Landing on a foam-flecked beach on the south coast, the
Doctor, Jamie and Victoria are mistaken for saboteurs by the
chief of the nearby gas refinery. A number of refinery personnel
have been behaving oddly. Then Maggie Harris, the wife of
a senior staff member, is stung by a strangely animated piece
its "base under siege" format and its chief, in this case
Robson (Victor Maddern), whose stress levels have his sanity
balancing on a knife-edge, this tale could easily have seemed
like a mere retread of themes already well covered in The
Tenth Planet, The Moonbase and The Ice Warriors.
Robson even sounds like Hobson, the commander in The Moonbase!
However, Fury from the Deep has more to offer.
For a start, the foes in question aren't the usual men in
monster suits that populate the Troughton era, adversaries
whose charms are largely lost on audio in any case. Here the
enemies are a seaweed creature and the humans it possesses,
including the memorably sinister Oak (John Gill) and Quill
(Bill Burridge). Sadly we don't get to see their spooky faces
as they breathe poisonous gas over their victims, apart from
a little image of Quill's ugly mush on the front cover, but
the eerie heartbeat sound of the weed in the pipeline still
The tone of the story is very atmospheric, with writer Victor
Pemberton, director Hugh David and musician Dudley Simpson
all turning the creepiness up a notch. The endings to Episodes
Two and Three are noticeably subtler than the usual "shock,
horror" type of cliffhanger, particularly the climax to the
third instalment, as the possessed Maggie (June Murphy) quietly
wades out to sea.
script isn't perfect by any means. Much misuse is made of
the term "alive" and its synonyms to mean "animated" when
applied to the weed creature, overlooking the fact that plants
are living things. The serial is slightly overlong, though
not nearly as tedious as many six-parters. The helicopter
sequence in Episode Six would no doubt have looked quite exciting
on television, but it tries one's patience without the visuals.
And the departure of Victoria (Deborah Watling) from the TARDIS
crew is not very subtly set up, with the companion bemoaning
the dangers and instability of space/time travel during almost
However, her eventual departure is sensitively handled and
well performed by Watling, Troughton and Frazer Hines (who
also narrates this remastered presentation - the previous
audio cassette version had been narrated by Tom Baker).
enjoyment of this classic tale is made complete by the presence
of a vintage BBC1 continuity announcement at the start of
the final episode and a trailer for the subsequent serial,
The Wheel in Space, which is also the next story scheduled
for release by the BBC Radio Collection.
part of the famous "monster season" of Doctor Who,
Fury from the Deep is certainly no weed.
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