Friday, 11 July 2014

Fury from the Deep

This entry was originally recorded in analogue a very long time ago.  Attempts have been made to preserve, as closely as possible, the feel of the original recording.  Because of its digital resolution, however, the typed entry can reveal limitations of the original handwriting.

They know, they just know where to grow, how to dupe you, and how to camouflage themselves among the perfectly respectable plants, they just know, and therefore, I've concluded weeds must have brains.
- Dianne Benson


Me:  Something that I mentioned really quickly at the end of The Web of Fear entry, so quickly in fact that you might not have heard it, was that the start of Fury the Deep – which I shall continue to refer to it as – the start of Fury the Deep is an awful lot like the start of Doctor Who and the Pescatons, in which the Doctor and Sarah land on a beach and find that they’re being watched.  The beach is deserted and there’s something nasty in the sea, okay?  Oddly enough, it was also written by Victor Pemberton.

Him:  The same guy?

Me:  It is.  He also wrote a radio series called ‘The Slide’-

Him:  Is that the same story?

Me:  It’s very similar.  I’ll now back that up with a load of figures and thoughts.

Him:  Do you reckon that he hasn’t actually written all three?  Maybe he only wrote the first one and then-

Me:  Changed the names?

Him:  No, no, no.  Then the BBC changed the names.  “We loved the story so much, we decided that we’re gonna do it again.”

Me:  Ha!

Him:  “Like a special edition?”

Me:  “Not so much a special edition as a kind of…  This time we’re going make it into a vinyl record.”  I don’t know what accent that was.

You’ll have to imagine.

Me:  Oo, PIGS!


Me:  I’d better miss that out.

Him:  Ha!  Miss what out?

Me:  Me just going “PIGS!” for no reason.

Him:  PIGS!

Me:  So…  Fury the Deep and The Ambassadors of Death  Now, I know that The Ambassadors of Death is basically Quatermass meets Doctor Who doing grit but other than that I don’t know a huge amount about it because I’ve purposefully left… finding out too much about it for as long as possible.  It’s very much the same with Fury the Deep.  I’ve tried to find…  I’ve not over-researched it because I want to watch this…  I’ve never seen it.  This is the last of the definite, no-hold-barred, this-is-a-classic that I know we’ve got left.  The Ambassadors of Death’s got a good rep but I’m not sure about that one.  I’ve been looking forward to this for a long, long, long time.  I’ve been looking forward to this one since we started.

Him:  Riiiight.

Me:  The Myth Makers came as a heck of a shock.  I didn’t expect that was going to be as good as it was-

Him:  And this one’s Fury the Deep.

Me:  It might be over-

Him:  Three hours long?

Me:  Also…  This might be over-hyped.  The chances are it’s not going to be as good as it’s made out to be.  Ever since Sutekh destroyed it while showing off to Philip Hinchcliffe…

Him:  Ha!  And Scaroth but not Scaroth.  ‘The Second Last of the Jagaroth’.

Me:  Yeah – ‘Eye… On Blatchford’.

Him:  He was sent Fury from the Deep by his past self.

Me:  Yeah, yeah!  ‘cause he was in that as well.

Him:  “Utter trash.”

Me:  Ha!  Well… let’s hope it’s better than ‘Eye… On Blatchford’.  Shall we?  Do you want to do the Countdown Dalek?  We haven’t had him for a while.

Countdown Dalek:  ONE!-GO!

And we’re off…

The visual noise swirls up and about.  The old wizard crops up again, wearing Troughton’s crumpled face.  The Greatest Theme in the History of Ever does what it needs to do and then – finally – up comes the legend, ‘Fury the Deep’.1

Me:  Yay!

The camera pans down from a large slice of grey that turns out to be the sky until it hits some particularly gloopy sea, then it bounces back up, revealing the distant twirling shape of the TARDIS, lowering in for a very careful landing. 

Me:  Movement!

Me:  Notice anything about the sound?

Him:  Bloopy?

The Doctor, Jamie and Victoria disembark and row ashore in a dinghy.  As they hit the beach, Victoria begins warming her lungs up with some vowel-based complaining.  Jamie proves you can’t get anything past him by pointing out the TARDIS is still floating in the ocean.  The Doctor says, to no-one’s real surprise, that they’ve probably landed in England. 

Jamie:  Aye.  You can tell by the weather.

Me:  That’s rich!

Victoria observes it’s always bloody Earth, and then Jamie goes one step further…

Jamie:  Aye, and it’s always England.

Me:  So, why’re you here?

Following this surprisingly post-modern/meta-textual exchange3 our heroes start trudging through the shingle towards something that’s caught the Doctor’s attention: foam.  Lots of it.6

The Doctor carefully picks up some of the strange foam –

The Doctor:  Hey, Jamie.  Smell that.

- and shoves it in Jamie’s face.  Textbook. 

Me:  Ha!

Him:  He slapped his face!

A foam-fight breaks out.  As does the incidental music.

Me: Dudley’s back.

Him:  What if it’s poisonous?

Jamie’s the first to emerge from this Ibizan party.  He spots a pipeline further up the beach.  Our chums stop what they’re doing and stride promotionally forward.

Me:  Great photo.
  Him:  It is.

The pipeline is – mostly – white and covered with seaweed.  It’s labelled ‘Eurosea Gas’.  The Doctor doesn’t think it’s got anything to do with the foam but decides to start playing around with an attached control box.  When he can’t kick it open, the Doctor looks around furtively, reaches into his jacket…

Me:  Watch this…

…and, with no fuss at all, pulls out what looks an awful lot like a toothbrush.

Jamie:  Well, what’s that?

The Doctor:  It’s a sonic screwdriver.  Never fails.

Him:  Aw – wow!

The sonic screwdriver, much like Victoria, emits a high-pitched whine.  Disappointingly, rather than melt, explode or disintegrate the control box casing, it only undoes the screws, leaving the Doctor to manually open the lid. 

The Doctor:  Neat, isn’t it?  All done by sound waves.7

The Doctor frootles around in the control box.  Jamie notices a strange, rhythmic noise.  The Doctor puts it down to a pump.  Victoria starts getting twitchy and slightly paranoid.

Victoria:  I feel as if we’re being watched.

And they are.  Through one of those telescopic sights that they have these days.  A shot rings out.  Well, not ‘rings’ as such, it’s more of a ‘whoosh’.  The Doctor falls to the sand as the invisible marksman also bags himself a couple of companions. 

Him:  I didn’t know that this was the last one.

Some time later, our heroes wake up on a soundstage.  As is often the case after a foam party, they can’t move, don’t know where they are, and have silent, helmeted guards pointing guns at them.  We’ve all been there.

Victoria:  I…  I…

Him:  “…ice cream…”

A grumpy gentleman with terrific hair strides onto the set.  This is Mr Robson and he’ll be the quizmaster for the evening.

Robson:  I shall expect quite a lot of answers.

Mr Harris, a gentleman with a lab coat and a moustache, administers U4 gas to our friends.  As an antidote to whatever they’ve been spiked with, it works a charm and they’re soon up on their feet and asking questions. 

After the customary accusations, Robson strides off to photocopy the picture round.  Mr Harris explains that everyone’s a bit on edge at the moment, what with just having lost contact with a rig and all.  Refreshingly, Jamie makes no attempt to boost the Loch Ness tourist trade at this point. 
Mr Harris gossips out huge gobbets of exposition in order that the story can get going properly.  Although contact’s been lost with the rig in question, it’s not as though this is down to it being munched.  All the communication systems are still working fine.  There’s also been a drop in pressure in the pipeline, the same pipeline that the Doctor and friends were caught playing around with.

Jamie:  Are you calling us liars?

Me:  “Well, yes.”

As Mr Harris leads our friends to their revision cubicle, a light starts flashing.  This is never a good sign.

Elsewhere in the base Mr Harris’ wife, Mrs Harris, is arguing with a jobsworth security intercom that seems to think it’s Gandalf picking on a Balrog.  Mrs Harris stares sadly through a locked climbing frame and then heads back to the residential block. 

Meanwhile, Mrs Harris’ husband is showing the Doctor, Jamie and Victoria where they’ll be revising.  Jamie immediately claims the top bunk.  The Doctor tries to tell Mr Harris about the movement he’d heard in the pipes.  Mr Harris doesn’t believe him.

The Doctor suggests that the gas be turned off so that someone can at least check that Hookjaw, or a sea-badger or something, isn’t stuck in the pipe. Mr Harris explains that Mr Robson is one of those bosses that prides himself on never shutting down the flow.  The sort that insist on keeping the building open, even when there’s been so much snow that there’s no public transport running and wolves have come down from the hills to prey on travellers.  You know the type. 

The Doctor:  He sounds a very silly man.

Back in the main control, Robson’s managed to contact Rig B.

Me:  “We have rising damp.”

The connection’s very bad but the general upshot is that despite a reactor leak everyone’s fine, they’re all fine there.  How’re you?

Carney:  Everything’s under control.  Everything’s under control.  Everything’s under control.

The connection’s lost and Robson, being one of those bosses, isn’t at all happy.  His mood isn’t lifted when Mr Harris suggests they shut off the gas flow to check for sea-badgers.  The pressure keeps dropping.

Mr Harris:  But, Mr Robson, please listen.  This ties up with what I’ve been trying to tell you.  For three weeks now there’s been a regular and increasing build-up and fall in pressure.  Look, I think you should at least look at my calculations.

Robson:  What are you trying to prove, Harris?  That I don’t know my job?

Me:  I’ve worked with people like Robson.

In the background, a gloved someone nicks Mr Harris’ calculations from his briefcase.  Moments later, Mr Harris discovers the theft and asks Robson for some time off to check he hasn’t left it at home.  Robson kindly agrees.

Robson:  You’d better have something more than a high-flown theory, because if you haven’t…  I’m going to take you and chop you up into little pieces and throw you back to your crummy little university.  Alright?

The Doctor, Jamie and Victoria have decided to research lock-picking and ventilation shafts, just in case they’re subjects that come up in the quiz. 

In a corridor near the residential block, Mr and Mrs Harris are getting their flap on.  Mr Harris offers to swap his wife a backstage pass in return for the file he’s probably left either on the fireplace, next to the theatre tickets, or in the study. 

Mrs Harris:  Alright, darling.  What’s the panic?

Me:  “I’ll explain later.”

Mr Harris:  I’ll explain later.

The Harrises break apart and drift away in different directions.  As soon as they’ve gone, Jamie lands on his head in the corridor.  At that moment, Victoria passes Basic Lock-Picking and the revision cubicle door slowly swings open.

Victoria:  Told you not to bother.

Me:  Ha!

The Doctor:  Sorry about that, Jamie.

Him:  Is the next one The Wheel in Space?

Me:  Yup.

Him:  Hang on.  They’re in a base and it’s under attack.  And in The Web of Fear they were in a base under attack.  And Enemy of the World they were in a base under attack.  And Tomb of the Cybermen.  This is very familiar.

Me:  And The Ice Warriors.

Him:  Yeah.  In The Ice Warriors they were in a base under atttack.  Just a coincidence, surely?

Me:  Must be.  And don’t call me Shirley.

Mrs Harris is looking everywhere for the file.  She even checks under the cat.

Me:  Quite nice living quarters.

Him:  Yeah.  In the base.

Worryingly for us, Mrs Harris finally finds the file.  There’s something inside…  She opens it and suddenly drops it, no doubt startled by an unexpected piano sting from Dudley.

Me:  Seaweed?

Him:  Uuurgh.

Mrs Harris picks up the seaweed and dumps it in the garden.  In the distance a nervous cat mewls.

Back in the main control area, the newly arrived – and gloriously named - Van Lutyens is swapping manly barbs with Robson.  Van Lutyens represents the Dutch interest in Eurogas and is keen on worker morale, lunch breaks, that sort of thing.  Robson…  Robson’s one of those type of bosses.

Robson:  Let’s get one thing straight, my friend.  When I need your advice-

Me:  “I’ll tell you it.”

Robson strides off.  Van Lutyens waits a few moments and then storms away in a cloud of Dutch that sounds rather rude.  Our chums have been studying the scene quietly.

There’s a call for Mr Robson from Mr Baxter in the control rig, answered by Mr Price.  Write that down in your copybook.  Mr Baxter tells Robson that they’ve been hearing weird noises, like a heartbeat.8

The Doctor tells Victoria to head back to the revision cubicle while he takes Jamie off on a research trip.   Victoria agrees, lowers her head and shuffles sulkily off.  As soon as the chaps are out of sight, she promptly skips off in the wrong direction.

Him:  Ha!

Mrs Harris is starting to feel out of sorts.  She tries calling her husband at work.  Mr Harris manages to persuade Robson to let him call for a doctor.

In a nearby room, the mysterious gloves from earlier are now attached to a full body.  We still don’t know who the body belongs to because of the gas mask it’s wearing.  Levers are being pulled, mischief’s afoot, oxygen is being released.  There’s a noise and the mysterious figure hides behind a newspaper as Victoria enters the room to avoid Mr Harris.  Having been brought up proper, Victoria starts tidying.  She’s halfway through closing the oxygen valves when she notices that she’s not alone.

Him:  “Are you my mummy?”

The mysterious gloves, body and gasmask rush by Victoria before locking her in and then pressing the drain-all-the-oxygen-from-the-room-cliffhanger switch.  Putting her qualification to good use, our plucky heroine starts picking the lock with grim determination.

The Doctor and Jamie have found a room with a lift and an impeller (like a propeller but different).  The next room’s full of pipes as well.  There’s a beauty in the middle – massive and transparent. 

Victoria’s still stuck.  She switches from lock-picking to improvised-percussion-with-shouting but to no avail.  At that moment, foam pours in through the ventilator slats.  Victoria backs to the wall.  There’s something in the foam.  Victoria closes her eyes and takes a deep breath.  The grill bursts open and lashing tendrils of seaweed flail about.  Victoria’s eyes roll back, she rises slowly into the air and unleashes a series of hypersonic blasts, triggering the credits.

Me:  Frazer was getting into it there.

Him:  Is this Frazer then?

Me:  Sigh.


We recap; Victoria’s still blasting away..

The Doctor and Jamie, hands over their ears, follow the hypersonic blasts to the oxygen room.  They pull open the door and…


…save Victoria from the lashy, foamy, tendril-seaweed-beast-thing by pulling her into the corridor where it isn’t.  Robson, Van Lutyens and so on, run up the corridor to see what’s causing all the racket.  Victoria, like a just-released hand operated air-raid siren, is starting to calm down.

Robson accuses Victoria of breaking the seals and emptying the oxygen cylinders.  There’s talk of the room being filled with a poisonous gas rather than oxygen.  The Doctor draws everyone's attention to the shattered slats of the ventilation grill. 

Elsewhere, Mr Harris finds that Mrs Harris is in a bit of a befuddled state following a nasty reaction to the seaweed from earlier.  Mrs Harris explains that she put her hand into the file…

Mrs Harris:  …and then the sea…

Me:  “…weed.”

Him:  Ha!

Mrs Harris lies down on the couch.  Heading nervously to help her, Mr Harris clips a now-empty bottle of gin with his foot, sending it skittering across the floor.  Next door’s music grows louder, the insistent bass drum shaking the walls.  Mrs Harris sits up in a panic as the seaweed she dumped in the garden starts frothing mightily.

Him:  You can hear that it just wants to sing.

Me:  It’s certainly wandering up and down the keyboard like a good un.

Mrs Harris lies down again.

Next Door:  bom bom bom bom bom bom

Me:  It’s the neighbours.  They’re throwing another party.

Mr Harris calms his wife and tells her that he’s met a Doctor who might be able to help.  After he’s left, Mrs Harris stands up and walks slowly to the patio doors.

Next Door:  bom bom bom bom bom bom

She pulls the doors open, yells at next door to keep it down, and then slams the door shut.  The double-glazing cuts out the noise, leaving Mrs Harris wondering what she came into the kitchen for.

Back in the impeller (like a propeller but different) room, the Doctor, Robson, Van Lutyens and so on, are discussing their various theories about why the pumping’s slowed down.  The Doctor tries raising his sea-badger-trapped-in-the-pipe theory.  Even though Robson’s not convinced, Van Lutyens is intrigued.

Van Lutyens:  What kind of movement?

Me:  “MICE!”


Him:  That hurt my ears.

Robson explains that even the slightest mechanical noise will travel along the pipe but the Doctor continues to insist he heard something organic.

Robson:  Alright then.  Suppose there is something in the pipe - a fish or something - what do you expect me to do about it?

The Doctor:  Turn off the gas flow.

Robson, being one of those type of bosses, isn’t about to do that.  He wants a couple of workers sent down to investigate.  Van Lutyens feels his morale deflating at the same rate his righteous ire is expanding.

Van Lutyens:  If you allow the pressure to build up in the pipeline, you’ll blow the whole rig sky-high.

Meanwhile, Jamie and Victoria are attending Mr Price’s refinery lecture.

Jamie:  You mean to say this place supplies all the gas for the whole of the south of England?

Mr Price:  And the whole of Wales.

Jamie manages not to mention Scotland here.  Victoria accidentally triggers some exposition from Mr Price: every CCTV camera in the base is represented by a light on a board.9 There’s also a plan showing where all the rigs are. It looks like it’s been designed by whoever came up with the map of the different zones in The War Games.10 

Me:  I should like a map like that
 Mr Price reveals that Robson once spent four years on a rig.

Jamie:  Aye, that would account for quite a lot.

Mr Harris comes rushing into the impeller (like a propeller but different) room and begs the Doctor to come and take a look at his wife.  Initially, Robson has other ideas-

Him:  “You can always buy another wife.”

Me:  I’ve definitely worked with people like that.

- but eventually agrees to give Mr Harris and the Doctor an hour off.

Mrs Harris is looking much better.  Her door-buzzer buzzes, so she answers it.  Opening the door, Mrs Harris is greeted by two contrasting gentlemen who introduce themselves as ‘maintenance controllers’.  This is Mr Quill and Mr Oak, and both are well-known to the Australian censors. 

Me:  Damn, that’s creepy.

At the same time Mrs Harris is inviting Mr Vandemar and Mr Croup Mr Quill and Mr Oak in for an inspection, Robson gets a message from the control rig.  Although van Lutyens doesn’t think it’ll work, Robson arranges for gas to be vented to lower the pressure.  The tension builds. 

Mrs Harris has another lie down, as Mr Quill and Mr Oak fix her cooker.  Something seaweedy is poking out from Mr Oak’s sleeve…

Me:  Oh, God.  That’s hideous.

Next Door:  bom bom bom bom bom bom

Having fixed the cooker, the two ‘maintenance men’ open the patio doors, letting the foam roll from the garden into the living room and all over the carpet. 

Next Door:  bom bom bom bom bom bom

Mrs Harris, sensing that’s something amiss – well, seaweed fairs pongs after all – sits up.

Next Door:  bom bom bom bom bom bom

Me:  Movement…

If you don’t know what happens next then you’re reading the wrong blog.

Iconic moment #230
Him:  I love the teeth…

Me:  God…

The pressure’s back to normal.  Van Lutyens admits he was mistaken but Robson still gets a dig in.  He’s that type of boss.  Although everything should be fine, Mr Price can’t contact Rig C…

Van Lutyens:  So, the immediate crisis is over, ja?

The Doctor, Mr Harris, Jamie and Victoria arrive at the Harris’s, only to find that it’s full of gas.  Jamie opens a window with his shoulder and Mr Harris finds his wife sprawled on the floor.  Victoria starts powering up…

Robson and Van Lutyens are having an argument.  The air of the impeller (like a prop- oh you get the idea)-  The air of the impeller room slowly fills with testosterone whilst, behind them, the impeller slows to an ominous halt.  The Chief Engineer can hear something…

Next Door:  bom bom bom bom bom bom

Me:  Oh, of course!  It’s Hubert Rees.  He’s in The Seeds of Doom.

Him:  Everyone’s in The Seeds of Doom nowadays.

Me:  Eh?

We’ll be seeing him again.10  In the meantime…

Mrs Harris appears to have fallen into a coma.  Mr Harris doubts that natural gas can be the cause, after all it’s non-toxic. 

The Doctor:  This isn’t natural gas.  This is the gas we found when Victoria was locked in the oxygen room.

Mr Harris:  But where could it have come from?

Me:  Scotch eggs?

Mr Harris retraces the episode, and the file full of seaweed gets a mention.  The Doctor dismisses it.  Victoria, primed to emit a full-beam hypersonic blast at the mention of anyone wanting a hat like that, notices something ghastly: lurking seaweed. 

Slowly, Mr Harris works it out.  The stingy seaweed…  It was meant for him!

Victoria:  Well, I hate the stuff.  It’s so slimy and horrid.

Van Lutyens pulls the Chief Engineer to one side for a chat.  After carefully scrutinising the plans, Van Lutyens has reached the conclusion that the blockage must be at the base of the shaft.  Someone will have to go down and free it.  The Chief Engineer requires Robson’s approval.  Then…

Next Door:  bom bom bom bom bom bom

The sound’s reaching unbearable levels now.  Robson strides in and starts a brief row.  Within seconds the whole crew are silent.

Next Door:  bom bom bom bom bom bom

Van Lutyens:  It’s down there…  In the darkness.  In the pipeline.  Waiting…

Me:  Whoah.

Next Door:  bom bom bom bom bom bom

The credits roll with the beat from next door running in time to the Greatest Theme in the History of Ever.

Me:  That was ace.


We recap; it’s still down there…

Me:  This is a Loose Cannon one.

Him:  Right.

Back at the Harris’s, the Doctor and some bits of seaweed are pre-enacting one of the best bits of Alien. 

The Doctor:  I’m going to take a closer look at this weed.

Using either some tweezers, a pencil or the sonic toothbrush, the Doctor scoops up a sample and pops it into a polythene bag.  Mr Harris leaves to book a bed in the medicare centre for the still-unconscious Mrs Harris.  As the door closes, Jamie notices a plothole.

Jamie:  Hey, I thought we were supposed to be prisoners?

Me:  Ha!

After our chums leave, Mrs Harris rolls over.  There’s something nasty sticking out from her sleeves…

Me:  Urgh.

The impeller’s still blocked.

Next Door:  bom bom bo-

Silence.  Maybe next door’ve gone to bed?  Van Lutyens, having never been clubbing, thinks the sound might be a heartbeat.  Robson disagrees and, because he’s that type of boss, gives them half an hour to get everything working again.

Meanwhile, the Doctor, Jamie and Victoria have found a fishtank to pop the seaweed into.  Science takes place, ultimately leading to an outbreak of toxic gas and some things that shouldn’t wriggle doing just that…

Me:  Movement…

Victoria:  It means, Jamie, that the weed is just as much alive as you and me.

Mr Harris is striding purposefully down a corridor when he bumps into Robson.  Harris explains he needs to book a bed for his wife because she’s-

Robson:  What’s the matter with her?  She got a hangover?

The Him makes a noise.

Van Lutyens is intrigued by the mention of toxic gas – well, you would be.  Robson’s sure the Doctor and his meddling chums have got something to do with the steadily spreading web of intrigue.  This isn’t a good point for Mr Harris to point out the plothole that Jamie noticed earlier.  The confrontation between Mr Harris and Robson is rapidly heading towards some nasty character development when…  The impeller starts moving again.

Robson:  I told you it was only a mechanical fault, didn’t I?

The impeller stops moving again.11

Robson:  You fools!  You stupid fools!12

We’re totally absorbed at this point.  It really is very, very good.

Robson shouts a lot and then storms off. 

Van Lutyens:  Ja!  Pressure!  Strain!  He’s cracking up, I tell you!12

Chief Engineer:  You’re not helping him, you know.

Van Lutyens:  That’s not my job!  I am here to give technical advice which he ignores.  Alright, he knows a lot about engineering, but not all.  And what he does not know, is the state of mind of those men out there on the rigs.

Van Lutyens wants the compound closed and the rigs evacuated.  The Chief13 points out that Robson’s not likely to let that happen.

The Doctor, Jamie and Victoria still haven’t named their pet seaweed.  On the plus-side, the Doctor’s found a picture of the tentacled terror that Victoria saw in the oxygen room in a big book of sea monsters.

The Doctor:  This particular drawing was supplied by ancient mariners in the North Sea… In the middle of the Eighteenth Century, Jamie.

Jamie:  That’s my time.

The Doctor’s certain that there’s a connection between the Weed and the creatures. 

Their pet seaweed agrees, and tries to climb out of the fishtank to join in the conversation -
 - but Victoria’s too quick for it.  She unleashes a focused beam of pure sonic energy, forcing the Weed to retreat.

Him:  Everything’s frightened of Victoria’s screams.

Me:  Her Sonic Blasts?

Him:  Are you trying to make it sound like she’s got a super-power?

Me:  I’ve been doing that since Tomb of the Cybermen.

The Doctor delivers a quick infodump to make sure that everyone’s up to speed and then orders ethem back to the Harris’s.  On the way out he pauses…

The Doctor:  Just a minute…  That Weed went back in its sangria suddenly, didn’t it?  I wonder why?  Never mind.

Van Lutyens, Mr Harris and the Chief have put their case forward to Robson.  He’s responded by gathering most of the workforce together for a communal rollicking.12  The sheer force of his tirade wears Robson out, so he returns to his room for a kip.  As soon as Robson flops onto his bed there’s someone trying to open his door.

Robson:  Who’s there?  Go away.

Lurking outside, Mr Oak locks Robson’s door with a key that he probably shouldn’t have.  Mr Oak then proceeds to flood Robson’s room with gas.

Next Door:  bom bom bom bom bom bom

Robson totally loses it.

Me:  It reminds me of our old flat.

Him:  It wasn’t that bad.

Me:  It was worse.

Him:  Yeah, it was worse.

Somehow, Robson opens the door and runs off.  Mr Harris peeks into the room and spots something tentacular writhing in the foam that’s spoiling yet another carpet.

Us:  Whoah!

Him:  Foam was a recurring theme in Patrick Troughton’s time.

Our chums have arrived at the Harris’s to find that no-one’s there.  There’s a strange smell of gas though.  Jamie heads off to the kitchen.  The Doctor opens the bedroom door, only to find the room’s full of foamy badness.  Victoria fires hypersonic blasts at the unspeakable horror until it slips off out through the window and hides in the garden.  Jamie is trapped on a table in the kitchen, surrounded by foam.  The Doctor and Victoria climb onto the roof and pull Jamie to safety through a skylight.14

Me:  Wow…

Him:  “Victorian Watercress and Her Hypersonic Blasts.”

Me:  Ha!

Harris drags Van Lutyens to Robson’s apartment but everything looks fine now.  Despite that, Van Lutyens gives him the benefit of the doubt and puts Mr Harris in charge of the compound.

Our chums are catching their breath.

Victoria:  Doctor, why is it that we always land up in trouble?

The Doctor:  Oh, Victoria, it’s the spice of life, my dear.

Victoria:  Well, I’m not so sure.  I don’t really like being scared out of my wits every second.

The Doctor:  Is there something wrong?

Victoria’s head drops and she floats away slowly down the corridor.

Jamie:  What’s the matter with Victoria?

Me:  "She’s being written out, Jamie."

Mr Harris has been on the blower to his other boss, Megan Jones.  She’ll be with them in about three hours.  Mr Oak and Mr Quill are eavesdropping on the exposition.

The Doctor, well aware that it’s nearly time for the story to move up a gear, strides in and delivers a few plot-points in order to give everyone some motivation

The Doctor:  Large formations of seaweed have been coming up on the beaches along this coast.  Seaweed that shows clear indications of having life like human beings.

There’s talk of clearing the impeller.  The Doctor tells everyone that the seaweed – which is also parasitic - will protect itself.  Hearing this, Mr Oak and Mr Quill slowly fade into the shadows and disappear.  Mr Harris tells the Doctor that he saw one of these very things in Robson’s room just after Robson had run off screaming.  Could the two things be connected somehow?

The Doctor:  Oh dear.

It’s at this moment everyone notices that Mrs Harris has gone missing.

It turns out she’s on location, standing on a beach, staring at the sea.  She turns her head to see Robson’s also ruining his shoes.

Mrs Harris:  There is little time.  You know what you must do.

Robson:  Yes.

And with that, she walks into the sea.

Me:  Crikey.

With a gentle bloop, the waves close over Mrs Harris’ head and the credits kick off.

Me:  I like the way it doesn’t just crash into the credits with a sudden close-up of the Doctor’s face or a scream or something.

Him:  ‘Gill.  Quill.  Bill.”

Me:  Oh, yeah.


Me:  We’re halfway through the final full recon.  All the rest of the stories have at least one surviving episode now.

Him:  Cool.

Me:  It’s quite an achievement.  Although The Space Pirates might yet break us.  Despite being written by Robert Holmes.

We recap; bloop...

Back on the base, Mr Price isn’t having any luck getting through to any of the Rigs.

Me:  There’s WOTAN again, muttering away in the background.

The Chief’s men are slowly losing their morale.

Next Door:  bom bom bom bom bom bom

Me:  Bang on the wall.

Victoria and Jamie are catching up on some rest in the revision cubicle.  Well, Jamie is anyway.  Victoria’s taking to floating up and down, chewing her hair and fingernails at the same time. 

The Doctor comes in and they have the ‘So, You’ve Decided You No Longer Want To Be A Companion’ chat.

Me:  And Victoria delivers the reverse of that Tomb of the Cybermen speech.

Having searched the base top to bottom and found no sign of his wife, Mr Harris decides to look through the rest of Britain, starting with the beach.  The first thing he finds is Robson.

Mr Harris:  Have you seen my wife at all?

Robson:  You’ll find her, Mr Harris.  Very soon.

And with that, Robson wanders off.

Van Lutyens, fed up with all the procrastinating, has decided to go down and have a look at what’s clogging up the impeller for himself.12

Me:  Would you go?

Him:  No.

Van Lutyens slaps on a gasmask, enters the lift and drops away down the shaft.  Reaching the bottom, he steps off and locates an access hatch.  Van Lutyens pops his torch on the floor, crouches down and opens the hatch.  Looking in, he sees…

Me:  Movement.

Next Door:  bom bom bom bom bom bom

Something twitches in the dark water, foam begins spewing upwards and –

Him:  Urgh.

- Van Lutyens is pulled under.

Him:  Whoah…

The Him makes chomping noises.

Van Lutyens’ scream echoes up the shaft.  The lift is recalled and found to be empty.  The Doctor grabs a gasmask and declares it’s time they went after him

Jamie:  Oh no, we’re not.

The Doctor:  Jamie, you wouldn’t let me go down there on my own now, would you?

Jamie:  Well…  No.

Hearing this, Victoria loses control, her normally unflappable exterior shatters and she starts flipping out.

Mr Harris, having searched all of Britain, returns to the base. 

Mr Harris:  Where’s Mr Van Lutyens?

Mr Price:  In the impeller area I think, sir.

Me:  “Mostly…”

Mr Harris arrives just after the Doctor and Jamie have been lowered down the shaft (by Mr Oak and Mr Quill in case you were wondering).  Victoria’s really powering up for a full-on hypersonic spray.

The Doctor and Jamie find Van Lutyens’ torch…

Back upstairs, Miss Jones and her dogsbody Perkins have arrived.

Victoria’s floating around the impeller room, wringing her hands.  The Chief and Mr Harris make sure Miss Jones has signed the visitor’s book and bring her up to speed with the current situation.  Miss Jones, to be fair, isn’t impressed.  She insists they contact the rigs personally, giving her permission for the company helicopter to be brought out of the mothball cupboard.

Downstairs, the Doctor and Jamie are having a grim time.

Next Door:  bom bom bom bom bom bom

Me:  Movement!

Him:  I see it.

As the foam starts to foam once more, the Doctor and Jamie bravely run away.

Me:  Movement!

Dodging the grabby tentacles, our heroes climb a nearby escape ladder back to the impeller room.  They’re quite surprised to find that it’s empty.

Jamie:  Where’s Victoria?

The Doctor and Jamie split up to look for clues.

Mr Harris is attempting to cajole Miss Jones into bombing the rigs, when Robson runs in, has a quick shout-

Robson:  Can’t you see?  They’re getting at me!  Those rigs…  They’re mine!  I built them!  My own flesh and blood!  They’re mine!  THEY’RE MY LIFE!  They want to destroy everything…  They think in that way they can destroy me…  We won’t allow…
 - and passes out on the floor.12

The Doctor turns up and delivers the bad news about Van Lutyens and the bottom of the impeller shaft.  And that’s not all…

The Doctor:  I’m afraid that Mr Robson is being controlled by some force that emanates from this weed.


Miss Jones:  That’s incredible.

Suddenly, there’s a call from Mr Baxter – remember him?

Mr Baxter:  Get us out of here!

The call’s abruptly disconnected by some very rude seaweed.

Jamie finally finds Victoria, slumped next to that huge (beautiful) pipe mentioned earlier.

Jamie:  No, you can’t be dead.

Victoria:  Jamie, I didn’t know you cared.

Jamie:  Victoria Waterfield!  You tricked me.  That’s not fair.

Victoria pins the blame firmly on Mr Oak and Mr Quill.  She’s really getting ready to give back her Companion Handbook.15

Victoria:  Oh, Jamie.  Why are we always getting into trouble like this?  It’s the same everywhere we go.

Jamie hasn’t got a clue what she’s going on about.

Next Door:  bom bom bom bom bom bom

Jamie and Victoria suddenly notice that the transparent pipe is full of something that looks like a cross between one of Lovecraft’s ickier nightmares and a saag paneer.

The Doctor’s worked it out.  The seaweed’s first going to colonise the rigs, then move onto Britain and then the whole planet.  As three-stage world-domination plans go, at least it’s got realistic targets.  Who’d have thought that kelp could be better at strategic reasoning than Cybermen? 

Jamie and Victoria rush in and warn everyone that there’s something nasty in the plumbing.  The pipe starts to crack.

The Doctor:  It’s begun.  The battle of the giants!

Who cares what that actually means, let’s have some credits, shall we?


We recap; one of the giants is still having a go at the cracked pipe.

Mr Price still can’t get in touch with any of the rigs.  Miss Jones is particularly concerned about Rig B.16  By this point the base is well and truly under siege, so the Doctor takes the opportunity to pad out the episode wonder about the Weed’s origins.17 The trail of loathsome slime soon leads the Doctor back to the conclusion that pure oxygen’ll be toxic for the Weed. 

Miss Jones demands to speak to Robson.  Perkins and Mr Harris tag along.  Leaving the lads to keep Robson’s guard company, Miss Jones slips into Robson’s room alone.  Robson’s lying on his bed, staring at the ceiling.  Miss Jones tries reasoning with Robson in a slightly more-pronounced Welsh accent.  When that has no effect, she starts pulling rank.  Nothing seems to work.  Sadly, Miss Jones leaves the room and rejoins the boys.  She’s set upon a course of action.

Miss Jones:  As far as I can see, the only thing we can do is destroy this Weed.

The Doctor is deep in thought.

Jamie:  He does look worried this time.  It’s beginning to give me the willies.

The Doctor’s convinced the Weed’ll strike very soon, so it might be an idea to launch a preemptive attack on its headquarters.  Wherever that might be.  The oxygen’s definitely important but there’s something else he can’t quite put his finger on…

Robson’s just dropping off when-

Next Door:  bom bom bom bom bom bom

Me:  Movement!

Him:  I see the movement.  Too scary for Australia?

Me:  Exactly.

Having overpowered his guard, Robson and his weedy cuffs slosh off down the corridor.

Elsewhere, Mr Harris has bad news.  All the oxygen reserves have been destroyed.  This can only mean one thing.

The Doctor:  Yes.  I was right.  Someone amongst us here is under control of the Weed.

Him:  “Everyone roll up your sleeves.”

Having seen John Carpenter’s The Thing – it’s the future, after all – Mr Oak and Mr Quill make a dash for it.  Jamie catches Mr Quill but Mr Oak escapes.  Mr Quill turns to face Jamie and slowly opens his mouth.  Jamie nuts him.

Jamie: Stitch that.
Our chums gather around the cracked pipe.

The Doctor:  Yes, that is a large one.
News comes through that Robson’s escaped and then-  The pipe shatters and fear-filled foam floods in!

Me:  Movement!  There it is!

Somehow Victoria gets lost in the confused stampede for an exit.

Jamie:  I thought she was with you!

The Doctor:  No!

Outside the base, Robson drives off with the unconscious Victoria he’s stolen, the sound of alarms echo along the seafront.

Mr Harris:  Guards!  You must find Mr Robson!  Search everywhere!

Robson transfers Victoria to the recently de-mothballed company helicopter in a scene that was a) slightly too much for the Australian censors, and b) slightly too stimulating for Dudley Simpson.

Me:  Movement!

Mr Harris tells the Doctor about Robson’s chopper.  The Doctor tries phoning it.

Him:  Mooooooovement…

The Doctor:  Robson!  Come back, man!  Come back!

Robson:  I have the girl.  She’s my prisoner.  She’s my hostage.  You understand?  If you want her to live, come over to us.  Come over to us.

Robson hangs up.  Despite Miss Jones’ protestations, the Doctor and Jamie arrange to borrow a company helicopter.  Off they go…

Me:  It’s a helicopter chase.

Him:  Yup.  In noises.

Me:  And pictures.

Him:  But not much movement.

Me:  No.

Robson lands on the control rig complex.  Minutes later, the Doctor and Jamie arrive.  They clamber down a rope-ladder and into the foam covering the platform.  Their helicopter rises and begins circling the structure, as they make their way inside.  It seems to be deserted.

Slowly, our heroes move deeper into the rig.  In the distance, Victoria bellows.  The Doctor grabs Jamie.

Jamie:  Oh, I see.  You think it might be a trap?

The Doctor:  It might be.  Let’s be cautious just in case, eh?

Next Door:  bom bom bom bom bom bom

The Doctor pulls open the door at the end of the corridor.  The room’s in total darkness.

Next Door:  bom bom bom bom bom bom

The Doctor turns on the light, and is confronted with a nightmarish vision. 

Me:  Whoah…

The final notes echo into the credits.

Me:  That was…  Ummm…


Voice of God:  And here’s the sixth and final episode of the Doctor Who adventure, Fury from the Deep.

Me:  Oo.

We recap; it’s still looking scary.

Robson:  Come in, Doctor.  We’ve been waiting for you.

Me:  Two stories on the trot featuring soft-spoken possession.

Jamie manages to get Victoria free.  She lets fly with a series of escalating hypersonic blasts, the final one blows Robson back into the far wall.  Our heroes grab the opportunity and leave.

Next Door:  bom bom bom bom bom bom

The Doctor bundles his young chums into Robson’s abandoned chopper, which he then proceeds to steal.  As they rise higher into the air, the Doctor largely blames Astrid for teaching him how to fly a helicopter.  It’s a lovely touch.

The Doctor:  It’s a very primitive machine, you know.  It should be easy to control.

Me:  So – that must’ve looked pretty good.
At this point the telesnap does a 360° turn.

Me:  I guess – nah.  Surely not.

The other helicopter pilot gets in touch and starts telling the Doctor what to do.

The Other Helicopter Pilot:  Not too much, not too much.  Try and keep the nose on the horizon.  That’s better.

Me:  He’s got a pocket shepherd.

Miss Jones gets Perkins to arrange for lots and lots of oxygen to be sent up from London.  The Doctor strides in, looking rather pleased with himself.  It seems that Mr Quill’s almost over his whole being-possessed-by-seaweed problem.

The Doctor:  He’s bemused.  He’s dazed.

Me:  “Dazed and bemused.”

Mr Harris is still baffled.  He wants to know what killed the Weed.

The Doctor:  Noise!  Sound vibrations!

Me:  “Your hypersonic blasts, Victoria.”

The Doctor’s got a plan.  Now that he’s worked out the Weed’s nerve centre is situated at the control rig, they can attack it directly through the pipeline.

The Doctor:  Well, if we can boost this equipment to send enough sound down the pipeline, we can destroy the Weed’s nerve centre.


The Doctor grabs a tape recorder and asks Victoria to scream.

Victoria:  Scream?

Speakers are affixed to the pipes.  Unfortunately this is the moment that Victoria chooses to reveal that she has crippling performance anxiety.

Victoria:  I can’t.  It’s silly.

The Weed crashes in for its final attack.  Surprising herself as much as anyone else, Victoria lets fly with a hypersonic blast that could melt concrete.


Me:  Movement!

After a quick retreat, and some prime bafflegab, everything’s in place.

The Doctor:  Now, for heaven’s sake, don’t get in the way of the speakers!  The sound’ll cut you to pieces!

Here it comes!

Me:  Movement!

The doors burst open!   

The actor Kevin Eldon raises his speaker…
Me:  Movement!


Him:  So, were Australia not allowed any of this?

Me:  None of this was in the programme.

Him:  Ok.


Me:  It’s either from left-over film-trims that weren’t used or home-movie footage shot from the side of the set.  The creature freaks me out.


The Weed withdraws.

Me:  Victoria’s hypersonic blasts sound amazing.

Him:  It’s really annoying.

They’ve won!  Hurrumble for humanity! 

Me:  “Just this once, Victoria – everybody lives!”

Him:  So, not just The Savages then?

Me:  Evidently not.  Or Edge of Destruction.

Later.  Everyone (yes, everyone) is having a slap-up dinner at the Harris’s.  Victoria announces that she doesn’t want to leave.

Me:  Oh dear.

The Doctor:  You mean you want to stay here and settle down, hmmmm?

Me:  “You’ve no documents, no money and the world won’t make any sense.  I’m sure you’ll be fine.”

Him:  She’s staying with Mrs Harris.

Me:  But for how long?  How long?

Him:  Never mind, Jamie, I’m sure there’ll be other pretty girls.

Me:  It’s almost as certain as fanwhine and everyone pretending to be surprised when the Daleks return.18

Following a touching scene between Jamie and Victoria, it’s time to go.   The Doctor and Jamie paddle out to the TARDIS. 

Jamie watches Victoria wave goodbye on the scanner.  He’s quite upset.

The Doctor:  I was fond of her too, Jamie.

Me:  Jamie was in love.

Him:  Aw.

They’re off.   

Victoria watches, tears in her eyes, as the TARDIS rises into the credits.
Me:  Bit of a landmark.

Him:  Uh-huh.

Me:  Thoughts?

Him:  At least Jamie’ll not remember Victoria.

Following the credits, this happens:

Voice of God:  Next week, a new adventure, this time in space.  A giant wheel in space and mysterious troubles.  Strange eggs that hatch out to…  What?


It looks as though the Doctor’s old enemies the Cybermen are involved in taking over the Wheel for their own evil purposes.  Doctor Who begins a new adventure on The Wheel in Space, next Saturday.18

Me:  That reminds me of something…19

Him:  I forgot the Cybermen were in that one.  And they look different. Again.

Me:  Talking of Wheel in Space trailers…20

Next:  The Space Wheel
1.  For the full story, click here and then scroll right way the way down, until you hit mantle.2  

2.  It’s a feeble geology analogy, as well you know, so just leave Clive out of it.

3.  Seeing as we’re disguised as a Doctor Who blog, we’re obliged to make this sort of tedious chin-stroking observation every couple of thousand words.  It’s a tradition4

4.  Or an old charter.5

5.  Or something. 

6.  Hopefully BBC foam wasn’t the same dead-gravy brown as the stuff that used to cling to the legs of unwary paddlers on the beach that I (occasionally) grew up near.  For a while there was a rumour it was the ‘second most polluted beach in Europe’.  I suppose silver’s better than bronze.
7.  This is where we’re supposed to put the obligatory section complaining about how the sonic screwdriver’s subsequently become nothing more than a magic wand for lazy writers.  It’s a tradition.4

8.   If you ask me, all the clues thus far are pointing to a badly soundproofed nightclub.  Sounds like a job for Environmental Health.

9.  You’re far too young to have seen The Beast Must Die, but there’s a similar plot-point in that, along with some notable Who alumni.

10.  This’ll make sense in about eight stories time.

11.  I can’t help be reminded of a Richard Dreyfus anecdote about the making of Jaws during this scene.  “The shark is working.  Repeat, the shark is work-  The shark has stopped working.  Repeat, the shark has stopped working.”

12.  He’s that type of boss. 

13.  See?  Jaws.

14.  Seriously.  If any story does manage to burrow out of the BBC Canteen and escape, I really hope it’s this one.  Or Power of the Daleks.  Or The Myth Makers.5

15.  She’ll get to retain the badge and decoder book at least.  ‘Yours to keep, whatever you decide’ as it says in the welcome pack’s small print.

16.  Not really, I just wanted to get another Rising Damp reference in.

17.  Yeah, yeah, ‘The Slide’.  I’m sticking with Lovecraft, myself.

18.   BBC (“licence-fee payers already enjoyed the chance to watch the programmes in the late 60s”) Worldwide leaking spoilers, of course.  You’d think they were run by the Flood.14

I got nothing to say I ain’t said before.


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