‘FURY FROM THE DEEP’
Please feel free to comment on my review.
The Seaweed Monster and Goodbye Victoria
For Deborah Watling
Watching this story on Blu-ray was quite a different experience compared to hearing it on audio CD!
‘Fury From The Deep’ is one of the missing black-and-white ‘Doctor Who’ stories from the Patrick Troughton era. It was the penultimate story of Season 5, starring Patrick Troughton as the Second Doctor, Frazer Hines as Jamie and Deborah Watling as Victoria. The story has now been animated! 🙂
Like ‘The Macra Terror’ and ‘The Faceless Ones’ before it, ‘Fury From The Deep’ was given the full animation treatment, considering all six episodes of the story are currently missing. I’m glad to have seen the story animated. It was released on DVD/Blu-ray in 2020. I eventually saw the story in 2021.
The ‘Fury From The Deep’ DVD and Blu-ray were released as 3-disc sets. With my Blu-ray, Disc 1 contains a black-and-white animated reconstruction of the story; Disc 2 contains a colour animated reconstruction of the tale; and Disc 3 contains a black-and-white telesnap reconstruction of the tale.
As I did with ‘The Macra Terror’ and ‘The Faceless Ones’, I chose to watch the black-and-white animated version of the story on Disc 1, since I feel if it was originally released in black-and-white, it’s close to the true version of the tale. I also prefer animation over a static telesnap reconstruction.
With that said, I don’t think the animation of ‘Fury From The Deep’ matches to the quality of the two animation episodes of ‘The Invasion’ which I enjoyed greatly in 2006. That’s not to say the animation for ‘Fury From The Deep’ is terrible. On the contrary, the animation team have done a very good job.
My parents and I were also engaged with the story of ‘Fury From The Deep’ on Blu-ray, despite it being in black-and-white animation form. However, I don’t feel some of the animation matches to the style of the surviving live-action footage of the story. There are also too many pointing fingers. 😀
Yeah seriously, I know the Doctor, Jamie, Victoria and other characters are meant to be animated to fill in the gaps of the missing episodes, but there’s no need to be over-the-top with the characters pointing their fingers at each other a lot. It becomes too distracting and can easily be made fun of. 😀
Also, is Roger Delgado’s Master on certain posters in the tale? No joke, my Dad spotted this and I couldn’t believe how there seemed to be posters of Roger Delgado’s Master about the Euro Sea Gas refinery. Was Delgado’s Master up to something in England 1968 and we weren’t aware of it. Hmm! 😐
It’s been nice to revisit ‘Fury From The Deep’ on Blu-ray in 2021 after hearing the story on audio CD in 2018. I’m still saddened though that I never got to hear ‘Fury From The Deep’ before dear Debbie Watling passed away in 2017. It would’ve been nice to have chatted to Debbie about this adventure.
I first had the TV soundtrack of ‘Fury From The Deep’ on audio CD when I purchased it in October 2012. I also had a free gift of a ‘Doctor Who Adventures’ magazine version of ‘The Mutant Phase’ with it from a supplier on Amazon.co.uk. For whatever reason, I didn’t get time to hear ‘Fury’ itself.
‘Fury From The Deep’ happens to be Debbie Watling’s favourite story from the TV show. It’s interesting how this one is her favourite, especially since it’s the last one to feature Victoria in the TV show. I also don’t think this sees Victoria at her best as a companion. I’ll get into that later on here. 🙂
I was so busy with other things that I shelved the ‘Fury From The Deep’ CD to one side before I could get a chance to hear it in the time that it deserved. It didn’t help matters that the story was completely missing too. I’m currently happy to have heard/seen ‘Fury From The Deep’ in two forms!
Another thing to mention about why I didn’t hear ‘Fury From The Deep’ instantly on audio CD is because I can’t rely on surviving clips and footage to quip my interest so instantly. If the story was complete in six episodes or if maybe one or two episodes survived, I could have been intrigued by it.
Also, for me, Daleks and Cybermen have more appeal than a seaweed monster. Now that I’ve heard and seen ‘Fury From The Deep’, I can say I enjoyed the story very much. It’s exciting in places and I can see why this would be one of Debbie Watling’s favourites. I wish I can tell Debbie that in person.
‘Fury’ is a six-part story by Victor Pemberton, who was the script editor on a number of ‘Doctor Who’ stories in Season 5 of the classic series, including ‘The Tomb of the Cybermen’. Victor also went on to work on ‘Timeslip’, as he wrote ‘The Year of the Burn Up’s last episode and ‘The Day of the Clone’. 🙂
The current material to survive from ‘Fury From The Deep’ is 8mm colour film, film trims and surviving clips. This material was available on the ‘Lost in Time’ DVD. Now it can be enjoyed as bonus material on the DVD/Blu-ray editions for ‘Fury From The Deep’ that contain the animation episodes.
When I heard the TV soundtrack of ‘Fury From The Deep’ on audio CD, it had linking narration provided by Frazer Hines, who plays Jamie in the story. The linking narration by Frazer Hines can now be found as an option on the telesnap reconstruction of the TV story on Disc 3 of the DVD/Blu-ray. 🙂
‘Fury From The Deep’ is a unique story as it depicts how the Doctor, Jamie and Victoria tackle the threat of sea gas power in the form of deadly seaweed. The concept of human possession isn’t unoriginal, but the fact that seaweed is alive to conduct that is so mesmerizing and terrifying indeed.
The story has the TARDIS landing on the sea off the eastern coast of England. Even for a black-and-white ‘Doctor Who’ story from the 1960s, that visual effect of the TARDIS landing on the sea is impressive. Thank goodness that got used again for Patrick Troughton’s swansong ‘The War Games’!
Anyway, the Doctor, Jamie and Victoria investigate a nearby beach after coming over from the TARDIS in a dingy. That scene where the Doctor, Jamie and Zoe play about in some sea foam was fun indeed. It demonstrated the actors working behind the scenes had a very good time in the TV show.
The story also introduces us to the Doctor’s sonic screwdriver. The sonic screwdriver is a common thing nowadays especially in the new TV series. But back then, it was brand-new. It would become popular later on in the series. It’s so intriguing how primitive the Doctor’s sonic screwdriver is here. 🙂
Eventually, our heroes get captured and are taken to a Euro Sea Gas refinery that has a pumping operation going on there. The Doctor and his friends are accused for being saboteurs before they get involved with saving the refinery’s crew from a horrific seaweed creature that wants to take over. 😮
I’m not sure what this seaweed creature is and where it came from, but the Doctor says it came from the legends of ancient mariners (whatever that means). It’s clearly terrifying and it produces a lot of foam that’s deadly and the seaweed can instantly take you over under the creature’s influence here.
The humans that get taken over by this seaweed creature can exhale a poisonous gas onto people to knock them out. An example of this is when Bill Burridge as Quill and John Gill as Oak come into June Murphy’s Maggie Harris’ room. They attack by letting out a noiseless scream of poisonous gas at her.
That surviving scene is terrifying to watch, especially as Maggie has no idea who these two men are after they claim to carry out an inspection on her and her husband’s married quarters. It’s also unclear how the two men were under the creature’s influence. I don’t think there is a scene of that.
Victor Maddern guest stars as Robson, the head of the Euro Sea Gas refinery. He’s unstable, especially after accusing the Doctor and friends as saboteurs. Unfortunately, Robson gets infected by the seaweed creature and comes under its ‘influence’. He kidnaps Victoria, taking her in a helicopter.
Roy Spencer guest stars as Frank Harris, who is Robson’s second-in-command at the Euro Sea Gas refinery. He’s concerned for his wife who becomes ill after touching some seaweed. He gets increasingly worried about her as he tries to cope and keep a cool head during the heart of a crisis. 😐
John Abineri guest stars as Van Lutyens, a Dutch engineer at the Euro Sea Gas refinery. This is John Abineri’s first ‘Doctor Who’ role. He would go on to appear in ‘The Ambassadors of Death’, ‘Death to the Daleks’ and ‘The Power of Kroll’. He later appeared in ‘The Moon Stallion’ featuring Sarah Sutton.
There’s also Graham Leaman as Price and Hubert Rees (who would later appear in ‘The War Games’) as the Chief Engineer (who doesn’t have a name strangely enough). There’s also Margaret John (who would later appear in ‘The Idiot’s Lantern’) as Megan Jones, the director for the Euro Sea Gas board.
This leads me to talk about the main cast. Patrick Troughton as ever excels in his role as the Second Doctor. He delivers a balance of humour and drama to the role that makes him very engaging. I liked it when he gets curious about the sea foam and he works out how to defeat the seaweed creature.
Frazer Hines equally excels in his role as Jamie McCrimmon. I don’t think this story strengthens Jamie’s character much, but he remains fiercely loyal to the Doctor and stands by his side when going into danger. He’s clearly concerned about Victoria and wonders why she’s feeling so miserable.
But the best star of all is of course Deborah Watling as Victoria. It’s rather sad that this is her last TV story, since Victoria could have been given a strong outing of a tale in her time in ‘Doctor Who’. I say that because the solution to defeat this seaweed creature is through Victoria. But it isn’t so ‘heroic’.
The way the seaweed creature can be defeated is through Victoria’s screams when she reacts in fear to it. I’m rather disheartened by this notion of Victoria’s screams defeating the seaweed monster. Simply because that’s what many people will remember Victoria for! Being ‘the scream queen’ here!
I don’t want to think of Victoria as a whimpering little girl who screams a lot. I want to think of her as someone who is brave like all the other ‘Doctor Who’ companions before and after her. I’m pretty sure there were lots of heroic moments that Victoria did during her time with the Doctor and Jamie.
I recall moments when Victoria was very good in ‘The Tomb of the Cybermen’ and ‘The Enemy of the World’. I don’t think having Victoria screaming and being scared all the time is what I want to remember her for. It makes her a ‘weaker’ character when she’s being depicted in the series overall.
There are some nice ‘character drama’ moments for Victoria when she reflects on her time with the Doctor and Jamie; and considers leaving the TARDIS. She’s fed up with being scared all the time. Who can blame her? She wants to have a peaceful life where there are no monsters and other bad things.
I liked Victoria’s scenes with Jamie and the Doctor where she shares her feelings over the matter. Eventually, Victoria decides to stay behind with the Harrises as the Doctor and Jamie leave in the TARDIS. The Doctor understands Victoria wanting to stay, even though she is torn up about it in two.
Jamie is heartbroken about it when Victoria makes her decision to stay on Earth with the Harrises. There’s a nice scene between the two as they exchange final words of farewell together. There’s a moment when there’s a kiss between them. This demonstrates the love that these two have for each other.
I’m not sure if it was a full-on kiss on the lips between Jamie and Victoria in live-action. In the animation version of the story; it’s a peck on the cheek. I’d like to find out if it was a full-on kiss or a peck on the cheek should the missing episodes of the story resurface. I did imagine it would be a full-on kiss, you see. 🙂
The story closes with the Doctor and Jamie saying goodbye to Victoria as they go back to the TARDIS. They even see her on the TARDIS scanner screen as she waves farewell to them. Jamie is still greatly heartbroken about losing Victoria and he ‘couldn’t care less’ about where he and the Doctor go next.
That final scene does get reused as a reprise for ‘The Wheel In Space’. Comparing the two versions of the scene in ‘Fury From The Deep’ and ‘The Wheel of Space’, Jamie is more subdued and quiet in ‘Fury’ compared to ‘Wheel’. I thought I’d mention this from hearing the two versions of this scene. 😐
On the 3-disc Blu-ray set, the special features are as follows. On Disc 1, as well as the black-and-white animation version of the story, there are audio commentaries on all six episodes of ‘Fury From The Deep’ that are moderated by Toby Hadoke. The commentators for ‘Episodes 1 and 5’ are Frazer Hines, production assistant Michael E. Briant and assistant floor manager Margot Hayhoe. The commentator for ‘Episode 2’ is animation executive producer/director Gary Russell. The commentator for ‘Episode 3’ is designer Peter Kindred. The commentators for ‘Episode 4’ are film cameraman Ken Westbury and make-up designer Sylvia James with archival interviews of John Abineri and director Hugh David. The commentators for ‘Episode 6’ are Frazer Hines and Gary Russell. There’s also a 5.1 surround sound mix audio option and an info-text commentary option. There’s also the surviving footage of the story, ‘Episode 6’ film trims and the ‘Dr Who at Ealing’ colour 8mm film.
On Disc 2 of the 3-disc Blu-ray set, there’s the colour animation version of the story along with the audio commentaries, the 5.1 surround sound mix audio option and the info-text commentary option from Disc 1. There’s also the ‘Animating Fury From The Deep’ making-of documentary and a teaser trailer for the ‘Fury From The Deep’ DVD/Blu-ray.
On Disc 3 of the 3-disc Blu-ray set, there’s the black-and-white telesnap version of the story with the TV soundtrack and optional linking narration by Frazer Hines. There’s ‘The Cruel Sea – Surviving Fury From The Deep’ making-of documentary featuring behind-the-scenes cast and crew interviews; a photo gallery of the story, ‘The Slide’ seven-part radio serial which was later developed into ‘Fury From The Deep’, a visual effects featurette with Peter Day and an archival interview with Victor Pemberton. There are also scripts and ‘Radio Times Listings’ for ‘Fury From The Deep’ which can be accessed via a computer.
Incidentally, from listening to the ‘Fury From The Deep’ audio CD, there is a trailer for ‘The Wheel in Space’ at the end. I also heard a continuity announcement at the beginning of ‘Episode 6’ of ‘Fury From The Deep’. Strange I didn’t hear a continuity announcement for ‘Episode 6’ on the Blu-ray. 😀
‘Fury From The Deep’ is a lost ‘Doctor Who’ story I’m glad to have heard on CD and seen on Blu-ray. I’m sad I didn’t get to hear this story before Deborah Watling passed away. Hopefully one day I’ll meet Debbie again in heaven and be able to share what I thought and felt about the tale altogether.
This ‘Doctor Who’ adventure has been gripping to hear and see. It feels tense and thrilling as the Doctor and our heroes try to defeat the seaweed monster. It also features an emotional farewell for Deborah Watling as Victoria. I’m sure that’s why Debbie liked this adventure, since it is so emotional.
‘Fury From The Deep’ rating – 8/10
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