Some Interesting Similarities: The Curse of Fenric
As I was watching the latest episode I was struck by some interesting similarities to a Doctor Who story entitled “The Curse of Fenric.” I thought some of you would be interested in these similarities. For those who are interested in looking further into the info here you may want to check the Doctor Who wiki. I used that article to refresh my memory about the episode.
The Curse of Fenric is an adventure of the Seventh Doctor and is set at a British naval base in 1943. The base is listening to German transmissions and is using an early supercomputer called the ULTIMA machine. There is a small group of Soviet commandos who are trying to infiltrate the base in order to steal the ULTIMA machine at the same time as the Doctor and Ace, his companion, arrive in the TARDIS. The scientist in charge of the project is Dr. Judson, who is confined to a wheelchair, and he has been using the ULTIMA machine to try to decipher some viking inscriptions underneath the church in the nearby village.
The inscriptions concern an entity named Fenric which is buried somewhere in the vicinity. The base has been also mining a naturally occuring toxic chemical and refining it to be used in weapons. Nearby a flask is unearthed and Dr. Judson becomes intrigued with it. He believes the flask to be the secret to deciphering the viking inscriptions. It turns out that the flask contains the essence of evil which was one of the frist things to come into existence shortly after the creation of the universe. The vikings named this evil Fenric. When in the presence of the ULTIMA machine running at full power, Fenric escapes from the flask and takes over the body of Dr. Judson and is now able to walk.
Fenric summons the Ancient One, the leader of the haemovores, the evolutionary decendents of humanity in an alternate future where Earth is a vast chemical pit due to years of unfettered industry. the Ancient One summons other haemovores and they procede toterrorize the local village and turn the villagers into haemovores themselves. There is one defense against the haemovores and that is a pshycic barrier created by strong faith.
Fenric recognizes the Doctor from a previous encounter in Constintanople during the third centurary. During that encounter the Doctor carved a chess set from bones and challenged Fenric to solve a chess puzzle. The puzzle distracted Fenric’s attention so that the Doctor was able to banish Fenric to a ‘shadow dimension’ and imprison him in a flask. Although imprisoned, Fenric was able to still influence events and planted genetic information into the DNA of some humans that would allow him to manipulate their lineage and use them as pawns when the time is right. this is the Curse of Fenric. It turns out that Ace is one of those pawns as is the captain of the soviet commandos. The Doctor challenges Fenric to solve try to solve the chess puzzle again. This allows the Doctor time to speak to the Ancient One and turn him against Fenric. Dr. Judson’s body is unable to hold up to having Fenric in control and Fenric transfers himself to the soviet captain. Ace finds the captain looking over the puzzle without realizing that it is now really Fenric in control. ace inadvertantly tells Fenric the solution, which is that the opposing pawns don’t work against each other but work together. Fenric then has the Ancient One destroy all the other haemovores and prepare to unleash the toxic chemical into Earth’s oceans. The Ancient One picks up a canister of the chemical but Ace’s faith in the Doctor is holding the Ancient One back. The Doctor shatters Ace’s faith in him by telling her that she was nothing but a social misfit and that he has been merely using her. This shatters Ace’s faith and allows the Ancient One to continue. The Ancient One actually forces Fenric into a test chamber along with a canister of chemicla and itself and then uses the chemical to destroy Fenric.
I believe that you can see a lot of similarities to what is now going on in Lost and what happens in the Curse of Fenric. Dr. Judson is similar to Locke by being wheelchair bound, being able to walk again and having a entity assume their bodies. Both Fenric and the Doctor manipulate people in ordr to further their agendas, which is what we see Jacob and Smokey doing. Jacob refers to the Island as a cork in a bottle holding evil prisoner; Fenric is the essence of evil held prisoner in a flask. And both Fenric and Smokey have manipulated people in order to gain new bodies and freedom.
If you get a chance you should watch the Curse of Fenric because it is one of the most interesting Doctor Who stories. I felt that some of you may be interested because of the many similarities between it and Lost.