Warriors Of The Deep

Doctor WhoIn the twenty-first century, the Doctor tries to show his companions Tegan and Turlough the shape of things to come on Earth. Unfortunately, their arrival coincides with a dangerous buildup of nuclear tensions between two unspecified superpowers, and the TARDIS brings them to an underground weapons platform manned by an edgy crew – particularly crewman Maddox, who has a computer interface implanted directly in his brain to allow him to fire the sea base’s nuclear missiles with a single concentrated thought. Maddox, shell-shocked after months of unannounced battle drills, collapses, leaving the base defenseless. But the base isn’t just prone to foreign attack – the repitile Silurians and Sea Devils, both ancient races which roamed the Earth freely before the evolution and rise of man, plan to launch the base’s missiles, plunging Earth into an all-out nuclear war and destroying mankind so reptiles can once again be the masters of their world.

Season 21 Regular Cast: Peter Davison (The Fifth Doctor), Colin Baker (The Sixth Doctor), Janet Fielding (Tegan), Mark Strickson (Turlough), Nicola Bryant (Peri)

Order the DVDwritten by Johnny Byrne
directed by Ron Jones
music by Jonathan Gibbs

Guest Cast: Tom Adams (Vorshak), Ingrid Pitt (Solow), Ian McCulloch (Nilson), Nigel Humphreys (Bulic), Martin Neil (Maddox), Tara Ward (Preston), Norman Comer (Icthar), Nitza Saul (Karina), Stuart Blake (Scibus), Vincent Brimble (Tarpok), Christopher Farries (Sauvix), James Coombes (Paroli), Steve Kelly, Chris Wolfe, Jules Walters, Mike Braben, Dave Ould (Sea Devils)

Broadcast from January 5 through 13, 1984

LogBook entry & review by Earl Green

Review: It’s not a bad storyline, perfectly in keeping with the aims of the Silurians and Sea Devils as previously seen in the episodes Doctor Who and the Silurians (1970) and The Sea Devils (1972), but numerous bizarre plot twists and distractions keep the viewer from focusing on that aspect. Among the strange events in question: at one point, after tripping the sea base’s security systems, the Doctor decides to distract the security search parties by setting the base reactor to melt down (!!). The soundness of the basic premise and the odd deviations of the script lead one to believe that more than one scriptwriter got his fingers into this story. On the plus side, the sets achieve a rare feel of great size, and the costumes are well-made and obviously not cheap (aside from the alien menaces, that is). Jonathan Gibbs contributes an eerily atmospheric synthesized music score that goes a long way in selling the story.

One of this episode’s biggest disappointments is its presentation of the Silurians and Sea Devils. Both had been introduced in the early 70’s Pertwee era as terrifying primal creatures, but here we see them as Guys In Rubber Masks. Gone is the clever and slimy organic technology the Silurians once used, and gone are their distinctive voices, replaced by a sped-up, processed voice treatment that sounds like nothing so much as Alvin and the Chipmunks under the influence of demonic possession. And let’s not even discuss the Myrka creature, supposedly a warlike beast controlled by the Silurians, though in the end it looks more like a refugee from a Sid & Marty Kroft children’s series. And some of the miniature model work is barely up to Gerry Anderson standards. Warriors Of The Deep is an episode into which the viewer must proceed with caution…and perhaps diminished expectations.