Doctor Who: The Underwater Menace
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The TARDIS lands in the lost city of Atlantis, where the crazed Professor Zaroff has convinced the Atlanteans that he can raise their city from beneath the sea. But the Doctor discovers the terrible truth behind Zaroff s plan he intends to destroy the entire planet. With the doomsday clock ticking, the Doctor and his companions must battle to prevent the apocalypse....
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Unless you're an extreme die-hard Doctor Who fan, this will probably not interest you. Just sayin'...
So to start off, it is (to me at least) less than clear that episodes 1 and 4 are still shots with the sound track in the background. While that is definitely a way to go, it wasn't clear from the onset that was the case and I was a tiny bit disappointed by that. Still, that is probably down to me not fully researching and not necessarily a flaw in the delivery.
What I did find to be a flaw was the manner in which these episodes were put in. While the sound track was intact, there were a number of sections where the stills did not line up with the sound track, leading sometimes to one still covering two separate and different scenes, making things very confusing. What is worse, there is no linking narrative to fill in the blanks where no one is speaking but you are supposed to know what is going on, only the stills are from a different part of the story entirely. I appreciate that they only had a very little bit of footage to take from, but a little bit of creative editing (along with a Voice over narrative) could have more effectively portrayed the action MUCH better than was done here.
All in all, it was a fun episode and something that I am glad to add to my collection. I just want to warn people that it could have been done quite a bit better even given what they had to work with. Be aware that certain scenes will be confusing at best and frustrating at worst.
I particularly enjoyed Professor Zaroff, the stereotypical mad scientist. He really made the story I felt.
Even with two of the episodes being still shots, the story was pretty good overall and I'm glad to add this Troughton story to my Doctor Who collection.
The plot is absurd mad scientist stuff with an insane scientist who could think of no better achievement than destroying the Earth. In the hands of another crew, the story would become an absolute fiasco, but credit the cast on, “Underwater Menace,” the story is played with absolute conviction, so it rises above its silly, campy idea to become a perfectly watchable story that’s a bit of a homage to many B American sci-fi horror films of the 1950s and early 60s. Troughton is superb and he is in full command in his third story as the Doctor.
The DVD release does have some problems. Mainly, it’s that the still used for the missing 1st and final episodes don’t tell complete stories and the whole thing would have been helped by using the BBC narration tracks that have been used for the audio-only release so that viewers could know what was going during lost visual bits.. In addition, the closing “message” of the story is a bit of a non-sequitur to what actually happened in the episode.
Overall, not bad, and a mostly fun story.