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Doctor Who: The Sea Devils (Story 62)

4.6 out of 5 stars 22 customer reviews

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(Jun 03, 2008)
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Editorial Reviews

From a top-security prison on a remote island, the Master is aiding the Sea Devils' plot to eliminate the human race.

Special Features

  • Audio Commentary
  • Featurette
  • Making of
  • Music Only Track
  • Photo gallery
  • Production Notes

  • Product Details

    • Actors: Jon Pertwee, Katy Manning, Roger Delgado
    • Directors: Michael E Briant
    • Writers: Malcolm Hulke
    • Producers: Barry Letts
    • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, Subtitled, NTSC
    • Language: English (Dolby Digital 1.0)
    • Subtitles: English
    • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
    • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
    • Number of discs: 1
    • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
    • Studio: BBC Home Entertainment
    • DVD Release Date: June 3, 2008
    • Run Time: 147 minutes
    • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
    • ASIN: B00147F8YQ
    • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #57,696 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

    Customer Reviews

    Top Customer Reviews

    As the middle storyline of the middle season in Jon Pertwee's tenure as the Doctor, "The Sea Devils" somehow manages to encapsulate everything that's great about that era in microcosm. And with extensive location shooting and the friendly cooperation and involvement of the British Royal Navy, it does so with a much higher level of verisimilitude and sense of scale than usual, making for an especially memorable adventure. One that's nonetheless entertaining and thoughtful in exactly the ways "Doctor Who" should be.

    From one point of view, "The Sea Devils" is a sequel to the classic "Doctor Who and the Silurians" and from another it's simply a heightened reworking of the same story just different enough to stand on its own. The same basic premise is revisited: reptilians (semi-aquatic in this case) who evolved on Earth long before humankind and went into hibernation to avert a disaster have finally awakened thanks to humanity's environmentally intrusive meddling and are seriously intent on retaking their planet for themselves. Once again the Doctor, the voice of reason on the moral high ground, tries to broker some sort of mutually beneficial compromise but to no avail. Mutual distrust and violence prevail. Of course this time we have to add into the equation the Doctor's nemesis (and former friend) the Master, villainously sowing seeds of discord wherever he goes, egging the tragedy along for his own nefarious purposes.

    That said, the moral complexity characteristic of "Silurians" is more muted in this tale, hinted at and alluded to but not being allowed to interfere with the action and adventure that had come gradually to be emphasized in the show.
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    Season 9's THE SEA DEVILS is a sequel to season 7's DOCTOR WHO AND THE SILURIANS and while the original is usually the more praised serial in Doctor Who fan circles, I've always preferred the follow-up. I don't have anything against THE SIULRIANS (I quite like much of it), but I find a little more to enjoy with THE SEA DEVILS.

    Like the original, Malcolm Hulke's script is about an ancient species (cousins to the Silurians) who once ruled the Earth. After a hibernation period which lasted millions of years, they are slowly awakening and reclaiming ownership to a planet they believe to be their own. Mankind is not keen on giving up on a world they've grown attached to, so it's up to the Doctor to prevent an all-out war.

    There are several key differences between THE SILURIANS and THE SEA DEVILS. The first time, the Earth Reptiles were alone in their planning. This time they're being covertly aided by the Master who wishes to take his revenge upon the humans who have imprisoned him on Earth.

    Despite this help, the Sea Devils are in a fundamentally weaker position than the Silurians had been. While their cousins had a plague virus that could potentially wipe out all humans and a device which could destroy the Van Allen Belt, the Sea Devils are shown simply as survivors, merely capable of blowing up passing freight ships. I find this lowering of the stakes actually benefits the drama. I think it's more exciting to see the villains in a dire situation which makes them desperate. It's also a nice twist in that much of the tension in the later episodes involves the Doctor trying to save the creatures which are nominally the story's bad guys.
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    Comment 6 of 6 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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    This is a classic Pertwee episode from the middle of Jon Pertwee's tenure as the Doctor. It has an interesting villain, two actually, counting the Master; good action sequences, and an interesting story.

    As other reviewers have noted, this story is a sequel to Jon Pertwee's first season story, "The Silurians". The Sea Devils, are reptilian cousins of the Silurians, who have been awakened by undersea blasting to retrofit a 19th century seafort. The Sea Devils are part of race of intelligent reptiles that used to rule the Earth long before the evolution of man, and they want their planet back. The Master wants to help the Sea Devils destroy mankind, since the Doctor is so fond of humanity.

    This is a good story for companion Jo Grant, who I remember being a somewhat annoyingly helpless character. She is able to evade prison guards, come up with a plan to free the Doctor, use her escapology coursework to free the Doctor from his handcuffs, and she even knows how to drive a hovercraft-something the naval captain seems to be incapable of. It is also a good story for the Master, who is in turns menacing and charming as it suits his needs. Jon Pertwee has grown quite comfortable in his portrayal of the Doctor, and this really shows his Doctor at his action-packed best. The supporting characters are well cast, and the story moves along fairly briskly for a 6-parter.

    The British Navy's involvement with this story must be mentioned. The support given through locations, seacraft, sailors, weapons, and stock footage helped give this story a rich, almost movie-like look. Without the navy's involvement it would have been a much poorer-looking show, and the fact that it was provided gratis by the navy allowed the production team to use the money elsewhere.
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    Doctor Who: The Sea Devils (Story 62)
    This item: Doctor Who: The Sea Devils (Story 62)
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