Doctor Who #202: Fury from the Deep Part 3

"Everything in the sea is living, Jamie."TECHNICAL SPECS: As with the rest of the story, missing from the archives. A reconstruction to the rescue. First aired Mar.30 1968.

IN THIS ONE... Robson goes crazy, the seaweed starts to overrun the complex, and Maggie Harris walks into the sea.

REVIEW: The way the TARDIS crew have gone from prisoners to free agents people actually listen to seems like perfect 2nd Doctor to me. For a second, I thought he'd even given himself free run of the base's lab until I realized it was inside the TARDIS, but we've spent so little time in there, much less any rooms beyond the console room, I may be forgiven. The Doctor's sudden freedom is rooted in the story's themes, as Robson shares the base's fate. In the same way that the seaweed has gummed up the works, built up pressure, raised its heart rate, it's a pressure that makes Robson crack up. There's a definite osmosis between the man and his environment. And as he loses control of the personnel, the machinery and his sanity, he loses his grip on the TARDISeers as well. Other people take charge, and those people see no reason why the Doctor should be looked on with suspicion. Robson going mad and then being taken over by the weed comes as welcome relief from his role as total impediment, an annoyingly one-note character who exists only to say no, regardless of a situation's logic.

Another character starting to lose it is Victoria. It's sad and somewhat ironic that in a story where she's finding her usefulness - picking locks and playing lab assistant - she's also showing signs of wanting to leave, the stress of being in a constant state of fear getting to her. To be fair, she hasn't caught a break since the Daleks captured her and killed her only parent. Screaming all the time isn't any kind of life for a teenage girl.

The threat from the seaweed is coming together well, with a massive foam attack on the Harris' apartment, with its crazily-designed kitchen. I wish we had that sequence, with the whole flat filling up with suds, and the narrow escape through the skylight. Sounds real cool. The possession of Maggie Harris is also well played as she walks into the sea, her head going under the waves. I love how it's mostly shot from afar, giving the whole sequence a dreamy, lonely feel, and highlighting the immensity of the sea and of the threat the characters are facing. The weeds do have a weakness which is hinted at here. Knowing the story, it made me smile to notice it. They really did hide it in plain sight, something I'll have cause to write about later.

REWATCHABILITY: Medium-High - Great mood and memorable sequences as the tension is ramped up.

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