Doctor Who #52, 62 & 131: Beneath the Surface

Title: Doctor Who: Beneath the Surface (”Doctor Who and the Silurians” / “The Sea Devils” / “Warriors of the Deep“)
Year: 1970 / 1972 / 1984
Network: BBC
Creators: Sydney Newman, C.E. Webber, Donald Wilson
Directors: Timothy Combe / Michael E. Briant / Pennant Roberts
Writers: Malcolm Hulke / Malcolm Hulke / Johnny Byrne
Starring: Jon Pertwee, Caroline John, Nicholas Courtney / Jon Pertwee, Katy Manning / Peter Davison, Janet Fielding, Mark Strickson
Music: Ron Grainer (theme); Carey Blyton / Malcolm Clarke / Jonathan Gibbs
Episodes: 17, at 25 minutes; 1 story of 7 episodes (the 2nd of 4 stories from season 7), 1 story of 6 episodes (the 3rd of 5 stories from season 9), and 1 story of 4 episodes (the 1st of 6 stories from season 21)
Synopsis: creatures who inhabited Earth before humans want their planet back
How I saw it: on video (rented from Netflix), June 2008
Subjective Rating: 6/10 (Okay).
Objective Rating: 4/10 (gets points for concept, pacing, acting and subjective rating) c. 2.0/4 (Indifferent).

The 80’s story strongly pulls down the average of the three. “The Silurians” isn’t a great episode, but it’s good. Surprisingly fast-paced for seven episodes. The music is particularly horrible; the DVD includes an entire documentary about how horrible the music is. “The Sea Devils” is nothing special, but it’s got some good solid Doctoring. It’s basically the same story as “The Silurians,” with a subplot around The Master (who has some great cornball lines) added. “Warriors of the Deep” is completely terrible. Possibly the worst special effects of the entire series. And awful writing; I am shocked at the quality of writing the BBC was willing to film and broadcast in the 80’s.


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