Doctor Who #614: Warriors of the Deep Part 3

"Close your eyes. Make a wish!"
TECHNICAL SPECS: First aired Jan.12 1984.

IN THIS ONE... The human villains are killed, one of them karate kicking the Myrka. The Doctor gives the beast a lethal does of UV rays.

REVIEW: In terms of script and direction, this serial is turning out to be a real nightmare. There's absolutely no believing the sea base personnel who, despite manning a super-secret missile base in war time, are unwilling to die for their nondescript power bloc (really, who talks like that?). Fine, Nilsen is an enemy agent convinced the whole thing's going to blow, Silurians and all, so I can respect his decision to give in to Turlough's demands. But how stupid must Bulic be to shout "let him go!" when Turlough steals a gun and runs? Treachery after treachery, from their perspective, and the best they can come up with his threatening to kill the Doctor. Drop your guns! Sure, why not. Who cares anyway? The whole enemy agent subplot is jettisoned in this episode anyway, with both Solow and Nilsen dying. The base will be attacked by the nondescript opposing power bloc at some point now, but it'll be a mercy.

And speaking of mercies, the Doctor kills the goofy-looking Myrka. But it's all one big cheat. It's cheating for him to know all about the Myrka's origins so he can guess at its weakness. It's cheating that the base has a UV converter, especially since there's no mention of what it might be used for. It's cheating that UV rays are evidently visible to human and Myrkan eyes, and can even blind you (you made science cry, Johnny Byrne). And it's cheating that the Myrka would die from this. But noooo, we can't bring up the reptile-killing chemical from Part 1 until it's used to kill Silurians and Sea Devils in Part 4! And how DO the base personnel know to call the invaders Sea Devils when all the Doctor's talked about are Silurians? Eric Saward, this is the stuff a competent script editor should be on the look-out for! Saving graces: Turlough risking his neck to save the others, he's growing; and the gag where the Doctor uses the Myrka's own electric zap to blow ammo in its face.

Throw in ENOUGH cool action, gags and effects, and you just might make people forget the story's problems, but director Pennant Roberts seems completely out of his depth. The production is one technical gaffe after another, and he makes just the worst decisions. This is a story in which military personnel take a few steps FORWARD to shoot a monster when that monster has been shown to have a lethal electric touch. Where the Myrka can zap people leaning on a metal wall, but not get them through the metal flooring. Where an actress can insist on fighting a giant monster with silly-looking martial arts AND YOU LET HER. Where the the Silurians move... and... speak... ever... so... slowly... You'll forget they were ever involved in chases across the moors. The Sea Devils aren't any better, some of them no better than zombies with their heads askew, and some moving their heads during Silurian dialog as if the actor inside thought it was his line. Add a pinch of truly dreadful fight choreography for good measure. Oh, and in case you missed them, all the worst bits of Part 2 are in this episode's reprise!

REWATCHABILITY: Low - Wow, I didn't remember Warriors of the Deep being this sloppy.



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