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Doctor Who - Warriors of the Deep

episode 131

UK 1984
produced by
John Nathan-Turner for BBC
directed by Pennant Roberts
starring Peter Davison, Janet Fielding, Mark Strickson, Tom Adams, Ian McCulloch, Ingrid Pitt, Martin Neil, Nigel Humphreys, Tara Ward, Norman Comer, Vincent Brimble, Stuart Blake, Christopher Farries
written by Johnny Byrne, script editor: Eric Saward, music by Jonathan Gibbs, Silurians and Sea Devils created by Malcolm Hulke

tv-series
Doctor Who, Doctor Who (Peter Davison), Doctor Who (classic series), Silurians, Sea Devils

review by
Mike Haberfelner

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It's 2084, and the Cold War is still on. We're deep down on the Ocean floor in a military seabase that's armed with missiles and everything. Thing is, these missiles can only be fired telepathically, using brainwaves only apparent in certain people ... and wouldn't you know it, the guy originally intended to fire the rockets in an emergency has just died under mysterious circumstances, leaving the job to mentally unstable Maddox (Martin Neil) ... of course all of this is sabotage, and the culprits are foreign agents Nilson (Ian McCulloch) and Doc Solow (Ingrid Pitt), who work at the base undercover (obviously) and who get their hands on Maddox' brainwaves, which they save on a computer disk and then mindcontrol him

Amidst all that chaos, Doctor Who (Peter Davison) and his companions Tegan (Janet Fielding) and Turlough (Mark Strickson) land on the base in their time-and-space machine TARDIS ... and are immediately suspected to be foreign agents and apprehended.

As if all that wasn't enough, the Silurians have just woken up from hibernation and now decide to enlist the help of the Sea Devils and a dragon called Myrka to take over the seabase and cause a nuclear war between the two blocs that will completely wipe out the human race and allow the Silurians to repossess the planet that was once theirs - and suddenly the base's commander Vorshak (Tom Adams) and everyone aboard have to realize the Doctor is the only one who can help them - even if Nilson and Solow still try to get away with Maddox brainwaves stored on a disk, obviously oblivious to the greater danger of the Silurians and the Sea Devils. Of course, both of them get their just desserts in the end.

Feverishly, the Doctor tries to negotiate a peace treaty between all parties involved, but ultimately the Silurians manage to start the countdown to launch the base's missiles even without Maddox' brainwaves which would effectively start World War III - but somehow the Doctor can stop the countdown in the nick of time using his own, superior brainwaves. However, in a final shoot-out between humans on one side, and Silurians and Sea Devils on the other (the dragon has been killed earlier on) everybody but the Doctor and his companions has let his/her life.

 

The start of this story isn't too bad, reminiscent of the best Tom Baker episodes from roughly ten years earlier, but then the episode falls apart: The combination of the (way too blunt) Cold War subplot and the Silurians plot just doesn't make sense and slows the story down, too much time is taken up by the story's setup that ultimately leads to nowhere, and the dragon that has been thrown into the story makes little sense and is a horrible costume. Add to this the Silurians and the Sea Devils, both monsters from the wackier end of the series (costume-wise), totally overlit sets and a reportedly rushed production schedule (rushed even by the series rushed standards) and you've got one pretty bad episode - of which there were many when John Nathan Turner was the series' producer.

 

review © by Mike Haberfelner

 

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On the same day
a Burglar wants to kill you
and your Ex wants
to make up ...
... and for the life of it,
you can't decide
WHICH IS WORSE!!!

 

A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
Melanie Denholme
directed by
David V.G. Davies
written by
Michael Haberfelner
starring
Ryan Hunter and
Rudy Barrow

out now on DVD

 

 

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