‘Warriors of the Deep’ (TV)

bbcdvd-warriorsofthedeep beneath the surface dvd


Please feel free to comment on my review.

What Lies Beneath? – Silurians, Sea Devils and the Myrka

‘Warriors of the Deep’ is a four-part story by Johnny Byrne on a 1-disc DVD. It features Peter Davison’s Doctor with Tegan and Turlough. I’m afraid to say it, but this is the weakest story of the Silurians/Sea Devils trilogy.

It’s also my least favourite story from the Peter Davison era. ‘Warriors’ features the return of the Silurians and the Sea Devils. The story suffered production problems and makes it pretty lacklustre.

The year is 2084. Earth is in on the verge of annihilation as two power blocks fight each other. The Silurians and the Sea Devils make to take over Sea Base Four, as they want to use it to wipe out humanity.

I’ve seen some members of the ‘Warriors of the Deep’ cast at two conventions. In February 2010, I saw Ingrid Pitt; Tara Ward; James Coombes and Vincent Brimble on a panel at the ‘Fifth Element’ convention in Chiswick, London, February 2010. I also saw Tom Adams on a panel with Michael Cochrane at the ‘celebrate 50 – The Peter Davison Years’ convention in Chiswick, London, April 2013.

I’ve now had the DVD cover of ‘Warriors of the Deep’ signed by visual effects designer Mat Irvine, who I met at the ‘Bournemouth Film and Comic Con’ in August 2015. It was nice to chat to Mat about this story.

There’s a cold war atmosphere featured in this story. The two human power blocks are nameless and there are enemy agents within. I wish this story wasn’t overshadowed by production problems.

Peter Davison still impresses as the Doctor. He learns about the ‘cold war’ situation at the sea base and tries to be the desperate peacemaker between the humans; the Silurians and the Sea Devils again.

Janet Fielding as Tegan is okay. She doesn’t get much character development sadly, as I found Tegan to be moaning and sulking a lot. I liked it when Tegan tried to save the Doctor from a vat of water.

Mark Strickson as Turlough is also undeveloped. Turlough’s no longer the assassin and tends to be moody. I liked the moment when Turlough gets Nilson to open Airlock 1 to save the Doctor and Tegan.

The guest cast are also pretty good including Tom Adams as Vorshak; Ian McCulloch as Nilson; Ingrid Pitt as Dr. Solow; Tara Ward as Preston; Martin Neil as Maddox and Nitza Saul as Karina.

I was disappointed with the look of the Silurians. They deviate from the original look and they also walk strangely and slowly. I like how the Silurians have names such as Ichtar; Scibus and Tarpork.

I found the Sea Devils equally disappointing. They walk very slowly and their heads are overlong. The fight scenes are pretty appalling. I still like their whispery voices and they have a leader called Sauvix.

And there’s the Myrka! Oh my! What were they thinking of?! This really spoiled the story, as the Myrka looks pathetic and silly. It didn’t do anything except electrocute people if you got ridiculously close to it.

The DVD special features are as follows. There’s an enjoyable commentary with Peter Davison; Janet Fielding; script editor Eric Saward and visual effects designer Mat Irvine. There’s also an isolated music option by Jonathan Gibbs and an info-text commentary option to enjoy. There’s a making-of documentary called ‘The Depths’ with cast and crew interviews; an additional behind-the-scenes featurette called ‘They Came From Beneath The Sea’; a ‘Science in Action’ featurette; trailers and continuity announcements; a ‘Radio Times Listings’ PDF of the story; a photo gallery of the story and an ‘Easter Egg’. There’s also a coming soon trailer for ‘The Time Meddler’ with William Hartnell, Maureen O’Brien and Peter Purves.

‘Warriors of the Deep’ is sadly the worst ‘Doctor Who’ story for me. It does have its moments but I’m afraid the production values spoiled it. As the Doctor said, “There should have been another way!”

I’ve enjoyed watching the three stories from the ‘Beneath the Surface’ DVD box set. ‘Doctor Who and the Silurians’ and ‘The Sea Devils’ are really good whilst ‘Warriors of the Deep’ is the weakest of the three. The Silurians and the Sea Devils are ‘Doctor Who’ monsters that I’ve enjoyed seeing, as I’ve found them very interesting.

This certainly isn’t the last of them. The Silurians made their comeback into ‘Doctor Who’ through books, comics and audios. They returned to face Colin Baker’s Doctor in the audio story, ‘Bloodtide’, and also faced Matt Smith’s Doctor in the two-part TV story, ‘The Hungry Earth’/’Cold Blood’.

‘Warriors of the Deep’ rating – 4/10

The previous story

For the Fifth Doctor was

  • ‘Ringpullworld’ (Audio)

For Tegan was

  • ‘Ringpullworld’ (Audio)

For Turlough was

  • ‘Ringpullworld’ (Audio)
The next story

For the Fifth Doctor is

  • ‘Deep Blue’ (Book)

For Tegan is

  • ‘Deep Blue’ (Book)

For Turlough is

  • ‘Deep Blue’ (Book)
Return to The Fifth Doctor’s Timeline
Return to Tegan’s Timeline
Return to Turlough’s Timeline
Return to The Doctors’ Timelines Index
Return to The Companions’ Timelines Index
Return to Doctor Who Timelines
Return to Doctor Who
Return to Sci-Fi

6 thoughts on “‘Warriors of the Deep’ (TV)

  1. Timelord 007

    To quote The Doctor “there should have been another way” blimey Tim 4/10 your getting very hardcore in your ratings buddy lmao, i agree what lets down is that bloody Myrka it looks preposterous doesn’t, i like the story but the Sea Devils could’ve been written out for all they contribute & the Silurians seemed Dalek ranty lol.

    Brilliantly summarized review oh & the DVD covers shocking, putting a red filter over Peter Davisons features why?

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Tim Bradley Post author

      It pained me to write this review as Johnny Byrne is a good ‘Doctor Who’ writer and I enjoyed his storytelling in ‘The Keeper of Traken’ and ‘Arc of Infinity’. I’ll have to read the novelization of ‘Warriors of the Deep’ by Terrance Dicks to get a better experience of the story.

      I know how I rate this story low on my list, but the Myrka really does let it down for me and I’m glad you agree with me on this. The Sea Devils often became silly with their overlong heads and the actors inside must have found it difficult to walk. Also I didn’t like the Silurians headgear and their slow walk compared to how they appeared in their first TV story with Jon Pertwee.

      Very pleased you enjoyed my review on this story, Simon. Now you come to mention it that red filter over Peter Davison’s face is pretty shocking. It doesn’t make him stand out and the DVD cover looks boring with the Silurian and Sea Devil on each side of Peter Davison’s face.

      Thanks for your comments, Simon.

      Tim. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Williams Fan 92

    Good review Tim.

    I agree that ‘Warriors of the Deep’ is a bad ‘Doctor Who’ story. However, is it really the worst ‘Doctor Who’ story ever. I don’t even think it’s the worst Fifth Doctor story, as ‘The Kings Demons’ holds that dishonour in my opinion.

    I should probably re-watch the original ‘Silurians’ and ‘Sea Devils’ stories in order to see how they should be. I re-watched ‘Warriors of the Deep’ first because I’ve been watching Seasons 19-21 in order. The Doctor was pretty decent in the story for the most part, but I didn’t like him calling Earth a pathetic planet and wondering why he cares about it. Turlough was rather stupid I felt, as well as still acting as if he was working for the Black Guardian a lot of the time.

    The Myrka was pretty pathetic I agree. The guest cast were alright, although I laughed when Ingrid Pitt as Dr. Solow tried to karate kick the Myrka which was really stupid of her. I personally feel like there were problems with the script as well as production, but maybe some of it was re-written from what Johnny Byrne originally intended.

    The ‘Warriors of the Deep’ novelisation doesn’t yet have an unabridged reading, although there is one planned. There’s also an abridged reading by Peter Davison that you can check out. I will start writing up my review of this story soon, whilst trying to finish my reviews of ‘Shada’ and ‘Delta and the Bannermen’. I will also be sharing my thoughts on ‘The Elite’ soon, and I will watch ‘The Awakening’ later this week.

    Take care, WF92.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Tim Bradley Post author

      Hi WF92,

      Glad you enjoyed my review on ‘Warriors of the Deep’. I can’t say ‘The King’s Demons’ is worse than ‘Warriors of the Deep’, as the production standards on that are better than this. I would need to re-examine the two stories properly once it comes to revisiting them in the Season 20 and Season 21 Blu-ray box sets whenever they come out. Interesting thoughts you have on the Fifth Doctor and Turlough as characters. Calling the Earth a pathetic planet is harsh on the Fifth Doctor’s part, but I can accept that since he’s not human. The Ninth Doctor tends to be rude and often calls people ‘stupid apes’. The Twelfth Doctor can also be harsh when interacting with humans at times. Yes, it was funny when Dr. Solow tried to karate chop the Myrka and got killed instantly. That was stupid. 😀 I can’t blame Johnny Byrne in terms of writing the script as there were problems in rewriting it and the production values being bad. I hope I’ll be able to check out the Target novelization by Terrance Dicks someday in order to appreciate what the TV story could’ve been without the production problems it had.

      I look forward to your reviews and thoughts on ‘Shada’, ‘Delta and the Bannermen’, ‘The Elite’ and ‘The Awakening’ soon. Have you seen ‘TravelWise’ on YouTube? It’s really good and very funny with Colin Baker, Nicholas Courtney, Sarah Sutton, Nicola Bryant and Peter Miles in it.

      Many thanks for your comments.

      Tim 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Wolfie

        A real pity, this production. One of 1980s Doctor Who’s most potent morality tales — in a time where the Cold War turning hot was a genuine concern — upstaged by some abnormally poor production values. It’s a far cry between this and the Lanzarote hills adopted for the planet Sarn in “Planet of Fire”.

        I found the story first through its novelisation and, there at least, the conflict comes across much more as a mix between “The Hunt for Red October” and “Stingray”. It’s got some great details. The base is still over-lit, but deliberately so. It’s to stop its personnel from going mad from the deep-sea darkness outside. The Doctor’s outburst to Preston about the one-eyed nature of humanity is noted, by Tegan, to be because he’s boxed in. Driven to committing violence to save other people’s lives. (I actually kind of like that moment as it shows the Doctor isn’t going to root for humanity if it’s so ready to engage in mass murder. He has a line in the sand even for us, his favourite species. I like that detail.) And the Myrka? It’s a sea dragon that slashes its tail like a medieval flail. Delivering crackling thunderbolts of electrical energy against its unfortunate victims. A closer realisation of the Target version’s “sea dragon” would probably be the sea serpent in a film called “Atragon” (I think it’s called the Manda?).

        In hindsight, with a nip and tuck, I wouldn’t have minded this being held over for Season 22. Like “Resurrection of the Daleks” was for this season. It would’ve been no less relevant in 1985, than 1984, but hopefully, with a new production block — there’d be more on its side to help rather than hinder it.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Tim Bradley Post author

        Hi Wolfie.

        Nice to see you leave a comment here on my ‘Warriors of the Deep’ review. Thank you for sharing your thoughts and insight on the story. I must check out the Target novelization someday as that has to be better than what the TV version of the story gave us. That and the Target novelization/audiobook of ‘The King’s Demons’.

        Many thanks for your comments.



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