THE SEA DEVILS

Episode One

We don’t have very long to wait before Sue passes judgement on Malcolm Clarke’s avant-garde soundtrack.

Sue: I really like the music.

Well, I certainly didn’t expect that.

Sue: It’s nice and bassy. This isn’t Dudley, is it?

The next thing that elicits a response from Sue is the transportation that picks the Doctor and Jo up from the dock.

Sue: What the hell is that supposed to be?
Me: They did that on purpose, to make the cars seem more futuristic.
Sue: Futuristic! It looks like it’s had its doors nicked! The security at this place must be atrocious.

When Sue discovers the Doctor and Jo are visiting the Master in prison, she isn’t even remotely interested. In fact, she’s much more interested in Katy Manning’s current state of mind.

Sue: Jo looks knackered. Did she have a late night last night? Was she sick on the boat?

The Sea DevilsThe Doctor and Jo are taken to the Master’s cell.

Sue: The Master has his own gym! I have to pay a small fortune to use a gym. That doesn’t seem fair. He’s killed loads of people, hasn’t he? Shouldn’t he be strapped to a table or something?

The Doctor treats the Master like an old friend, instead of a mass-murdering fiend.

Sue: This is very pleasant, but it’s blatantly obvious to me that the Master hasn’t changed one bit. I bet the governor’s been hypnotised by him. The Doctor can be such an idiot, sometimes.

The Master is watching television in his cell.

Me: The Clangers in Doctor Who. Who’d have thunk it, eh?

The Master seems to think that the knitted puppets really are alien life forms, but Sue knows exactly what he’s doing.

Sue: He’s taking the piss!
Me: Some fans don’t like that scene because they think it undermines the Master.
Sue: But he rolled his eyes when he said it! He’s joking! Do they need a diagram? It’s a funny scene.

Our attention turns to an old sea fort whose skeleton crew includes a man with a face only a mother could love.

Sue: He’s been smashed in the face by an ugly stick. Everyone has a right to be ugly, but he’s abusing it.

She is, however, very complementary when it comes to Michael Briant’s direction.

Sue: It’s good. There are some nice angles, and the lighting is very atmospheric. They’re just showing enough of the monster to get away with it. I’m pretty sure this would have scared the kids.

When ‘Jo’ climbs the ladder to the fort, her bum gives the game away.

Sue: That isn’t Jo. She’s moving up that ladder like a constipated Donkey Kong.

And then we get our first good look at a Sea Devil.

Sue: Is that a giant pig? What is it with this show and giant pigs all of a sudden?

A figure in the shadows advances menacingly towards the Doctor and Jo.

Sue: That was an odd cliffhanger. Why bother hiding the monster like that? We only saw it a few minutes ago. That was strange. Still, that wasn’t a bad start. Let’s crack on.

 

Episode Two

It turns out the shambling monster in the corridor was actually an ugly chap in an Aran sweater.

Sue: Just as scary, though.

But not as disturbing as the Sea Devil’s attire.

The Sea DevilsSue: Is it wearing a string vest? Seriously? A string vest?
Me: It’s a net. Like a fishing net, I suppose. They looked a bit rude without any clothes on, apparently.
Sue: I’m surprised they didn’t put it in a shower curtain. Was the person who designed Doctor Who’s monsters a sex maniac?
Me: Does this Sea Devil ring any bells?
Sue: No.
Me: There’s a six-inch Sea Devil action figure on the bookshelf behind you. It’s been there for about three years, I think.
Sue: Really? That’s a bit sad.
Me: I have very vivid memories of watching The Sea Devils. I distinctly remember pretending to be one in the school playground.
Sue: How did you pretend to be a Sea Devil? Did you walk around in your vest?
Me: No, they hold their weapons in a very specific way, so it’s very easy to mimic them. I would demonstrate it with my action figure, but one of our cats ate his gun.
Sue: Hang on, when did this story go out?
Me: Early 1972.
Sue: But that means you would have been too young to remember it.
Me: There was an omnibus repeat a couple of years later. It replaced a cricket match that was rained-off.
Sue: Omnibus?
Me: They edited the story down to 90 minutes.
Sue: So why aren’t we watching that instead? We’d be halfway through this by now, you idiot!

The Doctor tells Jo the Sea Devils are related to the Silurians.

Sue: That’s one hell of a leap. They don’t look anything like them.

He also explains the term Silurian is actually a misnomer, and the Sea Devils’ reptilian cousins should have been called Eocenes instead.

Sue: Eh? So what do we call the Silurians now? This is very confusing. I’m sure they’re still called Silurians in the new series. And why didn’t anyone check the bloody name before they made the first one? This never would have happened if Wikipedia had been around in 1972.

The Sea DevilsThe Doctor radios for help.

Sue: The Doctor always puts on a posh voice when he’s on the phone. It’s quite funny.

The person who answers the Doctor’s distress call sounds even posher.

Sue: Were only the landed gentry allowed to use CB radios in 1972?

The Master has been spotted on the naval base, so the Doctor returns to the prison to check that his arch-enemy is still under lock and key. Cue epic sword fight.

Sue: What are swords doing in a ****ing prison? That’s ridiculous!

It doesn’t matter how well the fight is choreographed, Sue can’t forgive this contrivance. Even worse, when the Doctor gains the upper hand in the duel (he even has enough time to stuff his face with a sandwich), he gives the Master his sword back so the fight doesn’t have to stop.

Sue: What the hell is he doing?

The Master throws a knife at the Doctor’s back. Cue credits.

Sue: That was a pretty good cliffhanger, but the set-up was unforgivable. Swords? In a prison? Eh?

 

Episode Three

The Sea DevilsSue: Do we have to watch the sword fight again?
Me: Yes. I’m sorry.
Sue: Well in that case, I’m going to make a cup of tea.

She makes it back just in time to see the Master throw a knife at the Doctor’s back at point-blank range, again. He misses, of course.

Sue: There are lots of ugly people in this story. The governor looks like a bulldog chewing a wasp. Yeah, ugly people with moustaches basically sums up The Sea Devils so far.

The Doctor doesn’t like the fact the Master treats the prison as a hotel.

Sue: You shouldn’t have given him his ****ing sword back then, should you? You ****ing idiot.

As Jo tiptoes around the grounds, Malcolm Clarke finally decides to let rip.

Sue: Okay, the music is just ****ing weird now. Please get Dudley on the phone.

The Master unveils his latest plan for world domination.

The Sea DevilsSue: Don’t tell me: the Sea Devils will betray him five minutes before the end of Episode Six. He never learns.

Jo sneaks back into the prison via an open window. It’s an awfully tight squeeze and it results in an extended close-up of Katy Manning’s derriere.

Sue: That was definitely for the dads, wasn’t it?

As Jo frees the Doctor from his bonds, Sue sighs.

Sue: Three episodes in and we aren’t exactly being overrun by Sea Devils, are we? And the score is just taking the piss. I can’t tell what’s supposed to be music and what’s supposed to be a sound effect any more. It’s driving our cats up the wall, as well. You do know I’ll have to knock some marks off for this, don’t you?

The worst culprit by far is the Master’s machine.

Sue: It’s a cross between a hair dryer and a Singer sewing machine. I like his tiny radar dish, though. It’s cute.

Meanwhile on a nuclear submarine…

Sue: It’s the most spacious submarine I’ve ever seen. You could play table tennis in it! I thought submarines were supposed to be cramped? The model shots are great, though.

The Sea DevilsThe submarine’s captain is played by Donald Sumpter.

Sue: I love his nervous twitch. It’s a nice touch. Unless the actor really does have a nervous twitch, in which case I’m sorry I brought it up.

The Doctor and Jo make it to the beach as one of the titular monsters rises from the sea.

Sue: Finally! Some Sea Devil action! It doesn’t look that bad, actually. For a monster in a dress.

 

Episode Four

The Sea DevilsSue: Oh dear. There’s a boom in shot.

That’s right. She’s far more interested in spotting production errors than she is in the Doctor flinging himself over some barbed wire.

Sue: Why didn’t he blow up the mines with his sonic screwdriver before he went into the minefield?
Me: It’s a good job he didn’t or they’d both be dead now.
Sue: True. Sometimes the Doctor’s stupidity comes in handy, I suppose.
Me: This is a very iconic scene. Isn’t it doing anything for you?
Sue: Not really. That Sea Devil over there looks ridiculous in his little blue dress. Who in their right mind goes swimming in a dress?

Donald Sumpter’s eye twitches as the Sea Devils prepare to invade his submarine.

Sue: He’ll be giving Hitler salutes like Robert Lindsay in GBH, next.

And then, back at the naval base, the Doctor does something horrid. Forget blowing up Gallifrey, this is much, much worse. Yes, the Doctor steals some sandwiches from a clearly famished Jo.

Sue: What a ****! He had a sandwich in the last episode!

I’ve never seen Sue so het up about Doctor Who before.

The Sea DevilsSue: That’s probably the worst thing I’ve ever seen the Doctor do.
Me: Calm down. It’s just some harmless comedy.
Sue: There’s nothing even remotely funny about it. Poor Jo. Why does she put up with it? She’s like an abused wife who keeps coming back for more. It’s terribly sad.

Sue doesn’t understand why the Royal Navy are helping the BBC make Doctor Who.

Sue: What’s in it for them?
Me: It’s good PR. They probably thought it would help them with recruitment, especially if any impressionable teenagers were watching.
Sue: Gary joined the Navy in 1972.
Me: What? You don’t think? Do you?… Nah, surely not.
Sue: He only lasted six weeks.

The Doctor volunteers to investigate the fate of the stricken submarine in a diving bell.

Sue: Nice anorak. So do Doctor Who fans pretend to be Jon Pertwee in The Sea Devils when they turn up to conventions dressed in an anorak? Is that how it works?

As the Doctor begins his perilous journey, Jo can’t stop worrying about him.

The Sea DevilsSue: Why is she so upset? He stole her ****ing sandwich!

The diving bell reaches the seabed and a Sea Devil peers through its porthole. Then, when the bell is winched back to the surface and Jo peers inside, she looks to the heavens with terror in her eyes.

Sue: Is the Doctor splattered all over the ceiling or something?

 

Episode Five

Sue: I had a polo neck like Jo’s, although mine was lime green.

While we are left to ponder the ramifications of that particular revelation, the Doctor is taken inside the Sea Devils’ base.

Sue: So this is basically exactly the same story as last time, yes? I’m pretty sure I enjoyed it last time, so do I have to see it again?
Me: Do the Sea Devils’ voices remind you of something? Another children’s television character, perhaps?
Sue: The Mysterons?
Me: Not Larry the Lamb?
Sue: Never heard of him. I’ve heard of Larry Lamb, though, if that helps.

Thanks to the Doctor’s diplomacy, the Sea Devils agree to share the planet with the rest of humanity.

Sue: The Earth is two-thirds water so they’re getting a pretty good deal.

However, just when it looks as if the Doctor has brokered a peace deal, the Sea Devils’ base is pounded by explosions.

Sue: The Master just broke the fourth wall!

Then, as bits of the first, second and third wall collapse under the impact of the Navy’s attack, the Doctor somehow manages to escape. But the respite is short-lived and the episode concludes with the Sea Devils invading the naval base.

Sue: That was the best episode so far. The performances were very good, and the dialogue was great. This story is finishing strongly.

 

Episode Six

Sue: Guns or music? Music or guns? I can’t tell any more. Just make it stop, Neil. Please!

The Sea DevilsThe Sea Devils lock Captain Hart, Walker and Jo in a store room but they don’t take into account the ventilation shafts. Unfortunately, Captain Hart decides that the hole is too tight for him, so Jo has to volunteer instead.

Sue: It’s a bloody loft hatch! Does he make his wife go in the attic for the Christmas decorations? I don’t think so! And Jo can’t do this – she’ll get her white trouser suit dirty.

One of the Sea Devils is a little on the short side.

Sue: Aww, it’s a baby Sea Devil. That’s so sweet. Oh, he just killed a soldier. That wasn’t so sweet.

UNIT retaliate and the baby Sea Devil dies with an impressive forward flip.

Sue: He’s the little fella from Diversity.
Me: It’s a stuntman called Stuart Fell.
Sue: What a great name for a stuntman. Stuart Fell very well.

Captain Hart pummels the Sea Devils into next week with an exceptionally large gun.

Sue: I feel sorry for the Sea Devils. This isn’t really their fault, is it?

The Doctor hands the Master over to a Chief Petty Officer.

Sue: Don’t leave him there! He’ll hypnotise the guard! There! See! He’s hypnotising the guard! The Doctor is an idiot!

The Master absconds with a machine that will reawaken every Sea Devil across the globe. Sue tries to look on the bright side.

The Sea DevilsSue: At least the Sea Devils haven’t betrayed the Master yet.

The Doctor follows the Master to the beach.

Sue: What a handy pair of jet-skis. I’m surprised they don’t have ‘The Doctor’ and ‘The Master’ stencilled on the back. And while that’s definitely Jon Pertwee on his jet-ski – he’s such a petrol head – that isn’t the Master. I don’t think the stuntman even has a beard! It’s no good hiding your face, mate, it’s too late now.

The Doctor and the Master return to the Sea Devils’ base, but as soon as the Master activates his machine, they turn on him.

Sue: Oh look, the Sea Devils have betrayed the Master. Oh well, at least this show is consistent. Maybe next time he’ll take over the planet without any help. That way, he’ll only have himself to blame when he inevitably ****s it up.

Thanks to the Doctor reversing the polarity of the neutron flow, the Sea Devils’ base is destroyed instead. The Time Lords escape from the blast just in time, and a Navy hovercraft is sent to pick them up.

The Sea DevilsSue: A lot of this is just an advert for the Royal Navy. It’s basically a corporate video, but with added sea monsters. You know, there’s a massive gap between documentary realism and some of the more bizarre stuff we’ve seen, and putting them both together like this is quite jarring. But I appreciate what they’re attempting to do. It’s trying to be epic and it’s almost succeeding.

The Master uses an innocent man as a decoy in order to facilitate his escape. The Doctor is bloody furious.

Sue: So the Master just happened to be carrying a mask of himself in his back pocket. I’m not sure if I buy that. Oh well, it’s too late now, he’s off again…

 

The Score

Sue: That wasn’t bad at all. It was two episodes too long (but that’s nothing new) and the music (if you can call it music) was a bit iffy. But the direction was very good, the performances were very good and the plot was, well, the plot was the same as the last time they did that story. But I enjoyed it. I bet the omnibus repeat was great.

7/10

 

 

67

Comments

  1. Matthew Kilburn  January 5, 2012

    The omnibus repeat of ‘The Sea Devils’ in May 1974 probably set me on the direction towards fanhood – who was Jo and where was Sarah? Why was the title sequence different? Ah, this was an earlier story from when I was just over a year old and not paying attention…

    The first episode is very stylised in its forefronting of design – the cars, the Venetian blind screen – and it was years before I realised that Clive Morton is repeating his role as prison governor from ‘Kind Hearts and Coronets’. The Doctor is Alec Guinness, come to haunt Dennis Price.

  2. Nigel  January 5, 2012

    “Was the person who designed the monsters for Doctor Who in the 1970s a sex maniac?”

    Not just the monsters (and Sue’s forgotten the 60’s already, hasn’t she?)

  3. Jon  January 5, 2012

    Proper Dr Who….

  4. Carson  January 5, 2012

    I don’t think Sue’s ever made me laugh as hard as she did this week! I have to say, I found it very satisfying that she got as annoyed over the Doctor’s sandwich-poaching as I did…

  5. Philip Ayres  January 5, 2012

    Good luck with the next two stories, you have my deepest sympathies…..

    • Lewis  January 5, 2012

      It’s odd – if you knew two crap stories were ahead but you also knew the great story after it was going to happen, I’m sure it’d be easier to get through. But, unfortunately for Sue… she has no idea :/

      • John G  January 5, 2012

        I actually have a suspicion Sue may quite like The Mutants – there is a decent story in there, trapped in a somewhat dodgy production. As for The Time Monster though, let’s just hope Sue isn’t filing for divorce by the end of it!

        • Dan  January 6, 2012

          We are now exactly halfway through Pertwee, a much shorter era than Hartnells and one without any recons. There is hope, if they can get past the next two..

          • John G  January 7, 2012

            It’s not actually that much shorter – Pertwee’s era lasted for 128 episodes compared to Hartnell’s 134. I would agree though that the Hartnell era does feel longer, not least because it has five more stories than Pertwee’s.

          • Lewis  January 8, 2012

            I dunno. There’s a few more long slogs to get through (I’m guessing Sue won’t bother looking up serial codes so that’s how I’ll discuss them…) such as Serials NNN, OOO (apt enough – noooo!), QQQ which is just a hell of a lot of padding with escape/capture/escape, SSS which is just Terry Nation redoing the first Hartnell Dalek story, WWW which has a lot of unfortunately bad effects, and YYY which … yeah. Ouch. Even ZZZ is quite a chore to sit through – particularly in the middle which is pure padding and naff.

          • Dan  January 8, 2012

            What I think I meant is that with RRR there’ll be a feeling of hope!

  6. kevin merchant  January 5, 2012

    I think my brother joined the navy because of this!

    Royal not Merchant before someone asks….

  7. PSanders  January 5, 2012

    I’m looking forward to seeing what Sue makes of the next two stories. Much to mock, but I genuinely have a soft spot for The Mutants and The Time Monster. They are overlong and pretty ridiculous in places, but that’s partly why I enjoy them – they’re trying to do something a bit different with Pertwee than the usual Master-turns-up-and-gets-betrayed-by-aliens routine that Sue has spotted. Spaceships, alien planets, budgie-men, timey-wimey nonsense… no lack of ideas, even if the reach often exceeds the grasp. And Sue has been known to defy fan convention, as Colony in Space and The Daemons proved in quick succession…

    • Lewis  January 5, 2012

      I spy with my little eye the words “weird crabby alien things” (for the Mutants) and “massive flying chicken” (for the Chronovore) coming :p

    • Russell Watson  January 5, 2012

      I got Beneath The Surface for Christmas & knowing where abouts you were with this, I have watched The Silurians & Warriors of the Deep first of all.

      First saw this around 92 or so when a few repeats were on and I really liked it then. So far, I watched 1-4 last night and I thoroughly enjoyed this again. I disagree about padding, I think that the story builds up nicely and is very well paced. I think I would go so far as to say it is my favourite Pertwee story. Though, I haven’t seen em all. I am waiting on Peledon Tales as well!

    • Alisaunder  January 5, 2012

      Sue is always defying fan convention. She doesnt care at all about any of the nerd rage controversies we do. And I love her for it.

  8. Iain Coleman  January 5, 2012

    The bit with the sandwich is one of the Doctor’s most all-time gittish – and sexist – moments. I’m not surprised Sue was pissed off.

    • BestBrian  January 6, 2012

      The show is called Doctor Who, not Jo Grant; Pertwee gets first dibs on all catering (it was probably in his contract).

  9. Lewis  January 5, 2012

    So glad Sue liked it in the end. I was upset when she didn’t appear to like the first few episodes.

    Then along came the genius of “Just think, if it wasn’t for the Master, we could be living next door to a Sea Devil.” and it all started looking up 😀

    (If she likes the name Stuart Fell, wait til she finds out about Tip Tipping!!)

  10. Matt Sharp  January 5, 2012

    “And why didn’t anyone check the name out before they made the first one? This never would have happened if Wikipedia had been around in 1972.”

    Hah! Chris Chibnal didn’t bother either…

    ‘Serpo Sapien’ (wise lizard) is a much more scientifically accurate name than the fundamentally wrong ‘homo reptilica’ (scaly ape), plus it has a suitably sibilant sound.

    Wouldn’t want to hear Pertwee say it too often, though.

    • Simon Harries  January 5, 2012

      Yes, they’d all have to have been wearing sowesters in the studio if he had.

      • Jamie  January 6, 2012

        “Doctor Who and the Therpo Thapienth”

        Came after “Thpearhead from Thpath”

  11. Lewis  January 5, 2012

    I wonder if Sue’ll catch on about the vehicles. There seem to be a hell of a lot of convenient and weird forms of transport, thanks to Jon Pertwee wanting more and more. His final story certainly is the worst when it comes to having daft vehicles. It’s like every Doctor had his mark… Pertwee wanted weird vehiches; that’s his ‘trademark’. But, in the end, as Sue mentions, they’re just bizarre and convenient.

  12. Lewis  January 5, 2012

    Neil, when “The Mutants” flashes up on screen, it’d be great if you could quickly convince Sue that it’s actually just a repeat of the Hartnell episode of the same name…

  13. Dave Sanders  January 5, 2012

    I donn’t believe Sue hadn’t been forewarned at some point about the Clangers before the marathon ever started. Neil’s bound to have pointed it out during The Sound Of Drums – God knows he had to watch it enough times – but Sue wouldn’t have taken it in at the time.

    RTD’s version isn’t quite the same though. Here, the Master gets frustrated at how humourless and closed-mindedly literal humans can be; in his remake, he’s fascinated by a culture so freakishly obsessed with media that they invented creatures with television screens in their stomachs. Less charming, but arguably a better joke.

  14. solar penguin  January 5, 2012

    She’s not saying ‘Kai’ but ‘Ky’. You see, she’s actually a Time Lord agent subtly hinting who the Doctor should give the football to in the next story.

  15. PolarityReversed  January 5, 2012

    Merry new wotsits all.

    Misc notes:
    A “Singer sowing machine”? I’m put in mind of a Heath Robinson rig involving a pram, a windup gramophone playing the Wurzels and a cunningly retasked bingo ball dispenser for spraying out seeds…
    Tea in Russian (and lots of other languages, as well as forces slang) is pronounced “CHai”. Another one in the occasional “K vs CH” series – viz “CHIT-in” and “CHARnel house” – but that’s what happens when scriptwriters and actors meet dictionaries. BTW, Pertwee’s Mandarin in Mind of Evil was passable, if tonally humorous.
    If Larry Lamb was the inspiration for the Sea Devils’ voices, we have to be thankful that it wasn’t his successor – in which case the wet-look reptiles would certainly not have had string vests to cover their modesty…

    Pleasantly surprised by Sue’s (at least initial) response to the music – really quite ambitious for TV of the period. The feature films of the day were packed with analogue synthesis wibbles and squaddly-plonks, but to do it on the Beeb at teatime was adventurous.

    • Neil Perryman  January 5, 2012

      Very good. I’ve fixed that. And your last comment has been removed for being off-topic 🙂

      • PolarityReversed  January 5, 2012

        Sorry Neil.

        Quite right too. Or where would it all end.
        From one prickly to another, best wishes to little Orac.

        • Frankymole  January 6, 2012

          It is CHarnel, isn’t it? Or so the OED seems to think.

          • PolarityReversed  January 6, 2012

            I was taught KARnel – cognate with “carnal”, pretaining to the body. Might be one of those words where wrong is becoming right through usage.
            Or I could be wrong.

          • Neowhovian  January 31, 2012

            Yes, I’m pretty sure it is CHarnel…

  16. Glen Allen  January 5, 2012

    As Im attempting to also convert a Not We to it, and have had some success, well with Baker 1 and Davison. Tried a McCoy (Battlefield SE) . He wasnt that taken with him.
    He did roar as I told him about your experiement and Sue’s rant as The Doctor stole Jo’s sandwich and the typical WHO mentality of letting Jo climb up a ventilation shaft (and ruin her trouser suit)

    Loving your adventures, keep it up…as it were

  17. John G  January 5, 2012

    “That’s not Jo, is it? She’s moving up that ladder like a constipated Donkey Kong.”

    Happy New Year – your festive break certainly don’t appear to have dulled Sue’s capacity for a cracking one-liner! As to the story, if The Silurians didn’t exist, I think I would enjoy this one more than I do. It does have some excellent production values, and as Sue points out the Navy’s cooperation makes all the difference. The development of the Doctor-Master relationship is also handled well, and Captain Hart is quite an effective nautical substitute for the Brig. Also, I don’t think the story is particularly padded – if Sue thinks it is, wait till she sees Frontier in Space!

    The real trouble is that Malcolm Hulke has already told this tale once before, in superb fashion, and the plot of The Sea Devils feels very much like a half-hearted retread of The Silurians, lacking the dramatic power and strong characterisation of the earlier story. The eponymous creatures themselves, though well-designed, are never as effective as the Silurians because they are forced to play second fiddle to the Master, and ultimately feel a bit two-dimensional. I hate the Walker character as well, as he is just another cliched stereotype of an establishment figure who comes over as even more cartoonish than Mr Chinn; his casual sexism also grates just as much as the Doctor’s sandwich thievery.

    Anyway, next up it’s…

  18. Simon Harries  January 5, 2012

    I like Edwin Richfield in this. He has a very good line in exasperated eye-rolls. Sue was quite uglyist this time, wasn’t she? Maybe Clive Morton and Declan Mulholland were lookers as children or young adults… ?!?!

  19. Frankymole  January 6, 2012

    The guy hit by the ugly stick looked far uglier in Star Wars once they’d turned him into a giant slug.

    To top that for ugly, he gets to be a hunchback and ham it up with Tom Baker on Tara, too…

    • John G  January 6, 2012

      Let’s not forget that Captain Hart will be returning as a giant slug in 12 years’ time…

  20. BWT  January 6, 2012

    “Is ‘kai’ Russian for ‘tea’?” Or… it’s also M?ori for ‘food’ – which would make a mouthful from that cuppa rather interesting to swallow…

    Well… this is one Pertwee I’m not too familiar with. But I do like the music too – very ’60s Pink Floyd.

    T-shirts:
    “It’s trying to be epic and it’s almost succeeding.” – is begging to be used but I think I’ll just go with,
    “Stuart Fell very well” for sheer brilliance. In fact I think it’s the best joke on his name I’ve heard yet…

    Onya Sue! I’m quite keen on seeing your verdict for the next one – IT’S one I quite like…

  21. Pertwees nose tickler  January 6, 2012

    All your sarnie are belong to us!

  22. Daru  January 6, 2012

    The New Year T-shirt comment for me is:

    Sue: “The Master just broke the fourth wall!”

    Love it.

  23. Paul Mudie  January 6, 2012

    Sue has identified the central problem with the whole “Doctor trapped on Earth with the Master as recurring villain” idea. It tends to mean that the same basic story gets told over and over again. Still, I have a lot of fondness for this one and I remember being utterly terrified of the Sea Devils when I was a nipper.

  24. Jazza1971  January 6, 2012

    For me, the T-shirt should be one of the following:-

    1) “Everyone has the right to be ugly but this bloke is abusing it.”

    2) “Ugly people and moustaches. That sums up The Sea Devils”

    3) “Please get Dudley on the phone.”

    4) “Awww, there’s a little baby Sea Devil. That’s sweet. Oh, he just killed someone. That isn’t so sweet.”

    Personally I rather like the idea of wearing a t-shirt with no. 1 on it!

  25. Doctor Whom  January 6, 2012

    ***It’s nice and bassy.***

    Sue’s contributions and Ian’s spelling become ever more bizarre. Shirley Bassey sang the 007 theme tunes, not the incidental music for Doctor Who.

    • Neil Perryman  January 6, 2012

      Who the **** is Ian?

      • Simon Harries  January 6, 2012

        You know? Ian? Ian?!?! The SHOW should have been called Ian!
        This is quite meta, actually.

    • Dan  January 6, 2012

      I think it’s pronounced “base-ey”

      • Simon Harries  January 6, 2012

        As in Count Basie?

        • Dan  January 7, 2012

          But more sibilant.

          • Noodles  January 7, 2012

            No, if it’s sibilant, it’s pronounced “treble-y”.

    • Doctor Whom  January 8, 2012

      Sorry, slip of the keyboard. Got mixed up as had just been speaking to someone on the phone called Ian (the person was called Ian, I mean – I don’t name my phones). And let’s face it, Ian and Neil are pretty similar names, aren’t they? There’s a particular type of person for whom, at their christening, it’s always going to be a coin toss between Ian or Neil. If you’re told that you’re going to be introduced to someone called Neil at a party and someone else called Ian, you might as well say – save time by only introducing me to Neil because, once I’ve met him, I’ll know what Ian is going to be like.

      • Doctor Whom  January 8, 2012

        P.S. I mean of course that they’ll both be brilliant guys who you’d want as your personal role models. (phew, think I dodged the bullet there).

        P.P.S. Yet more apropos-of-bugger-all mentions of “poshness” in these reviews. This blog seems to be a two-person crusade to sustain class consciousness.

        • Dan  January 8, 2012

          To be fair, there’s a lot of class to be conscious of.

          • Doctor Whom  January 9, 2012

            All the more reason to avoid defining people by their class. Especially with such a crass word like “posh”. Occasionally is OK but when some people use it over and over again, you begin to wonder if it’s not just the people at the top of the tree who have a need to cling to class stereotypes in order to make themselves feel secure in life. Imagine what we’d think of someone who kept describing characters as “common”. Inverted snobbery isn’t more virtuous than ordinary snobbery.

          • Dan  January 9, 2012

            Unfortunately class is a fact of life in Britain, and I doubt that the use of the word posh on this blog will make an enormous difference to that… And isn’t the blog basically two people talking rather than a formal submission or an academic essay?

            Among others, the word “posh” has been used by P. G. Wodehouse, J. B. Priestley and Dylan Thomas… I hope I haven’t started a controversy, but I would defend the use of the word.

          • Milena  February 14, 2012

            I don’t know that I’d say Pertwee is my *favorite* but he’s cetlainry *one* of my favorites. His Arrogant Doctor goes right along with Baker’s Quirky Doctor, Eccleston’s Tragic Doctor, and Tennant’s Lonely Doctor. And if I’d ever watched much of the others, they’d likely be favorites in their own ways, too.

        • Neil Perryman  January 9, 2012

          “P.P.S. Yet more apropos-of-bugger-all mentions of “poshness” in these reviews.”

          Have you actually listened to the scene in question? FFS.

          • solar penguin  January 10, 2012

            ?I think it’s more of a generational thing than a poshness thing.

            People of Pertwee’s generation were old enough to remember when phones had very, very poor sound quality, and you had to use a very clear, precise, well-spoken voice to be sure of the other person hearing you. It had the side-effect of making them sound posh, but that wasn’t the reason why they did it.

            Yes, things had improved a lot by the 1970s, but old habits die hard!

      • William Keith  January 10, 2012

        “Ian, Ian, worm before the might of Sutekh”. No, it doesn’t work.

  26. Jamie  January 6, 2012

    No wonder Sue doesn’t recognise the six-inch Sea Devil action figure.
    It looks like a flamin’ Terrileptil.

  27. Jamie  January 6, 2012

    “If it wasn’t for the Master, we could be living next door to a Sea Devil.”

    Ha-ha! That’s got to be the prime t-shirt slogan contender.
    In fact, I even stopped reading the review to post this forthwith.

  28. Alex Wilcock  January 6, 2012

    Happy New Year! And as we celebrated both Christmas and New Year’s Day with new matching Husband-In-Space T-shirts (the latter to celebrate the birthday of Doctor Who’s most famous elephant), today’s votes from the Isle of Dogs jury: a Sea Devil with “It’s Lady Ga Ga!”, obviously; “You know I have to knock marks off whenever an episode drives the cats out of the room, don’t you?” – I love the Newt Gingrich-a-like rise and plummet in the music’s popularity, with even Mark Ayres’ sleeve notes calling it “uncompromising”; or, of course, “Do we really have to watch this sword fight again?” and “Well in that case, I’m going to make a cup of tea” above and below silhouettes of fencing Time Lords.

    As I said when reviewing The King’s Demons, at least that’s one thing it gets better than The Sea Devils. Oh, two things: and the music. And – one for Sue – it’s a third the length. That’s three. I’ll come in again…

    Glad you both had fun watching it, but I’m starting to worry about Sue (having worried about Neil’s penis, for obvious reasons, in the previous story). For this, the most morally compromised of all Pertwees, a lobotomised remake that utterly reverses the moral sense of …and the Silurians by having the Doctor blow them up rather than complain about it, she praises the story and marks it highly, and after doing down the far less offensive The Curse of Peladon; I’m wondering if the sinister hypnotic Time Lord here is not in fact the Master, but Pertwee. For all that she says what a git he is for stealing sandwiches, he waggles his glowing bouffant at her from out of the screen and she must obey: Sue’s been awarding points in inverse proportion to her stated opinions about the gittish Doctor putting Jo down. Jo put him in his place properly last time, and a much better story to boot, yet only half the marks – Pertwee hypnotism is the only explanation.

    One other mystery: when exactly did Gary join the Navy for just six weeks in 1972? Was it in fact to get away from this story?

  29. Noodles  January 6, 2012

    I’m going against the consensus, here. I’d never been a fan of Pertwee’s Doctor (as an adult, I had Target novelisations I enjoyed as a kid, and I enjoyed the repeats of his stories, too). The sandwich theft was the first time I actually “got” him, and I’ve liked him ever since.

  30. Jason Miller  January 7, 2012

    “You know I have to knock marks off whenever an episode drives the cats out of the room, don’t you?”

    Too lon to fit on a T-shirt or mug, but this would be a great tagline for a mock-inspirational cat/kitten poster.

  31. Paul L  January 7, 2012

    T-Shirt suggestion…

  32. Rollocks  January 7, 2012

    Is there some sort of Ignore List feature on these comments? Noticed a few weeks back that PolarityReversed’s comments haven’t got a “reply” link underneath them (at least on my browser anyway).

    Have I p*ssed him off? I remember contradicting something he said about Shada and getting a hilariously humourless reply along the lines of “Be still beatings hearts”. And knowing how sensitive certain DW fans can be about these things I was wondering if he decided to deliberately ignore me? Not that I give a toss.

    Anyway, very much enjoyed this post, I certainly haven’t laughed at one of your reviews so much for quite a while.

    • PolarityReversed  January 7, 2012

      I can be a bit forthright, grumpy too, and boy can I ramble… But I certainly don’t expect everyone to agree with me and I assure you I’m not deliberately ignoring anyone.

      I never meant to be rude. My genuine apologies if I have unintentionally offended you, or anyone else here.
      (Still don’t like bloody Shada, though!)

  33. farsighted99  January 30, 2012

    I really liked the look of the Sea Devils; they are really bizarre-looking. and scary; Just wished their eyes blinked. Also, did every bloody Sea Devil have to wear the same fish net outfit? How can you tell one from the other? I suppose for the sake of simplicity, they all dressed alike, but did you ever see a fish wearing a costume? I doubt they wore anything at all (if they were real, which they aren’t, but still…). Any rate, they were scary enough. The monster making has moved up a notch in the show; the next story has pretty interesting monsters too.

    I also don’t buy they are cousins to the Silurians. They are fishlike, swim in the sea. Silurians are reptiles… unless their common ancestor was a sea slug or an amoeba; but so was ours. So indirectly we are cousins too. Nevermind.

    The story wasn’t half bad, all things considered. Just a bit too long. They really did big up the Royal Navy though. All that footage of big ships at sea. It was almost like they were recruiting for sailors…

    The Master is jail was a hoot. So was that sword fight; who ever dreamed that up should have been shot. Filler, anyone? Not only that, but they showed it twice. The Doctor seems to be playing around with the Master here… you can tell he likes him around to cause trouble. He never really tries to get rid of him. Maybe he’s bored, like Sherlock. He loves a bad boy. Note: They could have turned episode 3 and 4 into one episode, nothing really happens here much… There is al this running around, the Doctor gets tied up, the Master twists his evil mustache… it’s so slow we have to watch the Doctor stealing sandwiches from Jo.

    Then the Doctor and the Master get to ride jet skis! LOL! And the Navy gets more screen time. Is this still Doctor Who? 😀

    Then they do the bit where the Doctor tries to negotiate with the Sea Devils so everyone can live happy on earth. Come on. THAT will never work. But anyway, the head Sea Devil gets turned around by the Master and the next thing you know the Doctor is blowing them all up! A preparation for the Time War, I suppose.

    Anyway, one of Pertwee’s most famous catch phrases gets muttered here: “I reversed the polarity of the neutron flow.”

    7/10 is about right.