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Doctor Who: Warriors of the Deep (Story 131)

4 out of 5 stars 18 customer reviews

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(Jun 03, 2008)
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Editorial Reviews


Product Details

  • Actors: Peter Davison, Janet Fielding, Mark Strickson
  • Directors: Pennant Roberts
  • Writers: Johnny Byrne
  • Producers: John Nathan-Turner
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Closed-captioned, Color, NTSC, Subtitled
  • Language: English
  • 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: 97 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00142UZ9O
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #54,938 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD
Warriors of the Deep was part of Peter Davison's 3rd and final season as the young & vulnerable 5th incarnation of the Doctor. Final down to a mere two companions, Davison's run as the Doctor had it's fair share of returning classic foes, this time was a double dip. The Sea Devils and the Silurians, both from Jon Pertwee's run as the third Doctor, are really a natural pairing as they are both prehistoric-sea species of Earth, it is almost astonishing that it hadn't been done earlier. Although the earlier incarnation of the Doctor could very easily been inserted in the place of the actual incumbent, most of the dialogue could have come from that era, down to the Doctor's thinly veiled distain for the destroyer / conqueror side of Humanity, thus his classic closing quote draws in sharp relief the return of the love/hate attitude that was in so much the third Doctor's lines, "there should have been another way..." This time the monsters are indigenous Earth prehistoric creatures so the humans are already the invaders in the scenario. Last time the Doctor faced the Silurians he made some hard choices of conscience bordering on treason (in UNIT's eyes) to do the right thing, as it were. This time that moral convection kind seems worn and thin, admittedly inspite of his young appearance this is an older Doctor, and in this story, a usually pessimistic Doctor.

This the 131st story or the six-hundredth and third episode of the 21st season aired in 1984. This was really a golden-age for the series (much like now with the 2005 return of the show). Of course, Tom Baker, like most Americans my age was "my Doctor," but having followed the show through the reworking of the series by executive producer John-Nathan Turner (much like Russell T. Davies reworking for the 21st cen.
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Format: DVD
A lot had been said about WARRIORS OF THE DEEP already. You probably know about the Myrka. As one of the effects people comments on the documentary feature, if only they'd filmed it properly it might have been okay. The show has always had cheesy monsters (and some excellent ones, natch) but more often than not they pass muster because they're not given full-length shots in bright lighting that expose all their fake rubberiness to view.

But enough about the poor Myrka. This story suffers from one other problem: the Sea-Devils and Silurians. I wasn't crazy about them when the Third Doctor met them, but for what it's worth I think their costumes have improved. The Sea-Devils have clothes this time, including helmets and armor. Trouble is, as with many villains on the show, they move very, very slowly, making you wonder why it's so difficult to kill them. Again, this wouldn't be so bad if only they hadn't been such a prominent feature of three out of four episodes. It's hard to take it seriously when it all looks so silly.

I don't want to focus too much on the negative. It's true that this is not one of the show's high points, but it does have some good stuff in it. The script by Johnny Byrne is of fairly high quality -- straightforward, suspenseful, with a clear sense of what it's about. Those factors are important, especially in the later years of the show when stories could get very convoluted. The first episode of WARRIORS OF THE DEEP is actually quite good, as the Doctor, Tegan, and Turlough arrive on an undersea base in the middle of a crisis. There's a Cold War still going on, and spies on the base are planning some kind of devious scheme.

The set design is also quite good.
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Format: DVD
Over the many decades of its existence, Doctor Who has always been a show full of ideas--almost endlessly inventive and creative. "Warriors of the Deep" is no different. What a fantastic idea, bringing back the Silurians and the Sea Devils! The basic concept of this story brims with excellent potential and fantastic possibilities. All of which gets tanked like the Titanic by inept realization and shoddy production, sad to say.

What could've gone wrong? The Silurians and the Sea Devils, reptilian Earthlings from before the age of humankind who want their planet back, definitely count as some of the more intriguingly original and complex foes (one can't really say villains per se) from the era of the Third Doctor. Now more than a decade and two Doctors later, surely their tale can be developed in new ways. And to some degree "Warriors of the Deep" does indeed manage gestures in this direction, giving them individual names and personalities, revealing little aspects of their society and politics, and alluding to their ethical systems and life philosophies. On a different level, furthermore, those subtle but vaguely noticeable hints of a Cold War allegory wafting about before in the Silurian/Sea Devil stories by Malcolm Hulke are here cleverly brought vividly to the foreground by Johnny Byrne. He rephrases the conflict as that between two (wisely unnamed) competing human power-blocs in 2084, a conflict the reptilians intend to capitalize upon by hijacking an undersea station and provoking both sides to destroy each other, leaving the Earth all for themselves again. In 1984 such a "mutually assured destruction" premise was sure to get a viewer's attention, no doubt about it. And it still has something to say yet.
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Doctor Who: Warriors of the Deep (Story 131)
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