Doctor Who: Season 1, Episode 21

The Sea of Death (11 Apr. 1964)

TV Episode  -   -  Adventure | Drama | Sci-Fi
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Ratings: 7.4/10 from 175 users  
Reviews: 5 user | 2 critic

On the planet Marinus, the Doctor and his companions are enlisted by Arbitan to seek out the keys to an ancient and powerful machine. Their quest takes them across time and space; will they... See full summary »



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Title: The Sea of Death (11 Apr 1964)

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Episode cast overview:
William Russell ...
Jacqueline Hill ...
George Coulouris ...
Martin Cort ...
Peter Stenson ...
Gordon Wales ...


On the planet Marinus, the Doctor and his companions are enlisted by Arbitan to seek out the keys to an ancient and powerful machine. Their quest takes them across time and space; will they be able to return the keys before Marinus falls under the control of the alien Voord? (Originally broadcast in six parts.) Written by Sarah Hadley

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Release Date:

11 April 1964 (UK)  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


This six-part serial was released by the BBC on video cassette in the UK in March 1999. See more »


When Ian is first inside the pyramid, someone stumbles through the background. See more »


Ian Chesterton: It's Barbara's travel dial. Look! There's blood on it!
See more »


Featured in Girls! Girls! Girls! The 1960s (2009) See more »

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User Reviews

The Keys of Marinus: Part 1 - Various locations and adventures varying in quality
5 July 2014 | by (South Wales, UK) – See all my reviews

Review for all 6 episodes:

This story begins with the episode the Sea of Death. It is in my view an excellent opening episode. It features an intriguing, well written plot with the TARDIS crew searching a strange planet. The design of the planet and its Voord creatures is very good indeed and ideas such as seas of acid and beaches of glass are cleverly used to create a truly interesting and exciting alien planet. The Voord look good and there is enough menace and suspense which added to the excellent alien landscape and building and proficient script and acting all round gives a 10/10 opening episode to the story.

However, episodes 2-4 are disappointing in comparison. The idea of the story means each episode of the first 5 takes place in a different location with a self contained adventure searching for the hidden Keys of Marinus. This really would work well for other stories but is a pity when the original world in the opening episode is so well designed. Episode 2 has a hugely different location with the crew suffering mind control. This second episode is very good in most aspects but a few dodgy aspects and especially a gaping plot hole cause its quality to suffer. This plot hole is that Barbara is meant to travel just a minute before the rest of the travellers and yet in the minute before they join her numerous things are meant to have happened!

Episodes 3 and 4 could be described as fillers. They are not nearly as interesting or well executed as the first part. Episodes 5 and 6 return to a higher standard and are like a murder mystery. Very good but they still are below the top quality first part.

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