Image Credit: James Ashworth
Image Description: Jason Haigh-Ellery, India Fisher, Paul McGann and Daphne Ashbrook at Panopticon Lite, flanked by the Doctor and Master’s costumes
By Rogan Clark
The TV Movie. “The Enemy Within”. The little piece of Who, caught between old and new. Here’s eight reasons why it’s worth your time.
Paul McGann is the Doctor
For a man with less than two hours of on screen performance as the Doctor, you may wonder just why people seem to love him so much. He’s just that good. His Doctor is full of boundless glee for the universe, love for humanity, and knowledge without arrogance. He’s a joy to watch, and the love he has for the role shines through. What else would convince you to do Big Finish for twenty-odd years?
Eric Roberts as the Master
“The Master is supposed to be smooth and suave, not a campy snake-man!” I hear you cry. To which I answer, “If the Doctor reinvents themselves which each regeneration, why must the Master stay static?” Putting preconceptions of what a Master should be aside, Roberts owns the role, effortlessly switching between smooth manipulator and pure unashamed evil camp when he gets the chance. And also a snake. Far more proactive than a ring as a back-up plan.
Yes, Grace killed the Doctor. So did Wilf. She’s also a qualified heart surgeon, keen opera fan, a patron of horology, and can rewire the TARDIS. Plus, she’s confident enough in her own life to turn down the Doctor. I respect that. Plus, Daphne Ashbrook plays off Paul McGann wonderfully – the scene where the Doctor regains his memories is one of my favourite clips in the show’s history, and it’s down to these two.
The sets are amazing to look at. The console room is beautiful, and it’s a shame that John Hurt’s TARDIS doesn’t reference it at all. The Cloister Room looks wonderful too, suitably gothic and imposing for a final showdown between the two rival Time Lords.
The Theme Tune
Let’s be real – the opening theme sounds amazing. Opening on the middle eight – inspired. Should it have been used for the new series? Probably not, but its spirit lived on in Murray Gold’s 2005 intro.
It’s at the Millenium!
Why is the TARDIS going to destroy the Earth at exactly midnight? Same reason the TARDIS does anything – helping out the Doctor. Easy to remember how long you have left when everyone’s counting down.
Alright, maybe the Doctor being half-human is a weird plot point that’s never going to come up again. But it’s fun to discuss, isn’t it? Plus, as we recently found out, maybe the Doctor isn’t as sure about their history as they hope?
It opened the doors to so much more
Say what you like about them, but the EDA’s, McGann’s acclaimed Big Finish series – it all comes from this one point. And when New Who came back, it was with the Ninth Doctor. RTD recognised what an important part this played in keeping the spirit of Who alive. And it did so admirably.
The double issue of Tides 45/46 is, at time of publication, available to buy through this link