Warriors Of The Deep – 1984 – S21 – E1/7

imageNumber : Season 21, episode 1 of 7.

Which One : Silurians and Sea Devils in cahoots.

Cast : The Doctor : Peter Davison
Tegan : Janet Fielding
Turlough : Mark Strickson
Vorshak : Tom Adams
Nilson : Ian McCulloch
Solow : Ingrid Pitt
Bulic : Nigel Humphreys
Preston : Tara Ward
Maddox : Martin Neil
Karina : Nitza Saul
Paroli : James Coombes
Ichtar : Norman Comer
Scibus : Stuart Blake
Tarpok : Vincent Brimble
Sauvix : Christopher Farries

Written By : Johnny Byrne

Produced By : JNT

First UK Broadcast : 5 – 13 January 1984.

Length : 4 x 25 minute parts.

Plot : The Doctor, Tegan and Turlough visit a future coldwar nuclear base under the sea; where nuclear armageddon is only a button push away. The Silurians and Sea Devils also want control of the base, to launch the warheads against mankind.

Whats good : The reappearance of the Pertwee era monsters – Silurians and Sea Devils.

Whats bad : The green pantomine cow. What were they thinking?

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Review With Spoilers : Warriors Of The Deep should have been much better than it turned out to be. The cause of its poorness can be laid at the door of Maggie Thatcher. No really!!

The 1982 General Election’s meant that BBC studio time was at a premium. Therefore, Who was forced to work to a much smaller production floorspace and timeframe, than normal.

As a result, elements of Warriors Of The Deep were rushed, or slopply handled. Takes were done in one wrap. Special effects were hastily rigged and not quality controlled.

The basic story of the return of The Silurians and Sea Devils is good in terms of scope but was not transcribed to the screen, well enough.

As a result, Warriors Of The Deep holds the dubious distinction, of being one of the stories held up as an example of why Who began to go off the boil.

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“I sometimes wonder why I like the people of this miserable planet so much. The Silurians and Sea Devils are noble reaces. They have skills and talents you pathetic humans can only dream about!” The Doctor

This can be best summed up with the appearance of the “Myrka”. In the script, this was described as a fearsome living superweapon of the Silurian and Sea Devils. Which breached the underwater base and went on a rampage, killing the humans. In execution, the Myrka came across as a ropey looking green pantomine cow costume.

BBC Controller at the time – Michael Grade (and eventual show excutioner), commented specifically on seeing the Myrka as the first indication that Who was losing its way.

Worst/most bizarre scene has to goto the death of Dr Solow, who meets the Myrka in a corridor and launches a weird/futile kung-fu volley against it – before being electrocuted.

Let down by cheap effects and poor direction, Warriors Of The Deep is a lost opportunity for a really good comment on the then cold war situation.

🔵🔵⚪⚪⚪ (2/5)

Old Doctor Who


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