Number : Season 5, serial 6 of 7.

Which One : Killer seaweed!

Cast : The Doctor : Patrick Troughton
Jamie : Frazer Hines
Victoria : Deborah Watling
Robson : Victor Maddern
Frank Harris : Roy Spencer
Maggie Harris : June Murphy
Van Lutyens : John Abineri
Carney : John Garvin
Chief Engineer : Hubert Rees
Price : Graham Leaman
Chief Baxter : Richard Mayes
Megan Jones : Margaret John
Perkins : Brian Cullingford
Mr Quill : Bill Burridge
Mr Oak : John Gill

Written By : Victor Pemberton

Produced By : Peter Bryant

First UK Broadcast : 16 March – 20 April 1968.

Length : 6 x 25 minute episodes.

Plot : The Tardis lands, near a North Sea gas-pipeline refinery – and the Doctor discovers something alive and growing in the pipeline. The group are perceived as saboteurs and caught and arrested – and must convince, that it is not them that is the threat.

Whats good : Strong performances from Victor Maddern as Robson and John Abineri; as Van Lutyens. Mr Oak and Quill are memorably weird – as weed-infected engineers. Quill’s “gas” face. Victoria leaves. First appearance of the Sonic Screwdriver. The pipeline story begins well – at least for first 3 episodes.

Whats bad : Victoria is annoying. Story feels like a varied retread of The Macra Terror. Samey locations – do not inspire. Very talky and slow. The story runs out of steam – after episode 3.

Review With Spoilers : Fury From The Deep is the sixth serial of season 5 – and marks the final appearance (and departure) of companion; Victoria.

The Doctor, Jamie and Victoria land the Tardis on a North-Sea beach and discover a gas pipeline – leading from the sea. The Doctor discovers an unknown lifeform, alive in the pipeline – and the trio are captured; as suspected saboteurs.

Fury From The Deep is an interesting premise – for a Doctor Who episode. With the introduction of evolved (and poisonous) iintelligent seaweed; taking over a gas-pipeline refinery.

Soapy foam is used to good effect, to create a slowly creeping evil; which spills out of ventilation shafts and fills up the corridors of the gas refinery- and infects whomever it touches. Later, undefinable seaweed creatures appear in the midst of the foam – it is all, very effectively executed – from a monster angle.

Most of Fury From The Deep however, is filled with talking – and not much else going on. However, it is in some of these dialogue-heavy scenes, that some of Fury From The Deep‘s best moments – occur.

Namely, the scenes between Chief Robson (Victor Maddern) and Van Lutyens (John Abineri), who are the best supporting-characters in this. Are well-written (as secondary-antagonists) and bounce off each other – in their personal battles, over who should run the refinery.

“Mr Robson! There is something alive in the pipeline… …Shut up and listen will you! Down there… in the darkness… waiting…!” Van Lutyens

Duo – Mr Oak and Mr Quill; are particularly effective – as seaweed infected personnel, who spend their time sabotaging the base. Infact, Mr Quill’s face as he sprays gas at Maggie Harris – is a chilling image. As is – an infected Robson, covered in foam, from head-to-toe.

The human/seaweed transformation – is itself, a bit lacklustre – as an effect. More horror of this process, should have been captured; than just a few bits of seaweed, improbably sticking out of the victim’s; sleeves and collar.

Episodes 2, 3 & 4 – all feature in and around – the samey refinery control room location and a bit of regular scene variety – is badly needed. However, this is not forthcoming – until end of episode 5; when the Doctor takes a helicopter – to the rigs.

Fury From The Deep does include the first time, that the Doctor produces (and uses) the sonic screwdriver; to get out of a number of jams.

Companion Victoria is particularly annoying in this – and spends the whole episode; either setting the scene for her eventual departure by complaining alot – or screaming. It is infact – her scream, which the Doctor discovers – repels the weed.

In terms of the plot-progression, Fury From The Deep is closely similar to The Macra Terror – and feels too similar, in terms of an unseen terror (stealthly) taking over a base (or in this case a refinery).

Fury From The Deep, has some good ideas and scenes – interspersed with long drawn-out dialogue. However, overall, can’t lift the episode – out of average Who-fare.

???⚪⚪ (3/5)

Old Doctor Who

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