes without saying that a lot of people are watching them as you read this and may have phoned in sick to stay home and watch them (allegedly), and that's great. But, for me, this instant gratification is a bit of a shame. I've waited forty-six years to see these gems again, so what's another six weeks and three-and-a-bit-months?

'The Enemy of the World' is out on DVD on 25 November. I want to walk into HMV (if I can find one that's still open), marvel at seeing this long-thought-lost classic in the racks, pore over the cover and booklet and cuddle up on the sofa to watch the DVD - complete with extras - in the living room, on the telly, in a similar environment to the one I'd have first watched the episodes in all those years ago. 


That means a few weeks and months of thinking gleefully about the clips I've seen, marveling at friends' ecstatic reactions, going back to the reference books for analysis and comment and watching all the other Troughton DVDs as an appetiser. If these are the only nearly complete stories that we're ever going to see from the 1960s in the 21st century - and what are the odds on any others being found after this, I wonder - why rush?


Some things are definitely worth waiting for.  

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