The Sea Devils: Doctor Who: Season 9
The Sea Devils SYNOPSIS:
The Doctor and Jo visit the Master in prison. Governor Trenchard mentions local ships sinking intriguing the Doctor enough to visit the local naval base and examine a lifeboat retrieved from a disaster. He is taken to base commander Captain Hart and Jo arrives to establish their UNIT credentials. Trenchard is working with the Master under the belief the Master is working against enemy spies. Trenchard smuggles him into the naval base.
After the Doctor and Jo encounter a sea devil investigating a sea fort in the region of the sinking they realise these reptiles are responsible. Later Jo spots the Master at the naval base and they return to prison to confront the Master but Trenchard has the Doctor is imprisoned. Jo frees the Doctor and the Master reveals his plan is to contact the sea devils and help them revive their people so they can re-take the Earth.
A submarine is captured by the sea devils and the crew held hostage. The Doctor is then taken but attempts to convince the sea devil chief to mediate peace with the humans and denounces the master's argument for full scale invasion. Unfortunately civil servant Walker instructs an attack on the sea devils base. The attack convinces the sea devils that man is treacherous and with the Master's help prepare for all out warfare with humanity.
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The Sea Devils DETAILS:
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The Sea Devils CAST & CREW
Jon Pertwee (Third Doctor)
Katy Manning (Jo Grant)
Roger Delgado — The Master
Clive Morton — Trenchard
Declan Mulholland — Clark
Hugh Futcher — Hickman
Brian Justice — Wilson
Terry Walsh — Barclay
Stanley McGeagh — Drew
Royston Tickner — Robbins
Neil Seiler — Radio Operator
Martin Boddey — Walker
Edwin Richfield — Captain Hart
June Murphy — 3rd Officer Jane Blythe
Norman Atkyns — Rear Admiral
Donald Sumpter — Commander Ridgeway
David Griffin — Lt. Commander Mitchell
Brian Vaughan — Lt. Commander Watts
Christopher Wray — Ldg. Seaman Lovell
Alec Wallis — Ldg. Telegraphist Bowman
Eric Mason — CPO Smedley
John Caesar — CPO Myers
Colin Bell — CPO Summers
Rex Rowland — A/B Girton
Peter Forbes-Robertson — Chief Sea Devil
Pat Gorman — Sea Devil
Production Staff for Serial LLL:
Writer - Malcolm Hulke
Director - Michael E. Briant
Script editor - Terrance Dicks
Producer - Barry Letts
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The Sea Devils REVIEWS
The case for the defense:
Ok it's time to dive into the deep blue or green oily sea. Yes in this story the English channel is a special guest star!
Actually this is one of those Pertwee six parters that has just the right missing ingredient - pace! There's actually pace throughout this one. Plus there is no sign of UNIT despite it being set on Earth. The Doctor & Jo are particularly strong and so is the supporting cast, in fact they're probably better suited to this than the UNIT regulars. All stand out, Captain Hart the grumpy but capable Brig substitute, Governor Trenchard (unfortunately what the Brig will be portrayed as from now) a gullible git and there's Jane the secretary who is more bone-able than Jo, she's in uniform after all…and better looking than Yates.
Yep ok, the Master is back after only, (what 8 episodes) in a not so escape proof prison since being locked up at the end of the Daemons. The banter between them is good especially as nice 'ol Pertwee is really only visiting so he can get his hands on where the Master hid his Tardis and escape Earth. The sword fight between them is well done too, think it's the first time these arch enemies really have a good mono-a-mono. Jo proves useful and resourceful in this one on a few fronts. So it's remake of the Silurians but they improve upon a few things, the navy stuff is very good, and the way the sea devils look is definitely different, you get the feeling these are definitely the foot soldiers of the lizard races and who's to say their land dwelling mates didn't dial 'em up before they copped it 2 years earlier plus the drag factor of seven parts has been cut.
The scenes where various characters are trapped on an abandoned rig in the sea are excellent and combined with the weird camera angles and bizarre music sets up an unsettling atmosphere the whole way through. Plus there's the iconic piece of the Sea devils coming out of the sea to attack the navy base and sporting string vests which shows them to be more intelligent than they're lizard cousins 'cause at least they don't invade naked. OK so the base gets blown up in the end but it's fairly well depicted that neither the Doctor or the navy wanted it that way and that it's all down to the xenophobic incompetence of the resident idiot civil servant and his government masters that prompt the resolution. As usual there's a big explosion at the end but it's a Pertwee, so get over it, should be used to it by now. 9.9/10.
Now, it was probably in 2004 or so that I saw this last when the ABC did the big Who marathon and one of the things that stuck in my mind - aside from the tedium of a rehashed plot - was the bloody awful music. If anything it was just a series of sounds rather than music. I felt like watching it with the sound down. Another thing that probably seemed like a good idea at the time but blew up in everyone's faces was the depiction of the navy itself. The navy agreed to be a part of this story and would loan the production office anything it required on the condition that it was portrayed in a good light. At the end of the story the navy themselves are responsible for blowing up the sea devil base rather than try and reason with them makes you wonder whether they actually got their wish fulfilled. Oh, and Pertwee is doing his "HAI!!" karate thing again here. God its terrible. And the sword fight scene between the Master and the Doctor isn't much better.
However, it isn't all bad cos that 3rd Officer Jane Blythe from the navy looks bloody sexy in her naval uniform and - yes - I'd give her one from behind any day. Oh, and the ending to part four where Jo enters the diving bell cos something has happened to the Doctor is very very good - the way cliffhangers should be. Yeah; its a 2.5 from me. I originally thought it should get a 3 but that seemed too much. And giving it a 2 probably put it on par with Keys of Marinus. What are ya going to do?
You know what the main thing I remember about this one is? More food!! Sandwiches and tea with The Master I believe! Well, they fight around it anyway - probably not as good as the sword fight in Davison's era, but not a bad one. The other thing I remember vividly was the terrible extra acting (I think it was towards the end) where everyone is running around the Navy HQ in panic, and one guy, who is completely over the top, runs into something, then stops, looks at the camera, then runs the other way... classic stuff!
We also learn a little more about the Doctor and the Master... "he used to be a very close friend... in fact we used to go to school together". We also get a "reverse the polarity of the neutron flow"... is that the first?
I enjoy watching this one too... it moves well, the Sea Devils are well realised and a credit to lowly budgeted creative department, and I quite like the music. It's different (and I'm glad it's not always like this), but it definitely adds to the story.
As for the story - OK it's pretty similar to The Silurians... sorry... Doctor Who and The Silurians... but for me it works just as well if not better as the Sea Devils are infinitely more threatening. And they're also backed up by a believable Master plot. Five stories in a row is too much, but I think he works well in this one - probably one of his best stories.
A fun 7.5/10 from me.