Ramón Salamander was a supposed philanthropist who, in reality had a boundless fount of cruelty and powerlust. He bore a close physical resemblance to the Second Doctor.
Salamander came from Merida in the Yucatan in Mexico. Both a respected politician and a scientist, Salamander received international acclaim for his invention of Sun Store technology which beamed sunlight from Earth orbit in order to help the growth of crops and alleviate global hunger on an overpopulated Earth. By 2018, Salamander was called the "Shopkeeper of the World" and addressed the World Zone Authority with a speech about his triumphs with the Mark VII Sun Catcher. (TV: The Enemy of the World) He also developed a new alloy, salamandrium, described as "impenetrable" and used it to protect himself from invasion. (PROSE: Doctor Who and the Enemy of the World)
Secretly, Salamander also committed murders of officials in order to ensure his goal of world domination with the intention of replacing them with other officials that he could trust. (TV: The Enemy of the World) One of them was Jean Ferrier, Finance Deputy of the European Zone and father of Astrid Ferrier. (PROSE: Doctor Who and the Enemy of the World) Circa 2013, he and his ally Giles Kent had taken advantage of an experiment by a team of scientists who had isolated themselves in a deep shelter as an endurance exercise. He lied to them and claimed that a nuclear war had taken place on the surface. The scientists created supposed natural disasters such as earthquakes and volcanic eruptions in order to work against their so-called enemies.
In 2018, the Doctor's TARDIS landed on an Australian beach. On their own initiative, Kent's men attempted to kill the Doctor as they mistook him for Salamander. Kent's associate, the trusting Astrid Ferrier, rescued the Doctor and Jamie and Victoria barely in time, but Kent turned the rescue into a kidnapping, forcing the Doctor to impersonate Salamander or the true Salamander's men would recognise and kill him. The Doctor was suspicious of Kent from the start, but played along with Kent's passionate story about the evil of Salamander, hoping to get to the real truth and expose the corruptions he had witnessed. Kent inserted the Doctor's companion Jamie McCrimmon into an already planned operation of infiltrating Salamander's mansion in the Central European Zone.
Salamander set off an explosion to destroy his base in Australia, shot Kent fatally and escaped. Jamie, mistaking him for an injured (and disguised) Doctor, welcomed him into the TARDIS. However, Jamie grew suspicious when Salamander indicated for him to take off, as the Doctor had never allowed Jamie or Victoria to touch the controls. A few minutes later, the Doctor appeared, revealing Salamander's ruse. A brief scuffle ensued, after which Salamander overpowered both the Doctor and Jamie and hurriedly attempted to activate the TARDIS himself. The dictator succeeded, but at a cost: the TARDIS took flight with its doors still open. In the confusion, Salamander was sucked out of the doorway and into the Time Vortex, where he remained. (TV: The Enemy of the World) After the doors had been closed and the travellers were safe, the Doctor stated it would be very unpleasant for Salamander floating around in time and space. (TV: The Web of Fear)
In the Vortex
According to few sources, Salamander still survived in a ghastly existence, still alive in the Vortex. (PROSE: Christmas on a Rational Planet) According to one account, he became a member of the gestalt intelligence based in the Vortex known as the Horror. (PROSE: Dead Romance)
Trapped in the past
Realising he was in the 1960s, he patented his weather control technology and grew rich from it. He used this money to investigate the Doctor and found he had a new face. He planted hidden monitors in the UNIT Headquarters and faked an alien invasion with micro machines to draw the Doctor away from the UNIT Base. From there, he entered the Base, pretending to be the Second Doctor. The Third Doctor later returned with Jo, with the intent of studying the micro machines. They discovered Salamander, believing him to be the Second Doctor. Jo was then infected by the machines, so the Doctor entered her mind to expel them from it.
Whilst the Doctor was doing so, the Master, pretending to be the Brigadier, joined Salamander. The machines began to take over Jo and the Doctor almost completely, so Salamander left them, leaving the Master under the belief that he was going to find someone who could help. In reality, he was returning to his laboratory, where he was conducting time travel experiments.
The Master found the location of his laboratory, and so him, the Doctor and UNIT travelled there in the hope of stopping Salamander. However, once they had done so, Salamander sent the entire building back in time. He quickly left the company of UNIT and the others with the help of his micro machines. He went to the Houses of Parliament to offer his technology to the government. However, the Doctor, the Master and UNIT found him. Salamander attempted to kill the Doctor, but using his connection to the machines, he was able to fight them. Salamander was then arrested and placed in a cell, but he managed to escape via a portal created by the machines. (COMIC: The Heralds of Destruction)
Behind the scenes
- The Doctor: His Lives and Times contains a campaign poster for Salamander advocating him as leader of the Central European Zone.
- Salamander's first name, Ramón, was never specified onscreen; instead, it featured in David Whitaker's outline for his novelisation of this story, which was left unfinished at the time of his death. The outline was published in Doctor Who Magazine #200, 9th June 1993. His full name was not used in a valid account until COMIC: The Heralds of Destruction in 2016.
- Salamander and the Doctor were meant to meet more than once within The Enemy of the World. Technical issues made that impractical.