Warriors Of The Deep: Doctor Who: Season 21
Warriors Of The Deep SYNOPSIS:
The Doctor tries to show Earth's future in the year 2084 but they are attacked by military probe and escape by an emergency landing in the depths of the ocean in Sea Base Four. The base is already on alert due to close contact with an undersea alien craft.
The Craft belongs to the Silurian triad, a race of reptiles who ruled the earth before man. They awaken an army of their sea devil brothers their primary objective being to take over the base. Meanwhile the Tardis crew have eventually been captured and accused of being enemy agents and saboteurs not helped by the Doctor;s earlier interference with the bases' reactor.
Commander Vorshak is not aware either that his executive officer and medical Doctor are enemy agents of an opposing power block and now have mental control over the young synch operator who controls the launch of the bases nuclear missiles.
Before the agents can implement their plan the base is invaded by the silurian and sea devils forces and their pet Myrka. Their ambition being to get control of missile system and use it to wipe out all of mankind unless the Doctor can reason with them.
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Warriors Of The Deep DETAILS:
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Warriors Of The Deep CAST & CREW
Peter Davison (Fifth Doctor)
Janet Fielding (Tegan Jovanka)
Mark Strickson (Vislor Turlough)
Tom Adams — Vorshak
Ian McCulloch — Nilson
Ingrid Pitt — Solow
Nigel Humphreys — Bulic
Tara Ward — Preston
Martin Neil — Maddox
Nitza Saul — Karina
James Coombes — Paroli
Norman Comer — Ichtar
Stuart Blake — Scibus
Vincent Brimble — Tarpok
Christopher Farries — Sauvix
Production Staff for Serial 6L:
Writer - Johnny Byrne
Director - Pennant Roberts
Script editor - Eric Saward
Producer - John Nathan-Turner
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Warriors Of The Deep REVIEWS
From the sweeping vaults of Gallifrey's very own Dark Tower in the Tomb Of Rassilon to the high above and then deep below the churning, murky waters of Earth circa 2084 on a sea base. Yes it's Warriors of the Deep...
Set in a very brightly lit seabase, which the author Johnny Byrne wanted to be grungy, rusty and dark, like a submarine interior. What the director Pennant Roberts gave him in his return to the show was an overlit supermarket populated by a lot of equally over lit plastic actors and that's not just referring to the costumes…not yet anyway. Lets talk about the new Tardis console first. I remember eagerly awaiting the first episode of Warriors of the deep, this was the first season debut I had knowledge of as a kidfan. Yeah I know the streamlined console first appeared in the Five Doctors.'s but I was packed off to scouts and not allowed to watch it!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Man did I hate my parents for a while. But still the new console looked great, the cast looked fresh and sprightly.
Davison even had his hair cut short for the first time in two years, Tegan looked slimmer, was now wearing bright 80's mini dress to show off her shapely legs and her hair was now longer and more spikey - much better, Turlough just looked um…much the same really. You think after nearly half a year in a school boy's uniform, especially when he hated the school he would get rid of it..and it must have been a bit whiffy. As for Davison's his really stinks after wearing the same thing for two years straight so he takes the hint and dives into a tank of water fully clothed and ends up wearing a ill fitted wetsuit for most of Warriors Of The Deep.
Actually I really liked part 1, the Tardis crew were all giving top performances, and loved their running around the sea base trying to avoid the guards. But it didn't make sense that they set off an alarm and ran away from the guards when they wanted to meet the Captain, maybe they tired of being locked up? Then the Doctor decides to heat up the reactor so they can return to the Tardis, there's one way to win the Captain over. Actually loved the bit where he fights the guards and gets knocked into the water. Slowly sinking and presumably drowned was a great and original cliffhanger! Plus at first it was good to see Silurians (why was their third eye winking with their speech? Because the masks wouldn't move?) and then the sea devils waking up but after that Warriors Of The Deep really turns into porridge, cold and lumpy.
First the supporting cast, wooden - so wooden that every time one of them walked into a scene it was like someone threw a chair into the room. The security leader was the worst, followed closely by Solow and that brainwashed kid. The years ain't been as kind to Ingrid Pitt as they were to Elisabeth Sladen she looks way older and why would anyone in their right mind tackle a panto horse sea monster with a karate kick? Not only that but do weird stance combat moves in front of it beforehand? As for the Myrka it was unconvincing shit as we know and can crush rubber doors with a single step but why have it at all? Surely the over bright sets should have killed it before the ultra violet rays?
More Sea Devils would've done, though didn't really mind their bizarre samurai like armour, the actual masks weren't as good as the originals and then you notice also that both they and the silurians not only have 'zippers'.but come un tucked at the back so you can see the actors t-shirts underneath and almost see their sneakers under the poor silurian footwear. The whole two power bloc's thing was a bit cliche' too but the young comms girl was hot. The battles being very badly staged and the whole thing lagged in pace sometimes and any possible tension was dissipated.
Why did the Doctor don a rubber suit? Apart from it being a disguise it seems strange. Why not just go back to the Tardis when you've been flushed down a few levels and change into the new outfit? Ah well, there's some strange stuff in the script but I blame shoddy production values and bad direction. Why bring back a director like Pennant Roberts from the 70's? He was ok but why not Dougie Camfield or David Maloney who could have lifted the material? Seems a strange choice. There should have been a another way and Warriors Of The Deep was JN-T's first big dip, worse was yet to come.
Warriors on the cheap!
From the bloody amazing to the bloody stupid. Yep Warriors Of the Deep. If there is one line from the script (and its the final line too!) that sums this story up, its this one;
"THERE SHOULD HAVE BEEN ANOTHER WAY!"
New season! Opening story!! Grab the attention of your faithful viewers and entice new ones into watching it!!! Lets have something that everyone can follow and have characters we want to know about and a plot that is accessible. Right?
Bollocks. Lets have Warriors Of The Deep, something so badly written and bogged down in continuity from stories ten years ago that only fat saddo geeks would care about, coupled with performances straight out of amatuer theatre and the cheap and cheezy production values that the show was famous for. Sorry; but men in rubber suits are only good in fetish porn videos.
Why bother bringing back monsters from the past when all you're gonna do is write them like crap? Warriors of the deep is nothing more than a base-under-seige with a (insert monster here) invasion and thats about it. If the The Sea Devils managed to shoot The Silurians to kindom come, then this peace of dross manages to blow both those stories out of the water completely!!! Did we actually LEARN anything about these monsters? Come to think of it where does this Silurian Triad come from anyway? Their third eye now blinks in synch with their speech patterns where as before it could hypnotise people and zap them too. Their voices have changed to sound like Professor Frink from the Simpsons on helium and you can clearly see the zips up their backs.
Meanwhile, why were the Sea Devils redesigned anyway? They look like extras wandering about with a Sea Devil hat perched on their heads! And one Sea Devil had his hat perched on a 45 degree angle! Come to think of it, why are they referred to by the Silurians as "Sea Devils" in the first place? That actually isn't their real name. How about when they attack the sea base? Crack squad of aliens my arse - they can't even shoot straight. The sea base personel are less than six feet away from them and not one of them gets hit. And then there is the Myrka. Followed by Dr Solow's karate kick. And then the zapping. On the other hand it serves her right. The monster moves at the pace of a dead snail, and yet rather than fucking off, everyone stands there like lemmings waiting for it to zap them. Yep; 20 more years of this series coming right up.
Writer Johnny Byrne wanted to write something like Earthshock with all the pace and excitement thereof. And okay, he did. Warriors Of the Deep is just a wafer thin version of it that makes even less sense. The Doctor turns up on Seaquest and wants to find the Captain. But at the first sign of encountering anyone that would take him to the guy-in-charge he pisses off in the other direction! He falls in the pool, comes out, and for no reason at all takes someone else's clothing to disguise himself and goes off slinking about the base again. Then when he gets captured and taken to the Captain he shuts the fuck up! What is going on here?
Speaking of the sea-base, did it actually LOOK like a seabase? More like an overlit studio if you ask me. And since you did, I would have made it darker, older, rusted and dangerous to be in. Although I guess its pretty dangerous to be in anyway as no one has a clue what is going on and its a personality free zone anyway. None of the guest actors breathe any type of life into their parts and most just stand around (or karate kick) and achieve nothing.
The whole point of Warriors Of The Deep is the right to the planet by the Silurians and the Sea Devils (and the super power blocs of the humans) is just badly played out. If you had no prior knowledge of the previous stories (The Silurians and then The Sea Devils) then you'd be sitting at home wondering why the Doctor is bothering with these creatures and trying to save them. I think the script might have had potential originally, but it got lost along the way and then bogged down too much in continuity, bad performances, lousy script editing and lousy production values.
OK... I'll just come out and say it...I don't think the Myrka is that bad.
How are you supposed to realise a a 20 foot, 400 tonne beast from under the sea? You can just see the designer seeing that and saying, "well thank you very much Mr Byrne!"... I reckon Neil would even tell him to get stuffed! But what they got was fine - it was alien, it was menacing (although maybe a bit goofy - but touch it and you get fried!), and I think it worked OK. Busting through the foam doors on the base though - that was shit. And speaking of shit, here's the rest of Warriors Of The Deep...
It comes as no surprise to learn that the Warriors of the Deep production time was cut thanks to Mrs Thatcher - remember the Billy Bragg song that went :-
and all the 'omeless children on the roads asleep
isn't that enough to make you want to weep
you've driven up inflation, now nuffing is cheap
you even screwed up production of Warrior's of the Deep
Sorry, where were we...ah yes, it was no surprise learn that production time was cut as it really comes across as rushed, under prepared and in some places unrehearsed
So I guess then for some of Warriors Of the Deep there is a reason... but there are some things that a director of Pennant Roberts' experience should have fixed - mind you, he did do the Sunmakers... and yes, he will do Timelash too! I'm sure Grob's mentioned the bright lights... something Pennant clearly loves! On top of using the mattress for a door (which could have been fixed with better shooting), there's the fact that the Silurians walk like they've just done a poo but forgot to take off their suits, there's making Ingrid Pitt try to Karate kick the Myrka, and there's agreeing to have Turlough say "face it Tegan, the Doctor is dead" at the end of part one... that's got to be one of the worst cliff hangers ever... but if it was just the Doc jumping into the water followed by a scream as we saw him float to the top, that would have been fine.
The whole build up of tension to Warriors of the deep doesn't work. The story is quite good - maybe not in the writing and the telling, but the concept is fine. The cold war scenario is interesting, but it comes across as a bit dull and huh? Bringing the Silurians and Sea Devils back is good too - but they just seem so slow and plodding and it really takes away from the whole thing. BTW, how do the Silurians know who's who? Ichtar's the boss, so I guess he'd get up first in the morning, but then when Tarpok and Skybus wake up, how does he know which one's which? Is that racist? I bet it's easy to get a fake ID for Silurians (there you go Grob - there's a cartoon for you!).
Anyway, cast wise there's nothing glaringly terrible - just that they all look under-prepared. Horshack is quite a good leader for the base under siege scenario (and far more eloquent than his sweat hog cousin in Brooklyn) - he's reasonably level headed, and as such his second in command who's supposed to be the level headed one who sees that his boss is a tool and the Doctor is right, doesn't have much to do except stand around being the other one, looking like Francis Greenslade... and be the only one left in the base... wonder if he walked around with no pants on after they'd all been killed... anyway... the two double agents are kind of OK, there's the one that looks like Sam Newman, and Ingrid Pitt, Maddox is pretty good as a Peter Davison mannequin and Preston is hot... and capable... but moreover, hot! The other one with the accent was crap, but she got killed pretty early.
The regulars are just OK - they look like they're back on the first day of school... not really ready to get going yet, but all nice and clean and new. You have to feel a bit sorry for Davison though - two times in his tenure he got to change his clothes - and both times he's had to wear the same shade of beige! Which leads to the next, and possibly biggest question of the story... How did the Doctor's celery survive getting drenched?
For all Warriors of the deep's faults though, I somehow remembered it as being OK. It could have been because for the first time I was able to convince some kids at school to watch it - they loved the way the Sea Devils melted... and that still does look pretty cool. And the last part is still pretty good too - just a pity Warriors Of the deep is spoilt a bit by the lack of tension in the first 3.
I'm going to be lenient though as deep down I think the time cuts really hurt what isn't a bad story. Warriors Of The deep final score....
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