Under cover of visiting an Earth Reptile friend, Bernice
attempts to discover who is working with terrorists to threaten
a Sea Devil colony on the planet Chosan. But beneath the surface
of the ocean, she realises something else entirely has pitted
itself against the colonists...
Summerfield's previous adventure, The Draconian Rage,
recalled the work of one Malcolm: 1970s Doctor Who
writer Mac Hulke. This story goes one better, by paying homage
to not just one Malcolm but two: Sea Devil creator Hulke and
The Sea Devils musician, Malcolm Clarke. Sound maestro
David Darlington does well to evoke a flavour of Clarke's
infamously experimental burbling electronic score to the 1972
Jon Pertwee serial, while managing to avoid it sounding crap...
which is some achievement!
Sea Devil voices (the Whispering Bobs of the monster world,
as writer David Bailey describes them) are also well realised.
By comparison, the voice of the native menace of the planet
Chosan (which Benny has visited before, in Bailey's The
Secret of Cassandra) sounds conspicuously human. Just
occasionally, though, the modulated Sea Devil voices are practically
impossible to understand.
plot is a considerable improvement on The Draconian Rage.
The alien setting effectively removes the Earth Reptiles from
their usual "trying to reclaim the Earth from the humans"
type of narrative, while also providing a neat running theme
about the mutable concept of home. However, the story still
feels rather lightweight, and the ending seems too easy.
this oceanic tale is worth immersing yourself in.