THIS STORY TAKES
PLACE AFTER THE
NOVEL "THE DARK PATH"
PRIOR TO THE TV STORY
"THE WHEEL IN SPACE."
COLONY OF DEVILS
'FURY FROM THE DEEP'
AUDIO CD (ISBN 0-563-
52410-3) RELEASED IN
The TARDIS brings the
Doctor, Jamie and
Victoria to the
Sea Coast. Something
nasty is lurking in the
gas pipelines of the
North Sea, and before
long the nearby
refinery is under
attack. The Doctor
discovers that a
form of living
seaweed is at work,
and that a number of
the base personnel
have been possessed.
Can he and his friends
work in time to
prevent an entire
take-over of Earth?
ALL SIX EPISODES
Fury From The Deep
16TH MARCH 1968 - 20TH APRIL 1968
Fury From The Deep is a fairly run-of-the-mill second Doctor adventure, not as good as many of its contemporaries, but still a very enjoyable six-parter nonetheless. It is perhaps most notable for Victoria’s departure, which is particularly well handled by the writer.
THE DOCTOR Why Victoria, it’s the spice of life my dear.
VICTORIA Well I’m not sure. I don’t like being scared out of my wits every second.
This serial marks outgoing script editor Victor Pemberton’s return to freelance writing, though his script is actually based very heavily upon his radio drama The Slide, a science fiction serial concerning a threat to mankind by some surprisingly intelligent mud! Of course mud would become seaweed and The Slide ultimately became Fury From The Deep.
With no existing episodes to look at, I’ve had to use the time-honoured combination of telesnaps and the BBC Radio Collection soundtrack to get to grips with this story properly, and even when experiencing the serial through this unusual medium there is still a hell of a
lot to like about it.
“Anytime we go anywhere, something awful happens… can’t we go anywhere pleasant?
Where there’s no fighting. Just peace and happiness.”
First off, there are some great visuals. Aside from the Doctor’s amusing hat, we get to see the TARDIS materialise on the sea – how cool is that? More to the point, how good does that look? I have said it before, but monochrome forgives much that colour does not and some of these late 1960s stories look so much better on screen than many of those churned out in colour during the 1970s! The last two episodes also feature some shots that look
really expensive (well, at least they do on the telesnaps!) featuring helicopters, oil rigs, high-speed car chases… Much like The Enemy of the World, earlier in the season, it’s all very James Bond. The seaweed / foam monster looks pretty good too, as can be seen in the surviving clips, and I really like the accompanying ‘heartbeat’ sound which is very effective.
There are some good supporting characters in the story too. The Harrises, who become Victoria’s guardians at the end of the story, are a very likeable couple who really get put through the meat-grinder. Maggie Harris may get the worst of it physically, but I found Frank Harris more interesting as he struggles with both the pressures of work and (what he thinks is) a sick wife. The feud between Van Lutyens and Robson is not all that interesting in itself, but it’s a great plot device in that it really convinces the viewer that one of the characters is a baddie when in fact, he is not. I also liked Megan Jones, one of those lovely bureaucratic pig-headed authority figures that we would see much more of during Jon Pertwee’s reign.
However, although they do not have nearly as much screen time as everyone else, without doubt the most memorable characters in Fury From The Deep are Mr Oak (John Gill) and Mr Quill (Bill Burridge). They are simply superb; two of the most sinister men ever to grace Doctor Who. Their every appearance underscored by a slightly comedic, funky electronic score (ahead of its time), Mr Oak and Mr Quill have the same unsettling effect that clowns have on a lot of people, and when they open their mouths… Well, I’m sure everybody has seen the infamous clip...
Hugh David (once considered for the role of the Doctor) has done a splendid job with his direction here. On top of all the amazing set pieces in this story, there are also some beautifully shot character scenes. Robson and Maggie Harris by the sea together in the episode three cliffhanger is a particularly powerful image, as are the final shots of the last episode which see the Doctor and a very unhappy Jamie bid adieu to Victoria.
And as much as I dislike the character of Victoria, I do think her send-off is handled very,
very well in this story. Rather than just decide to stay behind impulsively at the end of the final episode as some companions do (or worse, just disappear half-way through due to contractual reasons like her three immediate predecessors) subtle hints of Victoria’s unhappiness are littered throughout the story, and Deborah Watling plays it superbly. I also like how Jamie reacts to her leaving – I know there was never any funny business between
them on television, but Jamie’s always been a bit of a ladies man and I think it’s pretty obvious that he had a big thing for Victoria and didn’t want to let her go.
On a final note, it seemed fitting for Victoria to save the day in her last story, and how! For all those (like me) who complain that she did nought but scream and blunder into trouble, well, were it not for her screaming in this story… Oh, and did I mention that the sonic screwdriver makes its first (albeit understated) appearance here?
Copyright © E.G. Wolverson 2006
E.G. Wolverson has asserted his right under the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act, 1988 to be identified as the author of this work.
Unless otherwise stated, all images on this site are copyrighted to the BBC and are used solely for promotional purposes.
‘Doctor Who’ is copyright © by the BBC. No copyright infringement is intended.