Friday, February 12, 2010

6L3 - Warriors of the Deep 3

Go and get your DVD of Warriors of the Deep and skip ahead to Episode Three. Now, shuttle through until you get to the moment where Ingrid Pitt decides to use kung fu against a pantomime horse that's dripping green paint. Watch that scene in full. Even though it's only a few seconds long, it is a historical event, because it represents The Death of Doctor Who (and no, I'm talking about Episode Five of The Chase).

Michael Grade, the newly minted Controller of BBC1 in 1984, couldn't disguise his hatred of Doctor Who, and often cited this particular scene as to why he thought the programme was an embarrassment for the network. Watching this scene again, I have a hard time disagreeing with him. It is simply terrible; one of the worst moments ever seen in Doctor Who. The only saving grace is that it can be looked at now as a piece of total hilarity, a moment of high camp best savoured during drinking parties.

I have never been a fan of camp, though. I always get offended when detractors term some of the more florid moments of Doctor Who as "camp", because if very rarely veers into that qualification. However, so many elements of this production stray awfully close to the line. The first battle between the Sea Devils and the humans is just laughable. Both sides line up less than ten feet in front of each other and start firing, and somehow nobody is hit until after several shots have been fired. Ingrid Pitt's Doctor Solow is, as mentioned, ridiculous, and even capable actors such as Ian McCulloch struggle to appear like they want to be a million miles from Seabase 4.

Dreadful. Utterly dreadful.


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