Sue: Are we underwater this week?
Sue: Good. (Singing) Stingray! Stingray. Dudda-der-da-der-da-Stingray!
Me: Okay, settle down.
On a Sea Base in the year 2084.
Sue: Nice set. It’s huge. I like it when they build the set on two levels. There’s lots of movement, too. Yes, it’s very nice.
It’s not long before we meet some old friends. Or is it enemies? I can’t keep up.
Sue: It’s the Ice Warriors!
Sue: I don’t know! They do look familiar, though. It’ll come to me eventually.
On the TARDIS, the Doctor and Turlough are having a man-to-man chat.
Sue: I don’t like Peter Davison’s hair. It’s too short. There’s nothing to grab hold of.
I sigh again. Deeply.
The Doctor has decided to show Tegan some of Earth’s future.
Sue: Why bother? She’ll only moan about it when she gets there. She’s like you in that respect, Neil.
The Silurians are preparing to defrost their relations.
Ichtar: Our Sea Devil brothers have lain entombed, waiting patiently for this day.
Sue: Ah, yes, they’re Sea Devils. I remember now.
Me: They are not Sea Devils.
Sue: Then what the **** are they?
Sue: Okay, calm down. They all blend into each other after a while. Have their third eyes always lit up like that when they talk?
Me: No, that’s new.
Sue: I thought so. Is it so we know who is talking? That’s very clever.
Sorry, but I’m all sighed out.
Tensions are running high on the Sea Base.
Sue: Who designed the costumes? Was it Michael Jackson? Are we watching Thriller: The Musical?
The Base’s sync operator is a very nervous man named Maddox.
Sue: He reminds me of a young Mark Gatiss.
Me: Are you insane?
Sue: It’s his lip. It’s uncanny.
Maddox and a crew mate named Karina discuss Maddox’s inability to do his job properly.
Sue: This actress isn’t very good. This reminds me of one of those old sixties stories where you had lots of incomprehensible foreign accents running around on a base. I hope the Sea Devils kill her first.
The Sea Base’s Medical Officer, Solow, is in cahoots with an officer named Nilson. Let’s see if Sue can spot the legendary actors playing them.
Sue: It’s Greg!
Me: Yes. Now what would Greg do?
A little background information is probably required: about five years ago, Sue and I watched every episode of original 1970s series of Survivors. And we didn’t even blog about it. I know! What were we thinking? Anyway, Sue became obsessed with Greg Preston, as played by Ian McCulloch. In fact, Greg was such a hero to Sue for a short while that whenever she had to face a difficult decision, she would always ask, “What would Greg do?”.
Sue: I can’t believe you didn’t tell me Greg was in this. I’ve missed Greg.
However, when it comes to identifying Solow, she’s hopeless.
Sue: That’s Ingrid Pitt? The Ingrid Pitt? The one with the enormous tits?
Sue: She’s not doing herself any favours in that outfit.
Speaking of outfits…
Sue: Why is Tegan walking around in a beach towel?
Maddox is hooked up to the Sea Base’s missile computer.
Sue: He needs this job like a hole in the head.
The Base is placed on Yellow Alert.
Sue: There isn’t time for a quick game of Asteroids!
When the simulation comes to an end, Sue makes a very important observation:
Sue: Manscara is rife in the future. I can’t believe that Greg is wearing make-up. That’s not right. That’s not right at all.
The Silurians continue to plot and scheme, but Sue can’t understand a word they’re saying.
Scibus: The temperature level inside is below the range of the sensors.
Sue: Yeah, and your voices are below the range of my hearing. Speak up!
The TARDIS is shot down by a security satellite and it materialises on the Sea Base. The Doctor and his companions explore their surroundings and they stumble across a chemical store filled with canisters of hexachromite gas.
The Doctor: It’s lethal to marine and reptile life. I thought they would have banned it by now.
Sue: That gas will come in handy later. It’s just a hunch.
Maddox is taken to Solow’s psycho-surgery unit with a suspected nervous breakdown.
Sue: Isn’t a sync operator just a fancy name for a washer-upper? You know, like a hygiene technician is a cleaner.
Nilson wants to reprogram Maddox. He asks the Base’s commander, Vorshak, for access to the programming disc.
Sue: I like the guy who’s in charge. He has a very reassuring voice. He reminds me of Jean Luc Picard. I keep expecting him to say, “Make it so”.
Nilson is told to take care of the disc. If it fell into enemy hands, the consequences would be disastrous.
Sue: What would Greg do? Well, he wouldn’t cake his face in girly make-up, that’s for sure. Actually, he’d probably take the disc and then he’d make some soap out of it.
When Vorshak has left them to it, Solow and Nilson programme Maddox to follow their commands.
Sue: At least they are making an effort and they aren’t just hypnotising him like every other villain does. This looks complicated.
Turlough calls for a lift but his actions trigger the Sea Base’s alarm.
The Doctor: It has to be done in sequence. It’s what’s called security.
Sue: Sarcastic bastard. Why doesn’t he brief his companions on this kind of thing before they leave the TARDIS? He should put a quick PowerPoint together on the sort of things they should look out for. A little bit of risk assessment never did anybody any harm.
The Doctor decides to create a diversion by overloading the Sea Base’s nuclear reactor. After all, what possible harm could it do?
Sue: What the hell is he doing? That is the stupidest thing I’ve ever seen the Doctor do. Has he lost his mind?
The Doctor is attacked by a security guard (quite right, too) and he ends up tumbling into a pool of water.
Sue: Ooh, that was good. I’ll give him a 8.5 for his technique, but points off for the splash.
Tegan wants to rescue the Doctor but Turlough stops her.
Turlough: Face it, Tegan. He’s drowned.
Sue: WHAT? Is Turlough still trying to kill the Doctor? He’s only been in the water for a few seconds, and the Doctor can hold his breath for HOURS. Everyone knows that!
The credits roll.
Sue: Stupid cliffhanger. I’m sorry, but I haven’t got a clue what anyone is up to. But it’s not too bad, I suppose. The sets are very nice.
The Doctor falls into the pool again during the episode recap.
Sue: I still don’t buy this. He just fell into some water. So what? Is it made of acid? Ice water? What?
Of course, the Doctor is perfectly fine and he swims across to an underwater hatchway.
Sue: That was pretty good. That had a James Bond vibe to it.
Tegan and Turlough decide to return to the TARDIS.
Sue: They don’t look that upset given the Doctor’s supposed to be dead. I’m surprised Tegan didn’t hang around to see if he regenerated or not. I also think Turlough just wants a time machine for himself. He’s very shady.
The Silurians appear to be pleased with their progress so far.
Sue: Hey! Get your own bloody catchphrase!
The Sea Devils begin to stir.
Me: Do you remember the Sea Devils?
Sue: Yes, I think so.
Me: They used to walk around in string vests. They’ve gone all leather, now.
Sue: Well, it’s the 80s, isn’t it? You can’t blame them. String vests are very 1970s.
The Doctor makes it back to dry land.
Sue: This is a classic corridor story, isn’t it? They built some really nice corridors and they’re definitely going to use them. Relentlessly.
The Doctor comes across an unconscious security guard. The Doctor begins to remove his wet clothing and then we cut to a Sea Devil.
Sue: Hey! Don’t cut there! Go back!
The lead Sea Devil, Sauvix, reports to the Silurians.
Sue: Oh yes, I remember this lot. They looked better the first time round. Their shoulder pads are too extreme. Even Joan Collins wouldn’t be seen dead in them.
The Sea Devils are ready for combat.
Ichtar: Excellent, Sauvix.
Sue: Cervix? CERVIX? What kind of name is Cervix?
Yes, I think Sue may be going deaf.
A Sea Base worker named Preston is searching for the Doctor.
Sue: I really like the Base’s spiral staircase. It reminds me of the American Big Brother house. I bet she’s just come from the Head of Household room and she’s decided to use the Power of Veto.
If you don’t happen to watch the American Big Brother, trust me, that was quite funny.
Preston and her team walk straight into the TARDIS.
Sue: For ****’s sake! Lock the ****ing doors!
The Doctor arrives on the bridge but Commander Vorshak doesn’t trust him.
Sue: That costume does nothing for Peter Davison’s arse.
Meanwhile, a Silurian craft takes off from its hidden base.
Sue: I like their little submarine. It has the face of a dolphin. Actually, the design is rather good in this story. The Sea Base set is great.
Me: You don’t think it’s over-lit?
Sue: Not really. You want to see where you are going, don’t you? You don’t want to trip over anything when you are at work.
Me: Have you been on a Health and Safety course, recently?
Sue: The only thing I don’t understand is why so few of the crew are wearing helmets. If water came in, the only survivors would be the guards.
Nilson and Solow prepare to activate Maddox.
Sue: If you really loved me, Neil, you would have told me that it wasn’t Greg and it just looked like him. This is ruining everything for me.
The Silurians unleash the dreaded Myrka. Yes, dreaded.
Sue: Why do I know that name? Have we seen the Myrka before?
Sue: Are you sure? I have definitely heard that name before. Are you quite sure we haven’t seen a Myrka before?
Me: Well, when we went to see Toby Hadoke’s Moths Ate My Doctor Who Scarf at Stockton-On-Tees Art Centre in 2008, when we having a cigarette outside the venue, we ended up talking about the Myrka to a complete nutter for 30 minutes.
Sue: Toby was that much of a nutter, was he?
Me: No, this was a different nutter. I’m surprised you can remember it. I thought you’d tuned out.
And then, after all that build-up, the Myrka finally puts in an appearance.
Sue: Oh dear.
At least she has something to take her mind off it:
Sue: The door is even worse than the monster. Is it made from marshmallow?
The Myrka breaks through the bulkhead doors.
Sue: I’m surprised it didn’t eat its way through.
The credits roll.
Sue: That was terrible.
Me: You know who’s to blame, don’t you?
Sue: The writer? The special effects department? The producer?
Me: No. Margaret Thatcher.
Sue: Why? Is the monster supposed to be a metaphor for Thatcher? I don’t get it.
I tell her how Thatcher’s decision to call a snap election in 1983 forced production on Warriors of the Deep to be rushed forward, with regrettable consequences.
Sue: Add it to her list of crimes, the bitch.
Sue: This hasn’t improved since yesterday.
Me: This story’s nickname is Warriors on the Cheap.
Sue: I’m not surprised. I don’t understand why they need this stupid Myrka thing anyway. They’ve already got the Silurians and the Sea Devils. How many monsters do they need?
The Myrka menaces the Doctor and Tegan.
Sue: What’s it waiting for? Is it having a little dance?
The Doctor throws an ammunition magazine at the Myrka and the blast disorientates the beast.
Tegan: It’s blinded!
Sue: They should have blinded the audience. That would have been more merciful.
Meanwhile, Turlough storms onto the bridge with a gun.
Sue: I love Turlough. He always gives it 100%. He’s great. I don’t care if turns out to be a bad guy, I just like having him around.
Commander Vorshak monitors the situation from the bridge.
Sue: Every time they say his name, I’m reminded of the guy from the Watchmen with the sock on his face.
Sadly, the harsh lighting is showing up more flaws than we’re used to:
Sue: Is that Greg’s bald patch? I really wish you hadn’t shown me this, Neil. I wanted to remember Greg as he was, in his rugged jumper and blue parka, not as a Michael Jackson impersonator with bad hair. I hate you, Neil.
Sue is struggling to say anything positive about Warriors of the Deep.
Sue: At least the music isn’t medieval. Will that do?
The Sea Devils enter the Base.
Sue: It’s like the opening to Star Wars, but with really slow turtles instead of stormtroopers.
The Sea Devils’ helmets are a cause for concern, too.
Sue: They look like samurai turtles. There was obviously a copyright issue and they couldn’t dress them up as ninjas.
Greg, sorry, Nilson and Solow decide to use the Sea Devils as a distraction.
Sue: Greg is just a few short steps away from wearing eye make-up like Ingrid Pitt’s. Actually, that’s not fair. Everybody was at it in 1984. I was a hairdresser when this went out and people came into the shop with zig-zag make-up on all the time.
Me: Did anyone ever ask you for a haircut like Ingrid Pitt’s?
Sue: Funnily enough, they didn’t. And I would have been fired if I’d agreed to try. There isn’t enough hairspray in the world. No wonder the ozone layer is ****ed.
Ingrid takes on the Myrka single-footed.
Sue: Ingrid Pitt’s shit. I’ve seen episodes of Mystery Theatre Science 2000 with better special effects than this.
Me: Have you ever seen Rentaghost?
Sue: No. Why?
Me: It doesn’t matter. Let’s not make things worse.
The Sea Devils attack.
Sue: The Sea Devils are using little fans that menopausal woman carry around with them.
The Myrka comes face to face with the Doctor and Tegan again.
Sue: Look at it dragging its fat arse around that corner. It’s pathetic. And how slow is it? Why are all the aliens moving at a snail’s pace?
Me: You’re right, there should have been a quicker way.
Sue: I’ve just noticed that the crew have triangular zip compartments on the back of their suits. How is that pouch useful? If you tried to put your pen in there, you’d end up breaking your arm. It’s ridiculous.
Nilson and the Doctor engage in some fisticuffs, but Nilson gets the upper hand and he drags Tegan away at gunpoint.
Sue: Don’t mess with Greg, even when he’s wearing eyeshadow.
Turlough decides to sit it out in the Sea Base’s bedroom.
Sue: Day 47 in the Big Brother House and Turlough is preparing for the Power of Veto competition.
Tegan pushes Nilson into a dead Myrka, but when he gets up again.
Sue: He’s got green paint on his jacket.
Me: Are you sure? Maybe it’s slime.
Sue: It’s ****ing paint! Look!
The Doctor disorientates Nilson with a blast of ultraviolet light. Nilson wanders blindly into some Sea Devils, and they shoot him.
Sue: Why are they shooting at Greg? He works for them, doesn’t he?
Me: Have you been paying attention? He doesn’t work for the aliens, he works for the other side.
Sue: What other side?
Me: I don’t know. China, maybe?
Sue: China! What the hell are you talking about?
Me: It’s not specified in the script. It’s described as another power bloc. It would have been the Russians in 1984, but it could be the Taliban in 2084 for all I know.
Sue: The Taliban wouldn’t let you wear eyeshadow like that.
Me: Anyway, it doesn’t matter. Greg’s dead.
Sue: WHAT? He didn’t make it to the final episode?
Sue: The lucky bastard.
The Doctor is about to be shot by a Sea Devil.
The Doctor: Haven’t we met before?
Sue: I don’t want to be a racist, but can how he tell? They all look the same to me.
Turlough has been locked in the Base’s bedroom.
Sue: I’ve just noticed that the crew bed’s are covered in bubble wrap. How will they get any sleep? They’ll be popping all night.
The Silurians and Sea Devils gain control of the bridge. Of course, Sue notices the Sea Devil with the lopsided head.
Sue: Is that Sea Devil in the background having a nap? It’s tiring work, killing humans.
Tegan wants to rescue the Doctor but, once again, Turlough would rather save his own skin.
Sue: I really like Turlough. He’s got hidden depths. There’s still a lot to learn about this character. He’s fascinating. And played by a great actor, too, which helps. I don’t know why he didn’t keep it up.
The Silurians want to start a nuclear war between the two human power blocs.
Sue: The storyline is very bleak. But isn’t that what Greg wanted to do? They should have joined forces. They could have saved themselves a lot of time.
The Doctor begs the Silurian leader to reconsider.
Sue: I wish the Doctor would change out of his plastic sack. Are his proper clothes drying somewhere in the Base? I hope his jumper hasn’t shrunk.
A Sea Devil accidentally kills itself when it ruptures a canister of hexachromite gas.
Sue: The direction is appalling. Everything is so flat. It feels very old-fashioned and claustrophobic. I want to see a big battle outside, in the sea. But that’s not going to happen, is it?
The Doctor is faced with a moral dilemma.
Sue: Just kill them. There’s only a handful of them and there are billions of people on Earth. It’s hardly a dilemma, is it?
Ichtar: Soon it’ll all be over.
Me: Thank God for that.
Sue: Actually, I’m enjoying the last episode. The concept isn’t bad. I just wish it had some atmosphere.
When the missile run commences, the Base’s lighting is subdued.
Sue: This is how they should have lit it from the very beginning. It’s a million times better already. You can hardly see a thing.
Vorshak: I will not be responsible for the destruction of my own kind.
Sue: He’s not a great actor, is he? He should sound a lot more desperate than that. He sounds like he’s reading out his shopping list. And you’d expect him to put up more of a fight. He had his hand out ready to do the deed long before the Sea Devil forced him into it. Lazy direction and bad acting. Fatal.
Tegan revives a Silurian, but as soon as her back is turned, he tries to kill her.
Sue: There you go, kids. Remember: never help your enemy – they will just shoot you in the back.
The Doctor struggles to stop the launch.
Sue: I need something visual so I can follow this. It’s not enough for me to stare into Peter Davison’s dreamy eyes. Actually, forget I said anything.
Vorshak: Now concentrate, Doctor. Let nothing distract you.
Sue: (As Vorshak) Especially my fruity voice.
The Doctor manages to stop the missiles in the nick of time. It has taken him a great deal of effort.
Sue: Finally, some decent eye make-up.
However, the supporting cast are all dead.
The Doctor: There should have been another way.
Sue: The Doctor is genuinely upset. I think he might have a little cry. Bless him.
Me: I have something to confess.
Sue: Don’t tell me there’s a special edition with a CGI Myrka.
Me: No. I stopped watching Doctor Who after Warriors of the Deep Part Three.
Me: For four years.
Sue: But you’d have been, what, 14 years old? It’s understandable. Hormones. Girls.
Me: The Myrka.
Sue: You should have stayed for Part Four, though. You might have changed your mind.
Sue: The two episodes in the middle were dreadful but it pulled itself together for the last episode. I thought some of the concepts were very strong, but there were too many monsters, not enough variety in the location, and the direction was poor. Peter Davison was very, very good, though. Even if he did look like a sack of potatoes.