Doctor Who #204: Fury from the Deep Part 5

"Come on in. The water's lovely."TECHNICAL SPECS: Aside from three short clips, the episode is missing from the archives. To a reconstruction I go. First aired Apr.13 1968.

IN THIS ONE... As foam invades, Robson kidnaps Victoria and brings her to the rigs with the Doctor and Jamie in hot helicopter pursuit.

REVIEW: One of the things this story does well is reveal a little bit more information about the monster in each episode (in the form of the Doctor's educated deductions which will pass for gospel). I mean, it's foaming seaweed, and I still find it interesting. But it's not just the Doctor feeding us information, the audience is playing an active role as well. The Doctor talks about how the seaweed might have gummed up the works and been in contact with the engineers in charge of clearing it, but it's the audience that must understand Oak and Quill to be Patients Zero. And when the possessed Robson turns to an air vent and nods, we're the ones who start to understand the hive mind not as telepathic, but as pheromonal. It controls people and communicates through a gas, and even its hand parasites manufacture some form of it for the host to breathe out.

The story's other good idea, again well used in this episode, is the use of simple suds as a monster's marker. The foam explosion in the control center looks impressive enough, but it's not the only room to get flooded. And when Robson rises out of the suds, not only is it super-creepy, but it's something the kids can play at afterward. Aren't those the best? Makes a change from running around with a plunger. The "invasion", as the Doctor calls it, makes everything happen at once, including a little action for Jamie, a vehicular chase that includes a futuristic car, two helicopters, and a rope ladder, and some admittedly primitive models of the rigs. Even with just the tele-snaps, it looks big.

As if to prove Victoria right about leaving the TARDIS, she's the seaweed/Robson's hostage of choice, apparently to draw the Doctor in and assimilate his genius intellect. Before this happens, she's sounds pessimistic, but doesn't repeat all her objections. The episode's not padded with redundancies. And she's right about the incessant danger: The Doctor even goes out of his way to bring everyone to the room that's sure to be attacked. This is where he's needed and where he thrives. It's no place for her. His promise to Waterfield and affection for Victoria (and all his companions) has blinded him to that fact.

REWATCHABILITY: Medium-High - The huge action set piece has lost something when the visuals were wiped, but even so, it feels big, tense and dynamic. Let's draw a bubble bath and play Fury after this.

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