Number : Season 8, serial 3 of 5.
Which One : Bird reptiles from the ‘blue-lagoon’.
Cast : The Doctor : Jon Pertwee
Jo : Katy Manning
The Master : Roger Delgado
Trenchard : Clive Morton
Clark : Declan Mulholland
Hickman : Hugh Futcher
Wilson : Brian Justice
Barclay : Terry Walsh
Drew : Stanley McGeagh
Robbins : Royston Tickner
Radio Operator : Neil Seiler
Walker : Martin Boddey
Captain Hart : Edwin Richfield
3rd Officer Jane Blythe : June Murphy
Rear Admiral : Norman Atkyns
Commander Ridgeway : Donald Sumpter
Lt. Cmndr Mitchell : David Griffin
Lt. Cmndr Watts : Brian Vaughan
Ldg. Seaman Lovell : Christopher Wray
Ldg. Telegraphist Bowman : Alec Wallis
CPO Smedley : Eric Mason
CPO Myers : John Caesar
CPO Summers : Colin Bell
A/B Girton : Rex Rowland
Chief Sea Devil : Peter Forbes-Robertson
Sea Devil : Pat Gorman
Written By : Malcolm Hulke
Produced By : Barry Letts
First UK Broadcast : 26 February – 1 April 1972.
Length : 6 x 25 minute episodes.
Plot : The Master, who is imprisoned on Earth, builds a device which awakens an ancient race of sea-based Silurians; nicknamed “Sea Devils”.
Whats good : Strong story. Strong location work. Suspenseful. The Sea Devils. The Master.
Whats bad : Should have been a punchier 5-parter. The rambling experimental music.
Review With Spoilers : The Sea Devils is the third episode of season 9. It features, the return of the Master and an aquatic cousin of the Silurians (or Eocenes) – nicknamed “Sea Devils”.
The Master is under arrest – in a special UNIT prison, following the events in The Daemons. However, the Master is secretly building a device; which wakes up a nearby ‘Sea Devil’ colony. With the intention, of leading the Sea Devil’s – to world domination.
In some respects, the Sea Devils – are a much more effective monster; than their land-based Silurian cousins. Simply because of the strong Jaws – “terror from the deep” angle (that the sea gives them). Infact, the scene of a group of Sea Devils rising out of the sea – in episode 6, is one of the most popularly remembered scenes; from classic Who.
“Hickman! He’s dead! They killed him! Came from the sea…… A Sea Devil! ” Clark
Delgado is also on fine-form here – playing the captured Master; hatching another diabolical plan. Delgado (literally) steals each scene – he is in. You even feel, slightly sorry for him – at the beginning, due to his prison predicament (this turns out to be a facade though).
The Sea Devils is an enjoyable ‘under seige’-type episode. With the slow and purposeful introduction of the Devils – beginning with fleeting glimpses and building a nice bit of drama and suspense.
However, at 6 episodes – it does feel at least 1 episode; too long. Especially, after the plot moves away from the Master’s prison setup. It could have been a much tighter 5-parter, which would have kept proceedings – a little bit punchier.
The location work is excellent for a Who, with shooting – in and around the HM Naval Base (at Portsmouth). The striking and imposing ‘No Man’s Land’ Fort (near the Isle of Wight) and on the ship; ‘HMS Reclaim’. It all helps to better authenticate, the nautical angle, which is being strived for.
The quasi-experimental electro soundtrack (which is a bit of a change from the usual orchestral inserts). Feels more at home in the JNT era; it doesn’t serve to ‘frame’ the scenes, very well. Rather, it is annoyingly off-putting and noticeably loud – in the mix. I’m glad they didn’t make this the norm, for future Who stories.
The Sea Devils is an enjoyable sea-faring yarn, clearly influenced – by the old shanty tales of demons from the sea. It has a strong plot, a good turn by the Master – and some inventive location work (especially the use of ‘No Man’s Land’ Fort) and a memorable monster – to boot.
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