Doctor Who #203: Fury from the Deep Part 4

"The men on the remaining rigs won't last under suspense much longer."TECHNICAL SPECS: Aside from three brief clips, the episode is missing from the archives. I have thus used, you guessed it, a reconstruction. First aired Apr.6 1968.

IN THIS ONE... Van Lutyens gets eaten by the seaweed, the rigs are overrun, and Victoria wants out.

REVIEW: Well now it's all too obvious that Victoria will be leaving at the end of this story. She brings up how sick of "the life" she is at every given opportunity, and those opportunities abound. Poor, clueless Jamie calls it "fun" (and the Doctor says it's the "spice of life") and doesn't understand why she's unhappy. There lies the disconnect. We're so used to the series regulars being heroic that we take it for granted, and they do too. Victoria isn't like that. She's a "civilian" who got aboard the TARDIS and stayed well beyond what was reasonable. At this point, she frightens HERSELF by simply talking about the threat.

And that threat is very real. Van Lutyens gets sucked into a shaft by bubbling suds, a clip that has survived thanks to its ability to terrify Australians. We still don't know what the animated seaweed really looked like, but as with many Doctor Who monsters, it's more effective when it's hidden. Foam is just Fury from the Deep's version of shadows, and it's dynamic where shadows are moody. In the previous episode, we learned that the animated noxious weed was a legend sailors recounted, but the Doctor attacks its more scientifically here, revealing that its primitive hive mind is given intelligence by its parasitic connection to the humans it possesses. In other words, the seaweed is dangerous and war-like because WE are. Certainly, the man who speaks with their voice, Robson, is impossibly angry.

With that one bureaucrat out of the way, the production brings in another. Can you hear my implicit sigh in that last sentence? At least Megan Jones is ready to listen and more reasonable than Robson, but her first scenes make her seem just as intransigent. Well, I better get used to it, because it will become the UNIT era's rationed bread and butter.

REWATCHABILITY: Medium-High - While the threat continues to grow, it's Victoria's farewell story you want to track.

1 comments:

Bill D. said...

Ooh, Deb Watling in pigtails. Homina.

 

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