Monday, June 22, 2009

GG4 - The Underwater Menace 4



If you'll permit me to be utterly humourless for a moment, I've never felt comfortable with "camp". That is, I've never fully enjoyed finding great amusement in something which had serious drama as its intent. It's almost a slap in the face of the efforts of all involved in the making of the programme who set out to make something worth watching. Even when I do come across something that is laughably bad, I do feel like just a smidgen guilty while I watch it.

That said, the camp factor of The Underwater Menace is probably its only redeeming feature. Seldom in the history of Doctor Who has a story that was rushed to air, or otherwise faced traumatic or truncated preparation and recording time, actually risen above the difficulties of its conception and provided something that wasn't worth mocking. The Underwater Menace was only very reluctantly inserted into the lineup for Season Four, and, by the time recording for the story got underway, the production team were only working a week ahead of transmission. It would remain that way until the end of Season 4, which is quite remarkable. That fact alone prevents me from laughing too hard at this story, but...

Okay, The Underwater Menace borders on being a camp classic - the 1960's version of The Horns of Nimon. But at least The Horns of Nimon was trying to be funny...I think?

3 comments:

sjcaustenite said...

Look at camp this way--at least there's some value in it. True, people worked very hard, and they may not be inspiring the reactions they intended, but at least they're making someone happy, right? Right?

Tessa said...

I definitely feel The Underwater Menace (or at least Episode 3, which I've seen) hits the mark of "so bad, it's good". I really enjoyed rewatching it a few weeks ago. Delightfully ludicrous, and I think they *were* trying to be funny... maybe not the script, but the actors for sure.

T.J Stone said...

Its a pity the Underwater Meanace is so incomplete,not just because its a Doctor Who story but because it features some of the earliest acting work from a young Colin Jeavons
who went on to become such a great character actor on British Tv during the 70's 80's & 90's,
and IMO the greatest Inspector Lestrade

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