Friday, July 10, 2009

RR3 - Fury From the Deep 3

This story falls into, like many other Patrick Troughton stories to date, the standard "base under siege" format that has been used to great effect thus far without feeling repetitive. What Fury From The Deep has in common with another similarly formatted story, The Ice Warriors, is a fantastic performance by the actor portraying the leader of the base. Whereas in The Ice Warriors, Peter Barkworth's Clent was an overwrought and emotional leader on the side of the goodies, Victor Maddern's Robson looks as if he's vying for the title of head humanoid villain. Robson has been seen to be very forthright, driven, and, often, indignant thus far, but he really loses it in this episode. Maddern is rippling with rage during his scenes in this episode without ever going over the top.

Robson's growing insanity is actually troubling as he hasn't been affected by the seaweed yet. Only after he retires to his room does he come into contact with it. That wasn't a possessed Robson ranting and raving in the control room - that was genuine Robson.

Victoria, already having been locked in a room and threatened by seaweed coming in through the vents, drops the first hint in this episode that she's growing weary of being scared all the time. It's awfully refreshing to finally hear a companion say that! Coupled with the earlier comments about the TARDIS always landing in England, this is turning into the most open, honest Doctor Who story ever (until, at least, the Peter Davison stories were novelized).

The episode (which, at barely over 20 minutes long, is the shortest in length to date) ends with a truly disturbing sequence involving Maggie Harris instructing a now possessed Robson on his duties before walking out, sans breathing apparatus, into the sea and under the waves. At first, just a rather insipid wife of the equally rather insipid second-in-command of the base, is Maggie now the mastermind of everything? Can she breathe underwater? Is she walking to her death? Gripping stuff, this.


Joshua H said...

As sacrilegious as it sounds, I almost hope that the video for the Web of Fear is never found, just to preserve the dark, bleak beauty of the final moments of this episode. Along with the last ten or so minutes of The Daleks' Master Plan, there's no way that moving pictures can top the Bergmanesque stills in the reconstructions.

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