Attack of the Killer Seaweed!......plus a debut for the Sonic Screwdriver!
Review of all 6 episodes:
Fury From the Deep is an enjoyable story from writer Victor Pemberton with tension, scares, convincing acting and good dialogue. It is quite similar to some of the Third Doctor stories like Inferno in many ways.
It involves the TARDIS landing on the surface of the sea (which is a good, fun idea and well executed) then the crew getting involved in a nearby refinery where strange goings on are revealed to involve a form of parasitic seaweed which gives off poisonous gas, can kill people in a couple of ways and can influence people to fall under its control if they touch the foam it produces. This power to influence, whilst a bit far fetched, provides the best scares with the technicians Quill and Oak (Bill Burridge and John Gill) carrying out a brilliantly terrifying attack in episode 2, making it the best part of the story. This is preserved for us to see (most of the story's video is lost) by virtue that it was cut by the censor in some countries and therefore remained as an excerpt in their collection. It is really chilling! This is not the only striking image in this very good 6-parter. A character walking out to sea as if committing suicide and the tense heartbeat pulse of the seaweed in creepy scenes of imminent attack are suitably gripping.
The story idea concept with the use of foam and seaweed as the threat leads to occasionally slightly unconvincing scenes of menace which just make the thrills fall a little bit short of what they could have reached if they had been able to produce a more convincing threat. Seaweed and foam is cleverly made to work as well as possible but is just is not the best, most convincing form of threat possible.
There are high standards in all areas, Patrick Troughton is great as usual and Victor Maddern (Robson), John Abineri (van Lutyens) and Margaret John (Megan Jones) are very convincing. This is also the last story to feature Deborah Watling as companion Victoria.
The very first appearance of The Doctor's sonic screwdriver provides another point of interest for fans. Funnily the sonic screwdriver is used to....... wait for it..... UNDO A SCREW! A task it would be seldom used for in the future but explaining why it is called a screwdriver in the first place!
All in all a very good adventure with great atmosphere. Though perhaps not reaching the classic proportions achieved by some of the other stories in the incredible series 5, but still excellent.
My Ratings: Episodes 1, 3, 4 and 6 - 9/10, Episode 2 - 10/10, Episode 5
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